A Winter Retreat At Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa, The Lake District
Within a day of going back to work after the Christmas break I just knew I had to plan something for the end of January. Back to reality with a huge thud, the prospect of an intense detox month ahead, and getting up for work every day again meant I needed some sort of motivation. I spent a long time researching current spa deals, and the one we settled on was the winter retreat deal at Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa in the Lake District
The offer covered dinner, bed and breakfast, will full access to all the facilities including the spa, gym and outdoor hydro pool. The room was a Club Double, and we had a choice of either the Lake View Restaurant or the Brasserie for dinner, with an allocation of £35 per person towards either. It was a really good deal, and I’m shocked I managed to get it for a Saturday night as usually this sort of deal is midweek only. When I looked for the usual price of this stay, it came to about £400, but we paid £200.
Armathwaite Hall overview and location
Located in the North of the Lake District National Park, right by Bassenthwaite Lake, Armathwaite is in the perfect place to enjoy all that the Lake District has to offer. To make the most of your full time there over a one night stay, head to Keswick in the morning first, where the Saturday market is usually on and there are plenty of cafes for breakfast or a coffee. From Keswick it’s just a 15 minute drive to Armathwaite.
The hall itself was once a stately home, and the character of the place remains very much part of the atmosphere and decor there. Big plush lounges, with multiple log fires, and decor themed to compliment the great outdoors, it’s everything you want for a country escape.
There’s a conservatory too which would be lovely in summer, and the Lake View restaurant which as the name suggests overlooks Bassenthwaite Lake.
When it comes to nature the choice of activities you can undertake here are pretty vast, including fishing, kayaking on the lake, archery within the grounds, tennis lessons, electric bike hire, and a number of different guided walks.
There are some wildlife encounters available too, many of which are at the Lakeland Wildlife Park which hotel guests can enjoy at a discounted rate of 2 for 1. In summer months you can walk alpacas, which I’m actually pretty gutted wasn’t available when we were there as I REALLY want to do this.
Finally the Spa, leisure and fitness facilities are all on site, and adjoined to the hotel so it offers a fabulous setting for a Lake District break that offers something for everyone.
For us, the whole point was to relax from the moment we got there.
Check In & Our Room at Armathwaite
We got there at 2pm, which is the standard check in time, and it’s always a nice surprise when you’re told you’ve been given a complimentary upgrade. Our room was now a Deluxe double, located in the main house and we were escorted up by one of the concierge staff.
The room was very spacious, with a view over looking the front of the building out over the landscape. The decor is quite traditional, and robes and slippers are laid out on the bed. The bathroom was really modern, with heated flooring and stocked with toiletries.
I love waking up in the Lake District. You always get such a good nights sleep safe in the knowledge that you’re in the middle of nowhere with a lot of peace and quiet surrounding you. Even when it rains, which it obviously does a lot and of course did the weekend we were there.
Throw open the curtains and enjoy your first coffee of the day from the comfort of your lie in.
Armathwaite Hall Spa & Leisure Facilities.
This was the main reason we chose to visit Armathwaite, and went for the deal we did. Spa access is fully covered for the duration of your stay, unlike some especially in the Lakes who only allow certain time slots, or an extra payment. As soon as we checked in and unpacked in our room, we went straight down to the spa.
It’s slightly separate from the main hall, but you don’t have to go outside to access it. We took our robes and slippers with us and found the spa, gym and Brasserie. At the entrance to the spa, we were given a run down of the facilities, and shown through to the changing rooms.
You need either a £1 coin for the lockers, or one of those token things which staff can provide you if you dont have. I love spa changing rooms because they’re all so luxurious, with heated floors and plenty space, mirrors, showers and both private and public changing spaces.
Spa & Leisure Facilities
Through to the main spa area, the indoor pool is huge, with plenty loungers spaced around it down one side, with a view through the floor to ceiling glass front over the grounds. There are further relaxation spaces, including a tranquility terrace with more loungers through some double doors that also lead to the outside spa area.
The outside spa is a hydro infinity pool, and the outdoor sun terrace has yet more loungers and would be fabulous in summer. Obviously anywhere like this is more beautiful in the summer months, but it’s impossible not to enjoy the setting with forest and lake view regardless of the weather.
