Stay Sweet

By March 28, 2017Reviews

Northumberland has long been starved of luxury boutique hotels but the new Walwick Hall raises the bar very nicely.

The Romans were respected for their love of a bath, so it seems only fitting that North East’s newest spa should enjoy a view that reflects the origins of our spa-going passions.

Walwick Hall in Humshaugh near Hexham sits close to Hadrian’s Wall and the military fort, Chesters. It was here that Roman baths and steam rooms were discovered, pointing to an ancient desire for the pampering, cleanliness and rest that we like to think we’ve only just invented.

You don’t have to tramp the walls to get to Walwick Hall these days. And the beds are way comfier. In fact this new boutique hotel is fit for a king – or a weary Roman emperor for that matter.

The ten-bedroom boutique hotel was once owned by well-known North East entrepreneur Graham Wylie and is a neighbour to the Chesters Stud.

Walwick Hall opened for business just before Christmas 2016. It’s very much a cosy retreat with rich country furnishings, the inevitable stag’s head on the wall lots of quality throws, rugs and plaids about the place in muted heathery country tones.

It’s easy to be drawn to the drawing room with expansive views across the Tyne Valley from sink-in sofas where you can nestle down with mags and papers aplenty. This is what a country retreat is all about – hiding away with too much time on your hands.

A neat cocktail bar offers up a nice bit of sophistication with an impressive cocktail menu to match – take your pick from signature cocktails, a glass of champagne or a pint of Wylam ale. Can’t imagine how thrilled the local villagers will be to have this slice of sophistication on their doorstop in times of cocktail need.

Love, style and class have gone into the décor of the hall from its young owner, Rachel Harrison. Choice of staff, attention to detail and a comforting approach combine to make this a unique boutique hotel in this part of the Tyne Valley.

It’s an intimate escape: the bedrooms are sumptuous places where you want to linger. Vintage cups and saucers and a great coffee pod experience tick bedroom boxes – as do cute home-made biscuits. If you desire a bath with view – just like those Romans – then you’ll be spoilt for choice. Our bathroom was squeaky clean shiny – boasting a dazzling valley view from its roll-top bath, all the better piled high with Elemis bubbles and softy towels and robes waiting for you.

Elemis is the product range of choice in the adjoining spa, which is housed in a separate building overlooking the gardens, towards the distant hills.

It looks dramatic, especially at night, but is sympathetically designed to fit in well to its walled garden surroundings.

The pool is housed in glass pavilion with a Jacuzzi and steam room. It isn’t huge – there are three day beds to lounge on – so it’s an add-on to the hotel rather than a huge ‘spend the day’ destination spa. But there is a good selection of treatments available.

We can recommend the signature back and neck massage which sets those stressed shoulders to rights with pungent Elemis oils worked in by the skilled masseur.

This is one stylish getaway destination – easy to get to from all parts of the North East but you really get a sense of ‘away from it all’

Article Featured in LUXE magazine February 2017.