WHERE: Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, Leicestershire
THE VIBE: A stately home spa where you can retreat for days at a time to try out the many relaxation rooms, spa treatments and thermal therapies.
BEST BRIDE-TO-BE TREATMENT: From skin-brightening facials to the perfect legs reviver treatment you can come away from this spa looking top-to-toe fabulous for your big day. I opted for a massage, which was so divine the therapist had to gently wake me up at the end and a Clarins facial, which left my skin glowing. We also loved the light and airy conservatory area where you can drop-in to have your nails, hair, brows and lashes done – the perfect recipe for a heavenly hen party!
BEST GROOM-TO-BE TREATMENTS: There’s an entire Male Zone of treatments so your h2b will be spoiled for choice. If he’s had enough of W-day planning book him in for an Elemis Total Time Out treatment (£105 for 115 minutes) where he can temporarily pretend the words buttonholes, speeches and wedding transport don’t exist. For men with a sense of adventure there’s the heavenly-sounding Lava Shell Back Treatment (£41 for 30 minutes).
BEST AMENITY: The thermal spa. This relaxing resort is endless and we were delighted to discover the equivalent of a theme park for spa-goers next to the huge pool and Jacuzzi. I felt like Alice in Wonderland as I looked around at the choice of doors with enticing names like Candle Pool, Outdoor Waterfall Pool, Thought Zone, Colourflow Cave, Volcanic Salt Bath, Scented Room, Rose Sauna and Cave Showers. It felt very indulgent gliding outside in December in the toasty outdoor pool before wading into the atmospheric Candle Pool (only getting out when we were well and truly shrivelled). And while the Thought Room was relaxing, unfortunately I didn’t have any light-bulb moments!
MUST DOS WHILE YOU’RE THERE: If you can bear to derobe and deslipper there are 18 studio classes to choose from with an entirely separate pool for aqua aerobics classes, so you don’t have to wear earplugs when you’re lounging around the main pool. If sweating it out in the gym isn’t your idea of a relaxing break you could always pair exercise with learning a new skill like archery, fencing, golf or tennis.
WHO GOES: People travel far and wide to get a taste of the nothing-is-too-much-trouble service and horizontally-relaxed vibe at this queen of spas. From the moment you arrive there’s a lot to love – your car is valet parked and suitcases whizzed off to your room while you are given complimentary drinks and a personal introduction to all things Ragdale – so it’s clear to see why staff are amazed when you say it’s only your first time here.
THE BEDROOM: The 83 rooms (ranging from economy to suites) are spacious and contemporary. There’s the added bonus of a lodge adjacent to the main hotel which has ‘weekend break with the girls’ written all over it. Breakfast is served in bed, not as relaxing as it sounds, and is super healthy. We much-preferred the buffet-style lunch and sit-down dinner served (at tables!) in the wood-panelled dining room.
DETAILS: Ragdale Hall is a labyrinth of a resort and with every twist and turn you take there’s something to be discovered – whether it’s one of the heavenly relaxation rooms, a pretty café offering guilt-free cakes (well that’s what we told ourselves!), a shop full of pretty gifts and stylish loungewear or an inviting sofa.
Individual treatments are detailed on the website and spa days range from £71 to £194. Overnight reviver breaks include:
▪ Complimentary drink on arrival
▪ Complimentary robe hire
▪ The choice of a 50 minute Body Massage or a 50 minute Pure Radiance Facial.
▪ Use of all spa facilities.
From £199 per person
LOCATION: Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB.