I’m lucky enough to have visited many a spa over the last few years, both abroad and in the UK. When Mo told me he had been suffering from several weeks of sleepless nights and was struggling to get through our busy social schedules. I thought this was the perfect time for me to book us both in for a full day spa break, to gain some much needed relaxation and rest.
I started looking around for last minute deals on ones that were close by (but still nice). After shortlisting a selection of those that I had tried and tested, along with a couple of new ones, I decided this was no time to be taking risks and decided on the Spa by Kasia at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, near Chester.
Mo and I spent a day here about 3 years ago and since then we have visited others slightly closer to home, but none have been able to offer an overall experience as good as Kasia.
From our home in Manchester it takes us 45 minutes to get to Pulford, we left around 11am armed with a bag each holding our swimsuits, pound for the lockers and a change of clothes just in case. To get to the spa area of the hotel we pass through the hotel reception, through the usually quite busy restaurant (which always smells DIVINE) and then the automatic glass doors open up to welcome us to the tranquil spa and leisure facilities.
As per usual spa formalities, there was a questionnaire to quickly fill out on health conditions and a few questions on any specifics I wanted the spa therapist to know during my treatment. Once that was completed, shoes were removed in exchange for slippers and we followed our spa assistant on a brief refresher tour of where things were.
When you enter Spa by Kasia, the interiors reflect the brand colour of deep purple, mixed in with other rich and relaxing tones. The place has beautiful soft ambient lighting and even the stairs are lit up with tea lights. The noise is kept to a minimum and my favourite thing about the whole place… only 14 guests are allowed to have a day spa pass at any one time. This is the main reason I prefer to come here over others, If there’s one thing I can’t stand in a spa, it’s over-crowding. I don’t think you can really feel the benefit of a spa experience day if there are too many people. My treatment was scheduled for 4pm, Mo’s was an earlier spot at 3 so we decided to get our swimwear on and take to the poolside for an hour or so. The pool is one of my favourite things here. Yes it’s a bit gimmicky with the painted walls and pillars to give it the look of a roman bath, but I love it. Both times we’ve visited there have only been a couple of people there which meant we could leisurely swim up and down at our own pace. Last time I remember literally swimming for hours, enjoying every moment of being in the warm water, feeling like I was in my own world. There’s also a Jacuzzi, perched above the pool (good size) and then a steam room and sauna.
As expected, swimming around had started to cause hunger pangs, luckily there’s a special restaurant/lounge area for spa guests so we could sit and have some lunch in our gowns and slippers. Perfect. We chose 2 starters and 2 mains. All four dishes were delicious. I always knew the spa experience was one of the best I’ve been to but I had forgotten how good the food was! Tomato soup you would assume is a pretty standard dish but this one was just sooo delicious, as if the tomatoes had been freshly picked that day, just for my dish.
After indulging in lunch we headed for the relaxation room. Four wide comfy loungers are laid out, with pillows, blankets and a side table to rest our drinks or magazines. In the corner there’s a platter of fresh fruit for munching and cool water for rehydration. The room is small, cosy, warm and dimly lit. The beautiful black chandeliers have those flickering candle style light bulbs which can be quite mesmerising along with the very distant sound of soothing music. Sure enough, after adjusting my head rest to the right height, positioning my pillows, I snuggled under the blanket ready to take a nap. I don’t know whether it’s the knowledge that these types of rooms have been designed specifically for ‘relaxation’, but the minute I enter and make myself comfy I instantly feel like a weight has been lifted. I can block out any thoughts that don’t relate to what I am doing in that exact moment and I can really enjoy the power nap.
After a quality kip I went to go and explore a new area that had opened, the Zen garden. The weather wasn’t particularly great, it had rained continuously the day before so all the outdoor furniture cushions had been stored away safely but I decided to go and take a short stroll round anyway. Little man made stream, waterfalls, Koi carp ponds and ornaments were perfectly landscaped into the area. I followed the stepping stone path round and the cool air was so refreshing after having spent the last hour snuggled under a blanket. I can only imagine how lovely it must be to sit out with the Japanese maples and listen to the sound of the water when the weather’s a little better.
I met Mo after his treatment so I knew it was time for me to get to the waiting area ready for mine. I had chosen a 60 minute melting honey hot stone massage, working hunched over a desk staring at a computer screen always creates knots in my neck and shoulder muscles so I had asked for attention to be paid on those areas.
Without giving too much away, the massage was a wonderful combination of deep tissue massage by hand (really helps loosen all the muscles) with the honey oil, followed by a lighter touch with the hot stones, known for helping to eliminate toxins and naturally help calm the mind and body. Exactly what I needed. In the past we’ve tried the deep tissue massage and Su-Ko-Thai where they use a hot poultice infused with herbs. Both exceptional, however for any deep muscle tension, I don’t think the Su-Ko-Thai would be suitable as it’s not really designed for muscle manipulation.
The spa also has a couples VIP room facility, which again we’ve used before, so you can have your treatments at the same time. Theres no extra charge for this, you just have to book in advance. There’s also a Hammam and Rasul chamber, both of which we can’t wait to try as the rooms themselves are by far the best I’ve seen.
It was after 5pm by the time my massage was over and as it was a Sunday we decided to call it a day and head home.
Both of us feeling rejuvenated, free from muscle tension and happy that we had spent a lovely day together, without any outside world distractions.
*Some of the images used in this post are taken from the Spa’s official site, I can testify you really do get what you see with this place.