Marking 15 years of partnership between Hand Picked Hotels and luxury skincare brand ELEMIS, the new Rose Champagne Spa Day celebrates the launch of ELEMIS’ new Rose Micro Serum; a dual-phase formula using unique oil-in-serum technology, and containing over 7,000 rose micro-droplets, to deliver optimal hydration.
Specifically designed to recharge and refresh, the Rose Champagne Spa Day is centred around a 55-minute limited-edition ELEMIS Rose Facial that incorporates expert massage techniques to deeply cleanse the face, and making use of ELEMIS’ Rosewood essence and Pro-Collagen Rose Balm, Cleanser and Oil, to leave skin blissfully soft and intensely hydrated. Which sounded like exactly what my skin needed just now!
Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa in Nantwich, Cheshire, is part of the Hand Picked collection of 21 luxury family-owned country house hotels in the UK. The picturesque gardens overlook the Cheshire countryside beyond, while the house itself dates from the early 1800s, with several modern additions and upgrades since, of course.
I was delighted to learn on my visit that the majority of Hand Picked Hotels have designated dog-friendly bedrooms, offering easy access to expansive lawns or courtyards, and the abundance of grounds and gardens to explore beyond. It’s certainly put the brand firmly on my radar for our next weekend break away with Paco!
Back to the day at hand, and I arrived at the hotel mid-morning to be greeted with a delicious looking breakfast spread in the spa’s Amber Lounge and the eager, smiling faces of the combined Hand Picked Hotels and Elemis press teams. As became increasingly apparent thoughout the day, the mutual respect and admiration both brands have for one another really shone through, with Elemis co-founder Noella Gabriel describing Hand Picked Hotels as “Elemis’ British home.”
Despite the fact I’ve been aware of Elemis for a number of years, and have experienced some of their products during spa treatments before, I’ve not actually used any at home before, so have never experienced the effects of prolonged usage on my skin. I also didn’t know that Elemis is the most widely exported British skincare brand, being available today in 111 countries worldwide.
We begun the day with a short wellness session; some light breathing exercises and gentle stretching in a darkened wellness room scented, of course, with English rose. I’m always reminded whenever I try to focus on my breathing that I hold so much tension in the upper part of my body and chest, and am pertually a shallow breather.
For something that comes so naturally you don’t even consider it moment to moment, as soon as I turn my focus inward to my breath I find it somewhat overwhelming. Am I breathing ‘correctly’? How long am I supposed to hold a breath before exhaling? Why does my chest feel so heavy if I try to contain my breath for longer than usual?
Breathwork, meditation and yoga/pilates are all practices I’ve tried over the years with varying success and/or commitment, but I do know that whenever I persevere for more than a few weeks I always end up feeling better in myself; lighter and more at ease. Last week’s mini-session at Rookery Hall Spa was definitely a reminder that I need to reinvest in these moments of wellness and self-care for myself going forward.
Moving through into the main house for lunch, we were greeted by beautiful long dinner table simply adorned with two tones of rosebuds, from the softest baby pink to a deep crimson. As we settled down to begin our Rose Champagne Afternoon Tea we were poured a glass of Villa Saletta Spumante; a light, sparkling rosé made from 100% Sangiovese grapes, specifically chosen by Hand Picked Hotels founder, Julia Hands, from her family vineyard in Tuscany.
As we sat back to luxuriate in the beautiful surroundings, Elemis co-founder Noella Gabriel introduced us properly to the full Elemis Rose Collection, including the new Pro-Collagen Rose Micro Serum,* a dual-phase formula utilising unique oil-in-serum technology and containing over 7,000 rose micro-droplets for optimal hydration.
We began with the Pro Collagen Marine Cream*, a hydrating day cream that is celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, and has now been reinvented with a beautiful rose aromatic. Amazingly, there are 20 rose petals contained in every pot and, as Noella explained, when you pick a rose petal —unlike any extract— that petal is still producing oil. “This is the beauty about roses,” she says. “Even if I pick a petal and put it in a bowl, that aromatic will, throughout the next few days, keep filling the room with the scent of rose. This is why I have a real love affair with roses!”
In their desire to utilise the incredible properties of rose, Elemis sought to find a UK-based producer who could cultivate 20 different varieties of roses in soil at the right pH (very acidic, between 3 & 6) to support this biodiversity. The female farmer they ended up commissioning now produces —and hand picks—all of the roses for Elemis’ 20th anniversary Rose edition of their best-selling Pro-Collagen Marine Cream. I thought that was pretty impressive!
When it came to discussing their long-term partnership with Hand Picked Hotels, Noella is quick to point out that it is the ethics and core priciples of the brand that really cement the relationship for her. Elemis are on a journey as brand to deliver a completely sustainable, recyclable product by 2026, and feel that the new Rose Collection is the start of this. The new signature Rose Facial, offered exclusively at Hand Picked Spas, showcases Elemis’ new organically produced range in the most luxurious of environments, and is paired with the Rose-themed afternoon tea, which includes a chilled glass of Villa Saletta Spumante, for the most indulgent of wellness experiences. Guests can also make full use of the spa facilities which, at Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa, include an indoor swimming pool and hydrotherapy room, as well as a sauna and steam room.
It was time for me to experience the Rose Facial for myself, which began with a deep cleansing of my face using the Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm*. As Noella had explained, the cleansing balm has three textures in one pot so that you’re triple cleansing in one go. As the soothing balm is applied to the skin it melts into a rich cleansing oil which dissolves make-up and impurities. Upon contact with water, it emulsifies to a hydrating milk that can then be easily rinsed off. The cleansing balm is designed to nourish the skin’s lipid barrier, soothing it with hydration, and leaving it feeling smooth and looking radiant.
As the stepping stone into the rose journey, the treatment room began to fill with the warm heady notes of rose as the cleansing balm was first applied, before being softened by a dash of sweetness as the balm emulsified. You definitely have to be a fan of the floral notes of rose to truly appreciate the facial but, of course, I am. By the end of the treatment the room smelt like a English rose garden on a warm Spring day, which transported me to my grandparents’ back garden, when I was a child. Definitely a happy place to find myself!
I can’t really talk you through the rest of the treatment as my mind was wondering and my body sinking deep into relaxation, especially when the shoulder, neck and arm massage began. I left the room at hour later feeling fresh faced and dewy, needing to spend a few minutes rehydrating and gathering my thoughts in the Amber Lounge next door, before heading home.
I was very kindly gifted a four-step Rose Ritual collection to continue my Elemis experience at home and wasted no time benching my old products in favour of continuing my Rose Spa experience. A week in and its safe to say I’m a convert to Elemis. I don’t think my skin has ever been so hydrated and smooth, and I swear the fine lines underneath my eyes are not troubling me half as much as they did before…
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Have you used products from the Elemis collection before? I’d love to hear your experiences and know which are your favourite products from their range… let me know below!
→ELEMIS Rose Champagne Spa Day from £125 per person. Overnight stays at Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa from £323.
This review is in collaboration with Handpicked Hotels and ELEMIS who invited me along to a special press event celebrating the launch of the ELEMIS Rose Champagne Afternoon Tea Experience at Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa. All thoughts and opinions are, as always my own. All photography © Kate Baxter.