“ Address: Helmsley / North Yorkshire / YO62 5AG „
At a Charity Auction last year, I had had one too many glasses of wine and could feel my desperation to bid on something growing and growing. Being a fairly shy person, I couldn't believe it when my hand shot up in the air to bid on the 'star prize' as it were. A one night bed and breakfast stay at the Luxury Feversham Arms Hotel in Helmsley. I had never heard of it before but a friend of my dads who just happened to win the lottery a few years ago apparently loves it there, so if it was good enough for the rich, it was good enough for me. We were told the stay was worth £480.... (for one night - I kid you not!), so as the bidding stopped at £230 I felt it was a bargain and it was for a good cause... and I was drunk! I didn't quite have the same elation the next morning when I woke up and thought oh gawd I spent £230 on a 1 night break! Fast forward nearly a year later and we found ourselves driving into the idyllic Helmsley and seeing The Feversham Arms for the first time. We had of course scoured their website so had a vague idea of what to expect. Here is what The Feversham Arms as to say about themselves (and I think it sums itself up perfectly)..... We're country but not country house, a bit stylish, but not designer, run well, but not stuffy, good food not complicated food, lots of art, but not over the top. And on top of all that, we have a lovely spa. Arrival: When we arrived at the spa hotel we were quite ashamed of our Citroen family car when we parked in the underground garage full of top of the range Audis, Mercedes and even a Bentley! I straight away started to feel a bit anxious that we would massively feel out of place but as soon as we were greeted by the friendly manager we soon felt at ease. He did ask us how much we had paid for the night's stay which I felt was a bit uncouth and he made me feel like I should have bid higher but maybe I was just feeling sensitive! Instead of checking in at the reception desk and being told where to go for our room, he asked us to follow him and he took us straight to our suite. That's right, suite! He checked us in in the room, showed us all of the gadgets, which there were many and told us a little bit about what to expect during our stay. I was beyond impressed, I've been to some pretty nice places around the world but this was like nothing I had seen before. We decided there and then that we were just going to take the night's stay as a break away from our two young children and so closed the curtains, put the log fire on and chilled. Heaven. Rooms and Suites: The suites are ridiculously expensive and although we will definitely be returning to the Feversham at some point, I'm not sure if we will be spending that amount of money on one night but there are thirty three rooms and although anything but standard the rates are a little more .... Acceptable shall we say! The Suites are set in some stone cottages which have been converted to the highest possible standard and look out on to the heated lit pool which is heated all year round. We actually stayed in January and we were swimming outside at 7pm in the pitch black in the beautiful lit pool. It was so warm it was like swimming in a bath and I will remember it forever. Each suite has its own living room, beautiful bedroom and stunning bathroom with a bath big enough for two and a walk in shower. Each room has a different style of décor, but all are what I would call a modern country style. Lots of checked fabrics and bold colours with luxury curtains and Egyptian cotton sheets. The option to have breakfast as room service at no extra cost is fantastic, meaning we were able to sit in our soft complimentary dressing gowns overlooking the heated pool and listen to the church bells. The bathrooms have integrated speakers so you can relax and listen to one of the many complimentary CD's while having a relax in the gorgeous big bath with the complimentary (I've never used this word so much!) L'Occitane toiletries. The L'Occitane toiletries are worth mentioning on their own as there are around 10 medium sized bottles in the bathroom of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion. I used the lot of course ; ) The Bang & Olufsen integrated TV remotely spins to whichever angle you need it to be (you can even angle it so you can watch it in the bath if you really wanted!) with integrated DVD player and a massive selection of films to watch. Spa: The Spa is opulent and luxurious and very very expensive! We opted not to have any treatments but vowed next time we go we will stay in a room instead of a suite and buy the Spa by Candlelight package which sees the spa lit with candles upon your arrival at 5pm, a light meal, an hours facial, full body massage, manicure or pedicure and use of the 'heat experience'. There are so many packages to choose from including Mother to Be packages, Elemis 'Man Spa' treatments and pink lady days which involve pink champagne and lots of you time in the spa. Food: The menu and restaurant at The Feversham Arms is just what you would expect. We had a lovely meal which we had sent to our room but you can order anything from Lobster Salad (£18), tapas dishes (between £3 and £10 per dish), a Japanese Bento Box (£15) which includes an array of delicious sounding dishes or simply a Feversham Burger (£15), and too many more dishes to name. There is also a relatively normal sounding children's menu although unless you were going for a meal and not a stay I would say this isn't really a place for children. Surrounding Area: Helmsley has plenty to offer. Slap bang in the middle of the North Yorkshire Moors there are plenty of walks along the moors to explore. There are some beautiful shops and galleries which we passed and of course there is the spa. York is only around 30 / 40 minutes away and Whitby is just a short drive over the moors. This is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever stayed in, but it is also the most expensive..... Winner of many awards including the AA Hotel of the Year 2009 and Best Tourism Business 2010.