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Glamorous spa hotels in Essex for a sumptuous weekend escape

Relax and refresh both body and mind at one of these luxurious spa hotels in Essex.

A spa break in Essex seems can be the perfect treat when city life is grinding you down. Post-massage, you can wander around ancient forests, visit a historic hall for afternoon tea or breathe in the fresh salty air in a homely boutique hotel on the Thames Estuary.

Sounds pretty swell, doesn’t it? To tempt you, even more, we’ve rounded up the best spa stays in Essex for a (long) weekend of R&R. As well as a range of specialist and traditional therapies, each venue features upscale facilities like soul-soothing hot tubs, detoxifying saunas and atmospheric treatment rooms.

We’ve made sure our selection offers extra-special amenities indoors, too – from four-poster suites to Michelin-star dining – so that you and your companions have a truly indulgent, restorative break.

A spa hotel in Essex offer rose-quartz crystal treatments

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For a blissful pampering session in a grand setting, a visit to the Eden Spa at the palatial Down Hall Hotel is a must. This Italianate hotel’s wellness retreat features a hydrotherapy pool with massaging jets to soothe muscles, a sauna with starry lights scattered across the ceiling and a steam room for extra R&R.

The spa has three recently renovated rooms for treatments such as massages, wraps, scrubs and age-defying skin routines. Try a facial that combines breathing techniques with the calming energy of rose-quartz crystals, or book a full or mini manicure or pedicure to add a little polish to your look.

Afterwards, meander through the hotel’s landscaped gardens and mature woodlands before finding a seat on the terrace. This sophisticated spot, dotted with plush chairs and marble-top tables, has an outdoor bar that specialises in gin: there are 25 different options to choose from, including flavoured distillations hand-crafted by Northamptonshire brand Warner Edwards. Evening meals are served in the lavish Grill Room restaurant, where you can dine on British favourites such as aged English rib-eye of beef or marinated leg of lamb, accompanied by fresh vegetables from the garden.

The characterful rooms at Down Hall Hotel complement the building’s grandeur. Marble bathrooms and richly woven textiles enhance the feeling of luxury, while antique-style furniture and decorative prints evoke the hotel’s ornate past – the stately home dates back to 1540. Sleep under the original mansion’s high ceilings, or splash out on a deluxe suite for a soak in a copper roll-top bath.

R&R in nature

For some alone time, head to the secluded veranda where you can relax on cushioned beds beneath an ancient fir tree.

Down Hall Hotel

Bishop's Stortford, 11.1 km to Airport London Stansted
8.4 Very good (1493 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.7 / 10
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A spa weekend in Essex with two 18-hole golf courses

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Located near the town of Colchester, Five Lakes Resort is the ideal Essex spa hotel for the couple who want different things. While you’re enjoying a BIOTEC facial treatment that will target your specific skin needs, your partner can work on his Birdie skills at one of the resort’s two 18-hole golf courses.

Once both of you have had your unique dose of R&R, meet up at the on-site Brasserie 1 for a delectable taste of international cuisine such as five-spiced duck breast with pineapple relish and seared squid with lemon couscous and red pepper sauce. Make sure to end your meal on a sweet note, our pick is the blood orange cheesecake with honeycomb.

Once your bellies are full, it’s time for bed and to make this trip memorable, spend your nights in one of the Village rooms with its deluxe bed and stunning views of the golf course and are tucked away from the main hotel’s facilities for that extra dose of privacy. Before you head home, make sure to have had a dip in the heated indoor pool and whirlpool, and of course, grab a latte for the drive home from the on-site Starbucks.

Five Lakes Resort

8.0 Very good (1537 reviews)
Very good Facilities 8.4 / 10
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An atmospheric seafront spa hotel in Essex

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Overlooking the River Thames Estuary, the boutique Roslin Beach hotel excels at al-fresco dining and charming sea views. Order a cocktail from the extensive list – perhaps a minty mojito – or sip a spiced rum-infused Roslin Punch while watching the waves from the outdoor terrace. For your evening meal, chefs at the hotel’s AA rosette restaurant create mouth-watering dishes, using ingredients such as locally caught sea bass and free-range Aberdeen Angus fillet.

Make yourself at home in one of Roslin Beach’s lavish rooms, featuring upscale touches like Nespresso coffee machines and plush bathrobes. Each of these bespoke spaces has a vintage look thanks to upholstered chairs, statement beds and a colour scheme influenced by a seascape of blue hues and sandy tones. For a romantic getaway, treat yourself to the Mulberry Suite: after taking a long dip in your roll-top bathtub, step out onto the balcony and savour a cold glass of bubbly as the sun goes down, before retiring to your king-size, four-poster bed.

The Roslin Retreat Spa is adorned with ornate mirrors, opulent armchairs and natural hemp rugs, giving it a serene feel that’s enhanced by the addition of sea-inspired music to help you float away during treatments. Beauty therapies include tanning, waxing and chip-resistant gel manicures, along with a selection of facials, waxes and massages specially tailored for men – a hot mineral body boost treatment is ideal for soothing tired muscles after a busy week.

R&R with Elemis

The Retreat’s menu includes rituals by Elemis-trained therapists: give your skin a radiant glow with an ultrasonic peel or facial packed with nutritional minerals, then de-stress further with a calming scalp massage or try an exfoliating salt scrub for a renewed complexion.

