I had the pleasure last Wednesday of being pampered from head to toe, inbetween exploring the thermal spa, fitting in a workout, eating delicious food and curling up with a pile of magazines. If you want to feel like royalty for a day (who doesn't?!) then this is the place to check-in to!
After the warm welcome in reception where I'm given a thick robe to wear for the day and locker key (which also serves as a tab to charge additional purchases, treatments and drinks to!) I make myself comfortable in the beautiful Garden Room Bar while I look over the handily provided schedule of treatments and sip on my complementary drink. I'm then given a short tour of Ragdale Hall which makes me feel like a kid in a sweet shop - there's just so many things to explore and enjoy!
|Starting the day at Ragdale|
Eager to venture off, I excitedly dash into to the Day Guest changing room to abandon my iPhone for the day (phew!) and change into the day's attire: swimsuit and robe! I decided I would spend the morning exploring the fitness facilities, enjoy a light lunch and then spend the afternoon in the thermal spa in between my scheduled treatments.
Health & Fitness
I headed out the changing room door to a one-to-one Aqua Mitts session, which really worked my upper body and left my shoulders and biceps with that satisfying ache afterwards. After a few sets of pull-up and rows on the Aquagym equipment, I decided I'd finish off my workout session with a swim in the main pool.... it wasn't long before I'd convinced myself I'd earned a rest in the whirlpool, besides, we know that relaxing in warm water works wonders for aching muscles!
|Fitness at Ragdale|
Ragdale has a gym, two studios, tennis court, a 25m swimming pool and an exercise pool with Aquagym equipment to workout with. There's a jam packed timetable of group exercise classes for the two studios and the exercise pool as well as organised outdoor activities. There's such a wide variety of activities that you can have a go at everything from Bollywood Dancing to Ballet Toning!
You can download a timetable and read the class descriptions on the fitness section of Ragdale's website. This is really handy to check out before arrival as the busier classes will need to be booked in advance (plus your treatments can then be slotted in around these!).
Right next to the main pool, you'll find the Thermal Spa - this is the best place I can imagine being in the winter! The spa is adorned with an infinite amount of fluffy towels, soothing water features and cosy chairs.
There's a heated outdoor waterfall pool, which is satisfyingly warm even on a freezing cold winter's day. I felt instantly at ease and more mindful while sitting back, cocooned in the pool's warm mist as the sun glimmered off the cascading waterfall and peaked through the surrounding plants and rocks like an Icelandic hot spring.
|Thermal Spa at Ragdale|
Venturing back inside, I was spoilt for choice at the selection of steam rooms. There's a Rose Sauna, Candle Pool, Volcanic Salt Bath, Scented Room, Colour Flow Cave and a Thought Zone.There are chilled water fountains outside each room to ensure full hydration after each session as well as two 'experience' showers and a cave shower to help you cool off.
My three favourite rooms (I couldn't pick just one!) had to be the Candle Pool, the Volcanic Salt Bath and the Rose Sauna. These were just out of this world for promoting relaxation, boosting circulation and improving respiration. There was a lot of warm mist, aromas of essential oils and delicate lighting to really set the mood for the rest of the day: Relaxation on a whole other level.
|Food at Ragdale|
Feeling utterly at ease, I took a leisurely, floaty walk to the Verandah Bar for a deliciously fresh lunch of jacket potato with mixed salad, followed by a little treat - a decadent chocolate orange cupcake! The Verandah bar has a wide selection of soups, lunches, smoothies and fresh cakes and you can relax with a herbal tea or smoothie in the Garden Room. If it were a hot summer's day, you would have found me relaxing outside in the gardens and terraces.
Guests can feast on a three course dinner in the dining room or a hot and cold buffet lunch. If staying overnight, you can also enjoy a candlelit dinner with a glass of wine and a rich dessert. You will also be woken in the morning with breakfast in bed!
The chefs are first class and will cater for any dietary need you may have. The food selection is so wide that I'm sure everyone can find something to enjoy. There's even a Ragdale recipe book available in the gift shop to inspire you at home.
|Relaxation at Ragdale|
After my lunch I decided to cosy up in one of the many lounges at Ragdale. There's the contemporary 'Pavilion', the homely 'Retreat' and the Victorian styled 'Lounge'. Each lounge has something unique to offer, from the furnishings to the views. I spent some time with a pile of magazines on a sofa in the Pavilion while waiting for my massage and facial and then returned afterwards to curl up under a blanket on a chaise lounge in the Retreat to enjoy the views of Melton Mowbray countryside.
