Review: runnymede-on-thames

Mimi ON Dec 22, 2010 AT 9:30 am

Runnymede Riverside views

Runnymede Riverside views

By Emma Skipper


It’s not often I venture out of London just before Christmas; things to do, parties to go to. However I made an exception this weekend as I popped over to The runnymede-on-thames near Windsor.

On the exterior, The runnymede-on-thames is very unassuming; the face of the building is actually rather bland (this image is of the riverside rather than the roadside)… However as soon as you enter the lobby you’re initial qualms are put to rest as you’re welcomed by a smart and comfortable reception and lovely staff. My companions and I were, in actual fact, there to sample their award winning Spa’s new private suite, the Aquitaine.

Runnymede - Aquitaine room

Runnymede - Aquitaine room

The Aquitaine is not merely a room, it’s an experience. With a private treatment room, double treatment area and a huge chill-out suite with massage chair, stocked mani/pedi station, plasma TV and all the DVDs and up-to-date glossy mags you could want, it could be seen as slightly excessive perhaps… Well not if you fancy a spa day with friends, a trip out for your Hen-do or a bit or mother/daughter time away from prying eyes or appointment pressures.

Runnymede Indoor Pool

Runnymede Indoor Pool

Before we got to work on the pastries and Ferrero Roches in the suite, we were given a tour of the Spa itself and our whole party were all very impressed. There’s a fully kitted out gym (all technogym kit and there’s even a powerplate which got us all excited), indoor and outdoor swimming pool, plunge pool, sauna and steam room, relaxation lounge and a huge range of ESPA, Clarins, Guinot and Jessica Nails products for visitors to make use of during their stay. After we’d barged in on one of their vibrant workout classes, we head back to our suite and swiftly changed into our complimentary fluffy robes and slippers and got settled in… I can safely say this robe did not come off for another 6 hours.

Runnymede lunch

A healthy Nicose salad during our Champagne lunch

The Aquitaine suite was exclusively for our group all day, so we all made ourselves very comfortable (as we fought over the massage chair) before we were called for a light champagne lunch in the spa’s lounge room… And before you get jealous, all this fab treatment I’m talking about gets given to anyone who books out the suite, champagne and all. After lunch, we each had a treatment booked so we all head back to the suite to mentally prepare.

I was booked in for their signature Crystal Facial and ESPA massage and would highly recommend either if you’re planning on visiting the spa. As I entered the private treatment room, my therapist took me through the consultation process, offering me two ESPA oils/products for each stage of the treatment. This step is aimed at tailoring the treatment to your needs as apparently your body senses which ingredients you’re unconsciously craving and makes the correct product smell more potent. After I’d chosen my preferred scented lotions and potions (apparently I need hydration, balancing and calming so chose a selection of Floral SpaFresh, Balancing Face Treatment Oil and Essential Mineral Mask to name a few), I was good to go and can honestly say I have never been relaxed as I was during my treatment. So much so, that I actually don’t remember much of it as I was comatosed for most of it. What I do know was that it was amazing; the massage was just on the right side of deep tissue and the facial was really invigorating as the cold crystals they use interestingly complimented the warming ESPA oils.

Runnymede room

The rooms at Runnymede

After my treatment we all spend the rest of the day eating fresh fruit, watching the Sex and the City DVD (the first one obviously) and using the rest of the Spa’s facilities.

I would definitely recommend heading down to Runnymede’s spa, especially if you’ve got a special occasion… or fancy some pampering before the Ascot races (the Hotel is really close to the racecourse). The Spa is top notch and the Aquitaine Suite is a fabulous space to use for a private party. You could even make it into an entire weekend get-away as not only are the hotel’s bedrooms comfortable and well presented (the beds are HUGE and fully stocked with toiletries from the White Company) but the lock restaurant is superb with a small but perfectly formed menu – I had a succulent bacon wrapped Guinea Fowl and trio of Brulées to perfectly finish off my day – and would be a great place hold a special dinner after a day in the Spa. Although one thing I would say would be to ask for rooms above the first floor as I could hear noise from the lobby in my room.

Runnymede dinner

The Guinea Fowl dish from The Loch Menu

runnymede-on-thames new spa package, Crystals & Champagne, features there new signature Crystal Facial and all the other gems I mentioned earlier. It costs £189 and includes overnight accommodation in a twin/double room, full use of the spa, dinner by the river in the Leftbank Restaurant (inc. Champagne), breakfast the next morning and late check out.

From £160 for per night based on two people sharing a room.  Inclusive of VAT and service.

For further information or to make a booking please call the spa on 01784 220600 or visit

Best South West Trains fares can be found online when you buy your tickets in advance. Visit or call 0845 6000 650 for more details.

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