Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Whittlebury Hall // A birthday spa getaway (Also what I wore)!





As a little birthday treat, Dan and I booked onto another spa weekend, this time at Whittlebury Hall, not too far from us in Northampton. Before we went, I looked up a few reviews online, and quite a few of them were pretty negative. I usually swear by trip advisor, but the reviews on there couldn't have been more wrong and we both left Whittlebury Hall dying to book it again straight away.

After a somewhat disappointing stay at Sopwell House a couple of months ago, I wasn't too sure what to expect, especially with those reviews in the back of my mind. We were, however, greeted to our room with a small bottle of wine, bottled water, popcorn, sweets and cookies, and I got even more excited when I saw the double sinks and Elemis goodies in the bathroom. Yes, although clean, the room was a little dated and the fake plant was a little odd, but the view over the golf fields were amazing, and the room was well equipped, cosy, and homely. I settled in immediately and it was a lovely environment to return to after using the spa.

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These 2 pictures c/o Whittlebury

I don't even know where to start on the Spa, but it deserves a decent description. Tours are given on request and I'm glad we asked, because we never would've found the gems by ourselves. We started off with a snooze on the floatation beds, near the treatment area. Raised warm water beds, behind chiffon curtains and softly lit - A perfect place to start a relaxed trance. There was also a 'quiet room' in this area with beds and duvets, which we fell asleep in for two whole hours completely undisturbed, oops! 
In fact, the the whole upstairs treatment area played the most beautiful Enya music throughout - no cheesy calming music here! Dan and I both love Enya so to hear their new album here was just the icing on a scrumptious cake!
Regrettably, we didn't book any actual treatments so I can't comment there, but I did notice that there were more treatment rooms than any other spa I've been to, there are over twenty, along with 'self facial' classes three times a day. There is also a huge shop with Clarins, Esme and Elemis products, all available to play with, and of course I ended up buying a few Clarins items as a result.

We then used the Heat and Ice facilities that are pretty unique to Whittlebury Hall. Basically, theres a giant room with a hydro-jacuzzi pool in the centre. Around the hydro pool are several facilities designed to slowly heat the body and relax the muscles before quickly cooling the body in the ice cave or with the bucket shower, and thus boosting circulation. We started with the Tepidarium, warm, tiled beds, and then moved onto the foot bath and the warm bench overlooking the hydro-pool. Then onto the Caldarium which is a relaxing warm room. There are two 'dry' heat rooms, the Sanarium, which is like a sauna, but a little cooler with quiet bird song and rainforest style light effects, and the boiling hot sauna which has a starlit ceiling. I loved the steam rooms too, one with salt for added skin benefits, and the standard steam room for respiratory benefit.

The idea is to go from bathing, cooling down, warming up, to regenerate the body, and it really works so much better than a usual sauna to pool. Reading about it beforehand seemed confusing to me, but the facilities can just be used clockwise, getting hotter in temperature as you move round, though the ice cave and bucket shower are fairly obvious. We also spent time in the quieter pool area (which is so much bigger than it looks, again), and the bigger Jacuzzi area.

Little touches like the lighting in the rooms were really missed on the website and it really doesn't do the place justice, at all. Looking at their pictures, I think they're years old! The spa generally had a roman/egyptian style to it, right down to the themed water fountains. It all looked a bit tacky in the photos, and I wish I could've got our own of the spa area, but it was fitting throughout and actually a little fun - The paintings on the walls were well done and featured lots of hidden animals which, for the kid in me, was kind of fun, though I'm sure Dan wasn't too amused every time I pointed them out.

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whittlebury-spa-macaron

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Dinner outfit //
Jacket - Topshop
Tshirt - Choies*
Jeans - Next
Shoes - Nine West @ Tkmaxx
Watch - Swatch

Before retreating to our room and going for dinner, we did go to a 'chocolate making session' which just turned out to be a little bit awkward and actually, just adding decoration to ready made chocolates around a crowded table with a queue - So we 'made' one chocolate and snuck out with another couple. The dinner by the way, was much more appealing. I had the best beef I've ever eaten, and devoured my first ever macaron. I completely understand the hype behind these things now.
Above is the outfit I wore for dinner - The jacket, shoes and t-shirt are all new, and are three of my all time favourite items. The t-shirt is made of thick, mega soft (almost flannel material) and the jacket is just a gorgeous colour and shape. The pointed shoes are 'so not me' but I fell in love with them instantly, it happens! 

Anyway, looking at the websites, I would choose Sopwell House immediately, but after going to both, I'll probably not go back to Sopwell house as it just felt like a gym/leisure club that we invaded. Whittlebury hall is practically a leisure club too, but there are so many parts of the spa, and different things to discover that it doesn't really seem busy and offers the true relaxing experience that a spa really should. I want to go back now. 

Have you been here before? Would you go?
Where is your favourite spa?
S xx

13 comments:

  1. looks amazing! you really suit your dark hair! :)

    http://iamcollecting.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I'm heading to Whittlebury Hall in June - me and my sister are taking my mum for a late mothers day gift! They have both been before and swear by it but it's been nice to read a review from someone more close to my age so now I know what to really expect and what type of things I'll enjoy. I'm very excited now :) Fab review, thank you! xxx

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    1. Ohh you'll have to let me know what you think of it - I loved it! :D x

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  3. Oh it sounds like a lovely weekend. I've done the odd spa day but never stayed at one, I wonder about taking my mum there for her bday later in the year.
    I've never tried a macaron either, don't really get the hype.

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    1. I totally get the hype now, they're sooo nice! And pretty, they're colourful dammit!

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  4. I've been to Whittleberry Hall twice, both times about 5 years ago - once with an ex boyfriend and then again with my Mum and sisters - and I really enjoyed it both times. I've never been to any other spa hotel though so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I did love the heat & ice experience (especially getting my sister to stand under the big jug of cold water so I could tip it all over her!)
    x

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    1. Its lovely isn't it?! To be honest I don't think you need to try anywhere else as everything is there! :D

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  5. This is stunning, looks so so gorgeous <3 love the blue blazer too xx

    Stephanie

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    1. T'is my Hilary Devay jacket - Glad you like <3

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  6. I love Whittlebury hall i went for a weekend on my 21st and the spa was amazing :)

    Tanesha x
    www.tanesha-marie.com

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  7. I'm working my ass off at the moment so I'd love to go to a spa weekend sometime soon!
    This looks amazing!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, I love hearing your thoughts! Do feel free to contact me at fridayisforever@gmail.com xx