Soothe your Body and Mind at the UK’s First Private Members Spa

Just 20 minutes outside of London, located on the edge of St Albans, is Sopwell House, a luxury country house hotel.  [...]

Just 20 minutes outside of London, located on the edge of St Albans, is Sopwell House, a luxury country house hotel.   This hidden sanctuary is home to The Club at Cottonmill, the first private members’ spa offering a vibrant haven combining the serenity of a spa with the buzz and vibrancy of a private members club sans all the stuffiness.

When Cottonmill invited House of Coco to spend the day at The Club we jumped at the chance.   Cottonmill at Sopwell House, is tucked down a quiet lane in the sprawling Hertfordshire countryside within grounds surrounded by lush gardens and green fields, the perfect place to relax and unwind.

A magnificent white washed, Georgian House steeped in history, Sopwell is far from stuffy.  High ceilings, velvet armchairs and vast open fireplaces are juxtaposed with sleek lines and clean simplicity.  This continues through to The Club at Cottonmill.  

Upon arrival I was greeted by a friendly team of hosts who get to work showing me around, giving me the low down on the facilities and my itinerary for the day.   

After dropping my bag into the super swish dressing room, I headed to the Garden Room, a glass walled, chill out space perfect for relaxing in.  Large, comfy loungers look out to the pretty garden while hanging egg chairs surround the statement fireplace.  Here you can access the indoor-outdoor thermal pool as well as the Salt Steam Room and Organic Sauna.  This is the ideal location to kick off my day and I spend an hour reading and sipping herbal tea as the sun sneaks through the glass walls, warming by skin.

By mid-morning I was looking for a change of scenery so ventured into the gardens.  Designed by Anne-Marie Powell, a global medal-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show designer, the spa gardens are a great space to put your feet up.  I find myself a cabana just in front of the infinity thermal pool.  Soothing bubbling water features, day beds, hot tubs and fire pits are scattered around the garden.  I feel like I am at cool LA roof top pool bar.  While the space is relaxing and chilled there is a social buzz too and as I look around several guests are clutching a chilled glass of Rosé.  I slip on my shades and spend the next couple of hours flicking through my magazines and people watching.  Every so often I slope out of the sun into one of the hot tubs or the thermal pool.  This is bliss!

By midday I was feeling guilty for loafing about, there is a gym and studio in the club, but I fancied something less strenuous so had a quick swim before making my way over to the restaurant for lunch.  The lunch menu for spa guests is three courses.   There is plenty of choice including vegetarian and healthy options.  I had the baked salmon fillet with quinoa, saffron, capers and currants served with an olive and pine nut salsa.  It was delicious.

The zen vibes continued throughout the afternoon with a spa treatment. The spa menu combines advanced skin solutions with restorative treatments designed to deliver a sensory experience, soothing both the mind and body.  I opted for the Amber and Quartz Body Restore Ritual.  The treatment uses a heated bed of amber sand and quartz to deeply relax the body.  Sand has lots of healing properties – the ancient Egyptians used hot sand baths to alleviate aching joints and muscle pains.  There is a thin sheet between you and the sand bed, so you don’t have to worry about getting sand everywhere.  Cocooned in the warm, amber sand, the quartz bed gently vibrates relaxing your back and neck area.  The treatment begins with the chiming sound of singing bowls which are placed on your back and around the room.  The harmonising chimes is intensely soothing.    I instantly sink into the bed while the therapist provides an aromatherapy massage.  Halfway through the massage the bed tilts raising my feet, this is to encourage blood flow.  Its then tipped the opposite way while the therapist massages my shoulders and scalp.  I must have drifted off to sleep because I am woken by the singing bowls.

I floated out of the treatment room straight into the Deep Relaxation Room.  This zone is ideal to unwind, with heated loungers that gently vibrate and change colour.  I don’t think its possible to feel this calm and peaceful.  I do not want to leave but sadly I must.  I headed home for an early night and had a sound nights sleep.

As it’s a private members spa, The Club area is only accessible to members and those who book Club Spa Packages. To take advantage of all the facilities I’d highly recommend upgrading to a Club package. Sopwell House offers a number of spa packages starting at £70.

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Anji McGrandles
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