Buxton, Derbyshire, a charming town nestled amidst the picturesque Peak District, has a rich and fascinating history that spans over two thousand years.
The area was originally settled by the Romans, who were drawn to Buxton due to its natural thermal springs. Recognizing their healing properties, the Romans established a bathhouse and temple complex here. This marked the beginning of Buxton’s reputation as a spa town.
During the medieval period, Buxton grew in importance as a market town and became renowned for its market square and annual fairs. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century that Buxton experienced its greatest transformation. The fifth Duke of Devonshire envisioned transforming Buxton into an elegant Georgian spa town similar to Bath. Under his patronage, magnificent buildings such as The Crescent which (fast forward to present day) now houses the magnificent Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel which just happens to be the perfect destination to blast away the winter blues and enjoy some R+R.
The imposing yet beautiful building was designed by the architect John Carr of York, and built for the 5th Duke of Devonshire between 1780 and 1789. In 2020, following a multi-year restoration and redevelopment project supported by the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Derbyshire County Council, The Crescent reopened as a 5-star spa hotel.
The hotel offers valet parking ( a very welcome convenience) so after a pleasant drive meandering through the Peak District, we abandoned the car to the safe hands of the concierge and were shown to our suite on the 2nd floor. The hotel accommodation is beautifully appointed offering nods to the past but remaining firmly in the present with every mod con one would expect from a five-star hotel. Plush soft furnishings adorn beautiful furniture including a stylish and contemporary four-poster bed. Soft robes hang in the inviting bathroom which boasts a free-standing bath, shower big enough for two and exquisite bath and body products.
The room is also equipped with smart TVs, multiple sockets and USB ports (I always find this very useful given the number of devices we all travel with), a rather inviting bottle of fizz and the obligatory well-stocked tea tray.
A glass of bubbles, a quick change into swimwear and I’m heading to the spa for a leg and foot treatment whilst my husband opted for a full-body massage. Both treatments were fabulous, performed by complete professionals in a beautifully tranquil setting, and proved to be the perfect tonic after a hectic festive season.
After eventually locating my husband in one of the relaxation suites we head for a dip in the heated indoor-to-outdoor pool, what a treat to be able to swim outdoors in such cold weather! The pool boasts plenty of room for swimming while offering two decadent whirlpool areas outdoors to sit and relax. Utterly fabulous!
The spa facilities at this hotel don’t stop there, you can also luxuriate in the aroma steam room, infra-red sauna, CO2 mineral bath, thermal pool, steam room, Finnish sauna, ice fountain and salt cave. If you are feeling more energetic you could head for the state-of-the-art gym and fitness studio but of course, I was deep in relaxation mode by this time, it would have been a shame to get all hot and sweaty…..
After a quick change and feeling thoroughly rejuvenated, we headed for the hotel bar and indulged in some of the bartender’s recommended cocktails before heading through to the impeccably turned-out restaurant (The Dining Room) for dinner.
The menu offering is rather flamboyant with well-crafted dishes combining opulent ingredients. I plumped for the Veloute of Cauliflower to start whilst my husband went for the Cornish crab both of which were wonderful, well presented and very tasty. The mains were just as good, I opted for the sirloin on the bone and across the table my husband enjoyed the seared calves livers which he said were beautifully tender and cooked to perfection as was my steak. Way too full to do any justice to dessert, we managed a coffee and called it a night.
The restaurant at The Crescent was fantastic, I would not hesitate to return as the food and service have left a lasting impression, a delightful dining experience indeed. The whole experience at the Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel was particularly enjoyable and I can wholeheartedly recommend it, you must visit the spa and you must book a table in The Dining Room. The devil is in the detail for me when visiting high-end hotels and this one ticks the boxes without breaking the bank. My advice? Book a room, a treatment and dinner and soak up all this all encompassing spa hotel has to offer. Tell them I sent you.
Words By Joanne Brook-Smith
+44 1298 808 999
The Crescent, Buxton SK17 6BH