Roslin Beach

Top rated
Southend-on-Sea, 1.6 km to Kursaal
8.7 Excellent (884 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Take a break from city life with a 40-minute trip to Essex

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Take a break from city life at the imposing Orsett Hall Hotel Spa & Restaurant. Handily located just 40 minutes from the centre of London, yet surrounded by 12 acres of landscaped gardens, it provides a peaceful escape from the 9–5. Admire the view from your individually designed room, complete with a classic country aesthetic updated by bold prints and vibrant accents of colour. Suites nod to the hotel’s noble history: think tapestries, elegant four-poster beds and marble bathrooms featuring roll-top tubs and walk-in showers.

Lounge by the mosaic-tiled pool at the hotel’s boutique Kukana Spa. Treatments here focus on wellbeing, with a menu of massages and facials using ESPA products made from calming oils, mineral-rich seaweeds and therapeutic herbs. Opt for a body polish and wrap, where therapists will nourish your skin with cleansing marine mud and exfoliating sea salts. Beauticians are on hand for finishing touches, from spray tans and brow shaping to waxing.

The hotel’s brasserie is reminiscent of a magical garden, with its floral-print wallpaper and lawn-coloured carpet. Sit on vintage-style chairs beneath a sparkling chandelier and choose from a varied menu offering both British and international cuisine. Start the day with fare such as poached eggs and smoked salmon, then return later for a satisfying dinner, like East Anglian fillet steak or Thai-spiced salmon and haddock fishcakes. For something sweet, opt for afternoon tea, where delicate delights including freshly baked scones with clotted cream and white chocolate macaroons are presented on elegantly tiered stands.

Poolside R&R

As well as a softly lit swimming area – reserved for adults only – there’s a steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi.

Orsett Hall Hotel, Spa & Restaurant

7.9 Good (501 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
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A secluded adults-only spa hotel in Essex

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Embrace complete tranquillity at the adults-only Lifehouse Spa & Hotel, a contemporary estate set in 12 acres of English Heritage listed gardens. Among the lakes, ancient trees and summerhouses – frequented in the past by the likes of Winston Churchill and Peter Pan’s creator J M Barrie – you’ll find stylish rooms featuring Juliette balconies or private patios, where you can breathe in the invigorating country air while sipping a freshly brewed coffee.

The hotel’s award-winning spa has a sunlit indoor pool, a bubbling Jacuzzi and an outdoor pool with massaging water jets. Pamper yourself with a hot stone full body massage, or relieve your skin of toxins with a marine scrub and seaweed wrap. Luxury spa manicures and pedicures can be enjoyed with a chilled glass of prosecco, and there are specialist treatments for men and mums-to-be. The spa also focuses on recovery therapies recognised by Wellness for Cancer, including energy-balancing reiki and pain-relieving acupuncture.

Breakfast consists of fresh fruits, yoghurts and cereals, as well as treats like buttery croissants. The dinner menu, created by Executive Chef Ugo Simonelli, ranges from healthy options such as vegetarian mezze and seafood stew to more hearty fare like a rump of lamb or ostrich burgers.

After your meal, sink into a plush armchair in the sleek bar and choose from 12 gin brands for a well-deserved gin and tonic. If it’s a warm evening, take your drink outside to savour the last of the sun’s rays in the plant-filled garden.

R&R for two

If you’re travelling with a partner, book the Hidden Sanctuary – a personal, candle-lit spa where you’ll have a private pool and side-by-side massages and body scrubs.

Lifehouse Spa & Hotel

8.3 Very good (848 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.7 / 10
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Stay on the edge of Epping Forest

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The spa at Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel is utterly indulgent: a sunlit pool area, featuring high ceilings and windowed walls, has a 15-metre heated swimming pool alongside a spa pool with massaging water jets. After a refreshing stint in the water, detox your skin in the poolside steam room or stretch your muscles and calm your mind with a balancing yoga class. You can opt for a revitalising scrub and facial to make your skin glow, then unwind with a tension-easing massage.

Work up an appetite with a stroll through nearby Epping Forest, then stop by the hotel’s cosy Brew Bar Lounge for a traditional afternoon tea – why not add a glass of champagne for a special treat? On sunny days, order a chilled craft beer and relax on the outdoor terrace amid lush scenery. In the hotel’s Cast Iron Grill restaurant, you can take a seat by the open kitchen to watch chefs create grilled dishes like seabass, spatchcock chicken or flat iron steak, made with locally sourced produce. Still feeling peckish? Satisfy your sweet tooth with an option from the dessert menu: try a kitchen signature such as a chocolate brownie with honeycomb and banana ice cream.

A peaceful night’s sleep awaits as you sink into a deluxe pillow-top mattress with a sumptuous featherbed topper – especially in rooms that feature sleep-tight soundproof windows. For added luxury, choose a roomy Junior Suite and get lost in a book as you recline in the oversized whirlpool bathtub – just plug your iPod into the handy docking station to select your favourite downtime playlist.

R&R for men

The Beauty Rooms offer pampering services purely for men too, as well as beauty treatments such as manicures and pedicures.

Waltham Abbey Marriott Hotel

Waltham Abbey, 1.8 km to Lee Valley White Water Centre
7.9 Good (1309 reviews)
Very good Cleanliness 8.4 / 10
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