There’s plenty to do while you’re not treating your muscles to a sauna or having your back kneaded by a professional masseuse. Be transported into yesteryear at the prestigious 17th-century Bodleian Library or step out for a calming intake of fresh, rural air in the rolling Chiltern Hills. Back at your spa hotel, indulge in locally sourced produce or afternoon tea in grand restaurants flavoured by English tradition.
Spa hotels in Oxfordshire | relax and unwind in these gorgeous spa hotels
An indulgent 5-star spa hotel in Oxfordshire
Immerse yourself in history at this 150-year-old spa hotel in Oxford’s city centre. The impressively-fronted building, metres from the Oxford Playhouse theatre and the prestigious Ashmolean Museum, and counts prime ministers and presidents among its former guests. Saunter under its gloriously high ceilings and chandeliers, read from the light of vintage lamps and sink into the soft satin furnishings of this grand hotel.
The spa comes complete with Jacuzzi, ice fountain, steam room, aromatherapy steam area, rock and bio saunas and a hydrotherapy bath. Why not opt for a treatment carried out using products by luxury British skincare range Elemis? Choose from superfood-rich facials and muscle-soothing massages, plus scrubs, wraps, manicures, pedicures and waxing. A body nectar nourishing body wrap uses Monoi oil to hydrate and moisturise your skin – select the gentle fragrances of frangipani or sweet orchid. Consider treating the man in your life to a high-performance skin energiser, which includes a cell-regenerating massage, steam and scalp and foot massage. If you’re holidaying à deux, you can experience a massage in the deluxe couples treatment room. (You’ll need to book your time in the spa at reception).
When you choose an Executive Room, you’ll be able to indulge in Elemis toiletries and slip on a comfy bathrobe and slippers. For a special occasion with your partner, you could book a romantic Four-Poster bedroom with extra-plush furnishings and even more ample space. Before retiring, wine and dine with your beloved at the hotel’s Acanthus Restaurant, where you can feast on favourites such as schnitzel, glazed chantenay carrots and triple cooked hand-cut chips. Finish up by taking a maroon leather seat in the Cartoon Bar for a nightcap – this flock-wallpapered, intimate salon has a wide range of gin and champagne – you are celebrating after all.
Macdonald Randolph Hotel Oxford
A spa hotel in Oxfordshire on the River Thames
Surrounded by parkland alongside a quiet section of the River Thames, this tranquil getaway is only 3 miles from the centre of Oxford – giving you the ideal hybrid of urban-meets-rural relaxation. Rooms are decorated in soothing hues with cheerful splashes of cool turquoise or sumptuous red. Make yourself comfortable with plump pillows, comfortable cushions and added touches of luxury including bathrobes and slippers.
The hotel is home to the Willows Health Club and Spa, which features a heated swimming pool, spa pool, sauna, steam room and fully equipped gym. After sipping on your complimentary hot drink and relieving any tension by a stint in the sauna, sit back for a treatment carried out using Decléor products. The programme here includes body and face treatments, as well as tanning, manicures, pedicures and Shellac nail gels. Opt for an Indian head massage and drift off as expert hands apply pressure and circular strokes to your upper back, neck and head to release tension.
Once you’ve been preened, scrubbed and rubbed to perfection, your skin glowing and radiant from your vitamin-injected facial, you’ll be in need of refreshment. If the sun is shining, order a pot of infused tea to share in the Deacons Bar and Lounge garden, perhaps nibbling on snacks like Spanish chorizo or tasty squid bites as you take in the fresh air. At dinner, pull up a chair at Deacons Restaurant, an elegant space with the floor-to-ceiling windows and views over the hotel grounds. Here you can watch the sunset on the patio as you sip on a crisp French rosé. Later, dine on dishes cooked with locally sourced ingredients, such as the oriental-style sea trout or mushroom and spinach fricassee with balsamic dressing.
Principal Oxford Spires
A spa hotel in Oxfordshire that was once home of the Knights Templar
It’s not every day you get to sleep at the ancient headquarters of the Knights Templar. The house and parklands of this hotel date back to the Middle Ages, and over the centuries have been owned by the likes of kings and lords. Take a suite in the 15th-century Grade II listed College Wing and admire carefully placed artwork and soothing green-and-grey palettes. Or select a comfortably chic Superior Room that overlooks the grounds and entrance courtyard, before heading down to the spa for a restorative afternoon.
