You know you are onto a good thing when the driveway leading up to a hotel covers a good few acres of countryside and your instant reaction on seeing the venue is a sharp, awe-inspired intake of breath – such is the case with Ragdale Hall.
An enormous country house that has performed under many guises since its Victorian conception, the ornate red brick building retains a sense of easy-going, homely comfort alongside the grandeur. Rooms and suites are spacious enjoying views of the grounds, and the hotel is peppered with areas to simply relax including the beautifully appointed Retreat room which would be enough to make Cath Kidston proud.
The spa is wide reaching in its facilities including a 25 meter swimming pool, an exercise pool, a gym, and a mind gym (games, puzzles – all things to stretch those cerebral muscles); but the pièce de résistance is the hydro and thermal suite which comprises ergonomic facilities in the form of a Candle Pool, Indoor/Outdoor Waterfall Pool, graphics enhanced Thought Zone, aromatherapy scented Colourflow Cave, Volcanic Salt Bath, Scented Room, Rose Sauna, Cave Shower complete with its own thunderstorm, and experience showers. And all that is before you get to the treatments menu, which overseen by an exceedingly well-informed staff use Elemis and Decléor products in range of body treatments and facials as well as offering Dry Floatation Therapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Acupuncture and Leighton Denny manicures and pedicures
From the café area to spa lunches to more formal meals the focus at Ragdale is on a little bit of everything using fresh ingredients and priding themselves on being able to cater to anyone watching their weight as well as gourmet taste buds at the same time. The Garden Room and Verandah Bar are particularly light, not least of all because of their position looking out onto one of the many garden areas, and in keeping with the relaxed vibe of the venue, guests are welcome to dine in their robes whichever location you choose for sustenance.
The grounds are immaculate and a sunny day will see guests of all ages happily lounging by the pond on a proliferation of chairs, benches and garden swings in their dressing gowns and pondering the conversation of the most enormous carp. But it isn’t all about chilling out, the leisure element extends outdoors as well with tennis courts, pitch and putt and boules, and cycling; personally I was content to sit back and enjoy the rolling countryside views only interrupted by hares racing around the perimeter.
It is no surprise that a large percentage of Ragdale’s clientele are returning customers that have not only been there two or three times, but often in excess of ten times – testament to the lack of pretence, beautiful facilities and all-round standards of the venue.
– Go for a wander around the gardens, peer at the coy carp and if the weather is nice, lounge by the outdoor pool with a good book – and if you don’t have a book, the wildlife is sure to keep you entertained.
– Make sure you leave plenty of time to luxuriate in the thermal suite – with all those really unique and very different rooms it is a treatment in itself.
– If you are not sure what treatment to have, ask a therapist’s advice – there is a lot on offer here and the staff are extremely knowledgeable.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.