The importance of taking a day out for pure relaxation cannot be emphasised enough.
It’s a habit I neglected to develop for years and the result was regular burnout and poor health. Prioritising relaxation is now an integral part of my healthy living regime. The benefits of being able to rest the body, and the mind, is cleansing, rejuvenating and leaves you ready to tackle the world with renewed enthusiasm.
A few weekends ago we were treated to a spa day at the stunning Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, an award-winning establishment set in rural Leicestershire. A stately home transformed into an oasis of calm and leisure it is, unsurprisingly, a popular destination for Brits looking for that all important R and R.
As relative novices to the world of spa-life we weren’t exactly sure what to expect from a full day at a spa having only spent a few hours at others on different occasions. Would we get bored? Is there enough to do? Will it be weird spending an entire day living in a dressing gown?
We approached Ragdale Hall with no expectation or any preconceived ideas. We were open to the experience and excited to see how it fared.
Thankfully we were not disappointed.
Our day at Ragdale Hall was exactly the kind of rest and relaxation you would hope for. It’s a little English paradise, away from a world of constant connection and busy-ness. From the moment we arrived until we left we felt at home. There are not many places that can make you feel so at ease.
To describe the full day in detail would be quite the lengthy essay so let me share the best bits and exactly why I would recommend this spa to anyone wanting to get away from it all.
From the welcome at reception, to the health assistant checking our questionnaires, through to the waiters at lunch and the therapists giving our massages, everyone was friendly and professional. I think you can tell a lot about the morale of a business when every member of staff is so pleasant. We were impressed by just how welcome they made us feel.
Steam Rooms and Pool
We spent the morning before lunch working our way through the various steam rooms and sauna. Each steam room had a unique vibe with a different temperature, humidity and fragrance designed to offer different benefits. We managed to visit all of them! We also had a bit of time in the sauna, the candle lit flotation pool, the outdoor pool area and of course we completed a few laps in the main pool. It was bliss.
I don’t tend to have high hopes for buffets but this was probably the best buffet I’ve ever had. Every single dish I tried was fresh, tasty and full of flavour. We had Thai inspired rice salad, potato radicchio and pancetta salad, tender sliced duck, fresh grilled chicken, bundles of fresh rocket and watercress. It was fabulous food and incredible value for the standard being served. The lunch itself is served in a beautiful grand wood-panelled room replete with chandeliers, mirrors and watercolour paintings. It felt truly fabulous.
I was treated to a relaxing back massage and facial using Elemis products. It was a 50 minute treatment in total. The treatments area is a huge section of the spa with around 50 rooms, all getting packed out for each session. The room was comfortable and tastefully decorated. The therapist reduced the light and I’m sure I almost drifted off to sleep during the massage. The facial was both relaxing and invigorating. After 50 minutes I felt totally blissed out. Mission accomplished.
The spa is surrounded by gorgeous grounds. Everywhere you look outside there are beautifully landscaped gardens. There are plenty of opportunities to sit, or indeed lie down, outside. There is also an outdoor pool, croquet and boules. There are several adult ‘swing benches’ and even a tree swinging pod. There are sun loungers, bistro chairs and tables and even an astroturf covered sofa. There is so much space to roam you really do feel there are plenty of opportunities to just chill.
One of my favourite parts of the spa was the relaxation room. There, towards the end of the day, we lay staring out at the gorgeous garden, watched as the rain came and went and just marvelled in the silence. There I was able to clear my mind and allow my thoughts to wander. There I was able to finally begin the process of giving my full attention to the ideas and thoughts around the new direction of my business and blogs. By truly relaxing I reached an almost meditative state. A state that allowed uninterrupted creative thinking. No distractions. Just peace and thought.
And that is what a good spa should be about.
Ragdale Hall offers a range of spa options to suit all budgets, needs and preferences. You can sample a four hour twilight session one evening, go for the full day session and there is even accommodation if you want to make a full trip out of it.
We will certainly be back to visit again soon!
We were guests of Ragdale Hall but this in no way influenced my review or experience. We honestly had the loveliest day and I’ve even come back with a notebook full of ideas.