In January, we went on the search for a Super Spabreaker – someone who could visit a spa a month for a whole year, and report back leaving no hot stone unturned. In her first review, winner Catherine Gladwyn, headed to Ragdale Hall to begin her year of pampering …
Super Spabreaker 2013 signing on for business … and so my journey begins. At 11:30 am my daughter and I set off on our first road trip to visit number one of 12 spas, following her brilliant Mummy, me, winning the Super Spabreaker competition. It couldn’t have come at a better time as I am recovering from having a benign brain tumour successfully removed from my pituitary gland in November 2012. With surgeon’s authority in hand my 12 months of pampering begins!
Ragdale Hall is set back off a country road, surrounded by an expanse of views out to the countryside. Once a stately home and later, I was told, a casino, it first became a health hydro in 1973 and was privately bought in 1990 by the former owners of Our Price records – I remember them! Ragdale Hall is Downton Abbey dipped in Camomile Tea.
A building so obviously full of history, but my initial thought was whether it once was a stately home or a Victorian prison such was its impressive structure! On arrival the valet parked my little dented Citroen C1 amongst all the Audis and Mercedes, and we were welcomed warmly by the receptionist, with a full explanation of our checking in process.
Once welcomed we were offered a complimentary drink from the bar, too scared to ask for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot I decided on a green tea. From here we were shown to our room, which was tastefully decorated in relaxing green and pink furnishings and dark wood furniture. A very clean, warm, spacious room with a small balcony.
An array of things to do, from relaxing in the peaceful candle pool to an evening session of facial aerobics – really! Ragdale Hall offers something for every spa loving guest. With an indoor and outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam rooms, sauna, relaxation areas and a host of treatments on offer by a professional and welcoming team of therapists. The pool, Jacuzzi and outdoor pool were surprisingly empty whenever we went to use them, despite the hotel being full, which I can only imagine was because the temperature was a little too low. But, we could warm ourselves up in the selection of saunas.
Breakfast was served in our room, and we could choose from a large selection of food, catering for everyone. It was all freshly prepared and enough to keep us going. Our evening meal in particular, was tasty, fresh food catering well for vegetarians. My daughter had the vegetarian curry, which was filling and tasty. Prices are reasonable and the portions are generous. Lunch is served in the Verandah Bar, which is where you will find the cake! I totally recommend you try a smoothie too.
Ragdale Hall sits beautifully in the Leicestershire countryside with pleasant views. The best bit is that you don’t need to leave the hotel for anything, it’s all under one roof.
The website says the guests average age is 30-60, but I would probably say that most of the clientele are aged 40-60. While some parts of the décor are a little dated, it is slowly being tastefully modernised, especially with the new addition of the Pavilion, which places Ragdale Hall amongst the elite spa venues, in my opinion.
– Head there for a solo spa break. This is somewhere I would feel comfortable and very safe staying at alone or with company. They have a social table in the restaurant where any lone travellers can sit and socialise with others during meal times, which I thought this was a fantastic idea.
– Take your own flip-flops or slippers. I was surprised there were no complimentary slippers, but seemed to be the only one who hadn’t brought their own (amateur) – so don’t forget yours!
Next stop … Grayshott Spa Hotel in Surrey next month….
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