The spa half day packages normally run 12-4, but they can be a bit flexible, and we did 10-2 instead. On arrival, the very friendly Colleen showed us around the premises, which are tardis-like! There’s a sizeable indoor pool, with jacuzzi and infrared sauna. This leads through to a lounge where tea is served, leading out onto a balcony overlooking a decked area with an outdoor plunge pool, jacuzzi and sun loungers. Downstairs are the two treatment rooms, and a relaxation lounge that leads out onto the decking. There’s a further conservatory lounge upstairs too. It’s really a very plush set up, and there’s a lot of attention to detail, with relaxing music and pretty tealights to help maintain a spa ambience. Shower and changing facilities are good, with lockers for your belongings.
We changed into our swimwear and robes to enjoy our welcome cuppas on the balcony, as it was set to be a stunning day. A nice touch was that we were also given a few mini-bites of flapjacks and millionaire’s shortbread as well as our beverages. It was fairly quiet when we were there – only one other person at the outside pool, and then a party of four ladies arrived a bit later. The inside pool had a few parents and children from the cottages in. After taking in the setting and receiving our itineraries, we opted to use the outdoor pool, which was wonderful – the jacuzzi was nice and warm and the larger pool was cool on such a warm day.
I was then booked in for an aromatherapy full body massage with a friendly therapist, Marie, who was excellent. The treatment rooms are cosy and comfortable, and I was impressed with the products used. Produced by a company based in Devon, the ‘Aromatika’ range uses 97% natural ingredients, which as a fan of natural skincare, I approved of wholeheartedly.
After my wonderful massage, which helped relieve my knotty-neck (bloggers’ curse!), I lay out on a sunlounger and read some magazines, using the pool to cool off in every now and again. Absolute bliss. My companion came out of her massage and said that it was ‘total relaxation’. A happy birthday girl!
It was time then for a cream tea. We went back on to the balcony and were served tea, sandwiches on granary bread, and scones with clotted cream and jam, all on Cath Kidston china. The sandwiches were cheese and pickle, and ham and tomato, and the scones were plain and fruited. Very good scones actually, light in texture, and the helpings of cream and jam were most generous.
After tea there was time for either another quick dip or a go in the infrared sauna, and then it was time to hand in our robes and slippers, and bid farewell to the oasis of calm. A truly relaxing and indulgent experience – we loved it!
Spa packages start from £70 at Hartland House Retreat. I paid full price, and the spa wasn’t aware I was writing a review. As always, views are my own!