Media Coverage "Cross the Byblos in St Tropez (higgledy-piggledy houses overlooking a pool) with Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons (that surprising fusion of classic rooms and razzmatazz suites) and you get the idea....." Conde Nast Traveller - More The Press Tatler - MAY 2009 Verbena Spa is listed as one of the best 101 spas in the world in Tatler's 2009 Spa Guide. The Independent (OCT 09) No one would want to go back to the dark days before the country hotel had a makeover. It was a twilight world of frilly valances, Nescafé sachets by the bed, and spooky china doll collections in your room. However, plenty of establishments are so keen to demonstrate that they are now chic, metropolitan and not chintzy, that they have lost sight of the fact that hip doesn't necessarily equal relaxing. Not so the Feversham Arms. The hotel has just scooped the award for AA Hotel of the Year in England and recently became part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection. The emphasis is on a welcoming, home-from-home atmosphere. It offers unpretentious and cosy décor, a well-equipped spa, good food, excellent service and the jewel in the crown: a heated swimming pool. The hotel consists of a series of small stone cottages that have been knocked together and tastefully extended, ringed around a courtyard with a paved garden. The swimming pool sits gleaming at its centre. Add a pool to a weekend break and suddenly it becomes a bona fide holiday, especially when it's bordered by a fragrant patio-style garden filled with lavender and verbena, designed by Matthew Wilson, a Royal Horticultural Society gardener. Combine it all with a G&T sipped while dangling your feet in the adjacent hot tub, and who needs the Mediterranean? As winter approaches, the Feversham Arms is a fine place to hibernate. Many rooms have open fires or stoves so you can warm up after a winter walk, and there is also a library and living room. The breakfast in bed is a satisfyingly lazy affair (unlike my experience at many hotels, where it arrives with stone-cold tea) and it turned up bang on time. Dinner is good too: it's fancy enough to be interesting, but not fussy. The emphasis is on local produce, and there's a £45 tasting menu. Another way to indulge yourself is the Verbena Spa, which features a saunarium, aromatherapy room (a slightly cooler sauna with aromatherapy essences), salt vapour steam room, and treatments with products by Elemis (a fashion insider's favourite). The most exacting of minibreakers looking for stately-house grandeur or cutting-edge design may find the Feversham Arms a bit low key. However, for a weekend of walking and wallowing in the hot tub it deserves its latest accolade – especially if the number of regulars who return is anything to go by. Location The Feversham Arms is situated a 30-minute drive from York in Helmsley. This pretty North Yorkshire market town boasts a cluster of honey-coloured houses, a church, a market square and a plethora of cafés serving cream teas. When viewed from the front, the hotel appears small, but in fact it extends a long way back. There is also an underground car park to keep the high street from becoming cluttered with the expensive vehicles favoured by most of its guests. You need only step out of the hotel to find numerous different walks across the sheep-scattered James Herriot country of the North York Moors. Guide books are provided in each room to inspire and inform expeditions. The beaches of Whitby, Staithes and Scarborough are also within half an hour by road, and historic sites such as Castle Howard, Rievaulx Abbey and Duncombe Park are within easy reach. Comfort There were two details in the rooms that suggests the proprietors have a bit too much of a soft centre; the cringe-inducing toy cow that you put in front of the door instead of a "do not disturb sign" and the too-soft beds. We were told that they were chosen specially by the owner for their comfort, but found them disappointingly soft and saggy – the only major grumble. The hotel has 33 rooms divided into six types. The "petite doubles" are fairly small, and some are rather worn, while the large "spa suites" have a spacious bathroom, living room and balcony overlooking the pool. The general theme of the décor is wholesome country chic, with lots of lamps and cushions, fabrics in tweeds and checks, mossy greens and warm russets, patterned wallpaper or warm cream walls. All rooms have Bang & Olufsen TVs, L'Occitane toiletries, fluffy robes and towels, and Egyptian cotton sheets. Complimentary Wi-Fi access extends throughout the hotel. Harpers Bazaar (FEB 09) Get a luxe dose of rural charm in the boutique-chic surroundings of Feversham Arms Hotel, on the edge of the North York MoorsA one-time coaching inn, North Yorkshire's Feversham Arms Hotel is the rural retreat for frustrated city dwellers. Shooting, riding and rambling through the Cleveland Way are on hand for anyone who needs to exercise their inner country girl. But there's also a fair dose of R&R and escapism - with all the modern trappings (an outdoor heated pool, Bang & Olufsen televisions and thick Egyptian-cotton sheets in each of the 33 rooms) - if you just want to wind down and switch off. For extra help unwinding, book in for a great massage at the Verbena Spa, which, with its own hot tub, aromatherapy rooms, saunarium and juice bar, feels like a real mini day spa. Daily Telegraph (MARCH 2009) Elemis Face and Body Sensation Verbena Spa, Feversham Arms, North Yorkshire This Roman-inspired treatment uses extreme temperatures to boost circulation and induce relaxation. After foot-cleansing and body-brushing, lie back for a zingy cool-gel massage with hot stones. Finish with a Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial or Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift for a plumped-up face and blissed-out body. £70 for 55 minutes; verbenaspa.co.uk Times online - (SEPT 09) Best for... food and walking: Verbena Spa, Feversham Arms Hotel, North Yorkshire Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5AG. (01439 770766) USP: Simon Rhatigan was the general manager who launched the Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall in Co Durham, which is regularly voted the best in Britain and one of the best in the world. He is now installed as the owner of the Feversham Arms in Helmsley, an impossibly cute town on the edge of the North Yorks Moors, and hoping to equal his past pampering success