Lifehouse Spa and Hotel has been a favourite spa destination of mine ever since I encountered it six years ago, and not just because of its beautiful design and style, but because of its people, its knowledge and its integrity.
While there’s a whole variety of spas out there to experience, the very nature of any spa is that it promotes, encourages and supports wellbeing in its various different guises, but that is sometimes easier said than done.
On this occasion, aside from visiting for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the experience, I joined them for two days to find out more about their ongoing initiatives to improve customer service for all stages of health and wellbeing. The latest of these includes both a Carita suite, at the aesthetic end of the spectrum (it the only one outside London and the non-surgical answer to cosmetic surgery), and dementia training for all staff to enhance the spa and hospitality experience for both patients and carers, at the customer service end of the spectrum.
The visit was timely. One can never have enough spa breaks in my opinion, and the eternally high standards of design and style in this most contemporary of hotels, with its large glass windows and polished concrete floors, its seductively lit pool and thermal suite, sculptural staircases and historic gardens once frequented by the likes of JM Barrie and Winston Churchill, are always an irresistible draw card.
However, this visit to Lifehouse, was one that marked a key point in my year on a personal level, and illustrated, for me, the true nature of what makes it so special. It was my first spa break with my partner since he had major surgery and a stroke.
Naturally, one followed the due diligence of checking with both their team and his doctors before visiting or organising any treatments, but from booking through to our stay, the ease with which our own brand of unusual circumstance was approached was second to none. Their attitude and standard of service meant that not only was he permitted the chance to relax properly, but so was I, safe in the knowledge that he was cared for.
We both had reflexology – a gentle but meditative experience that I highly recommend, particularly at the hands of their intuitive therapists. We chatted at length with naturopath and Director of Wellness Sue Davis about the developments, workshops and ever increasing range of health knowledge offered to guests, and the ethos of inclusivity that underpins their offerings.
When it came to dinner, the restaurant, which by day is a light filled canteen, became a seductive and popular area that was buzzing with enthusiastic guests.
The menu is the embodiment of the spa’s ethos – a fusion of exciting healthy options (we both opted for a main course of courgetti with spirulina pesto) as well as decadent indulgence (who could resist salted caramel brownies?).
The wine met the exacting standards of my partner as well, and all in all it represents everything that Lifehouse is – an opportunity to be the spa break that you want – health retreat, decadent escape or a bit of both.
In short, after many years of knowing them, Lifehouse Hotel and Spa continues to surprise me in all the best ways possible, I only wish it was a little closer to where I live!
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