Our reviewer enjoyed a luxurious break at the award-wining Stanley House Hotel in the heart of the Ribble Valley countryside
Product: Stanley House Hotel and Spa, Mellor, Lancashire Price: £149.00 Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
What they say:
Stanley House Hotel is a stunning, award winning hotel, set in 54 acres of Ribble Valley countryside in Mellor, Lancashire. With 30 first-class bedrooms, unrivalled wedding and conference facilities, the stylish Grill on the Hill restaurant, the hugely popular Mr Fred's bar and lounge and a world-class spa, Stanley House is truly a hotel like no other.
What our reviewer said:
"Stanley House Hotel is a luxury destination, perfect for a special occasion, birthday or anniversary and would also offer an extremely beautiful location for a family wedding. Sitting in The Ribble Valley in the heart of Lancashire, its focal point is a stunning 17th Century former manor house. The hotel offers traditional luxury rooms in the Manor House and contemporary woodland rooms overlooking a pretty flower-filled courtyard. The second jewel in its crown, is the stunning spa.
Our room was in the Manor House, with its own plush and welcoming entrance lounge with stone mullioned windows, large armchairs and a huge log-burning stove. Each of the spacious bedrooms are individually themed, with luxuriously thick carpets and curtains. Ours certainly had the ‘wow!’ factor with a chandelier hanging from the high ceiling and a swish bathroom with roll-top bath and walk-in shower.
After settling in, we made our way across the courtyard to the stylish and contemporary spa. From the moment we stepped through the doors, we walked into an area of self-indulgent luxury, where attention to detail was key. We were shown to individual changing rooms with dressing tables and walk-in showers, stocked with products from the spa's range, along with robes and flip-flops. Once changed, we were shown around the thermal bathing area with steam rooms, saunas, experience showers and an ice fountain. The full-height glass windows surrounding the hydropool area let in oceans of light and overlooked a garden, where (when we visited, in springtime), purple alliums and hyacinths were among the daffodils and tulips edging a natural pond. It was heaven, warm and peaceful. We were told that no more than eight people are booked into the spa area, so it is never busy or noisy, just perfectly relaxing and easy-going.
Whilst at the spa, we each had an Il? Ananda Bliss Facial, which was a whole-body relaxation experience. My therapist, Georgie started by explaining the holistic philosophy behind the organic Il? range of products she was about to use. My treatment started with a foot soak and exfoliation, followed by the "Rolls Royce" of facials accompanied by a hand and arm massage. Soon I was entering deep relaxation and later, became immersed in what felt like a very pleasant trance, the like of which I had never experienced before. At the end of my 60-minute treatment it took quite some time for me to resurface from my deep state of relaxation. Georgie explained that the treatment has powerful effects and included elements of Reiki. My skin felt soft and plump (and continued to look better, days later). It's hardly surprisingly that the facial won Best Treatment in last year’s Good Spa Guide awards. Afterwards, we relaxed in the spa’s lounge (again with large windows and lovely views), helping ourselves to complimentary dried fruit and herbal teas.
For dinner we ate at one of the the hotel's two restaurants, The Grill on the Hill, which uses high-quality local produce, such as the succulent and tasty rib-eye steak, and whole salmon (smoked in-house), meticulously carved for us at the table. All the waiters were knowledgeable and friendly. We giggled at the £1,200 bottle of wine on the menu, (just a little too expensive for us) and instead sampled a glass or two of the more humble, but excellent options on offer. Dessert turned out to be pure theatre, as molten chocolate was poured by our waiters slowly onto chocolate orange bombs until they melted and revealed their inner core. Finally we were invited to take coffee and petit fours in the plush loft lounge above the restaurant.
After a night snuggled up in luxurious beds, breakfast was our final treat. We were seated in Mr Fred’s restaurant in the glass atrium overlooking the wonderful courtyard. We tucked into cooked breakfasts, along with pastries and artisan bread. Throughout our break, the staff were extremely courteous and approachable and nothing was too much trouble.
I would highly recommend the Stanley House Hotel as a perfect location for a special occasion or treat. The spa is an experience second to none, a fact reflected by its recent awards and excellent reputation spreading far beyond the North West."
- A double/twin room in the Manor House or a contemporary Woodland Room are both from £149/night including breakfast (check with the hotel for details of their rates).
- Entrance to the spa is complimentary to hotel guests, Monday to Thursday. At weekends it costs £35 or complimentary when booked with some treatments (check the website for further details).
- The Il? Ananda Bliss Facial (much more than just a facial) was £60 for an hour.
- For more information visit www.stanleyhouse.co.uk or call 01254 769200.