I bought this Heavenly Hideaway Spa Package for my Mums birthday. It included accommodation, dinner and breakfast and a 55 minute spa treatment. We also opted for a 30 minute tension release massage as well which we had on our first day. I'll start with the good stuff!
The room was a twin with two double beds and was superb. Lots of space, everything you need including good hairdryer, iron and ironing board, shower gels etc. We both slept very well.
We dined in Redmonds which has AA Rosette status. The service and the food were both absolutely outstanding. I haven't eaten so well since I was in Paris!
The buffet was extremely well stocked including full english, continental and also a la carte options. I would avoid the rush hour of 9-10 if you would like to eat peacefully and avoid queuing at the buffet.
My therapist was a girl in her early twenties who suggested that as I had a back massage the previous day I could have a longer facial instead. I also asked whether I could have a scalp and neck massage included which she said was fine. The facial started off with her liberally piling on cleanser. And I mean liberally. It went up my nose, in my mouth and the pads she put over my eyes with cucumber scented lotion were to wet so when she dabbed (or rather jabbed) them on my eyes the solution leaked out. It was deeply unpleasant. The first 15 minutes of the facial consisted off applying cleanser, exfoliating and other lotions and then vigorously rubbing off with a warm damp towel. She then applied a mask and started my scalp massage. Ten minutes of this was her putting oil in and then pulling my hair. The actual scalp massage was about 10 minutes and was great, if it had been longer. I was then left 'to relax for a few minutes'. I was left for ten. I began to relax, mainly as I was given 10 minutes respite from having stuff poured into my orifices and having my hair pulled. Despite the trauma my skin is great, although I would put this down to the products rather than the expertise of the 'professional' using them.
Tension Release Massage
I had a great deal of tension in my back and neck and my therapist was good at the overall massage although it was over too quickly and there was not enough time for her to target specific areas. My Mum did not enjoy her massage at all, she felt that the therapist was very rough even when my Mum indicated that it was a bit much and it left her feeling sore and uncomfortable rather than relaxed.
The robes were frayed and tearing and the slippers were not suitable to be worn in the changing facilities as they also lead to the pool area; waterlogged tiles and flat slipper soles are an accident waiting to happen. Thankfully it was me, rather than my Mum who slipped and fell. After you have changed you are then directed through the spa reception which is viewable from the main reception and up a flight of stairs to the the treatment rooms. There are two relaxation rooms which are very comfortable called tranquility and serenity. Our first treatment was scheduled for 1.15. They came to get us at 1.40. On the following day we had our 55 minute treatments scheduled. Mine lasted 45, my mums lasted 40 minutes and we were both again late going in. When they come to get you they call out your name out in to the relaxation room. If you were relaxing in the relaxation room, the frequent calling out of names constantly disrupts any sense of tranquility or serenity.
I wouldn't have given Carden Park as many as 2 stars if this review was just based on the spa, my Mum and I were really disappointed. It needs re-thinking and the therapists are not up to the standard reflected in the price. I have had better massages and facials from students who are unqualified at my local college. At least they managed to keep cleansing lotion out of my nose and mouth and solution from going in to my eyes. The facial was simply an ordeal I could not wait to be over, as was my Mum's back massage. We both felt, as did other spa-goers we overheard, that we were on a conveyor belt and the therapists are trying to get you in and out as quickly as possible. The actual treatments felt very much like they are going through the motions rather than trying to make it a personal and enjoyable experience.