When it comes to relaxation, nothing can beat a spa day – whether you are lounging by the pool, indulging in a treatment or tucking into a delicious meal.
Set in 20,000 acres of estate grounds, Swinton Country Club & Spa offers a unique spa experience in the heart of North Yorkshire.
Combining natural elements of the Yorkshire Dales countryside with contemporary design and sophistication, this is a wellbeing experience with a difference.
“The spa really is unique because it is on a privately-owned estate with 20,000 acres of land surrounding us,” says spa manager Gillian McGraffin.
“There is a real sense of space, relaxation and wellness. It doesn’t matter where you look, you see greenery and the outdoors which is quite unusual in a spa.”
Given its setting in a walled garden, it is no surprise nature plays an important role in almost every element of the spa.
Alongside therapies by Elemis and Bamford, seasonal menus for both treatments and food are defined by the fruit, herbs and vegetables in the garden.
This Good Spa Guide ‘5 bubble spa’ is also all about embracing and celebrating the elements.
In colder weather, outside loungers are covered with sheepskin rugs and duvets while guests are given hot water bottles and mittens knitted in Yorkshire to add to the cosy atmosphere.
“Our outdoor approach doesn’t go away in winter, it is enhanced,” says Gillian.
“It is a really warm and snuggly experience.”
The outdoor area of the spa includes a cedar hot tub and a 10-metre natural pool.
Tucked away in the corner of the pool garden is an alfresco sauna featuring herbs from the garden – the perfect spot to hide away with a few friends around the fire-pit.
Inside is just as stunning with an 18-metre indoor swimming pool and a hydrotherapy pool.
Guests can move between heat rooms including an aroma steam room featuring seasonal natural fragrances in 100 per cent humidity for deep muscular relaxation; a salt steam room to ease breathing congestion and enhance the immune system; and a Finnish sauna.
Showers and foot spas help regulate body temperature as visitors start and finish their thermal journey.
Gillian joined the Swinton Country Club & Spa team a year ago, shortly after the facilities opened, and says the reaction from guests has been amazing.
“I would say it definitely has a wow factor,” she says.
“It takes people aback. Harmony is a word that often gets used and people can’t wait to come back.”
Anne visited in August and was full of praise for everything from the treatments to the food.
“This is by far the best spa I’ve ever been to, I have been to a fair few,” she said.
“Amazing facilities, plenty of choices, the food was delicious, my wonderful de-stress massage was the icing on the cake, can’t wait to return.”
Courtney, who visited in July, said: “The staff here are so wonderful and friendly, which perfectly complements the fabulous facilities.
“I can’t wait to go home and recommend to my friends.”
Gillian says hearing customer feedback is one of her favourite parts of the job.
“If the team has made someone’s day that is a massive tick for me.
“I also love meeting the members.
“Having that day-to-day contact with members gives me a lot of satisfaction. If people are willing to come to us seven days a week to enjoy their leisure time, re-discover their wellness or improve their lifestyle we are obviously doing a good job.”
When it comes to choosing her own favourite treatments, Gillian says she is split.
“Because of my age I really love the Elemis Bio-Tec facials for results but I am absolutely hooked on relaxation treatments.
“The Bamford de-stress massage is definitely the one that I would choose any day of the week to put me on cloud nine.”
So how can you treat your loved one to a taste of natural relaxation?
Gillian says gift vouchers are ‘immensely popular’ and the ideal way to treat a loved one.
Sundown and sunrise packages, priced from Â£49, include use of the spa facilities and a two-course meal in the acclaimed Terrace Restaurant & Bar – ideal for those who want to indulge and relax without a treatment.
Or spa days for two, priced from Â£245, include a 55-minute bespoke full body massage each, a two-course lunch and full use of the facilities for the day.
As well as vouchers for individual spa retreats, Gillian says some people go the extra mile – gifting an entire year’s membership.
“It is absolutely wonderful to get that as a gift, that is a year of wellbeing and fitness,” she says.
For a full list of treatments, spa days, wellness and gifts visit www.swintonestate.com/countryclubandspa