Serious luxury at Herb House – Lime Wood’s luxury spa

Claustrophobia is out the window in Herb House's luxurious sauna

“Would you like to come to my gym?” said Duncan who I’ve been staying with this week. His “gym” turned out to be the luxurious Herb House spa at Lime Wood, the five star country house hotel surrounded by the heather and wild horses of the New Forest, Hampshire.

We started the day with a delicious raw foods lunch of date and walnut, and feta and spinach salads plus carpaccio at Raw & Cured. Selling recipe books as well as inspiring salads and yummy meats, the cafe at Herb House has a glass wall which opens onto a walled garden so you can enjoy your healthy food in the sun. The walled English garden complete with thyme and lavender is a bit of a theme and gives and quaint, yet luxurious feel to the spa experience. I left Duncan working on his laptop (Herb House has wifi) and wandered through to the next walled garden to sunbathe on super soft loungers by the oversize hot tub.

Herb House is spread over three floors, covering a comfortable 22,000 sq ft. A bit of a wonderful rabbit warren, one side of the hot tub garden lets onto the calming indoor pool. Edge around that and you find a toasty room with steam room, sauna, hydropool and Caldarium. The huge sauna has a picture window onto the forest which made a welcome change from the claustrophobia of the average hot room.

My personal highlight was the rooftop gym and specifically, personal trainer Dan. Little did I know as I pounded through a few K that I’d soon be treated to an assisted stretching session and a new abs mat workout. The gym itself takes up the entire loft and opens onto a spectacular herb garden scattered with benches for taking a little R & R time out. The views are panoramic and take in the New Forest’s rolling hills as well as the forestry.

As Duncan said, “The thing is about Herb House, is that everything is so exactly right.” Everything is finished down to the last tiny detail, not least the smiling, friendly, lovely staff who make your happiness their primary goal.

Oh, I haven’t mentioned the lockers yet which have personalised electronic code locking and include gorgeous beige dressing gowns, a matching towel, slippers and a bottle of water. And the seaweed toiletries in the double sized showers. And the fact that after a day at the spa, you can explore Lime Wood’s main house and eat at either the Scullery or the fine dining restaurant. Herb House is just heavenly.

Eat at one of three restaurants at the contemporary Lime Wood