Top 10 English Country Spas

Top 10 english country hotels and spasThe Grove Hotel
The Grove, Condé Nast Traveller Reader Awards 2008 Favourite UK Leisure Hotel

There is a growing trend in Britain to preserve historical country houses by renovating them to become hotels and spas that provide luxury breaks. ABC News surveys ten of the most stunning homes-turned-hotels.

1. The Grove, Hertfordshire

A hotel since 1996, the Grove is the quintessential country house. Lovingly restored, the hotel now offers guests a sophisticated and luxurious break experience. With its own award-winning spa and championship golf course, the Grove is perfect for golf lovers and those seeking relaxation alike. Each room has a contemporary design though many retain period features such as traditional open fires and four-poster beds. The three onsite restaurant offer food sources from specialist suppliers and emphasise the use of seasonal produce. The Grove's spa continues the luxury with personalised experiences and a plethora of holistic treatments. Guest should also be sure to try the evening spa programmes including Sushi Spa that offers guests a massage and dinner overlooking a Zen garden.

2. Calcot Manor, Gloucestershire

Named a "Pride of Britain Hotel," Calcot Manor is set over 220 acres of land that offer guests a relaxing and luxurious experience. The Manor's building dates back to the 14th Century but the hotel offers all the usual amenities: gym, tennis courts, indoor/outdoor pools. It also offers a library. Calcot Manor is also home to Calcot Spa, a private leisure complex centered on a courtyard. With seven treatment rooms, the Spa offers guests pampering from a variety of traditional philosophies as well as modern approaches. Children are also welcome at the hotel where they can be cared for at the on-site crèche and Playzone complete with Playstations and even a cinema.

3. Bishopstrow House, Wiltshire

Recipient of a silver medal from the British Travel Awards 2008, Bishopstrow House is a perfect setting for relaxation. Built in the 18th Century and turned into a hotel in the 1970s, the 32 rooms each have a distinct personality though all are magnificently decorated with designer wallpaper and authentic antique furniture. Guests to Bishopstrow House should be sure to check out the wonderful dining facilities and newly renovated Mulberry restaurant. The food is prepared by a chef with Michelin-starred restaurant experience. The Halcyon Spa creates a tranquil environment and offers the usual facilities as well as a Rasmul mud room. The signature treatment for the face, back and scalp and is said to provide guests with a heavenly experience.

4. The Devonshire Arms, Yorkshire

The Devonshire Arms was originally built as a coaching inn, but over its 350-year history, it has come a long way and is now a luxury hotel and spa complete breathtaking views of quintessential English countryside. The beautifully decorated guest rooms have a luxurious feel while maintaining traditional charm with 6-feet tall four-poster beds and lots of paintings. The hotel's restaurant, The Burlington, has also earned itself a coveted Michelin star and offers an elegant gastro-experience. The hotel's spa is set in a converted barn and offers a perfect place to both exercise and be pampered. The spa's therapists work in state-of-the-art facilities providing speciality Elemis spa therapies that have been described as "decadently indulgent."

5. Chewton Glen, Hampshire

Set on 130 acres of countryside and just a few minutes' walk to the sea, it's not difficult to realize why Chewton Glen was named the UK's "Favourite Spa Retreat" in 2007 by Conde Nast Traveller. Each of the 58 rooms has been individually designed and most have a terrace, balcony or private garden. Chewton Glen is perfect for guests looking for both relaxation and activity with archery, horse riding, sailing, clay-pigeon shooting and hiking available, and that's only to name a few! Relaxation at Chewton Glen is also a luxury affair with the spa carrying the exclusive Linda Meredith skin care line and facilities that include a hydrotherapy spa pool and crystal steam room. Families are also most welcome with special activities for children on offer.

6. Fawsley Hall, Northamptonshire

Located within 2000 acres of parkland, Fawsley Hall is a Tudor manor house complete with Georgian and Victorian wings that all come together to offer guests a relaxing and luxurious experience. The 58 guestrooms have been renovated to preserve the period features while ensuring modern comforts. The hotel offers two delightful restaurants as well as private dining options. Fawsley Hall also houses the award-winning Grayshott Spa which offers all the usual facilities in addition to a state-of-the-art Nautilus gymnasium. Using some of the world's leading products, Grayshott Spa offers a wide range of natural therapies, massages, reflexology and specially designed pre and post- pregnancy treatments.

7. Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire

A magnificently restored 17th Century home, Hartwell House offers guests both comfort and luxury. Ninety acres of land including the ruins of an old church, a lake and statues provide guests with the opportunity to explore the best in English parkland. Upon their return, guests can dine or take afternoon tea in any of the elegantly styled dining areas. Hartwell's Health Spa is just a stone's throw from the main buildings but is an essential part of any stay. Guests looking for relaxation should take advantage of the steam room, saunas and spa bath as well as treatments including Swedish massages, algae wraps and ESPA facial treatments. Guests seeking more energetic activities should be sure to visit the gym equipped with the latest equipment.

8. Babington House, Somerset

Babington House is an exclusive hotel offering 32 rooms set amongst beautiful facilities including an orangery. The stunning building is situated at the heart of 18 acres with beautiful grounds that include tennis courts, a cricket pitch, croquet lawn, walled garden and even its own lake. Inside guests will find a library, pool room and study. Babington House is also the setting for the Cowshed Spa which is separated into two parts: active and relaxation. The active half offers a fitness studio, technogym and aroma room. Guests preferring to spend the time being pampered will not be disappointed with outdoor tubs and a large number of face and body treatments. The hotel is so popular that most rooms are booked up a year in advance!

9. Alexander House, West Sussex

Set on 170 acres of parkland, Alexander House offers guests a boutique break with all the luxury possible. Each room has been expertly designed with both luxury and style in mind. The hotel boasts the heavenly Utopia Spa which features the unique dome-ceilinged subterranean plunge pools. The spa has been named the 2009 Top Crown Spa by Guinot. The personal touch includes individually-tailored escapes and personal changing rooms fitted with saunas, steam rooms and monsoon showers. Those seeking more activity can take advantage of the cutting edge gym, yoga areas and variety of fitness classes.

10. Stapleford Park, Leicestershire

Blending architecture from several periods, Stapleford Park offers guests a wide variety of stay experiences all under one roof. The hotel features 55 rooms all expertly designed, individually named and offering luxury comfort. Its secluded location means that the hotel offers everything a guest could need onsite. The two restaurants offer top quality fine dining inspired by traditional English and continental cuisines. Guests seeking outdoor activities can take advantage of croquet, giant chess and golf as well as several other traditional English pastimes. The converted stable block spa also offers a relaxing retreat with a range of treatments including Indian Head Massage, Reiki and reflexology.