Rudding Park Hotel & Spa | Harrogate

Rudding Park Hotel & Spa | Harrogate


Sometimes in life you need a little time out. That time out doesn’t always have to involve travelling miles to experience. Rudding Park Hotel & Spa is about 6 miles from our house, but may as well be a million miles away. Set on the outskirts of Harrogate in Yorkshire its the perfect location for a little ‘me time’.

Its worth mentioning at this point that there was a little confusion (which is one way to describe it) over an acceptable arrival time. Having had to cancel twice due to coronavirus, we booked an overnight spa break with access to the rooftop spa. What wasn’t so clear was the ability to access the hotels other facilities before check in at 1500. Now we appreciate that there is only so long that you can spend in a steam room but the inflexibility of the lady in reservations was frustrating to say the least. However, suffice to say, a quick phone call to guest relations and we were all sorted.

So, we arrived as planned around 1300, expecting to have to leave our bags at reception and only be able to use the main hotel pool/sauna. Not only was our room available but we’d been given an upgrade and a personal escort to the room, a very welcome treat. A quick unpack and we headed down to the main hotel spa reception. The extremely helpful lady on the desk showed us how to use the locker/door wristbands before leaving us to get changed into the provided robe and flipflops and telling us to head up to the rooftop spa whenever we were ready.

We sat by the main pool to get our bearings before a quick walk up to the roof. Here we were greeted with an oasis that can only be described as amazing! Various heat experiences, showers, pools, and outdoor garden and somewhere comfortable to sit. And whilst clearly there were other people around, it just didn’t feel crowded or too busy.

The outdoor pool is great for relaxing in, as are the outdoor sunbeds (even in October). The steam room has a very handy cold shower inside it and the sauna is very comfortable. We didn’t overly see the point (nor notice a difference) in the oxygen room but the Sunlight Therapy Room was extremely relaxing!

Moving downstairs to the treatment rooms, we booked in and waited less than 5 minutes to be taken through for what turned out to be a couples massage. The ladies asked what pressure we liked and any areas of concern before leaving us to get sorted. After a few minutes of work on my back, my lady asked if the pressure was enough. I asked for a bit more pressure to which she dually obliged to the point just before pain (which is just perfect) The hour flew by and we felt great. We were then escorted to the relaxation rooms and a cup of herbal tea.

After getting changed and sorted, we headed down for dinner. I’ve eaten in the Clocktower restaurant many times but this was by far the best I’ve had there. The gentleman who took us to our table was extremely friendly, obliging my strange taste in drinks. Scallop Thermador to start with crusty bread followed by the Hanger Steak and chips and I was more than content. As a side note, the gentleman taking our order was also very knowledgeable about the food. He checked that I was aware how the steak should be cooked (no more than medium rare) The atmosphere was wonderful and relaxing.

A further drink in the bar and we were done for the night.

The room itself was very comfortable. A ‘pillow menu’ was provided but as I can sleep on anything, it wasn’t required but a welcome offer no the less. The bed was comfortable and the room dark and quiet. The bathroom facilities were more than acceptable, with the shower having rainfall and normal showerheads. All of the toiletries are Molton Brown which we love and there was more than enough provided.

On a slightly humorous note, each room has a safe for guests to use. What we didn’t realise about ours until afterwards was that whilst the safe itself was secure, it wasn’t actually fixed to anything so could have quite easily been removed from a room. That’s assuming you could leave the building with it under your arm obviously.

Breakfast was one of the best I’ve ever had in a hotel! The ‘Full Yorkshire’ was grilled and wasn’t even remotely greasy. Fresh baked bread for toast with proper butter! A range of cereals, yogurts, pastries and fruits were available, as was a range of fruit juices. My only criticism was that the coffee was seriously weak, actually to the point of not really tasting of anything.

Check out was easy with the 5 star offer to collect my car from the car park and we were on our way. A thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable stay all round. Peter Banks and the team have certainly done wonders and we’ve had far worse stays in 5 star hotels & resorts.

Our one and only gripe was the ‘optional service charges’ and ‘resort charge’. In my humble opinion (and I know I could have asked for it to be removed), its unacceptable to add a £5 service charge onto the cost of a beer and glass of wine that I ordered and collected from the spa bar. I didn’t mind the charge for the massage we had as would always generally tip the therapist but had no cash with me. However, the final nail here was the ‘Resort Charge’ which was a percentage of the total bill (3% I believe).

Ultimately I’m not sure what the rest of the nearly £500 for one nights dinner, bed and breakfast was actually paying for. I asked the question and was told that all hotels are doing it these days? I’m not making this point to appear thrifty, I’m just not sure if its about service and more about adding money onto the bill for the owners. Lastly, as there was a service charge for the massage treatment we had, I certainly hope that the staff receive this back in some way?

Book your next stay at Rudding Park HERE

Or check out Rudding Parks Instagram HERE

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