The idea of hanging about in your dressing gown, surrounded by lots of strangers also in dressing gowns, may sound odd to some, but there is much more to the Whittlebury Hall spa experience than this.
The whole visit to Whittlebury Hall is about being comfy and comforted.
While the big bad world out there might leave you feeling battered and bruised, the spa can make visitors feel that they are spending a day or two in a protected bubble where people will look after them, supply nice things to eat and and generally make everyone feel lovely.
I’m no stranger to Whittlebury Hall I have to say. I once visited a few years ago for my hen weekend and have been back a couple of times, once with my husband and then with my mother.
This time I headed there to enjoy the Escape & Spa Stay package with my sister Katie, arriving on a Sunday and staying one night.
One of the good things about Whittlebury is that, in a world in which some other spas can charge £300 or £400 for a weekend, here your money goes a long way.
The Escape & Spa Stay ranges from £99 per person and includes an overnight stay in a twin or double room, a day using the Heat and Ice Experiences, a 25 minute treatment as well as a two-course lunch and a three-course dinner in Astons Restaurant, full use of the Leisure Club facilities and breakfast the next day.
I think this is very good value and it must account for the reason that Whittlebury at a weekend seems busier than it used to be. But there is the sense that it runs like a well-oiled machine.
On arrival (before 10am), overnight bags are stowed at check-in, leaving visitors to make their way to the spa area. There they are given their treatment and lunch times as well as a key to a locker, wherein the aforementioned cuddly dressing gown and towel are found.
It seems that Whittlebury no longer supply slippers, unless asked, so visitors would be advised to bring indoor flip-flops or some other footwear they don’t mind getting damp around the edges.
Katie and I headed immediately for the Heat and Ice experiences, set around a whirlpool bath. Because I suffer from the incurable skin condition psorisasis, any kind of salt treatment really transforms the skin, so we headed to the salt steam and then proceed to use the many hot and cold areas, incuding a sauna, an ice cave - where you can cool your steaming skin off with ittle chunks of ice - the caldarium (which radiates heat from walls, floors, seats and reclining areas), and the sanarium.
The act of heat and cold really has a relaxing effect on the muscles so, to wake us up, we went for a quick swim in the pool before heading to lunch and then our chosen treatments.
We both opted for an express facial, incoporating a head massage and we were again left feeling very relaxed. The facial was carried out with ESPA products which feel soft on the skin and we both sensed a beneficial difference in how our skin felt.
Although I had very good intentions of doing lots of exercise at Whittlebury, sadly there were fewer exercise classes to choose from because we arrived on a Sunday.
However, there was a complimentary wine tasting session carried out in the afternoon, which we somehow found the energy to visit (it’s a hard job but someone has to do it). There, we had the chance to sample wines of different regions and grape varieties and, although I suspect some visitors only went along for a giggle, I found it very educational.
Our day ended with a beautiful meal in Astons Restaurant, where we enjoyed dishes such as a smooth, delicious vegetable soup, homemade bread, a tomato and goats cheese pithivier (puff pastry creation) and creme brulee served with a chocolate and peanut cookie.
We went to bed feeling properly pampered and ready to face the world again the next day.
It is great to have Whittlebury right on our doorstep, here in Northamptonshire, and I would thoroughly recommend it to those people who like to relax and who don’t find it odd to eat their lunch wearing a dressing gown!
Escape & Spa Stay from £99pp.
Full English breakfast
Two-course buffet lunch
Three-course dinner in Astons Restaurant
Full use of The Day Spa Heat and Ice Experiences on day of arrival
Full use of the Spa and The Leisure Club facilities.
Plus, your choice of a 25 minute treatment from:
Energising Express Facial or Soothing Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage or ESPA Body Polish
Book online at www.whittleburyhall.co.uk or call reservations on 0845 400 0002 and quote “Escape & Spa Stay.”