“The redesign has created a calming, restorative atmosphere and enhanced facilities for its guests and members, including the renewal of seven treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and relaxation area offering scenic views of the rolling Cotswolds countryside,” enthuses Sally Barker, Group Sales and Marketing Manager Calcot Collection, Calcot & Spa.


At Cranbourne Stone, we’ve been specialists in providing bespoke, high-quality stone products for swimming pool surrounds, landscapes and interiors for over 16 years. Our long-standing partnership with leading swimming pool builder, Rio Pools, has been built on our mutual love of creating inspirational and sought-after swimming pools that capture our customers’ needs and transform them into a dream design.

We partnered with leading swimming pool builder, Rio Pools, to undertake a significant refurbishment and renovation on luxury hotel, Calcot & Spa. Collaborating with the team was fundamental to the success of the reimagined redesign and build of the pool and spa area.

Calcot Spa is a peaceful retreat nestled within the beautiful grounds of the luxury hotel, Calcot & Spa. Surrounded by the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, it is recognised as one of the UK’s leading spa hotels.

Following its contemporary and nature-inspired transformation, the hotel unveiled a revitalised new look for its award-winning Spa in March 2020.

Nature for All: Bringing the Outside In

“Natural beauty seemed the obvious starting point for design inspiration for a spa set within the landscape of the Cotswolds,” shares Interior Designer, Cathy Birtles from Cathy Birtles Design.  

Describing its existing aesthetics, which were integral to customers’ love of Calcot Spa, and therefore elements that provided a visual backdrop for the spa’s luxurious overhaul, Cathy adds: “We have used a fusion of contemporary clean lines with natural materials such as wood and stone, playing with different textures and finishes to create a restful space that reflects the healing effect of the surrounding nature.” 

Although the main pool and the children’s pool were still in good condition, the style and décor did not meet Calcot & Spa’s vision and philosophy. Achieving these were vital to continue to evolve with the changing wellness sphere, particularly the hotel’s renewed treatments, to reflect customer needs.

The inspiration was clear; to bring the surrounding beauty of the Cotswolds to Calcot Spa. Working in close collaboration, Calcot Spa’s interior designer, Rio Pools and Cranbourne Stone pulled together their creativity, knowledge and most innovative materials to completely renovate the 17-year-old hotel Spa’s indoor pool, children’s pool and wet areas. 

Meeting the Challenge: Imagination, Innovation and Immediacy 

Once the final design decisions were agreed, there was no time to wait, as Calcot’s newly-modernised spa needed to be available to its loyal and long-standing customers in seven weeks. 

Working to this extremely tight deadline was certainly a challenge,” says Wayne Bateman, Director, Rio Pools. Together, the Calcot & Spa, Rio Pools and Cranbourne Stone teams pulled their expertise and experience to ensure the Spa was ready to open to families.

“It was important to create a striking, modern finish that would complement the hotel’s exceptional reputation in the boutique spa hotel world. The design team were keen to source materials that would work within the extensive modernisation programme that has swept through every inch of the hotel in the last four or five years.  The ambience throughout the hotel instantly creates a sense of class and elegance, with cool pastel shades and dreamy Cotswold stone,” explains Wayne.

“The pool was more municipal in aesthetic; very typical of commercial pools built up and down the country at the turn of century,” adds Shelley Willcox, Director, Rio Pools.

The first task for Rio Pools was to carefully cool and drain both pools, removing old mosaics and meticulously protecting the tanking system with epoxy membranes. The old concrete columns were demolished, and every single wall and floor tile was removed from the Spa and re-laid with tiles sourced and provided by Cranbourne Stone.

The internal surfaces of the pools were also retiled with a mid-grey large-format tile, and all the white and stainless faceplates were replaced with new stainless or colour-coded components. 

Natural Beauty Using Wood Porcelain 

For the design to come to life, and to achieve Calcot & Spa’s vision of bringing the surroundings inside through the inclusion of natural materials, we suggested using wood porcelain for the pool-shell interior and surround. Wood porcelain has the appearance of beautifully- grained wood with the benefit of slip-resistant properties and durability, making it the perfect material for both the pool’s lining and its surround.

The wood porcelain tiles are made from a mix of natural clay and finely ground sand, which is then pressed and fired at a very high temperature. Each design is baked onto the body of the surface of the tile, to produce natural-looking tiles that provide both longevity and practicality. 

We worked closely with Rio Pools, Calcot & Spa’s interior designer and architect to use wood porcelain in the pool interior, skirting, surrounds, deck level grilles and to create a stunning seating area. By utilising wood porcelain in the main pool, the children’s pool and its wet areas, the design flowed throughout the Spa.

When working with the designer, wood porcelain seemed to be the obvious choice for the Spa. It has a feeling of warmth, luxury and elegance that natural wood brings, but with the benefit of durability and slip-resistance. 

Porcelain is excellent for high traffic areas due to being less porous than other stones and requires low maintenance, which is an ideal choice for the Calcot Spa.

“This was the first time that we have used wood porcelain for a 2 x slot mono deck level grille. Our knowledgeable team designed and created the custom-made grilles to ensure they worked seamlessly within Calcot & Spa’s design,” reveals Jo Standfield, Cranbourne Stone’s Sales Director. 

A 2 slot linear grille was also made using Cranbourne Stone’s CNC and waterjet technology. The 2 slot grille is designed to move away from the original slotted grille, to create a sleek and functional grille, which is unobtrusive, inconspicuous, effortlessly stylish and easy to maintain.

“We used Cranbourne Stone’s double-slot drainage system around the perimeter of the pool.  This was new to us, and correcting the falls and levels in the surround tiling was key to ensuring wash water didn’t puddle in all the wrong places. The tilers also had fun with the windmill-effect Semifore wall tiles in the changing room lobbies; it’s like a magic-eye picture   – a really striking effect!” emphasises Shelley.

We also demonstrated our bespoke service and skilled workmanship by designing tiles for the curved children’s pool. The pool required custom-made grilles to ensure the elegantly flowing lines of the pool were kept. 

The finished look contained:

  • 145 sq. m. metres of buff wood porcelain tiles
  • 52 linear metres of bespoke 1.2m long 2 x slot mono deck level grilles
  • 5 linear metres Bespoke Radius 2 x slot mono deck level grilles in segmented pieces 
  • 127 m2 Italian grip porcelain for the changing rooms and treatment rooms
  • 61 linear metres wood porcelain skirting
  • 28 m2 Italian mosaics for treatment rooms
  • Bespoke wood porcelain seating and window cill

Creating a Luxurious Masterpiece

The pool refurbishment was successfully completed within the specified seven-week time frame. It opened as scheduled for visitors and residents to enjoy the facilities, thanks to the cohesive work of the teams involved in the redesign and renovation of Calcot Spa. The end result is a beautifully luxurious and magnificent swimming pool and spa facility. 

“The redesign has created a calming, restorative atmosphere and enhanced facilities for its guests and members, including the renewal of seven treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and relaxation area offering scenic views of the rolling Cotswolds countryside,” enthuses Sally Barker, Group Sales and Marketing Manager Calcot Collection, Calcot & Spa.

For more information on how we can help you and your team with your upcoming hotel swimming pool project, contact us today.

For more information or advice please call 01264 810813
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