Hotel Review: Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Colerne, Chippenham in Wiltshire
The ultimate 5 star stay – bring the helicopter, sample Michelin-starred cuisine and lay back and enjoy a top class spa treatment. You won’t need to leave Lucknam Park. I took a trip in May and indulged as much as I possibly could, I’m pretty sure that’s what this place is designed for.
The spa facility is fairly new, well laid out and I don’t think any expense had been spared.
As part of my stay I was treated to a one-hour aromatherapy back, neck and shoulder massage and facial. I was so unbelievably relaxed I nodded off briefly during my facial – I can’t decide if that’s bad etiquette or a massive compliment to the work of the therapist but I’ll go with the latter – that’s never happened to me before! Cleanser, scrubs and moisturiser were massaged in and I was also treated to a gorgeous head massage, I was in a wonderful trance and my skin continued to be noticeably soft for days. My notoriously tense shoulders were worked on very well and my knots were kneaded – a great job!
Afterwards I was led to the relaxation room to an adjustable lounger with electric controls and was handed a mint and chocolate tea. I noticed that there was a small outdoor area with pool just for guests who have had a treatment. It was all very chilled and I left feeling so happy and relaxed.
I also spent a few hours back at the spa the next day, relaxing at the poolside on one of the many comfy loungers following a walk to a neighbouring village. I felt this earned me an afternoon of indulgent relaxation and I wasn’t about to argue with myself. Out of the changing room I appeared with a fluffy towel and robe in tow and the hydrotherapy pool was my first stop. The spacious pool with jets at varying positions led outside through an electric door, very swish. After this I took a trip to the steam room, amethyst room, sauna and main pool and ended up on a lounger for some time. With a selection of magazines at hand I had everything I needed. Outside there was a spacious area with loungers and back inside there were heated loungers, two showers and a salt room. Beware of the slippery wood floor by the pool, I took quite the comedic trip! Other than that you can’t fail to relax and switch off for a few hours – it’s bliss!
If that sounds nice and all but you have more active things on your mind you can hop on a horse at the equestrian centre, whip up some gourmet delights at the cookery school or make the most of the estate with walking and bicycle trails, tennis or five-a-side football. And the children won’t feel left out with a dedicated family play facility aimed at all ages with games rooms, an outdoor park and a cookery school for younger guests during school holidays. If you feel the need to venture further afield, Longleat is close by as is Cotswolds Water Park and Bowood.
There are two dining options at Lucknam Park and it really is worth trying them both. Restaurant Hywel Jones is a Michelin starred eatery in formal surroundings in the main building, whereas The Brasserie is based in the newer section of the hotel and offers more laid back dining. The Brasserie feels relaxed with diners coming over from the spa for a bite, an open kitchen and upbeat music playing throughout the day.
I highly recommend the scotch egg starter – a just-warm egg with slightly runny yolk was encased in pork and blessed with a crisp outer. Served with chorizo strips and jam, crispy shallot rings, spinach and watercress, this was a tasty and colourful dish that I would eat again and again. The lamb was a good main course choice and offered a sampling of spring with vibrant colours and a delicious broth to retain the moisture in the lamb. The rhubarb and custard doughnut with ginger ice cream caught my eye and offered a lovely combination of sweet flavours and textures. I sipped on the easy-drinking Whistling Duck Shiraz (2017) and was really pleased with my meal in this modern setting. Floor to ceiling windows and doors opened up to a spacious outdoor dining area, which was sheltered among the glorious gardens. Bare wood tables, walls and a cream tiled floor offered a fresh space to dine in at all times of the day.
Having said this a trip to Lucknam Park would have been incomplete if I didn’t visit the Michelin star awarded, Restaurant Hywel Jones. Carefully crafted menus and a drinks menu as long as my (and your) arm await, to be enjoyed in the traditional surroundings of the Palladian mansion that dates back to 1720. Read here for a more in depth account of my delightful dining experience Restaurant Hywel Jones.
Of the 42 rooms and suites I stayed in a garden room, which looked out onto the glorious grounds through some large sash windows. Framed with thick, floor length pale green curtains with a vine and leaf pattern, the view seemed to stretch for miles but up close I spotted some grand mature trees and eye-catching landscaping. The outside clearly inspired the décor in the room with the curtains matching the valance on the bed and two pale green armchairs holding cream and pale patterned cushions. The style of the room was classic country house estate with cream and gold-patterned wallpaper holding pictures of horse riders, and this style was echoed through the hotel. A dark wood and glass topped desk, chest of drawers and low table held a phone and large TV and the large, cosy bed could have hosted me all day if I didn’t have the spa to get to!
A turn down service each evening was offered and little mats with our slippers welcomed us upon our return to the room at night along with the next day’s bulletin including the weather forecast, ideas of places to visit and the spa treatment and walk of the day. Cushy robes hung in the white and grey marble bathroom, which contrasted the room with its modern look. The bathroom held a deep, stand-alone bath, shower, sink with black marble surround and Espa toiletries. The room didn’t have any tea/coffee facilities but you can have a tray delivered to your room, which I did.
Don’t think for a minute that the above is all Lucknam Park can offer – this would make a wonderful setting for an upscale country wedding or a private event in opulent surroundings. The on-site three bedroom country cottage can offer more of a homely stay if you are after a little independence or you can indulge with your own chef and waiter. Keeper’s Cottage sleeps up to six guests and offers three en-suite bathrooms, an enclosed garden and terrace and spacious living areas in a stylishly decorated home.
IN A NUTSHELL
Relax, do, eat and stay at this 5 star country retreat. Get lost in the beautiful gardens, lose a few hours in the spa and indulge in some excellent cuisine in these grand surroundings.
Address: Colerne, Chippenham SN14 8AZ
Phone: 01225 742777