Having been in a wheelchair since the age of 14 years old, model, lawyer and writer, Shannon Murray, has turned her talents to spa reviewing this week on a visit to Radisson Blu Edwardian Guildford, and explains why it makes the grade for Accessible Spas!
The Radisson Blu Edwardian Guildford is tucked away down a quiet side street in the city, and is a fairly impressive and modern, sleek glass structure with a spectacular chandelier in the lobby. The Spa itself is adjacent to the lobby through a discreet entrance, notably flat and easy to access in a wheelchair.
As soon as you enter the spa area you’re transported to another sensory world; one of calm tranquility and beautiful scents. On my visit, the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming and ushered me through a brief tour down corridors which are dark and subtly lit, enhancing the feeling of a luxurious and serene cocoon. Happily, the accessible changing room was incredibly spacious with a roll-in shower, sink, and loo plus plenty of room for my chair to manoeuvre whilst changing in to my swimsuit. The treatment rooms were equally expansive and beautifully laid out with velvet throws and decorative cushions on the bed. I was delighted to discover that the treatment bed was height adjustable making my transfer so much easier! The therapist was also extremely considerate and the treatment was – put simply – amazing; she asked lots of questions at the start to ascertain my needs and the ESPA products felt wonderful resulting in one of the best facials I’ve had; a truly relaxing and hydrating skincare experience.
The restaurant has a beautiful and rather sumptuous looking entrance area although the inner restaurant lacks the same decadence. The service was very good and whilst the food tasted great however with a simple, but nonetheless pleasing selection.
The location of the hotel and spa is ideal if you’re based in South London or similar and seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle. It provides a calming, indulgent escape just off the main high street; the ideal urban spa with very convenient parking.
The spa itself is a contemporary, elegant haven and the staff are incredibly welcoming, while the treatment was yet more heavenly! Wheelchair access is good – particularly in the treatment rooms and changing rooms, however in the relaxation room the loungers are a bit too low to transfer to and from without assistance and similarly one would need help getting in and our of the plunge pool.
– Make sure you bring swimwear, they provide robes but the sauna and the steam room are really gorgeous and very therapeutic and the plunge pool is incredibly inviting.
– There is parking available so unlike some places it’s fine to drive there, but bring change for the meter unless you have a blue badge.
– If you’re not an independent disabled person then you may want to bring a companion/carer to assist you in changing and getting to and from the treatment beds and shower seat.
– Be prepared to be tempted to purchase some of the fabulous ESPA products after your treatment!
Otherwise, sit back, relax and enjoy!
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