Just before Christmas, hubs and I visited Armathwaite Hall, near Keswick, in the Lake District for a very well-deserved break. We had never left Q overnight and nine months of broken sleep takes its toll. Both A and I were very much looking forward to our overnight stay at Armathwaite Hall and the little treats we had planned. Reading this post, you’ll see that it’s quite photo-heavy – but I don’t think there’s anything else that can tell a story better than good photographs… and words…
Hotel & Grounds
Armathwaite Hall has been standing on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake since the 11th century. It has been through complete renovations and has experienced major development since and, more recently, the addition of a spa, brasserie and function suites.
This stunning hotel is the height of luxury from the moment you enter the grounds. Travel down the drive to the parking areas and you are greeted by a variety of wildlife in the adjoining fields. Beautiful gardens, lines of huge trees, fabulous garden ornaments and furniture and, of course, Bassenthwaite Lake, come together to create a really spectacular view from the conservatory and rooms. It was a dry day when we arrived, so we went for a stroll through the gardens to see what we could find and to take in some fresh air before our afternoon in the spa.
Before we checked-in, we went for a little explore of Armathwaite Hall to see what facilities we would get use of during our stay. The four star hotel boasts a good array of amenities, including a billiards room and a number of bars and lounges with roaring fireplaces. The Christmas decorations were really beautiful and contributed well to the cosy, comfortable and luxurious feel of the hotel.
During our stay, there was a wedding taking place in part of the restaurant and function suites. Had we not seen the Bride in full bridal dress, I honestly wouldn’t have noticed that there were so many different things going on. The staff weren’t preoccupied with the large party going on, and were very helpful and attentive. I often find this to be an issue elsewhere, but was really impressed how the staff and management dealt with the variety of customers.
Our Room: Spa Feature Room
At check-in, we were offered a complimentary glass of sherry (yum!), our bags were taken and we were shown to our room. We were booked into one of the Spa Feature Rooms and, boy, it was lush. Safe to say, my jaw dropped when we opened the door! It was huge. The king sized bed was incredibly comfortable, made up with luxurious cotton sheets and a complimentary robe and slippers for both of us.
At the foot of the bed was a seating area with coffee table, facing the far wall on which a flat screen television is mounted. The television gives access to a number of Sky satellite channels, which we made a little use of. Underneath the television, there were tea and coffee making facilities with packs of biscuits, and a DAB radio which we listened to whilst getting ready for dinner. A small dining table sat to one side of the room with small bottles of wine, various menus, water glasses and fresh apples were all available.
The bathroom managed to spur an audible “Wow” from my lips as I walked into a huge room, at least three times the size of our main bathroom at home. A big shower cubicle, loo, sink and mirrors, and a long bath tub with a television set into the wall at one end. Heaven! I didn’t sleep particularly well, as I never do when staying away from home, so decided to pop in the bath the next morning. It was really nice and filled quickly, although the television is at an angle which distorts the image if you’re trying to watch it from the tub… Bit of a shame.
Spa and Treatments
We visited the spa with the intention to make full use of our child-free time and completely relax. We’d booked a joint hot stone massage for the early evening so we knew we had to watch the clock a little, but still had plenty of time to use the fabulous spa facilities. I didn’t take my camera into the spa, as I didn’t want to make the other guests feel uncomfortable, so have included some images from the Armathwaite Hall website. Although, hubs did snap this one on his phone of me enjoying the spa pool!
The swimming pool was particularly cold, but a good size with five or six lanes. Around the spa pool, we tried out the aromatherapy room, steam room, sauna and the two sensory showers. All absolutely lovely! The outdoor jacuzzi is probably the highlight of the facilities for me. It’s a bit chilly in December to walk outside in just your swimwear, but it’s sooo worth it! The jacuzzi is toasty warm and you can even order drinks to have whilst enjoying the bubbles outdoors.
We had booked a double treatment room as both A and I were booked for the hot stone massage together. There was some confusion at first as we were initially led to separate rooms, but it was soon sorted out. Neither of us have experienced this type of treatment before, but it was really lovely. The therapist used the hot lava stones to massage our entire bodies, which is great for circulation. After our treatment (which seemed to go far too fast – don’t they always?!), we were led to the relaxation suite where we were each tucked into a lounger and given a glass of water to rehydrate, a shot glass of fruit smoothie and a small piece of flapjack.
Dinner and Breakfast
Upon booking, hubs had booked us into the restaurant for a five course dinner. After our visit to the spa, we were decidedly relaxed and ready for an evening of good food and drinks. We started off in the bar where we enjoyed champagne cocktails and nibbles of olives and candied nuts. We made our order from the varied, but limited, selection on the menu and were shown through to the restaurant.
The starter of sherry glazed partridge was really delicious, as was the chicken liver parfait, and both desserts were amazing. Our main courses, roast lamb and a medallion of veal, left a little to be desired in all honesty. All the food looked delicious, as you can see, and we finished feeling rather full and satisfied.
The following morning, we were one of the first into the restaurant for breakfast. We chose a table in the conservatory and were served tea and coffee and our orders were taken for a cooked breakfast. We helped ourselves to fruit juices and vowed we’d return to the continental buffet after our cooked breakfast…
Alas, the sausage, poached egg, bacon and trimmings with toast and tea proved enough and neither of us could manage anything further for breakfast! It was all really delicious and I can’t say I’ve ever had a better poached egg. Absolutely scrumptious and a great start to our day.
We really enjoyed our spa break and overnight stay at Armathwaite Hall. We definitely felt the benefit to slowing down and enjoying some relaxation in the spa and taking time out of our busy lives to take care of ourselves. There were a few niggles, like the television in the bathroom and the slightly disappointing dinner, but overall we had a great time and wouldn’t hesitate to return. Armathwaite Hall and its grounds are absolutely stunning, and the staff couldn’t do enough for us to ensure that our stay was superb.