Today sees the 10th annual National Spa Week and I thought I would kick it off with a review of my most recent jaunt.
On Saturday (1st) the Mother and I took ourselves off to Slaley Hall spa for a couple of treatments before heading elsewhere for an Afternoon Tea and shopping (review to follow!)
The sign for the spa, on approach from the car park is a little bit easy to miss as the stylised sign means the ‘spa & gym’ bit is on top of a coloured stripe but not to worry, we found our way in.
The reception area is quite small but luxuriously furnished. There is a tiny Espa retail stand and views over the juice bar and pool facilities.
We had expected the facilities to be very busy on a Saturday lunch time but as we were checked in and shown to the relaxation room we had it to ourselves.
The room itself is just off the reception and is a very opulent place to relax. The room was however full of dirty glasses that had not been tended too, and the large carafe of water only had a trickle left for both the 10/15 minutes prior to our treatment and still empty almost an hour later… no one could have emptied that much water so it was clear it wasn’t replenished. No great deal but it is always nice to have a glass of refreshing water after a treatment of any kind.
The treatments are as luxe and comforting as you could imagine. Tranquil and ambient, the Espa range of products were tastefully laid out prior to treatment so I got to spend a brief minute looking at what was on offer.
We had been booked and confirmed in for 2 scalp massages but on entering the room we were pencilled in for back massages. It wasn’t a problem to switch over once in the room.
I had an Oriental Scalp Massage (£35 for 25 minutes) and It was fantastic. My concerns were discussed prior to my therapist starting and a delightfully firm pressure was applied to the dreadful knots in my shoulders before travelling up to a scalp massage with oil. The time flew over and I wish I had booked for a double appointment as it was heaven.
Mother Tramp had a neck back and shoulder massage (£35 for 25 minutes) and she came out grinning like a cheshire cat feeling incredibly blissed out and ‘loose’. Poor Mam had been hyped up for her scalp massage though but didn’t have the confidence to correct the mistake as she isn’t spa savvy and just went with what she was told to do. This was a bit disappointing on my behalf as I had booked, but she didn’t mind.
After a quick freshen up in the changing rooms, battling the children running round sans clothes(!), we retreated back to the relaxation room for a quick 5 minute regroup before heading off. This was a task in itself as there was a gaggle of therapists outside of the door preparing to call their new clients in one by one but of course they were just standing chatting and somewhat hesitant to move until they had finished discussing whatever non work related banter they had.
Overall we were impressed with the visit but it was just slightly off. The service didn’t meet neither expectations nor the perceived luxury of the spa. We may have just caught it on an off day, although our last visit in August ’13 resulted in a complaint so I am left on the fence.