Review: Rockliffe Hall Hotel in County Durham
- Credit: Archant
For a chance to get away from it all, the journey can be well worth it. So says Katrina Davies following her trip to Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa in County Durham
If you are looking for a superb spa retreat that allows you to get away from it all, then Rockliffe Hall should be on your radar. Nestled between the quiet villages of Hurworth and Croft on Tees in County Durham, from the minute you arrive down the sweeping drive and enter the grounds of this wonderful Victorian house and estate, you are transported to a world of luxury and relaxation where the staff cannot do more to assist you in making your stay enjoyable.
On arrival, my guest and I were greeted by a helpful concierge service, who settled us in, poured us refreshing lemon-infused sparkling water and showed us to our room. The large twin room, with state-of-the-art entertainment facilities, boasted a patio door leading out to a small seating area which overlooked the grounds of the estate. It would also be remiss not to mention the bath, complete with waterfall taps and a private television.
Once unpacked and settled into our swimwear and robes (the uniform for all spa weekends), we wandered through to check out the spa. A huge array of facilities awaited us, including warm beds, a hydro pool, foot spas, an igloo, two saunas and an aromatherapy steam room. There was a 20 metre swimming pool for the more energetic and an outdoor jacuzzi if you were sufficiently brave to cope with the cool temperatures on entry and exit! As if that was not sufficient, guests could also enjoy the Spa Garden, a separate suite of spa facilities including an outdoor infinity pool and glass-fronted sauna, where a butler service provided complimentary teas, coffees, fruit and snacks.
We enjoyed two treatments during our stay: a warm oil massage and a Neom massage, which involved testing your reaction to various scents which directed the therapist to the treatment that would be of most benefit to you. My body appeared to choose the happiness treatment, which I was er… more than happy with! The 60-minute treatment featured massage, exfoliation and a variety of oils. Treatments were followed with a cup of green tea in the sleep suite covered in large blankets listening to the sound of waves.
Supper was served in the Orangery, although there are also a further two restaurants to choose from should you wish. Richard Allen, the executive chef, has recently arrived at Rockliffe Hall and is already working hard to win a Michelin star – following similar success during his previous placement. I could not fail to make special mention of Richard, who looked after us manfully (think Poldark meets The Night Manager, with exceptional service and attention to detail).
Jonathan, our sommelier, had started his career at Rockliffe as a kitchen hand, but given the opportunity to develop his skills he had forged his own career path. The flight of wine he chose for us was absolutely wonderful.
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Which brings me to the ethos of Rockliffe Hall overall, which is all about the people. Whether it is the staff (who were polite, helpful and knowledgable), the local community (Rockliffe Hall has a relationship with local colleges and universities providing opportunities for skills development as well as offering employment to more than 200 people) and of course their guests, all are made to feel that little bit special here, it seems.
Find out more
Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa
Hurworth on Tees, Darlington, County Durham, DL2 2DU. 01325 729999. www.rockliffehall.com
Rockliffe is just 8 minutes from Darlington train station. The hotel will arrange private taxi transfers and while you maythink it is some distance to travel, I can honestly say the journey (which is a mere 2 hours 20 minutes from London Kings Cross) is absolutely worth it.