Highly-regarded by both consumers and travel professionals, Hoar Cross Hall was named “England’s Leading Resort” for the fifth consecutive year at the 2009 World Travel Awards. In addition to this “travel industry Oscar”, TripAdvisor users can’t say enough good things about this lavish establishment. BTN went to investigate.
“Through these doors walk the loveliest people in the world.”
These are the words that greet you at Hoar Cross Hall, a beautiful Stately Home hidden away in the heart of the English countryside (Staffordshire).
This graceful grade 11 listed building, which was built in the 1860s, is the only Stately Home in England that also offers a complete spa experience - for guests who are seeking total relaxation in beautiful and historic surroundings.
The Hoar Cross Hall project was the vision of Stephen Joynes, MBE, who bought the residence in 1989, and restored it to its natural splendour with a nine million pound investment and expansion programme.
There are 90 spacious and individually appointed en-suite bedrooms, suites with separate lounges and penthouse suites with stunning views to the immaculate landscaped gardens. The Royal Suite leads to stunning roof terraced gardens.
As well as numbers, each room is assigned the name of a royal or noble figure. I resided in ‘Lady Felicity’ (which seemed especially fitting as that is my middle name). I was lucky enough to catch the fleeting sight of an owl at bed-time.
Each room is beautifully appointed with fine furnishings, unique and eclectic paintings, statues, marble fire-places and four poster beds. The bathrooms come complete with a Jacuzzi.
It would be a crime not to explore the corridors of this beautiful building. The Long Gallery is a beautiful space with resplendent oak panelling, tapestries, paintings and rich furnishings, where complimentary tea and coffee is served all day.
For a quiet afternoon, guests can relax, read, play games, or watch television in the drawing room. The chapel has been converted into a games room and is complete with a pool table. The champagne bar (which was originally the library) is discreetly hidden away (for those that wish to avoid it) and still contains over 3,000 old books.
The spa and sports facilities are impressive, with a 4,000 sq foot state of the art gymnasium and a number of studios for yoga, pilates, spinning, aerobics, or relaxation. The Eden Spa area includes a 26 metre salt-water swimming pool as well as the hydrotherapy swimming pool.
The spacious grounds have lakes and wildlife in abundance, formal gardens, Italian roof top gardens, water features, exotic plants and beautiful flowers. More active guests can enjoy tennis courts, a 9 Hole Par golf course, croquet, boules or archery.
The atmosphere throughout the property and gardens is un-intimidating and relaxing, like a home from home, only better.
Quality of experience
Upon entering Hoar Cross Hall, I was immediately struck by the beauty and charm of this Stately Home, with tapestries, sculptures and paintings. There are 250 friendly staff on hand to ensure that each guest is well looked after.
Feeling a little tired after a long week, the serenity of the spa came as a welcome relief. I was greeted at the spa reception desk by a friendly lady who described the layout of the enormous spa and handed me a fluffy white robe.
Unfortunately the Eden Spa was closed for renovations, but I soon forgot my disappointment as I was whisked away by a friendly beautician for my 55-minute treatment. She explained what my combination massage and facial treatment would entail. I chose the ESPA products made with stimulating peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary to energise me.
The treatment began with a 25 minute upper back massage which broke down tension in my shoulders and neck, then on to a much needed facial, since the skin around my eyes was fairly dehydrated.
The treatment ended with a scalp massage and I found the cool oil on my scalp to be wonderfully refreshing. After nearly an hour of heavenly relaxation and pampering, I floated back into the relaxation room for some green tea. I certainly felt like one of the loveliest people in the world that evening!
This hotel is an ideal destination for couples or small groups
There are two places to eat in the hotel: The delightful Plantation Restaurant overlooking the pool provides a buffet breakfast and lunch, which includes a generous selection of cold meats, pasta and salads.
A La Carte dining in the evening is offered in the original ballroom, with its gilded ceilings and William Morris wallpaper. I sampled grilled lobster, on a bed of wild brown rice, accompanied with chilli dip. This was followed by seared tuna that was served with a tasty chilli and lime dressing and garnished with parsley and accompanied with salad. The food was delicious and the service was excellent.
Hoar Cross Hall is good value for a truly memorable and relaxing short break experience. Standard room rates begin at £348 for two nights per person. There are some fantastic package deals to take advantage of which can be found online at http://www.hoarcross.co.uk
Need to know:
Take flip-flops as this is one item that is not provided. If you don’t own a pair though, you can purchase slippers or flip-flops from the Beauty Product Shop.
For more information go to http://www.hoarcross.co.uk