With a history as a Spa settlement going as far back as the Romans, it is therefore not surprising to find that one of the things that Royal Leamington Spa is proud of, is the quality of its Spa experience. More commonly referred to as Leamington Spa or simply Leamington, the attractive Warwickshire town, it has some of the best Regency architecture in the country, has been promoting the fine qualities of its medicinal waters since the 18th century, when William Abbotts and Benjamin Satchwell started to bore drill holes to pump the medicinal waters, much to the delight and benefit of the increasing numbers of visitors to the town.
Mallory Court Hotel and Spa, which is located in the picturesque Warwickshire countryside, is just two miles from the original Leamington Pump Room It is continuing the tradition of providing luxury spa treatments for locals and travellers alike with the opening of their new, contemporary and modern, `Elan Spa`two years ago in 2017.
I drove directly up to the front door of this impressive hotel. The overwhelming first impression I got was of a large English Country Manor House. The hotel boasts 43 bedrooms across its 10-acre site, but I never got the sense that this was a large hotel. The reception staff were very efficient and professional, as was to be expected at `one of the top 200 hotels in the country` and a `long standing member of the revered Relais and Châteaux group.
It was not long before a couple of `Porters` guided my wife and I across to the Spa accommodation at `Orchard House`, through some delightful gardens, manicured hedgerows and a profusion of brightly coloured flowers in full bloom.
Orchard House is imposing, built next to the old tennis courts on a site which once included a former `helipad`, the house provides 12 luxury rooms sitting above a very impressive series of spa rooms which includes a steam room and sauna, a beautifully tiled outdoor Jacuzzi and `Swedish sauna`, indoor swimming pool and its very own Spa café room.
I was staying in Greyfriars which was a huge room with an equally spacious en-suite bathroom. The porters explained all the house details about the pool, breakfast and other information pertinent to my stay. The room was a superior double room with a king size bed, decorated in a contemporary style.
The En – Suite facilities were excellent, with both overhead and side shower, which worked perfectly. Other features included a safe, Nespresso machine, mini bar, slippers, USB charger point, complimentary Wi-Fi, digital TV with Freeview, desk, hairdryer, telephone, iron and ironing board, bathrobe, ESPA toiletries and turndown service.
There were also soft drinks, sweets and bottles of spring water provided. The room was perfect and I had a perfectly peaceful night’s sleep.
There were plenty of towels, bathrobes and slippers for the spa downstairs and the following morning we took breakfast in the Spa café. We could sit and look through into the pool area whilst having breakfast. It was very light and bright and the cooked food was nicely presented and cooked to perfection. There was also a Continental buffet on offer. The smiling staff waitress always available to cater for our every need but not obtrusive. A real delight to sit in the Spa cafe rather than go across to the main building.
My 55 minute ESPA relaxing facial that included a back, neck, and shoulder massage was peaceful, comforting and calming. The facilities in Elan Spa were exceptional, with all the gym, and spa facilities under one roof and easily accessible from my room.
The exceptional new spa facilities including the outdoor seated patio area makes it possible to pop outside for a quick dip or enjoy a drink, even when the weather is not so good.
I strolled across to the main hotel to sit in the garden for a `pre-dinner` drink before having dinner in the Elizabethan style dining room. It was very pleasant sitting on the patio looking out across the `formal gardens` down to the two small pools, beautiful flower borders, lawns, a delightful small wooden bridge and arable fields beyond.
A fine place to sit with a cold beer or glass of wine before the meal in the main restaurant. Whilst sitting outside I was given a small plate of `amuse bouche`, served with our choice of wine, a Portuguese Alianca Dao 2012. The wine was superb, firm and juicy, with the subtle flavours of red currant and plum with a sharp spicy finish in the mouth.
The formal restaurant was a delightful, wood panelled drawing room with several waiting staff in attendance. The old and new sit easily together at Mallory Court; fine dining restaurant experience in the traditional grand Lutyens style main house is contrasted perfectly with the art-deco inspired Brasserie and the sleek event facilities of the Knights Suite.
All the food was very nicely presented and cooked to perfection. The waiting staff were all very polite and always smiling. The waitress staff were always available to cater for our every need and were very professional and attentive.
Quail: Roasted breast of Quail, Pickled Mushrooms and Hazelnut
Slow cooked Hens Egg, Wye Valley Asparagus and Bacon
Lamb, Celeriac, Broad beans, Pickled Turnip and lamb Jus
English Strawberries, Crème Fraise Mousse, Basil and Shortbread
There were plenty of table and serving staff, who I discovered were very knowledgeable. The young lady who served our cheese board not only knew all nineteen cheeses, but also knew where they were from and their textural/taste qualities. Impressive!
Another very important aspect of this hotel are the beautiful gardens which are obviously well tended which adds to the special ambience of the grounds. There is also evidence of considerable attention to detail in the hotel, with sweets and bottled water being left for us in the bedroom. All small touches which were much appreciated.
On my tour of the hotel and grounds I could see that many of the rooms were beautifully appointed with fantastic view over the gardens. The rooms were simply beautiful, more the feel of a quintessential English country house, than a medium sized hotel.
I would fully recommend Mallory Court Hotel and Spa to anyone looking for a short luxury weekend break or to celebrate a special occasion and would suggest staying in Orchard House, in the Spa itself. Mallory Court hotel simply radiates elegance, fine taste and style with luxury accommodation, magnificent grounds, low – profile and unobtrusive service and simply exquisite, flawless food in the very heart of Warwickshire. Simply delightful!
Harbury Lane, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV33 9QB
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Did you know?
Leamington is closely associated with the founding of lawn tennis. The first tennis club in the world was formed in 1872 by Major Henry Gem and Augurio Pereira who had started playing tennis in the garden of Pereira. It was located just behind the former Manor House Hotel and the modern rules of lawn tennis were drawn up in 1874 in Leamington Tennis Club.
In 1814, the Royal Pump Rooms and Baths were opened close to the River Leam. This grand structure attracted many visitors, expecting cures by bathing in pools of salty spa water. It also included the world’s first gravity fed piped hot water system in modern times, which was designed and installed by the engineer William Murdoch. Leamington became a popular spa resort attracting the wealthy and famous, and construction began of numerous Georgian townhouses to accommodate visitors, and a town hall was built in 1830.
With the spread of the town’s popularity, and the granting of a ‘Royal’ prefix in 1838 by Queen Victoria, ‘Leamington Priors’ was renamed ‘Royal Leamington Spa’. Queen Victoria had visited the town as a Princess in 1830 and as Queen in 1858. A statue of Queen Victoria was almost destroyed by a German bomb during the Second World War, and was moved one inch on its plinth by the blast. The statue was not returned to its original position, and the incident is recorded on a plaque on its plinth.