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Arriving feeling quite haggard and stressed, handing over my car keys to get it parked was the start of something special when I arrived at Ragdale Hall, the health hydro and thermal spa in Leicestershire.

Normal life does not carry on, instead you are ensconced in a world of fresh-faced people wearing white robes, lotions and potions and steamy rooms filled with scent.  I had two days of wonderful pampering with my sister where we were wandering around in robes and slippers, in and out of luxurious treatments feeling pampered and restored.  

You can choose from a variety of pamper packages to suit all budges, from midweek breaks, Unwind and Relax Week Away, Blissful Spring Break or the Overnight Reviver Break.

We chose the two night mid-week break which included a 50 minute Blissful Face and Back Therapy or a Soft Hands Treatment and a Soothing Back Massage (both 25 minutes).

I topped this up with an Elemis Biotec Line Eraser facial which was 60 minutes of ultimate ‘anti-wrinkling.’  The skin is pumped full of super hydrating serum and the face is enveloped in a collagen boosting mask and concludes with micro current L.E.D Light Therapy and the slight puffing of air oxygenating the face.  Afterwards my skin looked noticeably wrinkle free and felt plumper, so I was joyous with the results! 

Entering the oak-panelled dining room filled with chandeliers for lunch, the chit-chatter of ladies who are all wearing white robes is surreal. The buffet is overwhelming and brimming with all kinds of lovely salads and hot food.  We had delicious pea and mint soup, chicken and salmon for lunch and the evening menu was stacked with a great assortment of pasta, steak or meat dishes.  Gone are the days of the serious health farm where you were only allowed 500 calories a day.  Here you can eat as much or as little as you wish and opt to have breakfast in your very comfortable bedroom!

If you want to look busy you can paddle off to talks on various subjects, such as How to Relieve Stress and Sleeplessness, Household Remedies or go to the many fitness classes or else relax, read or snooze or spend time in the new shop which is stacked full beauty products including Elemis, Clarins, Decleor and other items to make yourself look amazing.

I tried the new Beauty Express bar, where you can get super quick treatments from a manicure and pedicure, threading or having your hair done.  This is a perfect little place to drop into when it’s your last day – so you can go home feeling and looking great.

A lot of quality time was spent in the state-of-the-art Thermal Spa.  Being a water-baby, this was perfect.  The outdoor hot Waterfall Pool with massage jets was lovely, especially at night time when it was hot and steamy and ideal to relax and natter.

There’s a lovely range of steam rooms, my favourite being the Volcanic Salt Bath which was filled with Eucalyptus.  Others to indulge in include the Colour Flow Cave, Thought Zone, and rose scented sauna.  Also lovely was the Candle Pool.  You walk down steps into a hidden cavern and this area is lit up.  Starlight in the cave-like roof creates a tranquil atmosphere allowing you to float away in quiet contemplation.

If you’re feeling energetic then there’s a well-equipped gym complete with personal trainers, a 25 metre swimming pool complete with more massage jets, a waterfall and Jacuzzi.  After the Christmas indulgence and Easter coming up we felt compelled to do a couple of classes! Legs, Bums and Tums, (which we thought would be a breeze) resulted in me walking like John Wayne for a few hours afterwards.  We also endured a Boot Camp class in minus 3 outside, which although was invigorating, felt like really we should be by the pool snoozing in the warmth of 40 degrees plus!  Having complained that we really should be relaxing, there’s was no better feeling that exercising then heading to the Thermal Spa for some down-time.

There’s lots of loungers to relax on by the pool or you can choose to spend time in some other areas of the hall, such as the Garden Room, the newly refurbished Verandah bar / Lounge or Pavilion.

It’s not surprising that Ragdale has become a regular fixture in the diaries of so many women and increasingly men who need to unwind.  I have always been curious to know what the draw has been and now I do, this little piece of heaven is going to be booked on a yearly basis.  The warm welcome you receive, the care and attention while you’re there deserves the cupboard full of awards and accolades it has.   Best of all it is unpretentious, home-from-home and lives up to its reputation as being one of the best spas in the UK. 

The well-being you feel as you leave Ragdale means you might not be too long before you return.  I was hoping they had lost my car keys, but as it arrived up to the door and my bags collected, I felt sad to leave this haven of delight, but I did leave feeling a million dollars.  

Ragdale Hall Health Hyrdo & Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village. Nr Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. LE14 3PB.  Tel: 01664 433000.

Look out for special packages and breaks in 2016 on their website. www.ragdalehall.co.uk

Kate Morfoot


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Feel a million dollars at Ragdale Hall Spa
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