Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Rudding Park Rooftop Spa And Hotel, Harrogate

rudding park rooftop spa
For those of you who are regular readers (hi, I love you), you will know that, like for many others, this year has been a challenging one for me: watching a close family member cope and adapt to living with a debilitating chronic illness, seeing how depression can take over even the strongest of people (it really can happen to anyone), grieving over a friend whose life was cut short way too young after suffering a terrible illness and seeing my grandad suffer numerous illnesses, thinking we may lose him. On top of what has been a hectic year to say the very least, this has been an incredibly tough one and something I wasn’t mentally or emotionally prepared for. Although there are no easy fixes to life’s challenges, I decided to treat my brother to a special present for his birthday and, a treat for my Mum too. I feel lucky every single day that my brother is still here, kicking and fighting and I know that money cannot buy happiness but, with support, care and love, it can make hard days easier. My Mum has been through an incredibly tough year too, and somehow, through all these difficult years, not crumbling, not once. Honestly? I don’t know how she’s done it. She’s my biggest inspiration. I decided to treat the two most important people in my life to a trip nearby to Rudding Park for some relaxation and I couldn’t be more excited to tell you about this place. Read on for more.
rudding park harrogate
I do find that an occasional spa break or just time spent together can be a great tonic when things are tough. I was invited to the launch of Rudding Park’s new iconic spa earlier in the year but unable to make it so decided it was time to book after and see whether it could help provide relaxation to a family in need of a couple of days away from the strain of everyday life.  Rudding Park is down the road from where I was brought up so we’ve been a number of times to eat but never to stay in the hotel. It’s a privately owned luxury hotel and it has all sorts of facilities set in its huge landscaped gardens.  Whether you fancy just a hotel break, afternoon tea or a day spa break this place has it all. They even do weddings and their golf course is meant to be one of the best.

Mum and I were already going to try the spa and as it was my brother’s birthday too (he currently needs all the rest he can get) it seemed like the perfect place to visit to treat both him and my mum at the same time. It meant my brother could have a change of scenery without overexerting himself.

I’d say Rudding Park is about 10 minutes from Harrogate giving you a great excuse to head to Betty’s cafe and tearooms (my absolute favourite Yorkshire venue) for afternoon tea or brunch before checking in. It's my birthday on the 22nd December and whilst back in Yorkshire for the festive period, I'm ensuring I head back to where I was brought up: Betty's! When we drove up Rudding Park's stunning driveway we already felt we were away from all the hustle and bustle of everyday life and I always forget that somewhere so quaint and perfect is (lucky for us) just down the road.

When we arrived at reception laden with bags (yes – many bags even though we were only staying a single night, I’ve never been a light traveler) we were greeted by a lovely porter who immediately took them from us and we didn’t have to worry about them again until we arrived in our room.  He parked the car too for us. First impressions are so important for me when it comes to staying at a hotel and I got the best first impression ever at Rudding Park. I instantly feel at ease when someone takes my heavy bags from me, parks my car and deals with all the paperwork, it was seamless, professional and better service actually than some ‘leading hotels of the world’ I’ve stayed in. I just had no expectations and was blown away from the outset. 
rudding park bedrooms


The reception staff in the hotel were efficient, friendly and personable throughout the stay – nothing was too much trouble for them.

The hotel itself is stunning both outside and in and we were directed to our rooms which were beautiful – traditional in style with modern touches but very spacious and very comfortable.  We were lucky enough to be placed in ensuite spa rooms with their own steam room and roll top spa bath but even the standard rooms here are of a high calibre.  I wish I had more time to enjoy the beautiful room. If I’m honest, I had absolutely no expectations and certainly didn’t expect Rudding Park to be as good as it was. As if that wasn’t good enough, our patio door led us out into a courtyard which had direct access to the spa area.  We couldn’t wait to try this so after appreciating our room and unpacking we put on our comfy robes and slippers and headed straight over to the reception area in the spa.

At this stage, we were already impressed with the hotel and service but things were about to get even better.  Earlier in the year, Rudding Park opened a multi-million pound spa area and we arrived at the spa reception to receive an equally warm greeting. One thing I noticed is just how incredible the interior is. For anyone who watches my vlogs, you'll know that I just bought a house, eek, so, interior is something I'm very much obsessed with at the moment I guess that's why you'll see I've made this blog post shoppable and included some of my favourite 'Rudding Park inspired interior' ideas throughout too. Rudding Park and it's beautiful modern/Scandinavian/Yorkshire decor has definitely inspired my new house.  

We had a comprehensive tour of the spa area and were then set free to enjoy. I’ve been to so many spas and the hotels are beautiful but the spas are always quite dated. Rudding Park is incredibly modern, beautiful in design and definitely the best spa I’ve been to. 

rudding park bedrooms

We could see we had a lot to enjoy so started with a spot of lunch to make sure we didn’t get hungry along the way, there is a restaurant in the spa area where you can enjoy lunch in your robe and slippers or alternatively you can hang around in one of the comfortable seating areas and order it there – again, all very relaxing.  The food was lovely and the Yorkshire Crisps are highly recommended (my favourite). I felt like the food was such high quality even in the spa area. 

