Located in the historic and picturesque village of Thornton Hough in the Wirral, Thornton Hall is a member of the Classic British Hotels group, itself a sign of high quality. It has gained an enviable reputation for its four star accommodation, award winning spa and three AA rosette fine dining restaurant. Within easy driving distance from Liverpool, Chester and the M6 motorway, it has become a magnet for those seeking peaceful relaxation, pampered indulgence and gastronomic excellence.
Set in well-maintained gardens, the imposing white stone main building, completed in the late 19th century, reflects the wealth and status of the Liverpool shipping merchants who originally owned it. Converted into a hotel in 1954, its room capacity was increased by a two storey courtyard extension with glass walled corridors linking it to the original house.
An airy and spacious reception leads to a number of dark oak panelled lounges, conference rooms and bar. Particularly impressive is the main staircase lined with carvings depicting Aesop’s fables.
The jewel in the crown, however, is the Lawns restaurant. With room for up to 38 covers on well-spaced tables dressed in fine napery, this high ceilinged, elegantly-proportioned room retains many of its original Italianate features. These include the oak carvings, the classical frieze and, most impressive of all, the leather ceiling embossed with mother of pearl. Magnificent crystal chandeliers from Milan crown the room’s opulence whilst gilt framed mirrors and a large bay window add to the sense of space. Wall coverings, drapes and Roman blinds in brown and cream work well with older features, making the Lawns a beautiful room in which to dine.
Accommodation if offered in four categories: Club, Executive Garden, Executive Boutique and Character (individually designed, furnished and housed in the main building). For a truly memorable stay, a Penthouse suite is available
Our first floor Executive Garden room, with its own balcony overlooking the immaculately kept lawn, had been tastefully renovated in tones of sage green. The twin beds gave a good night’s sleep and leather bucket chairs proved very comfortable when watching the flat screen TV. The compact, fully tiled bathroom featured an integrated bath and shower and a waterproof TV, an unexpected but welcome luxury for this level of room. Good quality toiletries, fluffy bathrobes, slippers and ample wardrobe space with proper hangers – not those dreadful ones attached to rings – completed the generous range of facilities in the room.
However relaxing staying in one’s room might be, it would have been a shame not to use the spa – free to hotel guests – for which Thornton Hall is jusgtifiably renowned. Having achieved a 5 Bubble rating in the Good Spa Guide, it has also gained international recognition by winning in categories of the World Luxury Spa Awards in 2014 and 2015. The Spa’s central feature is a 20 metre heated pool, columned in the classical style. Reminiscent also of the Roman baths is the suggested “Thermal Journey Experience” featuring successive use of warm shower, sauna, snow cave, steam room, cool shower and the hydrotherapy pools. The only stage missing is the oil rib and strigil shave! Other impressive facilities include exterior hot tubs, a solarium and a state of the art fitness suite.
The beauty and hair spas offer holistic and clinical treatments from relaxing massages to IPL skin rejuvenation. The Tranquility Suite is the Holistic spa with its hot stone massage, reflexology, Hopi and other alternative therapies. A recent addition is the Rasul Room for mineral mud treatment, accommodating up to four guests.
It is not difficult to see why seasoned spa lovers can easily spend a whole day luxuriating in the facilities, being invigorated by the treatments. There is also no need to leave the complex for lunch, as a good selection of dishes is served in the Times brasserie.
All of the above facilities, whether in the main building, Lawns restaurant or spa, would have less impact unless the service was up to scratch. In this respect Thornton Hall scores highly. Peter in reception was welcoming and cheerful, expediting our arrival – form filling being kept to a minimum – and helping with our luggage. The young lady who served us at dinner did remarkably well given it was her first day. Restaurant manager James Campbell was charming, accommodating – especially regarding our fussy choice of tables – and knowledgeable. He led his young team with authority and professionalism
From our afternoon arrival, visit to the spa, through to dinner and a peaceful night’s rest, breakfast and departure, we were looked after very well indeed. Staying at Thornton Hall was a real joy, and definitely somewhere to return for a longer, more leisurely stay, as is the case with the large number of regular visitors.