We sat in the outdoor hydro pool for hours, and my favourite bit is the little intercom that allows you to order drinks from right by the pool, that the staff bring out to you. It did get busier by mid afternoon, but there was space for everyone and it was very indulgent.
The outside facilities are really popular, but there’s plenty others inside too, including another hot tub, an aroma room which smelled unbelievable, a traditional sauna, a steam room, a tropical shower, and a rain dance shower. Compared to some other spas I’ve been too, there was space for everyone without it feeling too packed.
We didn’t book treatments in advance which was a mistake, as we couldn’t then get booked in on the day. Weekends are obviously popular, and the treatment suite is on the second floor, with ten treatment rooms and full beauty facilities. Instead we just enjoyed the time in the main complex, and I still felt fully relaxed by the end of a four hour session.
The gym and fitness suite
I’d love to be able to tell you that I set foot in either of these but I definitely didn’t. Kieran did though on the Sunday morning, and said it was a really good state of the art gym. Armathwaite offer full access to all guests, including classes, personal training sessions, yoga, pilates and fitness assessments. Some of these are at an additional cost, depending which you go for.
Drinking & Dining at Armathwaite Hall
Despite being very good through January, we did give ourselves the night off while we were at Armathwaite, so that we could enjoy the food on offer fully. When it comes to choice, there is plenty at varying levels of formality.
The Lake View Restaurant
The grandest dining experience, with a menu that constantly evolves and changes depending on the seasonality, and creations of the chef. Largely British, specifically Cumbrian but with an element of French cuisine thrown in too, this award winning restaurant also has an extensive wine cellar to match.
There is a lunch menu available through the day, with two or three courses available, and an evening dinner menu which begins at £46.95 per person. In the evening it is a formal affair, with no jeans or trainers allowed, so it’s a chance to get a bit dressed up and enjoy the fine dining experience.
They also serve a Sunday dinner in this restaurant every Sunday. I really wanted to try this but we were far too full from the previous evening.
Courtyard Bar & Brasserie
This is the brasserie that is along by the spa, and is used through the day as the restaurant that hosts people on their spa packages. I the evening it turns into a slightly less formal brasserie restaurant, but still very nice. This is where we chose to eat, and our deal covered an allocation towards food.
We took advantage of our guilt free night, and had two courses, both of us choosing steak for our mains, and we shared a bottle of red wine.
As well as classic mains like steak, burgers, fajitas, and fish, there are a range of tapas on offer if you’d prefer to share some smaller dishes, and a pizza selection too. The pizzas can even be ordered to take away if you would rather eat in your room. Overall the menu here was a lot more varied, but it’s not quite as grand a setting as the Lake View restaurant in the main hall.
The Cocktail Bar
The bar was my favourite room in the whole of Armathwaite, it was so plush with a big roaring fire and dark wood panelling. It was a big hit with most guests as it was almost full with people enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine before dinner. There were plenty seats and we didnt struggle to get one. I enjoyed my first gin of 2020, served to the table before dinner.
The bar also serves lunches and snacks through the day, and coffees through into one of the two lounges next door. Afternoon Tea is one of the popular additions you can add on to your stay, from £24.95 per person, and there’s a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea available too.
The conservatory on the side of Armathwaite Ha;; overlooks the gardens that lead down to the lake, and here you can enjoy lunch, afternoon tea, or just some light bites through the day. We ate here for breakfast, which was buffet style as well as a full hot menu. I always make the most of hotel breakfasts, and the eggs benedict didn’t disappoint.
The food for our whole stay was really excellent, I think next time I would eat in the Lake View restaurant as the menu we read for the weekend sounded fabulous, and I would really like to try their Sunday dinner. Our food in the Brasserie was also excellent.
Overall we had a great time at Armathwaite Hall, it was just what we needed and my judgement of a spa weekend is if you feel like you’ve been away longer than you have, which I definitely felt like. The spa was pure relaxation, the food was top quality, and it was so nice to have everything we needed in one place. I also really enjoyed sitting by the fire with a cuppa while Kieran made use of the gym.
It was a beautiful setting, the staff and service I couldn’t fault, and my only regret was that I wasn’t more organised when it came to booking treatments. It’s definitely on my list of spas worth visiting.
Visit Armathwaite Hall official website for more info.
Disclaimer: We paid for this full break ourselves and this post is not in collaboration with Armathwaite, I just wanted to share!
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