It's not often that I get to spend time alone with my mum in peace and quiet, so when I was approached by Ragdale Hall and asked if I would like to come along for the day, I jumped at the chance! This was actually my first time going to a spa, so I was equally nervous as I was excited.
I really shouldn't have been worried though, because I don't think I've ever met people so genuinely friendly and welcoming during my time there. We were greeted and given locker keys and robes, plus a map so we could get our bearings. I wasn't actually expecting the building to be so big, but it is to be expected as Ragdale Hall also offers accommodation - 93 bedrooms! There is just so much space, little nooks and crannies where you can sit down and chill out, that it never felt overwhelmingly busy. I was surprised at the range of ages, in particular younger people. If I'll be honest, I was expecting there only to be women, but it was a real mixture with men too.
To kick off my bonding day with mum, we headed off for a bit of swimming first. Even the pool surpassed my expectation, there was enough room for people to do a few laps if they wanted, plus a waterfall, and several massage jets that I definitely had way too much fun with. We then went into the whirl pool, and from here we could see the thermal spa, which we vowed to explore after lunch.
The size of the dining room was vast, with a huge buffet selection in the centre, serving both hot and cold food. The was something for everyone, including Indian vegetarian cuisine, as well as fish, meats, salads, and pulses, Desserts were just the right size, that you could be tempted to try two or three. They ranged from fruit salads, to tiny trifles, and little squares of chocolate orange brownies. Desserts ordered to the table were warm with fresh cream.
After we filled our tummies, it was time for our Clarins Serenity facial, as this was part of the Mum and Me Time package. Another first for me so I had no idea what to expect, but the lady was really lovely and talked me through everything. The treatment lasted for 40 minutes, however it flew by because I was so relaxed! We also both received a detailed Clarins skincare consultation by one of their experts and a Clarins gift of an Eau Dynamisante Fragrance, Moisturising Body Lotion and a Clarins Beauty Bag (worth £27!).
The most anticipated part of my visit was the thermal spa, as I had read a little bit about it before arriving, so I was keen to give everything a go. My favourite area was the Candle room - a relaxation pool where you have to be quiet, and it was filled with brilliant purple lights - my idea of heaven!
Along with the candle pool, there was also a colour flow cave, volcanic salt bath, rose sauna, thought zone, scented room, cave shower, ice niche, two experience showers and foot baths. Obviously I gave everything a go, and it was lots of fun hopping from one room to another! The most fun part was by far the cave shower, complete with a star-lit ceiling, loud thunder claps and a cold waterfall effect, granted I wasn't in for long, but I felt as if I was really in a cave during a thunderstorm!
As mum and I wanted a relaxation day, we mostly hanged around the pool area. However there are many choices of exercise and relaxation classes, plus a gym complete with various equipment and an instructor in case you have trouble. I did walk pass a spinning class, but I don't think I've ever "nope-d" and walked away as fast as I did then. Relaxing is my forte, so I'll leave that to the pros!
Just before we decided to call it a day, we headed to the Garden Room for a slice of cake and coffee. A perfect end to a perfect day. Ragdale Hall is based in Leicestershire, about 2.5 hours from London, and luckily just a half hour drive from home for us. I would never have guessed there was such a relaxed, and beautiful spa, just tucked away here.
It is impossible to get bored, even if the thermal spa and gym doesn't do it for you, there is a quaint little gift shop filled with lovely beauty items and gifts. If you're in the mood to be pampered, The Beauty Express will cater for all your needs. Whether you want a set of nails or a new hairstyle, they've got it covered! If you fancy picking up some must-have beauty buys, the Beauty Shop has a wide range of products to choose from.
Ragdale Hall changed my view of spas, I had gone from thinking that I was going to have to spend my whole day on a lounger, to realising there was much more on offer than that. The return rate for guests is actually over 80%, which I think speaks masses. Not only is this figure correct, but I can genuinely see why. Packages are designed with guests in mind, and classes are always being updated to suit in accordance with feedback. I've never met a team of staff so hard working and dedicated to providing a unique, and memorable experience. Ragdale Hall, you've won me over!