The Leaf Spa is inspired by ancient Roman baths, which is apparent as soon as you enter – note the replica classical statues, plants in terracotta pots, mosaic floors, draped foliage and archways between the two pools. Facilities here include a heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room, spa pool and gym. De Vere also offers an impressive array range of beauty treatments including facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, tinting and waxing. Choose from detoxifying, hydrating or anti-ageing facials carried out with Decléor products. For a full-body experience, opt for a deep tissue muscle energiser massage, where therapeutic techniques are used to banish tight muscles. Men can experience an energising face treatment, designed to kick-start tired skin and reduce irritations.
When you’re feeling fully pampered, head to the AA rosette-awarded River Room restaurant. There you can feast on offerings such as a board of local cheeses like Cherney Ash goat and Oxford blue while viewing the Thames. If your sweet tooth is calling, go for afternoon tea in the conservatory, for delights such as sea salt and thyme chocolate brownie washed down with a strong espresso. Later, in the Crusaders Bar & Lounge, head up to the mezzanine and dine between stone walls under wooden beams, choosing from ciabatta sandwiches and wood-fired pizzas or a classic such as steak and ale pie.
De Vere Oxford Thames
A spa hotel in Oxfordshire with a Championship Golf course
Deep in the medieval Oxfordshire market town of Thame lies this peaceful haven, where golf and pampering go hand in hand. Head out for a slow-paced round on a Championship Golf course, before accessing the top-of-the-range facilities including three treatment rooms, a fully-equipped gym, studio, 15 metre indoor swimming pool, sauna and steam room.
Soothe your skin with 100% organic products from Pink Boutique, all hand blended in England. The Oxfordshire Tempus Spa offers treatments aplenty: indulge in a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, body scrub, hand and foot treatments, nail care, hair removal and tanning sessions. They’ll even give you an organic lollipop to keep you smiling throughout waxing treatments. After a polish? The aptly named Body Delight exfoliates your skin with a scrub made from organic sugar and crushed rosehip kernels, infused with organic essential oils. After a hot shower, your skin is slathered in hydrating shea butter body balm – it’s a great pre-holiday treatment for even tanning.
When you’re feeling cleaner and calmer, head to the lounge bar and nestle into a cosy sofa to admire the verdant views over the golf course as you sip something refreshing, such as a French Whispering Angel Rose or full-bodied and robust Australian Shiraz Aged Reserve. Head to the serene Sakura restaurant and feast on dishes including baked salmon fillet, oriental teriyaki vegetables and udon noodles followed by almond financier with apple compote.
When it’s time to turn in, your room awaits, complete with pocket-sprung beds to make your stay even more relaxing and hand-made furnishings adding a bespoke touch. Think thick drapes and plump scatter cushions in vibrant prints or rich jewel tones. When you book a suite, you’ll find his and hers basins in the tiled bathrooms, a double-sized balcony and a relaxation lounge so you can take as much peaceful down-time as you need.
Hotel The Oxfordshire
A rural Oxfordshire spa hotel near the Cotswolds
On a sunny day here, gather the girls and stretch out on the terrace of the Brassey Bar. Order rich desserts such as the dark-and-white chocolate crumble to savour as you admire serene views over the tree-filled hotel grounds. In cooler weather, dress up and head to the Snug Champagne & Cocktail Bar to sip on concoctions such as a fresh melon mimosa or a milky white Russian. After an evening of sophisticated fun, head to a dedicated quiet zone room where you’ll meet floor-to-wall curtains and period-style lamps for a luxurious feel. Nestle into a soft, comfy couch and rest your feet on a velvety pouffe before gliding under the duvet for a restful night’s slumber.
This plush hotel, in a leafy corner of Oxfordshire, places you in an ideal spot to explore a truly ‘English’ corner of the UK: the Cotswolds. Take a 12 minute drive to this rural region and wander along flowing water meadows and river valleys, explore beech woods and sleepy ancient limestone villages, and meander historic market towns to pick up little treasures. Spend a morning in the riverside Henley-on-Thames, famous for its rowing, or Burford, known for its rustic stone cottages. Once you’ve seen the sights and are ready to lower the pace a notch, head back to the hotel for an afternoon of relaxation at its soothing spa.
Explore the steam bath, sauna, fitness centre and roomy 20 metre swimming pool. Well-placed lighting, a sleek wooden ceiling and windows looking out onto lush spaces outside ensure maximum wellbeing as you glide through the calm waters. Once you’ve stretched your muscles with a swim, take your pick from massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs, foot baths and beauty treatments like manicures, pedicures and waxing. Afterwards, you’ll be ready for another laughter-filled night at the champagne bar.