Rockliffe Hall, Darlington #metime

IT WAS the luxurious award-winning spa that first tempted me to visit Rockliffe Hall.

Yet since returning from an outstanding weekend at the country retreat, it’s actually the culinary journey we experienced that I’ve talked non-stop about.

As truly delightful as the spa was at the five-star golf and spa hotel in County Durham, it was the stand-out exquisite food in the Orangery Restaurant that blew us away.

The food

The 3AA rosette restaurant in the 18th-century Old Hall of the hotel is the flagship restaurant of three at the hotel.

The restaurant is described as informal luxury – it’s fine dining, but it wasn’t too stuffy.

All the while, a pianist played in the background and it was some three hours later before we retired to the cocktail bar.

For me, it was the highlight of the trip, followed closely by the spa experience, which was the perfect environment to relax.



The Spa

Here you will find a 20m pool surrounded by comfortable seating, heat rooms, a beautiful hydro pool and an outdoor hot tub.

View from my lounger

I indulged in one of the newest treatments – a neom wellbeing treatment, which includes meditation, Shiatsu, Thai massage and reflexology.

For 60 minutes, I was able to drift away while the therapist worked her magic with a candle oil that was drizzled over my body.

The icing on the cake though was our two-hour session in the Spa Garden, which was just something else.


Indoors, there are heated relaxation loungers, a glass-fronted sauna, and fire pit with seating looking out over the two hot pools outside, including an infinity edge pool and a warm Jacuzzi.

Despite it being January, I found myself swimming outdoors in the steaming hot pool, overlooking the rolling countryside.


Anywhere where you can enjoy a Mojito with lunch in your robe gets my vote.


The Hotel

Set in 375 acres of grounds, the hotel is one of a kind – it really is luxury at its best.

It was a country retreat we didn’t need to leave all weekend.



The Room

We stayed in a room in the new hall, complete with mood lighting, a walk-in monsoon shower and a separate bath with its own TV. The room was very spacious, modern, luxurious and spotlessly clean.


We had a balcony overlooking the grounds and golf course.

However, the sumptuous bed stole the show – it was absolute heaven.


Without a doubt, this hotel is deserving of its five stars.

You can also get married at the hotel. One can only imagine how amazing a wedding at Rockliffe Hall would be.

We left after our stay feeling wonderfully relaxed and revived.

The perfect breakfast, and view

I feel lucky to have discovered this wonderful retreat which has now firmly made it onto my wish list of places to revisit.




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