Hotel Hit Squad: Rudding Park will leave you blissfully spaced out – and it's not just the CBD treatment

Sherelle Jacobs
The Spa at Rudding Park has a mind-boggling assortment of amenities

Have 'millennial trends' become a parody of themselves? It was the question I probably would have asked myself if the cannabis oil I’d consumed just minutes earlier had not led me, in a hippy handclasp, somewhere hovering between peaceful serenity and mellow-yellow stupor. If your spa visit doesn’t include a spritz of CBD (cannabidiol doesn’t have quite the same lyrical, stripped-back ring), you are no longer doing it right, apparently.

Although the effects of cannabis oil remain scientifically unproven, 30-somethings have started pipette-dripping it into their morning coffee and spraying it on to their pillows with ritualistic fervour, in a bid to help them sleep, reduce anxiety or generally boost their sense of mental well-being. And so I recently headed to Rudding Park in Yorkshire, one of the first spas in Britain to offer CBD add-ons to its regular treatments, to see what all of the fuss was about.

For maximum tranquillity, I recommend having your treatment in the hotel’s new upcycled shepherd’s hut in an area dubbed the Woodland Glade by the hotel, enclosed by ancient oak trees, as well as fanned by luscious palms. If the CBD doesn’t leave you deliciously spaced out (through its placebo effect or otherwise) then the sun streaming into the open hut and the gentle wind wisping through the windows, as you enjoy an English Garden massage, with rose, camelina and poppy seed oil, will probably deliver you to relaxation nirvana.

Rudding Park is one of the first spas in Britain to offer CBD add-ons Credit: ©timhardy/Tim Hardy Photography

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My experience was concluded with a pot of CBD tea and some CBD chocolate in the “audio” relaxation room, where I listened to meditation tracks on an iPod, feeling decadently empty of thought – impressive for someone like me, whose mind never stops. 

If Netflix did spas, it would have the same kind of mind-boggling assortment of whizzy experience rooms to meet even the most obscure of sub-interests as Rudding Park, with its 'sunlight therapy room' to stave off seasonal affective disorder; immune-boosting dry salt-infused oxygen pods; and the 'mind escape zone' stacked with geometric colouring books. The basics – such as the mosaic-domed steam room and the spacious outdoor sauna, infused with rose petals – are also done to the highest standard. My favourite facility out on the vast rooftop spa garden, fringed with wild meadow flowers (which, be warned, in summer attract as many wasps as spa-seekers), is the infinity pool that peers out to the Harrogate countryside. It’s fixed with hydromassage therapy jets perfect for tackling the knots in iPhone-hunched necks and office chair-tortured backs.

However, I would advise not visiting at weekends or during public holidays, when the spa garden’s 'social areas' feel like the prosecco-soused Ebor races, crowded with excitable locals in white robes instead of hats. 

Within Rudding Park's opulent Gothic Revival architecture is a laid-back and modern country house

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Rudding Park’s architecture may be an embarrassment of gothic revival and neoclassical excess, but inside it’s a laid-back and modern country house. Guests can read a novel while floating in the perspex bubble chair in the black-shelved library, or book to watch a film of their choice in the LED-starlit private cinema free of charge. 

But perhaps the finest attraction apart from the spa is the three-AA Rosette restaurant, Horto. I would recommend building up an appetite with a stroll around the hotel’s kitchen gardens, inhaling the varieties of thyme and traversing the sprawls of cabbage and rhubarb. An aperitif at the Horto is a must, for the simple, unheralded reason that Yorkshire cocktails are far superior to London cocktails. This is because northern mixologists are more adept at catering to the British sweet tooth (delicately saccharine rather than cloyingly self-indulgent) than their southern counterparts, who cater for a more international customer base. The gin cocktails with fresh strawberries are a delight.

Horto is one of those up-and-coming hotel restaurants that should be aiming for its first Michelin star. For now, the £72 six-course tasting menu (with a £50 supplement for accompanying wines) is an affordable adventure in experimental northern fine dining. A small edible sphere stuffed with oyster juice offered the thrill of biting into a favourite chocolate and diving into the ocean, rolled into one. Lobster tomato consommé fizzed with hot Mediterranean flavours, and the Yorkshire beef tartare with artichoke was sprightly and moreish. 

Horto restaurant offers an affordable adventure in experimental northern fine dining

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I rolled back to my Spa Room to sweat out the alcohol toxins in my private sauna. These rooms, of which there are five, have a sauna, steam room or spa bath, plus TVs in the bathrooms, Molton Brown toiletries and private gardens. I slept better than I had in ages, but I don’t know whether it was the cannabis oil or the cocktails – and though my CBD treatment was a fun experience at relatively little extra cost (a £15 supplement), I can’t say I’ve been inspired to start putting it in my tea. 

Doubles from £217 including breakfast. Spa Rooms from £329

Read the full hotel review: Rudding Park