Our story began in 1925; born from the ideals of the visionary naturopath Stanley Lief. Opening as a health farm and known as the Nature Cure Resort, it was the first of its kind in the UK.
Having been diagnosed with a seemingly incurable heart condition in 1890, a young Stanley sought a solution in the practice of osteopathy and diet. Self-cured by the age of 16, he went on to study naturopathy and ultimately, founded what we now know as Champneys in Tring after acquiring the estate from the Rothschild family. Pioneering the concept of holistic health and naturopathy, the reputation of Lief’s resort grew. With patients visiting from far and wide, its success was rapid and ultimately, lasting. Indeed, his embrace of holism and healthy diets and recognition of stress as a negative influence on health can still be seen in today’s medicine and practices.
Lief sold Champneys – which takes its name from former estate owner Ralph de Champneys – in the 1950s, changing hands several times before it was acquired by the Purdew family in 2002. Already owning Henlow Grange, Springs Health Farm and Forest Mere, purchased in 1981, 1990 and 1995 respectively, the four resorts aligned as one under the Champneys banner.
Growing considerably, mother and son Dorothy and Stephen Purdew have guided the brand to even greater heights. Significant refurbishments and renovations have been made; on top of four resorts, Champneys also boasts six city spas and a range of globally recognised products. Committed to the future of wellbeing, our International College of Health and Beauty (established in 1976) also stands as one of the most respected beauty colleges in the UK.
Champneys has always been a place to be seen, with our paths welcoming pop stars, actors and actresses, high-profile sports men and women, politicians and royalty from the Middle East. Among our most famous patrons include Naomi Campbell, Kylie Minogue, Dames Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Naomie Harris and two of Hollywood’s leading men Daniel Craig and Brad Pitt. It was also a favourite of the late Diana, Princess of Wales.
Founded on the philosophy that health, beauty and wellbeing are inextricably intertwined; our pioneering concepts have inspired generations. With a long and established history, we’re proud of our beginnings – but even more excited about where we’re headed. Trends have come and gone, but our unwavering commitment to encouraging wellness endures.
At Champneys we bring together the most pioneering collection of treatments, classes, philosophies and wellbeing expertise. In fact, our innovative health concepts have inspired generations. As a result, we stand as one of the leading wellness destination spas in not just the UK, but the world. With significant investments made at both Forest Mere, Henlow and Tring, and big plans for Champneys Springs, our resorts offer some of the most advanced and cutting-edge facilities. Our two hotels Eastwell manor and Mottram Hall have had multi million pound investment and sport brand new Champneys spa's as part of their wider hotel offering.
Tring will always be the original health spa and boasts our 400sqm Marine and Wellness Spa which is the first of its kind in the UK and sits at the centre of our focus to renew and rejuvenate. Offering a range of water-based personalised treatments in a smart, ultra-modern purpose-built environment, this revolutionary hub has been designed to provide the perfect detox rebalance. It also boasts its own five-metre-long Himalayan rock salt wall. And taking relaxation to even greater heights, Forest Mere has seen the introduction of a state-of-the-art thermal poolside suite - complete with heated water beds, snug, relaxation pods, whirlpool, experience showers, laconium, sauna and snow room.
We’re also proud of the fact that no other spa or hotel can lay claim to such an assortment of fitness classes and specialist retreats. With up to 20 sessions per day, some of which are exclusive to Champneys and firsts for a UK audience and run by some of the most sought-after instructors around, we really do have a class for every requirement. Our unique approach to fitness is mirrored in our dedication to wellness; for we can also call upon the services of a wide range of wellbeing gurus – many of who are award-winning – to exhilarate and inspire in equal measure.
With an ability to embrace and anticipate industry trends and guest expectations, innovation is at our very core.