Louise Hudson heads to a country house hotel in Surrey for a bespoke Elemis Biotech Facial
For my spa treatment at Nutfield Priory, I opted for a 55-minute Elemis Biotech Facial. With seven different options on the menu, there was something to suit every skin type, from dry, blemished or tired, to unbalanced or ageing. Being eight months pregnant and suffering from very dry, puffy-looking skin — following consultation and analysis with my therapist, Trish — I decided on a Sonic Skin-Radiance Facial, which aims to energise tired, dull and stressed skin, but with a few tweaks to focus on relaxation too — my main aim for the treatment.
Raising the bed from the usual lie-flat position, my therapist tailored the experience to make things more comfortable for my large bump, offering pillows to support my lower back.
Throughout the treatment, Trish didn’t stop for a second — while the face mask was on, I was treated to a glorious scalp and neck massage; while the eye treatment was working its magic, she gently massaged my arms and hands.
The time flew by and I just about managed to stay awake — another five minutes and I’m sure I would have been snoring — the ultimate sign of a successful treatment, in my experience. I left feeling both glowing and thoroughly relaxed and retreated to the calm Amber Lounge for a cup of green tea while reading a magazine — the perfect way to end off my pampering session.
The health club also offers a steam room, sauna and spa pool, alongside a swimming pool, exercise studio, squash court and gym. Despite it being perhaps a little busy, it was nice to have a choice of activities alongside the cafe and relaxation area.
Perched atop a ridge, looking down across Surrey towards Crawley and beyond, the hotel is a gorgeous Victorian country pile, inspired by the Neo-Gothic splendour of the Palace of Westminster. There was a choice of 15 suites (all named after British literary figures); we opted for the Wordsworth Suite, set off the Grand Hall balcony. Six tall Gothic windows offered views not just of the landscaped grounds but also the roaring log fire downstairs, a perfect setting for a relaxing after-dinner drink. Our large open-plan bedroom featured an oversized sleigh bed, a dressing area, roll-top bath and his and hers sinks.
Dinner and breakfast were served in the Cloisters Restaurant, looking out over the stunning countryside. The terrace looked like a fine place to dine al fresco, but as it was unseasonably nippy we opted for the cosy restaurant dining room. Food is traditional with a contemporary twist, including a range of breads served with different flavours of butter, including salt and vinegar. Breakfast was a relaxed affair —a wide range of Continental and cooked choices, and check-out was similarly stress-free.
The hotel and spa offer an elegant and refined stay. The interiors are stylish and the health club and spa is a great place to work out and unwind, but more than anything, it’s the unique, historic setting and views over stunning countryside that get the biggest tick.
From £147 a night for a double room.
Elemis Biotech facials from £75