With the British summer around the corner and the guessing games it plays with us when we’re packing for a weekend away (sun…drizzle… downpours…warmer than the Med?)  there’s really no such thing as a bad day in the Cotswolds, says Michaela Deasy-Smith.

Especially if you spend it poolside, basking in the beauty of nature at Cowley Manor Spa and Hotel…

“There really is  no such thing as a bad day in the Cotswolds. This really rings true when you get to spend a day or two of utter luxury at Cowley Manor Spa and Hotel.

The vibe

Beautifully styled with chic interiors and a funky bar with oversized papier-mâché animal heads, English country house Cowley Manor is nestled in acres of woods, meadows and its very own swan lake.

The spa

Opposite the 35-bedroom manor hotel is the glass-fronted modern C-Side Spa, where floor to ceiling windows set the two swimming pools apart – one inside and one outside.

I slipped into the warm water (it’s heated all year round) on a chilly morning, with sunshine on my face, and felt like I was abroad.

The beauty brand

Green British brand “Green & Spring” is the beauty brand that lives here. Inspired by England’s hedgerows, plants, herbs and wildflowers it fits perfectly with Cowley’s ethos.

I opted for the Green & Spring Repair and Restore Ritual and Massage (£125 for 90 mins). Intense cleansing, followed by an energizing scrub removing dead skin cells and brightening, then a soothing local honey and skin-clarifying milk were massaged into my skin with a hot herbal compress to heal and remove toxins. Finally, a toning facial massage and mask to remove toxins and restore elasticity.



The deep tissue massage was as unwinding and therapeutic as this style of massage gets and however stressed you were when you arrived, it doesn’t matter – after this! What’s unique is that you get to choose the soundtrack to your treatment so from a menu of albums on offer I went for Pink Martini which for me beats endless panpipes any day.

The changing room has everything you could possibly need, plus, I was given a pair of signature Cowley green flip flops and a C-Side bag to keep my goodies in.

In the summer months, the area adjacent to the outdoor pool transforms with sun loungers and a bar. C-Side also has a gymnasium (personal training can be arranged), a steam room and sauna (for full details see below).

Much as you’ll want to linger indefinitely, there comes a time when you do have to drive home. But before you leave, take a look in The Hambledon, the onsite shop, stocking designers like Sister, J Brand, Green & Spring’s full range and a selection of homewares, stationery, as well as a beautifully curated collection of books and magazines.

Summer at Cowley Manor is spectacular, although I’d be happy to be here in any one of Britain’s four seasons, even when they all happen on the same day.

The surroundings are idyllic, lunch was delicious, and the massage was simply exceptional, and I think especially if general “life stress” is an issue for you, you’ll feel immersed, calmed and uplifted in the healing, rebalancing power of nature here.

I would come back in a heartbeat.”



Spring and Summer Special Offer

If you can’t wait until the late UK August Bank Holiday for a battery-charging break away from everything, Cowley Manor has a special spring and summer offer on at the moment – you can discover the estate’s 55 acres of Grade II listed gardens, lakes and meadows and award-winning spa with rates from £175 on selected dates throughout June – perfect timing to celebrate the official arrival of The British Summer!

Tel: +44 1242 870 900
Fax: +44 1242 870 901

C-Side Spa – The Details

Apart from the 2 swimming pools, indoor and out, there are also 4 treatment rooms; a gymnasium (with personal training if arranged); a steam room; a sauna; a relaxation room; and male & female changing rooms.

C-Side Spa is family friendly (children are allowed in from 9am-5:30pm each day) but no children under 16 are permitted in the gym or pool areas unsupervised.

The facilities are open from 7:30am-9pm Weekdays and 8am-9pm at Weekends.  Treatments by therapists using Green & Spring products available between 9:30am-8pm seven days a week.


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