SHOW me whirlpools, mud chambers, aromatherapy rooms, saunas, the whole relaxation caboodle, but there is one thing that tops the lot — an infinity pool.
I can’t think of a better way to switch off than a dunk in an al fresco rooftop pool while gazing across a glorious landscape. In the case of Ragdale Hall Spa, in Melton Mowbray, Leics, said infinity pool is atop the old redbrick manor house, overlooking the countryside.
I visited in the summer but the newest addition to Ragdale’s sprawling facilities is set to 35C all year – toasty enough for the crispest of winter nights.
Next, I head to the spacious, well-oiled treatment area, where guests are ushered to a room for their luxury facials or massages.
I have a solid 50 minutes of therapy on my face and back. The therapist loosens up any knots in my shoulders before delicately steaming and massaging my face. Just as I’m nodding off, the treatment is over.
There’s then only one thing for it – another dip. But this time, I try out the mansion’s five other pools, both indoor and outdoor, and have a grand tour of the thermal spa area which includes a volcanic-salt bath, cave shower and waterfall pool.
When I start to resemble a prune, I take a break from the water.
But this doesn’t mean home time, as the 40-year-old spa is like a mini town where you need never remove your dressing gown.
Like every tourist destination worth its bath salts, Ragdale has its very own gift shop, plus a boutique full of luxury brands such as Elemis, and a clothes and footwear shop.
There’s a hair salon and express beauty bar where you can get your nails done, or have a quick blow dry. I popped into the gym and checked out a Pilates workshop – there’s a full timetable of fitness classes for all levels – before taking advantage of the garden games.
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Even blokes can’t help but have a laugh when playing giant Jenga, boules or croquet. Not to mention the complimentary mountain bikes available for a leisurely whizz around the glorious grounds.
And if all else fails, head to the bar. A spa day isn’t complete without a glass of fizz or two.
Last but not least, the food. If you’re looking for a juice or detox retreat, this is not that kind of a spa. I had to restrain myself at the delicious hot-and-cold buffet lunch but went to town on the three-course dinner. And the next morning, a continental breakfast of croissants, fruit and yoghurt was served to my room.
This place has thought of almost everything. It does not disappoint.
- Two nights’ full-board at Ragdale Hall is from £182 per person based on two sharing and including unlimited use of spa, gym and exercise classes as well as a 50-minute pampering treatment. Day or evening packages start from £65 per person. See ragdalehall.co.uk or call 01664 433 030.
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