A spa escape with so much to do you definitely need at least two days, Sam from Spabreaks.com visits Celtic Manor and explains why it’s an exceptional place to visit with friends…
The first thing that really strikes you as you arrive is how huge it is. You walk into the hotel and look up, and all you can see is the ceiling going up and up the full nine levels of the hotel. It’s just huge, but also clean and modern and incredibly smartly done. The thought that goes through your head is that these guys really know what they’re doing.
We were given an upgrade on our rooms when we arrived at Celtic Manor, which I highly recommend as it means you have a balcony looking out over the grounds. Little touches like a personalised note to greet us made it really welcoming, and rooms are equipped with Prosecco and Welsh biscuits, which was a lovely way to arrive. Everything about the hotel is modern, spacious and smart, including the vast marble bathrooms and plenty of seating space in bedrooms as well.
It’s easy to get to Celtic Manor from London Paddington to Newport at just 2.5 hours on the train followed by a short transfer to the hotel. You are greeted by these enormous grounds on arrival, which wind their way through the golf courses (there are three) to the hotel. I am a golfer so my eyes lit up at that. Of course, the grounds and the rolling hills beyond them also make for a really beautiful setting for the hotel.
The spa is a major attraction at the hotel – it’s spacious and there’s plenty to do, so you can happily spend the whole day there. We were a group of 15 and we all had a 50-minute spa ritual to start off, which included a massage and a facial. That was lovely. Afterwards we all went into the relaxation room where there are eight relaxation chairs as well as beds to chill out on. There’s also a lighter room with more seating space. There’s also a huge pool and a Jacuzzi with space for around 20 people, as well as saunas and steam rooms. Within the male and female changing rooms there are also separate Jacuzzis and saunas. It’s just so spacious, and while there weren’t any children there while we were there, there are also adult only areas.
The food at Celtic Manor is, as expected, excellent. There are a number of places to choose from, as well as a variety of bars. We started with drinks and then had dinner in a private dining space, which is great if you’re celebrating a special occasion with friends. It’s on the sixth floor, and you also get your own waiting staff. We had a three course meal from a set menu which was excellent – really tasty but not too fancy and with plenty of it. Breakfast the next morning was a buffet with everything you could possibly ask for, both cooked and continental. Throughout, food was presented nicely and the staff could not have been more helpful.
It’s definitely a place for groups and special occasions because there’s just so much to see and do and so many different bars and restaurants as well as a DJ who finishes around 12pm and a lounge bar open until the small hours of the morning. You can also arrange to do activities like cocktail making as well. That said, it would also be perfect for couples or visiting with just with one friend on a mini break or spa day. For golfers there is a separate hotel you can stay in, but you could definitely go with a group of lads as well. There’s something for everyone.
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