I had pre-booked three treatments for the day: Soothing Back Massage (£34); Miracle Facial (£57) and Restorative Hand and Foot Therapy (£54). Each treatment was luxuriously soothing and has left me with glowing, smooth skin. Once booked, all you have to do is wait in the Treatment's Reception at the scheduled time for your name to be called. The therapists will greet you with a smile and a hand shake and lead you down the corridor to one of many peaceful and beautifully decorated treatment rooms.
The Soothing Back Massage was a 25 minute Swedish style massage to ease tension in my shoulders and back. Exactly what I needed after upping my weight training program this week! The lovely smelling oils, soothing music and soft lighting makes it so easy to melt into the massage table.
|Beauty Treatments at Ragdale|
Straight after my massage, I was blissfully swept away to my Miracle Facial. This 55 minute treatment uses the Clarisonic Brush Cleanse to exfoliate and cleanse skin. Afterwards a Surkran gold and plant-collagen mask was applied, while my shoulders, décolletage and head were massaged.
The techniques used aimed to ease expression lines and draw away any puffiness to achieve a firm and glowing appearance. I can really feel the difference after this facial, my skin is smoother to touch, particularly over my nose which is usually prone to blackheads and my cheeks feel firmer.
Later that afternoon I returned to the treatments reception for my Restorative Hand and Foot Therapy. This 50 minute treatment literally pampers you from top to toe! While my feet and hands were snuggled into warm paraffin wax booties and mitts, my scalp was massaged for the second time that day - this time with coconut oil! Oh my, it smelt amazing and left my hair looking really shiny when I washed it out. After the wax booties and mitts were removed, my legs, feet, arms and hands were all massaged with essential oils. I left with absolutely no dry skin in sight! Very different from when I arrived that morning looking dried out from the combination of cold weather and office central heating!
You can download the full treatments brochure from the Ragdale Hall Website. Be sure to pre-book treatments 14 days in advance of your spa day arrival!
An unexpected benefit of my day at Ragdale Hall was body confidence. It's very easy to drop your barriers when everyone around you is padding around in swimwear, gym kit or robes. There's men and women, young and older people. No one is remotely interested watching you step out of the pool, sprawl out in the sauna or strip off in the changing room, we're all too chilled out to care what anyone else is doing.
I spent the entire day wearing either swimwear or underwear under my robe, with no make up on and my hair tied back into a messy bun. I felt calm, healthy and beautiful after my workout, spa sessions and beauty treatments.
Range of Breaks and Spa Days
Ragdale offers a variety of spa days from £77 to £199. Some spa days offer inclusive treatments while others, such as the Experience Day, offer usage of the spa facilities but no inclusive treatments, allowing you to customise your day.
You can also book weekend breaks from £373 per person and two night midweek breaks from £314 per person which includes all meals, treatments and use of the facilities.
A spa day or break at Ragdale Hall makes an ideal gift for Valentines Day, Birthdays, Mother's Day, anniversaries, Hen Nights... oh heck, who needs an excuse to treat themselves to this experience?
For the fitness fans amongst you, Ragdale are also offering fitness breaks! These include a Pilates Retreat, Fresh Fitness Concepts two night break to a Dancercise break during the winter months and then Walking, Running and Yoga breaks in the summer. You can read more about these various fitness breaks and the other offers on the 'Spa Offers' section of Ragdale Hall's website.
It's the small details that will stay in my mind, from the complementary drink in the Garden Room Bar upon arrival, to having a lovely warm robe to wear all day - even to lunch! All of the staff at Ragdale are warm and welcoming and will go out of their way to make sure you're as relaxed and refreshed as possible. For example, one of the therapists popped my robe on the radiator so that it was luxuriously warm for me to put back on after my treatment and in the morning, the fitness instructor offered me a one-to-one 'Aquamits' session in the exercise pool since no one else had appeared for the class (I noticed the classes soon picked up in the afternoon!). It's no wonder the staff have won awards for their fantastic customer service!
Ragdale Hall Health Hydro & Thermal Spa
Ragdale Village, North Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB
Telephone: 01664 434831 Website: www.ragdalehall.co.uk
*A few images are my own while many of the images have been used with kind permission from Ragdale Hall.