Spa Hotel Review: Ramside Hall, Durham
Review: Val Jones
Ramside Hall, set in picturesque Durham, is enveloped by 350 acres of private grounds, boasts two 18 hole Championship golf courses, and features no less than four bars and two restaurants; Fusion and The Rib Room. The original building dates back to the 1820’s and the hotel has recently been extended to include additional bedrooms and an impressive super luxury spa complex.
We arrived at the hotel earlier than the check-in time and as our room was not quite ready we took the time to explore the hotels’ facilities. After taking a peak around we headed to Pemberton’s Carvery for lunch. The traditional British pub-style menu offered classic favourites, cavery and a selection of sandwiches. Both my Husband and I chose Prawn Cocktail to start followed by Rump Steak for myself and my husband plumped for traditional Cod and Chips. The service and food was excellent with hearty portions just as you’d expect. My husband is a keen football fan and asked the bar staff if they would play a specific match on the bar TV – the bar staff went out of their way to accommodate which made his day and offered to play the match with no sound so it didn’t disturb other diners which is more than fair.
After a relaxing lunch we made our way to our room (Premier Double) which was one of the 47 new rooms in the recent extension. The room was super spacious featuring large king bed and a seating area of two chairs and a table in front of the patio doors which overlooked one of Ramside’s Championship golf courses. We had the additional bonus of superb weather in March and with the doors open and a drink in hand we felt like were in far-flung climes. The bathroom facilities were fantastic; walk-in rainwater shower, luxurious roll-top bath, with large heated towel rail making it toasty-warm at all times (non of those horrible shivery moments when you step out of the shower).
The spa was calling and the booking-in procedure was the most high-tech I’ve seen – definitely a reflection of the hefty multi-million pound investment that has recently gone into making the spa at Ramside a leader in the pampering pack. We were shown a touchscreen map, which gave details of all the facilities and directions and then escorted to the changing rooms where 5 minutes later emerged donning the spa robes and slippers provided.
When we entered the spa the superior facilities were fantastic; the pool is a full 25 metres with a large number of beds and bed swings dotted around, along with tables of magazines and chilled water. Additional flavoured refreshments were available when we went through to the hydro-spa, which was a bit like a giant Jacuzzi, but even more bubbles! You will be spoilt for choice and probably struggle to get to your dinner reservation on time with all the additions this super-spa has to offer; an outdoor vitality pool, a balcony infinity pool and a spa garden, a variety of steam rooms, saunas and a Rasul mud chamber. The spa also features one of the UK’s largest hydrotherapy pools and a thermal suite, which includes a Himalayan Salt Steam Room, Herbal Infusion Sauna, , Aroma Steam Room, Caldarium and a Sunken Amphitheatre Sauna.
When it was time for our spa treatments we made our way through the changing rooms past the reception area, clocking the fabulous looking Fusion restaurant where we were dining later. Espa is the spa brand partner and brings an extensive treatments menu offering ‘Body and Lifestyle Solutions’. I was booked in for the 2 hour long Espa Pure Radiance Ritual (heaven!). This signature treatment included a full body massage, scalp massage and facial. Laura, my therapist carried out a consultation beforehand and gave me options for which oil I would like to be used, she advised me to simply go with the fragrance that I was most drawn to (known as the sensory selection). The ritual was nothing less than amazing and Laura worked her expertise to perfection. Afterwards I felt nothing less than WOW.
My husband opted for a Stress Buster treatment; back massage and facial and scalp massage. He gave a rave review and his skin was actually glowing when I met up with him in the bar (just to sample a quick half of Tiger beer of course.)
For the evening meal we were dining at Fusion; Ramside’s Pan-Asian style Restaurant. Fusion is located next to the spa and is a more casual dining venue with a relaxed yet invitingly bustling atmosphere. We ordered a bottle of Prosecco whilst mulling over the menu. To start I ordered Tempura of King Prawns with sweet chilli sauce & wasabi mayo and for the main course Lemon Chicken with broccoli and pak choi accompanied by steamed jasmine rice. My Husband is a huge fan of dim sum, which was served with Asian sauces, and dressings. For his main course he chose Char Sui Pork Fillet with braised pak choi and peppers accompanied again with jasmine rice. The food was delicious and the Asian inspired dishes especially won the approval of my other half – he is a huge Asian food fan.
Bright and early next morning we made great use of the extensive breakfast menu offering both continental and made-to-order cooked options. I choose the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs whilst my husband ordered the Full English with perfect poached eggs.
After breakfast we couldn’t resist another visit to the amazing spa one last time before we headed on our way.
Spa breaks start from around £150 which includes dinner, bed and breakfast, spa use and a 45 minute treatment. Full details of all packages and spa days at www.ramsidespa.co.uk
Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa Carrville, Durham DH1 1TD
0191 375 3088