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On booking the spa day over the telephone with the hotel, the receptionist was not able to tell me if I would be charged the £5 per person robe fee. I rang the day before twice to confirm this but no one was answering the telephone so we took robes, towels and slippers just in case.
Finding the hotel was difficult as it was not signed after the roundabout and we drove straight past it. On arrival at the hotel we found plenty of space to park and we went into the main reception which proved to be a long wait. The receptionist did not look up from her desk and was a bit “off” telling us to go down the corridor to the Leisure Reception.
Staff at the Leisure Reception were pleasant, we said we would stay for lunch and were informed this would be £12 each, the set menu however proved difficult for my husband who suffers from allergies and does not like fish, there was a bar menu available which later proved quite costly.
We were told that we could use the swimming pool, sauna and steam room but could not use the Jacuzzi pool as it was being water treated that morning. Robes were £5 so we used our own but were given towels.
We booked in for our massages, we both had the back, shoulder and neck massage, I had the scalp massage and my husband had the foot massage. The rooms were very modern and stylish with relaxing music on and low lighting lamps the massage was very relaxing.
I was pleased to find that the masseur applied a firm rather than a light stroke, she asked if I had any problem areas and found the stress knots on my back, the scalp massage was heavenly and this to my surprise was quite forceful, pressing the temples with the palms of her hands as if she was trying to squash my head. I felt very relaxed after the massage and really enjoyed it. My husband said he enjoyed his foot massage, she applied foot scrub stuff on and he had difficulty holding still while she massaged the soles of his feet.
After, we relaxed in the room opposite; this has lounger chairs, low lighting and music. This is very good for reading (if you can see your book) and relaxing in a quiet environment while the body gets used to having being massaged.
We looked in on the gym, there seemed to be 2 separate rooms, one weights, one cardio with a good selection of machines, but we didn’t have time to use them.
We then decided to go for a swim in the pool; the pool is quite a good size, rectangular. Unfortunately it had filled up since our last glimpse. One lane was roped off for adult lane swimming but to be honest, 2 of us swimming in it proved difficult and narrow and resulted in a nasty bang on the foot to the side of the pool steps.
One child was in screaming and splashing but the echo of the room made it sound like 10 children. We had forgotten it was half term and soon other children came in with grandparents and proceeded to splash about dragging floats and things out of the “do not enter under any circumstances” cupboard. However this could not be policed with an absence of staff. We were dismayed to see the Jacuzzi still cordoned off so went to the steam room and sluiced off with a cold shower.
The showers were adequate with body wash provided in the cubicles, there is communal changing with a couple of privacy stalls. The changing room isn’t that big and the odd L shape design of the lockers may mean difficulty hanging coats and things up (£1 for lockers, returnable). There is a spinner to dry costumes (and in the mens) and plastic bags provided for wet costumes.
We went into the bar to order a coffee but spent ages waiting until a staff member appeared from the back. A late and pot of tea cost about £6, however my husband really loved the coffee and I got about 4 cups out of the tea, plus a jug of fresh milk. The bar area was very stylish, a sort of brown and orange 70’s style but was a little cold so didn’t make it very cosy.
As we drank we saw a chap return his meal to the bar because it was supposed to be vegetarian and it wasn’t, which made us uneasy about our allergy issues, the menu seemed to be a bit “fussy” and was quite costly so we decided to leave early and lunch somewhere else.
All in all we enjoyed our morning here and would come back during term time and definitely have the massage again.