A HEAVENLY STAY AT WYNYARD HALL
I’ve fallen in love with a hotel in the North East.
I didn’t expect to write that line, I tell you! But it’s true. Last week, the four of us, travelled to the North East for an overnight stay at the absolutely beautiful Wynyard Hall in the Tees Valley and we all loved it so much, we didn’t want to leave.
Wynyard Hall is a luxury four star hotel surrounded by 150 acres of historical landscape and we were kindly given one of the hotel’s four family cottages to stay in for the night.
After an easy journey which took just over an hour and a half from South Yorkshire, we arrived on a Wednesday afternoon eagerly looking forward to our short break and some time together as a family. It was a gorgeous autumn day, the sun was shining, casting a golden glow across the stunning landscape and when we pulled up in front of the hotel to check in, Elsie did a little gasp. “Look at it, Mummy!” she said.
Look at it, indeed.
As grandeur goes, this hotel has it in spades and is certainly one of the most impressive hotels I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting but it’s also incredibly welcoming, cosy even! We were a little early when we arrived (as I was booked in for a treatment at the onsite Spa – more of that in a moment), but the lovely receptionist could not have been more helpful or welcoming and kindly allowed Jamie and the kids to check in a little earlier too so they could get settled.
To be honest I was slightly worried before our visit that Wynyard Hall may not be family or baby friendly. I think we’ve probably all been to ‘adult’ places with our children and been made to feel unwelcome but here, in this magnificent building with it’s traditional and elegant decor, our experience thankfully could not have been more different.
Our stunning accommodation – a family cottage that sleeps six – was set a short drive away from the hotel within the grounds and was perfect for us a family of four with a baby. Hotel rooms with little ones can get pretty cramped and claustrophobic so the fact that we had a full cottage to ourselves was such a treat!
With a fully equipped kitchen, comfy living room, three stylish and homely bedrooms (with the comfiest beds) and two contemporary bathrooms (one en-suite) and even Temple Spa goodies, the kids had plenty of room and space (Leo is currently rolling and attempting to crawl constantly so this was so needed!) and so did we!
As the cottage was set away from the hotel, it was incredibly quiet and tranquil and as if this wasn’t relaxing enough, it also had a hot tub!
It’s taken me nearly 38 years to go in a hot tub and I honestly don’t why I’ve waited so long. It was utter heaven and Elsie absolutely adored it too. In fact I think it’s now one of her new favourite things. On a Thursday morning when most people were on their way to work or starting their working day, and as Leo had his morning nap, the three of us relaxed in the hot tub, chuckling at our good fortune and thanking our very lucky stars.
As part of our stay the hotel kindly arranged for us to dine in their restaurant on the evening of our stay. Leo was a little fractious as it was past his bedtime but bar our desperate attempts at trying to soothe an exhausted and cranky baby (!), the experience itself was wonderful.
The restaurant is, as you’d rightly expect, utterly beautiful. Lit up by chandeliers and candle light, it really was an incredibly special dining experience. And as for the food? Well, that was pretty heavenly too.
Jamie’s starter (see above) looked like something created by a ‘Masterchef professional’ and my gnocchi main featuring one of my favourite ingredients, truffle, was divine and reminded me of a similar dish I enjoyed in Florence many moons ago. I didn’t want it to end.
It is admittedly, a restaurant which you wouldn’t automatically think of taking young children to, however there is a good children’s menu (much to Elsie’s delight) and we were made to feel incredibly welcome, with the attentive staff going out of their way to make things as easy as possible for us.
Breakfast- included in our room stay – was also served in the restaurant and was just as delicious.
When the hotel’s marketing manager asked if I’d like to try out their spa and enjoy a treatment, I could have kissed her! Let’s be honest, looking after a baby is wonderful but often exhausting and stressful. So some pampering was much needed and so welcome.
Set a little away from the hotel, the spa is small but ever so tranquil and incredibly inviting. Somewhat refreshingly it was also quiet both times I visited, which really when you’re trying to relax and get away from it all, is exactly what you want.
The Spa is situated in the old boathouse and has stunning views overlooking the hotel’s lake. Luckily for me, the weather on both days I popped by, couldn’t have been more perfect so I was treated to magnificent autumnal sunshine and the prettiest of views.
On my first visit, after quickly checking in at reception, I was treated to the Wynyard Hall signature treatment , a 90 minute treatment which included a hot stones massage and an aromatherapy facial. The whole experience was incredibly relaxing and really did feel like a luxury. Admittedly it took me a little while to get used to the heat of the hot stones, but once I’d got over that little hurdle I was in my element.
The treatment itself is described by Wynyard Hall as a fusion of the mind, body and soul and I’d say this is pretty much spot on. From herbal tea on arrival to the Tibetan head massage which finished the treatment, get yourself booked in asap if you’re need of some major TLC. The only thing that stopped me nodding off during the treatment was my politeness!
And then finally onto the spa itself. The spa offers a herbal sauna, salt inhalation room, ice fountain, rasul mud experience, conservatory and my favourite of the bunch, the outdoor hot tubs. I had this one (pictured below) to myself for a good hour.
The Spa is on the small size as I say, but actually I found this suited my needs perfectly as it was quiet and tranquil and there are enough facilities to allow you to spend a good couple of hours here.
All in all, I couldn’t fault my Spa or treatment experience. The staff are warm, friendly and incredibly attentive and the service I experienced was flawless throughout.
I’m not sure I’ve even written such a glowing review of any place I’ve ever stayed in! But after racking my brains, I just cannot think of one single thing which could have been improved or one problem that we had.
Our overnight stay was amazing and I now completely understand why the hotel refers to itself as the ‘North East’s most loved destination.’
I’ve been fortunate to stay at some wonderful places over the years but this is one of the few that I would happily revisit time and time again. Interestingly, for such a grand hotel, Elsie loved it too, which I found a little surprising but just goes to show that children can enjoy more adult places and also that they absolutely know when they’re made to feel welcome somewhere.
The hotel, as you’d expect, isn’t cheap but if you’re looking to book a special night away with your other half or your family, I urge / beg / plead with you to take a look.
“Mummy, I wish we could stay for 100 nights!”
I couldn’t say it better myself.