The Spa Hotel Review: Ragdale Hall, Leicestershire, UK
Review: Jennifer Bonfield
Ragdale Hall is a destination spa set in beautiful grounds in the Leicestershire countryside. The size of the spa, hotel and grounds is on a serious scale with 92 bedrooms, 12 experiences in the Thermal Spa and 50 treatment rooms. A brand new rooftop infinity pool is currently under construction, which is surely going to become the key focus at the already award-winning spa.
On arrival, we headed straight to the fitness centre to take an Introduction to Meditation class which was the perfect start to a relaxation break. The room was low lit with mats, blankets and pillows and we spent half an hour tucked under a cosy, make-shift bed while the instructor talked through a soothing session of guided mediation techniques. We both agreed we could do with this every morning to set us up for the day. There is an extensive class timetable for both mind and fitness classes, along with a gym. Outdoor activities are aplenty should you wish to venture out of the spa and into the great grounds surrounding the property.
For check-in, guests are escorted to the Garden Room to enjoy a welcome drink while luggage is taken to the bedroom by hotel staff. There are six room categories ranging from Basic (Economy) to more spacious Suites. We had a Superior room – small, basic, very clean but a little tired on the decor front with chintzy soft furnishings and two single beds. There was no mini-bar, and limited toiletries selection in the bathroom (no conditioner or body lotion in the bathroom so be sure to take your own). The shower gel and shampoo were by The White Company – nice, but it would have been better to see one of the three main spa brand partners (Decleor, Elemis, Clarins) extend to the guest bathroom toiletries.
Back at the room we dressed into our spa robes provided and headed to the award-winning Thermal spa. Now this really was a treat; an array of heat and mind experiences to soothe the senses and relax the body including an indoor and outdoor Waterfall Pool, Thought Zone, Colourflow Cave, Volcanic Salt Bath, Scented Room, Rose Sauna and Cave Shower. The underground Candlelit Pool was utterly serene. It was quiet early afternoon in the spa but once 4pm came (when most guests have checked in) it was really busy in the experience rooms – so getting in early to enjoy some space is recommended.
I had a Blissful Back & Face Therapy (50mins) with my therapist Santi, which was nothing less than excellent; a medium pressure Swedish back massage followed by a mini facial with a whole host of glorious Decleor products (you can also choose Clarins or Elemis for the facial product selection). The Treatment menu is more than extensive, there really is something for everyone from exclusive to Ragdale treatments such as Hypno-Reiki and The Golden Indulgence body ritual to firm favourites such as Decleor facials and Elemis deep tissue massage.
The lunch menu was a canteen style buffet of curry or Sunday roast, along with a choice of various lighter bites, although it would have been great to see freshly prepared, enticing salads filled with protein brought from kitchen to table rather than the buffet options. The buffet style was a bit hectic. The dinner menu (included in the overnight break) was a little underwhelming, we skipped the starters and for main course the only real option was to pay a supplement of £11.85 for a fillet steak, which was delicious, but you can’t really go too wrong with a steak. We followed with the cheeseboard – the standard grapes or celery were notably absent and it coud have done with more than a half teaspoon amount of chutney – but the cheese selection was pretty good.
Breakfast is served between 7- 8.30 am to the rooms, so forget a lie-in as you will be woken with a varying neighbours knocks and slams of doors – but maybe this is an organic wake-up call! You can also opt for later dining in the Verandah Bar from 9-9.30am.
If you’re looking for a great Thermal Spa this is definitely the place to come but it’s certainly not a foodie destination or really one for a romantic break with luxury bedrooms. This is a pretty good relaxation destination and seems to be a popular choice with a loyal army of customers. I’d certainly recommend to visit as a spa day. The focus of this hotel is definitely all about the spa.
Overnight Reviver Break from £277 per person in a Superior Room.
|Economy Room (Twin only)||£216||£241|
|Standard Plus Room||£245||£270|
|Superior Plus Room||£277||£302|
Arrive at 2.00 pm on day one and leave us at 6.00 pm on day two (you will need to check out of your room at 11.00 am but will be offered a locker and shower facilities for the rest of the day).
£15 per person supplement on Friday and Saturday nights.
Some food supplements apply in the restaurant.
The package includes:
A 50-minute Blissful Face & Back Therapy
Complimentary robe hire for use during your stay and your own pair of Ragdale Hall flip flops
A three course evening meal, breakfast in bed and a three course buffet lunch
Optional introductory tour of the Hall
An extensive daily programme of over 18 exercise classes and group activities in two air conditioned studios, suiting all fitness levels
Use of the air conditioned gym with separate cardio vascular and free weight sections
Unlimited use of the Thermal Spa including Candle Pool, Indoor/Outdoor Waterfall Pool and a series of heat and water experiences
Use of a 25 metre indoor swimming pool with whirlpool, cascade and massage jets
A daily programme of water exercise sessions
Use of outdoor pool (summer months only)
Use of Mind Gym – mental agility room
Unlimited use of mountain bikes, tennis courts, pitch and putt course and boules areas
Daytime and evening talks, demonstrations and workshops covering a wide range of interesting topics
Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray LE14 3PB