Take some time out for a spot of rest and relaxation this festive season
Christmas is just around the corner, which means a never-ending diary of social plans, after-work pub visits and the added stress of trying to get your Christmas shopping done and the house looking perfect before the in-laws arrive. It’s a magical time, true, but it’s no surprise that many of us feel burnt out towards the end of the year.
While you might not have time in your busy calendar for a last-minute break, if you do have a spare day, a quick spa getaway might be just what the doctor ordered. Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa is just a 50-minute journey from Paddington and is the perfect place for some festive rejuvenation.
Located just outside Newbury, in the pretty village of Donnington, the hotel and spa is surrounded by rolling green fields — Combe Gibbet Circular Walk and Snelsmore Common are two walking routes popular with locals — and ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Inside, you’ll find 111 smartly decorated bedrooms (think Egyptian cotton linen, marble bathrooms and sizeable bathtubs), an award-winning restaurant and the spa, where the magic really happens.
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If you’re short on time
The spa is home to all you need to unwind, including an 18m swimming pool, a steam room, sauna, aroma room, monsoon shower, poolside lounge and relaxation area with sun terrace, state-of-the-art treatment rooms and a large gym with high-tech equipment.
Its half spa days include a 25-minute spa treatment of your choice, a bento-style lunch or afternoon tea and time to take advantage of the facilities. Full spa days can include your choice of a 25-minute treatment or two 55-minute treatments. The Seasonal Treat spa day includes your choice of the Royal Jelly De-Stress Facial, which is an ideal choice for stressed-out skin, the Sybarite Silk Envelopment, a combination of cleansing exfoliation and massage finished with a nourishing body wrap, the Sperience World of Aromas, a feng-shui inspired full-body massage, or the New Life Pregnancy Massage, a truly luxurious experience for mums to be.
Whether you’ve booked a spa day in advance or are choosing your treatments on the day (Living360 recommends the Serenity Ritual, a hybrid face and body treatment that tackles lack of sleep, stress and dehydrated skin), you’re sure to leave feeling ready to take on your remaining Christmas to-do list. Remember to leave ample time to enjoy the facilities post-treatment, too.
If you want to make a weekend of it
Staying the night? Once you’ve dropped your bags off, it’s time to head to The Winepress for a blood orange mimosa or an earl grey negroni. If wine’s more your thing, you’ll be delighted by the 200-bottle-strong wine list.
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After your thirst is quenched, we recommend a walk around the hotel’s golf course, set among the stunning Berkshire hills. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in nature and explore the area’s natural beauty.
At the end of a relaxing day, head back to The Winepress for dinner and drinks. Headed up by chef Darren Booker-Wilson, the restaurant serves an array of dishes including wholesome and hearty sharing plates of baked camembert and burrata, traditional options such as lamb rump or scampi and chips, and plant-based picks including pea risotto or Thai chickpea curry. Post-dinner, work your way through a selection of bespoke cocktails before returning to your room and resting your heavy head on your freshly pumped pillows. Have we convinced you yet?
Room rates start at £129 based on a couple sharing in a Classic Double Room. donningtonvalley.co.uk