with the newly opened Verbena Spa. WALLET WATCH Doubles from £140, B&B, £200 D,B&B. Spa days from £245 including four hours and 15 minutes worth of treatments and lunch. Travel Intelligence Online (APR 09) The rugged beauty of the moors are not the only thing to drive people to this corner of Yorkshire; a refurbished 19th-century coaching inn attracts weary travellers in droves, with the promise of sumptuous spa treatments and gourmet cuisine. The Feversham Arms is a luxurious hideaway in the market town of Helmsley. What makes it really stand out here is the warm and attentive staff, who strike a perfect balance between attentive service and discretion: and the daring addition of an outdoor pool in Yorkshire – heated of course! The facilities Before its redesign, the Feversham arms was a country pub with rooms, and this comfortable home-from-home feel has thankfully not been lost, despite the massive aesthetic overhaul. The Verbena Spa house has the natural charm of a Swedish sauna, all shimmery glass and blonde wood, while the interior is kitted out in the Feversham's classy rural style. There's an impressive range of treatments, from facials and manicures to exotic full-body wraps. Afterwards, take a dip in the pool and jacuzzi in the Verbena Spa garden, which come summertime is a riot of English country blooms and wavy grasses. The restaurant serves a range of dishes including a melt-in-the-mouth taster menu, hearty game, shellfish, lamb, beef and farmhouse cheeses. This isn't one to rush: be sure to make time for it, and be prepared to loosen your belt a few notches (you've been warned). The rooms The classic design of the Feversham's 33 rooms – 22 of which are suites – combine modern design elements with a classy country theme. Comfort-driven furnishings, well-chosen prints and a calm and classy palette feature strongly here. Many rooms have a private balcony or garden overlooking the pool. ‘Do Not Disturb’ teddies are a feature of all, perched on the Egyptian cotton sheets. Each room has a Bang and Olufsen television and a selection of DVDs and CDs. For those that like to relax in the bathtub, rooms are stocked with L’Occitaine products, a large bottle of Aveda bubble bath, incense and candles. Some bathrooms have large two-person baths; with separate showers and heated flooring, it's easy to while away the hours in there, drinking complimentary champagne The Times (APRIL 2009) Pampering guru opens a spa that adds an inner glow to match the rosy cheeks from a walking weekend on the Moors.. USP Simon Rhatigan was the general manager who launched the Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall in Co Durham, which is regularly voted the best in Britain and one of the best in the world. He is now installed as the owner of the Feversham Arms in Helmsley, an impossibly cute town on the edge of the North Yorks Moors, and hoping to equal his past pampering success with the newly opened Verbena Spa. AMBIENCE White-walled minimalism and a bowl of green apples? Behave. This is Yorkshire where a spade has never knowingly been called a gardening implement so the Verbena Spa eschews all thoughts of Asian artiness in favour of good, honest, back-to-your-roots classic English country decor. Like the public areas and bedrooms in this renovated Victorian inn, ithe spa is all about unintimidating luxury. Think friendly floral wallpapers, cottage armchairs, solid silver coffee pots and three-tiered cake stands, impressively accessorised with Bang & Olufsen white goods. EXPERIENCE I’ve never seen a relaxation room quite like Verbena’s. It is a vast jigsaw of sink-in sofas in cosy creams and mossy greens, top heavy with plump cushions and fronted by low tartan-covered tables that are scattered with a newsagent’s worth of glossy magazines. If you require more reading matter the book shelves, which also double as a room divider to keep the mood intimate, are weighed down with leather-bound tomes. Lots of silky rugs and tactile knick-knacks warm things up even more. Through the floor-to-ceiling windows, I could see the spa garden with a decked area dotted with teak tables and chairs and a large hot tub for when the sun hits this south-facing terrace. The garden has been designed by Matthew Wilson of the Royal Horticultural Society, with borders of lavender, santolina, salvia and geranium as well as its namesake, verbena. This spa signals instantly it wants you to linger - all day if you like. NEED TO KNOW Feversham Arms Hotel, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5AG. (01439 770766; The Guardian (JUNE 2009) Thought outdoor bathing by the North York Moors was only for the seriously hardy? Not so at the stylish Feversham Arms, where you can float in the gorgeous outdoor pool. There are poolside suites with patio doors leading on to the sun terrace where you can refuel from the new lunch menu: half a lobster, grain mustard-cured gravadlax, lemon posset with summer berries. Just remember to let lunch go down before you dive back in. Liberty London Girl stays at the Feversham Arms Hotel Awards White Rose Awards Winners We were so pleased to win our award! The team has worked very hard over the last year in all areas of the business, this award inspires us to move forward and strive to acheive even more as we head into 2011. York Tourism Awards 2010 "The Awards recognise excellence in the tourism industry..." We were delighted to win the award this year especially with the entry levels being higher than ever. AA Hotel of the Year 2009 AA Hotel of the Year is widely regarded as the ultimate accolade for hotels in the UK. We have a truly great team of people at The Feversham and only with the help of their dedication and hard work could we have gone on to win. Alastair Sawday's We scooped this award on the 18th October 2009 - when we were named ‘Britain’s Favourite Hotel’ by the readers of Alastair Sawday’s travel guide ‘Special Places to Stay’. Hotel of the Year 2009/2010 What makes this one really special? During the summer we were nominated by the public, from there we were asked to attend a ceremony in November as an official finalist. The fact that our customers nominated us again and again is the icing on the cake. Best Tourism Business 2010 45 businesses made it to the York Press Business Finals. The glittering awards ceremony took place at York Racecourse on the 26th November 2009. It was the first time we had entered these awards and we are over the moon to have won in our category.