Getting the balance between training and indulgence when you take a trip away with your better half isn’t always easy. You want a place that allows you to relax and enjoy yourself as though you’re on a well-deserved mini-holiday but still offers the facilities that allow you to keep up your strict training regime, even if you’re not going at full intensity.
One contender for Britain’s best fitness hotel, Chewton Glen sits just outside the idyllic New Forest in Hampshire, a real old English country house hotel and spa spread across 130 acres of countryside and forest. Its sheer Britishness is evident from the moment you step out of the car – it oozes class and gentility without feeling exclusive, traditional yet contemporary.
With 58 rooms, massive grounds and remarkably well maintained for a 167-year-old structure, Chewton Glen has the instant air of something a little bit special.
Up in the trees
There is no better representation of Chewton Glen’s seamless blending of old and new than the astonishing treehouses, which nestle in a beautiful wooded valley in the grounds (hidden around 400m from the main hotel). They’re modern, glass-walled suites on stilts, complete with terrace hot tubs and panoramic forest views – the ultimate special-occasion rooms. MF stayed in the main house in an equally special junior suite, containing a bathroom big enough to host a small party (including a TV built into the bath area), two balconies and separate lounge and bedroom area with stunning views over the grounds.
After settling into our room and getting over the novelty of the bath TV we ventured to the hotel’s gym area to work up an appetite. The facilities are impressive, boasting all the latest Techno Gym equipment, ample room for stretching and yoga and more than enough cardio machines. It seems that people don’t necessarily come for the gym though – we had it to ourselves for the best part of an hour.
Later that evening the hotel’s Vetiver restaurant served a tasty three-course meal including a great selection of locally sourced grilled meats to fill the protein quota. The slow cooked lamb tagine, Thai lobster curry and local lamb cutlets all tasted as fresh as you can get without taking them out of the water yourself. Our starters of dressed crab and emmental soufflé were unique and rich, while the dessert of chocolate fondant and pistachio ice cream was agreeably decadent.
Time to relax
There is loads to do at Chewton Glen if you want to blow off some steam: an abundance of classes from yoga and Pilates to Fitball and Aquafit, as well as sporting pursuits such as archery, tennis, mountain biking, golf and croquet. If it’s complete relaxation you’re after then the spa area is where you want to be, and that’s where MF ended up. We were treated to an hour-long personalised massage – very effective on a longstanding shoulder injury – consisting of some well executed deep-tissue work as well as a sleep-inducing scalp rub. We also took some time out in the hydrotherapy pool and steam room to complete the rejuvenating process.
My better half was more than pleased with the experience: " The treatment was exactly what I wanted. My masseuse listned to everything thing that I said before the massage and it seemed as though she could read my mind throughout the hour (which went far too quickly). The facilities at Chewton Glen are second to none, the entire place is built on the premise of relaxation and it really showed throughout the whole experience. It was quite the treat."
We left Chewton Glen feeling relaxed, spoiled and upset that the trip was over. It’s the perfect weekend away for a couple that wants to remain active, eat well and be indulged in equal measures.
To make a booking visit chewtonglen.com (opens in new tab)
Coach is the place to come for all your health, fitness, and personal wellness needs.
Sign up for workout ideas, training advice, the latest gear and more.
Thank you for signing up to Coach. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.