Need to get away without jetting away? After a hectic summer, food and beauty journalist Samantha Haddadi escaped for a much-needed spa day at Ragdale Hall in the Leicestershire countryside, where padding around in slippers and Elemis facials and Decleor treatments are – oh heaven! – de rigeur...
Sometimes, all you need is a day of pampering. A day of being spoiled, of relaxing and unwinding with your best friends, or your mum.
After a manic summer, I was in dire need of just that. I was running on empty. Not only was I was starting to forget appointments, and missing meetings, but I was even leaving out words when I wrote – a lot of words. For a writer, that’s pretty bad.
Thankfully, Ragdale Hall and its fluffy, white bath robes (what could be more relaxing than padding around in slippers all day and eating in a bath robe?) was just a short drive away.
Blue sky days at Ragdale Hall
Based in the heart of Leicestershire’s countryside, Ragdale Hall is one of the country’s most popular spa and beauty centres. Set in the sweeping grounds of an ivy-covered, red brick manor house, it’s impressive from the word go – you can feel yourself relax as soon as you hear your car crunch across the gravelly, rolling drive.
…and after a fresh fall of snow
From the moment we pulled up, we were made to feel at complete ease. Staff were friendly, warm and ready and waiting with coffee (again, what could be more relaxing?) and beaming smiles.
Once we had checked in, we slowly made our way around the building, and were amazed to find just how much there was to entertain and relax guests. From state-of-the-art beauty and treatment rooms (including Elemis and Decleor spa treatments) to an outdoor pool, daytime hikes, a huge array of classes, relaxation rooms, and a Thermal Spa, Ragdale really did seem to have it all.
Freshly snuggled into our robes, my friend and I decided to head straight for the thermal spa, ready to relax and unwind. And as soon as we entered, I could already feel my muscles start to relax. Faced by a quiet murmur from fellow guests and room after room to indulge ourselves in – all set amid earthy tones and lush greenery – you could tell we were in for a treat.
Described as an indoor playground for adults, this spa has everything you could imagine you’d want from a destination spa. In fact, even as you enter, you pass a Wishing Stream where you can stroke an old pebble before throwing it into the stream to rid yourself of negative energy. Isn’t that wonderful?
“As soon as we had said goodbye to our negative energies, we headed straight for the Candle Pool – an underwater cave, gently lit by candles and a starry ceiling, and set in complete silence”
As soon as we had said goodbye to our negative energies, we headed straight for the Candle Pool – an underwater cave, gently lit by candles and a starry ceiling, and set in complete silence. As soon as I lay back, I felt my mind start to drift and the tension work its way from my muscles – I could have happily stayed here for the entire day. The cave has individual caverns, the perfect place for you and your partner or friend to let go and ease that tired mind.
The Candle Pool
After our recommended ten minutes in the pool, another favourite – the Volcanic Salt Bath – was calling our names. Although this room takes your breath away slightly with its 100% humidity, the atmosphere and the inky darkness were calming, and soothing. It was almost as though you could feel the toxins leaving your body, and your skin starting to purify. The gentle smell of eucalyptus also felt cleansing, and I felt myself starting to relax more and more.
“After our recommended ten minutes in the pool, another favourite – the Volcanic Salt Bath – was calling our names”
In fact, it almost felt a shame to leave the playground of the spa (there was an outdoor pool – with waterfalls! A rose scented sauna!) and take a break for lunch before our treatments and a quick session at the exercise pool.
As much as we could have happily stayed in the spa area, we had both been booked in for an Elemis Biotec Radiance Facial, which helped to restore a youthful glow, using clever, nifty machinery. The machine uses pretty advanced technology and ultrasonic vibrations to draw impurities to the surface and exfoliate, whilst a special current works with the products and natural extracts to re-energise and restore vital moisture. The whole experience was wonderfully relaxing (although you could feel a slight heat from the machine as it went over the skin) and left my skin looking dewy and feeling super soft.
All in all, the treatment was the perfect end to a perfect day. In fact, by the time it came to leave, I was ready to move in. I could happily spend my life in this wonderfully relaxing, ultimate spa retreat.
You can currently enjoy a two night mid-week break at Ragdale Hall from £259. To find out more or to view the autumn packages and deals available, visit www.ragdalehall.co.uk
…or book in for Christmas!