Fully nourished, we moved around the various areas basking in the very peaceful and stunning environment we found ourselves in.  Usually, spas tend to be quite loud in communal areas as I find they're just way too busy but Rudding Park has the perfect ambiance, not too quiet so you feel as if you have to whisper but it also doesn’t feel as if there are hen parties everywhere. We chilled on comfortable luxury loungers overlooking the gardens while drinking coffee and reading magazines, spent ages in the hydrotherapy infinity pool which has masses of different buttons to press and water settings to enjoy, did a stint in a panoramic sauna, tried the herbal bath steam room and finished it all off with a foot spa and rainforest shower. I could go on all day about this place but I don’t want to give it all away,  just try it for yourselves if you get the chance. 

The environment throughout the spa is fresh, modern, light and airy but also with a great balance of homeliness.  The owners pop in regularly and take great pride in making this a friendly, warm and welcoming place to be with professional staff lots of opportunities to relax.  There is fresh fruit and fruity water on hand throughout and an abundance of fresh towels, no begging or having to stop what you’re doing to ask. 

We ended our day in the spa by treating ourselves to our last swim in the infinity pool while watching the sun go down.  That’s another great thing about Rudding Park, you can sit and watch the stars in the outdoor pool. There is something amazing about being in a hot outdoor pool in the cool dark air. I’ve always raved about my hometown of Yorkshire to people who have never visited and I feel as if Rudding Park shows it off in all its glory.

Click to shop interior inspiration:




rudding park rooftop spa

gold glass lights
After this we all had treatments booked so we went off to explore the treatment area and I have to say, they’re some of the most beautiful and well thought out treatment rooms I’ve come across. Rudding Park give you so much more than just a treatment, it's a whole experience. The entire area has a calm, relaxing and utterly professional feel to it and the treatment therapists are all wonderfully well trained and made us feel really special. My mum had her first ever facial and said that it was more relaxing than full body massages she has had. She's hooked now and just went back for her second. 

After our treatments we were shown around the sensory rooms that are available to relax in after a treatment, these are absolutely stunning and by now we felt as if we had been on a week’s holiday in the space of 5 hours. I’m not very good at doing nothing or relaxing but it was so special to see my Mum and brother thoroughly relaxed for the first time in a year so I guess that helped me to relax and feel properly happy, knowing my two favourite people were happy for the first time in months. 

rudding park swimming pool

cloud ceiling lights
Click below for more interior inspiration:



gold stools

extra large cactus


large green plant
Click below for more interior ideas:






 

 

rudding park outdoor pool
 

 

Final interior inspiration (I told you it really made me get excited): 



I’ve been to many a spa where there has been at least one odd niggle so I was expecting that to occur during dinner, surely nothing can be this perfect?  Wrong, even dinner was perfect. We reluctantly left the spa and headed to get ready for dinner, there are two dining choices.  Firstly you can dine in a traditional restaurant with good homely comfort food and lovely traditional surroundings (The Clock Tower).  My Mum had dined in this restaurant before and absolutely loved it.  Secondly you can experience fine dining in the Horta Restaurant. Here you are treated to an al a carte menu or a tasting menu.  We decided to dine here and went for the blind tasting menu together with wine pairing.  Goodness, I really can’t tell you how amazing this was, highly trained staff treat you to numerous courses of wonderfully presented and amazingly tasteful food made from home grown fresh seasonal ingredients.  Our waiters Rory and Lochlan knew so much about food, wine and cheese it was astonishing and made for an absolutely amazing evening (of course I went for the cheese board). Sadly my brother was quite ill, that's the nature of chronic illness so he didn't get the chance to enjoy the dinner to the full but next time (I will be sending him back again for some relaxation) hopefully he will feel a little better.

Horto restaurant is a small, intimate and friendly restaurant and by the time you leave you feel like part of a family, it was just an amazing experience. Of course, the decor is just as beautiful in Horto too.

Worthy of separate mention is the home made sour dough bread and fresh butter – a million yums here! I have to say again, the decor of Horto is stunning. You can also have breakfast here and lunch throughout the day too. It feels far too beautiful to sit in wearing a robe!



horto restaurant harrogate


horto restaurant tasting menu


 

The homemade truffles were an incredible ending to a luxurious meal, just as good as many of the Michelin restaurants I've been fortunate enough to dine at. Happy and relaxed we headed to rest our sleepy heads on the cloud-like pillows. 
rudding park bedroom


breakfast rudding

 
We finished our day with an early morning lounge in the spa, my skin felt incredible and my mind rejuvenated. Mainly though, my Mum and brother had such an incredible time. I now know that all my money for birthdays and Christmas will be spent sending them back to their happy place.

Rudding Park = exceptional staff, exceptional food and exceptional facilities. I'm now even more proud to be from Yorkshire! I've booked to go back for my birthday this month!

Have you ever been to Rudding Park? Have you heard of it? Have you visited Harrogate? p.s don't miss my Christmas gift guide, Rudding Park was also mentioned on there! 

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Lots of love, Em x

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