We were looking for a spa break and opted for a Sunday - Tuesday package at Middlethorpe. The main house is absolutely gorgeous, straight out of an Austen novel. There are two dining rooms - one oak panelled, plus a library and a huge drawing room to loll around on sofas for pre-dinner drinks. The French sommelier was an absolute star, incredibly passionate about his wine and did not always suggest the most expensive. The waiting staff were brilliant, personable but not pushy. And the food! I don't think I've ever tasted better. Every plate was a work of art and absolutely delicious. As most parties were couples, we tended to have the drawing room to ourselves after 9.30pm and had some brilliantly enjoyable evenings there.
We stayed in a Superior Courtyard room in what were the old stables. They were very cute, and room 24 had toile wallpaper everywhere giving the effect of staying in an extremely posh box of tissues! The bathroom was compact but clean. It was a little odd that you couldn't make your own tea or coffee in the room, but had to order it from room service. Another downside was road noise. It didn't bother us as we were there in winter and so didn't need to have the windows open. But the A64 runs at the foot of Middlethorpe's parkland and is the noise is quite obtrusive when you're outdoors.
The spa is just over the lane from the stables and proved to be the biggest disappointment. It is *tiny*: one changing cubicle in the women's changing rooms, 2 showers, 1 toilet. You could get 4 people in the sauna at a push, and the same went for the steam room, the jacuzzi and the gym - in a "garden room" i.e. shed outside. Unless you have a treatment, you aren't given a robe, so end up having to re-use the same towel. We were even asked to share a locker as they'd run out, which when at Middlethorpe's prices really isn't on. The pool is OK but more than 4 people in it make it feel overcrowded. On the Monday there were a group of 6 who took over the place but on the Tuesday I had the run of it to myself for at least half an hour.
The biggest let-down is not having a specific chill-out zone to lounge about in, read magazines and the like. There's only 6 rather cheap plastic loungers at the end of the pool which really isn't that good. I don't know where the day spa people go - probably the 2 sofas in the reception. But we opted to return to our rooms for a bit of luxury. It's such a shame as the spa reception and treatment staff are lovely and all of us had amazing treatments - I don't think I'd ever had my earlobes massaged before! Heaven.
So go for the food but don't get your hopes up about an amazing spa experience - unless you find out they've extended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Now part of the National Trust - all profits donated to the charity. Overlooking York Racecourse, Middlethorpe Hall is close to the city of York yet enjoys 20 acres of its own peaceful gardens and parkland. It has an award-winning restaurant, the Oak Dining Room, and a heavenly spa with swimming pool. Decorated in traditional country house style, Middlethorpe is furnished with antiques and fine paintings consistent with the period of the house. Beautifully appointed bedrooms are located in the main house and the 18th-century courtyard. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Middlethorpe Hall Hotel York
- Middlethorpe Hall And Spa
- Middlethorpe Hall York