| Kerene Barefield

Ragdale Hall – Pure Heaven in the Leicestershire Countryside.

At 32-weeks pregnant, I decided that I deserved a short relaxing break before life takes on a different pace. What better way to treat myself than head to Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa. With a team of over 460 staff, this privately owned retreat set amongst the soothing peace of the Leicestershire countryside is a relaxing heaven. The guests are predominantly women (90%) and the 93-bedroom spa offers luxurious pampering with a huge range of facilities including six pools, heat experiences, tennis, boules, pitch ‘n’ putt, croquet, cycling, and a mind gym are all available.  

My aim for my Overnight Reviver Break was total relaxation. On arrival, my mum and I were greeted by the friendly and polite Guest Liaison team who offered a refreshing drink while we were booked in. Valet parking is offered to all guests, and our luggage was whisked up to the room in a matter if minutes.  

Not wanting to waste a minute we headed up to our bedroom where we found our personal schedule detailing times of treatments booked and dinner reservations, along with the full list of available studio classes, information about activities taking place that day. Putting on our fluffy white robes we headed to the restaurant for a three course buffet lunch of fresh fish, salad, homemade hot dishes and a selection of very delicious desserts.

After decided we had both eaten way too much, we spent the remainder of the afternoon unwinding in the Thermal Spa. Attention to detail is everything, from the boundless supply of warm fluffy towels to the specially designed shelves for reading glasses outside each heat room. There are water fountains and features everywhere to calm the senses while a changing dynamic of colours and scents means that no two experiences are the same.

Being pregnant I sadly had to limit my time in the heat experiences, however I was able to fully enjoy the Starlit Candle Pool. Hidden away beside the indoor waterfall this hidden cavern is heated to 34-degrees Celsius and allows you to float away and relax in quiet contemplation.

With the aches and pains of pregnancy I headed for the outside waterfall pool, with its numerous bays and inlets and the added bonus of massage jets at every turn. It was heaven, especially as the snow lightly fell and mist rose from the pool – it created a sense of bathing in a hidden lagoon.

After a few hours of relaxation we headed to the treatment area for our 50 minute Blissful Face & Back Therapy. Not having given it much thought on booking I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this consisted of a back massage and facial. I tried my hardest not to miss a minute by falling asleep, but it was just too good and I found myself drifting off into dreamland. The therapist targeting my aching lower back, working in circular motions from the base of my spine and hips, up to the knots in my shoulders, using an intoxicating blend of lavender, tea tree and almond oil, before starting my facial. Before heading back to our room we decided to visit the latest addition to Ragdale Hall – the new rooftop infinity pool which overlooks the gardens and valleys below. The pool is complemented by a top floor lounge.

Many of the guests choose to stay in their robes from arrival to departure, but we decided to get dressed for dinner which is served in the spas large dining room. Fully relaxed and with a full belly, we were in bed by ten! Bliss….

One of the other big treats that this retreat offers is breakfast in bed! Having chosen what we wanted the night before, at 07:45 (our chosen time) there was a knock on the door and a tray full of wonderful breakfast delights were delivered. Now there aren’t many Sundays I get this kind of service. We decided to spend the rest of our time relaxing just a little bit more by the 25-metre pool and enjoying the thermal spa before we had to head home. One thing I absolutely love about this place is that no matter how full it is, there are always loungers in the spa to relax.  

Ragdale Hall is truly the best, and for me a real pregnancy utopia. Sadly after lunch the time had come for us to leave, venture out in the snow and start our journey back to London.


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