11 indulgent spa getaways in East Anglia
- Credit: Contributed
Norfolk Mead, Coltishall
Nestled deep in the idyllic Broads, the Norfolk Mead boutique hotel at Coltishall provides a real retreat if you’re in search of rest and relaxation.
There are two luxury treatment rooms which, as spa manager Eliza Heaffey explains, have been designed to create a multi-sensory experience to help guests unwind from the minute they step through the doors.
“Our rooms have a Thai/Indonesian vibe with dark wood, peaceful Buddhas and fresh lemongrass incense which gives that well-loved spa smell, wafting through the hotel,” she says.
Open to both hotel guests and local residents, they offer four different types of massage, starting from £39. The newest addition to the treatment menu is the Hot Herbal Massage, which Eliza says makes a nice alternative to a hot stone massage.
“It uses Asian compresses filled with oats, herbs and spices that are soaked, steamed and massaged over the body to really push warmth into the muscles,” says Eliza.
“I haven’t seen anywhere else local offer this treatment and it is really indulgent and relaxing.”
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They use products by the Natural Spa Factory for their facials and body scrubs.
“They smell absolutely incredible, but more importantly are all paraben and chemical-free, environmentally-conscious, come in eco-friendly packaging and the business is UK-based,” says Eliza. “Most of their ranges are vegan now too.”
They also offer beauty treatments such as manicures and pedicures and waxing.
Eliza says that she’s proud that during the coronavirus lockdown all their therapists completed a specialist oncology diploma to enable them to treat people undergoing or who have recently had cancer treatment.
“It’s always been so sad to have to turn away a client who must have been in real need of some relaxation and pampering, due to simply not being covered by insurance, so we’re all extremely excited to be able to offer these new treatments and love being able to include everyone.”
They offer a range of packages, from overnight stays to twilight treats.
In addition to the treatment rooms, there is a lounge area and bar which leads out on to a terrace in the Walled Garden, complete with a canopy, lights and heater.
“By far our most popular package is our afternoon tea and treat, closely followed by Sunday lunch and treat,” says Eliza.
Talbooth House & Spa, Dedham
Tucked along a leafy lane, deep in Constable Country, Talbooth House & Spa offers luxurious rooms, afternoon teas, and purely relaxing day treatments, day spas and spa packages.
The venue, which sits in gorgeous manicured grounds in its own ‘microclimate’ (it always seems to be bright and balmy here) has recently undergone an expansion of its spa area, set around a heated outdoor pool with its own hot tub, sauna, log burning fire, showers and changing areas.
“It’s an oasis of calm,” says Sue Tasker of the Milsom group. “We have beautiful views over the Dedham Vale, and a super team of knowledgeable therapists, who go out of their way to ensure every single guest leaves happy and relaxed.”
Talking about the expansion, Sue says: “The idea came about from the Milsom family during the last lockdown. They recognised that the original pool house really was under-utilised so, building on the success of the spa at Kesgrave it was decided to convert it. We now have three treatment rooms (two twin and one single) in that space, in addition to the three treatment rooms in the house.
“We have several packages including half and full spa days, using brands such as Elemis and OPI.”
Guests can choose to have lunch at nearby Talbooth Restaurant (which can also supply picnic lunches to enjoy at Talbooth House) or Milsoms, and afternoon teas are available to book as a lovely addition to your day.
The spa’s signature treatment is the Head to Toe. Lasting 160 minutes (£209), it’s the ultimate in pampering, including a 55-minute Elemis Touch facial, 55-minute Elemis full body massage, and a file and paint for hands and feet.
Need to unwind in the evening? Book the Afterhours Spa (£110). Available Monday to Wednesday, the experience begins at 5.40pm with use of the facilities, a glass of fizz and a 25-minute treatment of your choice. Finish the night with dinner at Milsoms, with a £30 voucher included.
The Pigs, Edgefield
If you want to make a break of it, The Pigs at Edgefield, near Holt, takes the spa experience to the next level.
Here every luxury room has its own private in-room spa facilities, including a sauna, private courtyard and firepit and some have hot-tubs and steam rooms.
Bubble and Squeak is perfect for a family of four, while The Wallow has masses of space where you can, well, do exactly that.
And set out over two floors the Sty in the Sky has gorgeous views across the Norfolk countryside.
Also open to non-residents, they offer a range of Pigspa treatments, including massages and facials, plus manicures and pedicures to get your trotters into shape.
We love the sound of the Complete Hogwash (£125) – 120 minutes of pure relaxation, with a Whole Hog body scrub, express facial and hand and arm massage.
Couples treatments are a speciality here – as are their bespoke pre and post-piglet treatments for mums.
To really get your day off to a good start, the Pigspa offers a Sunrise Spa (£75 per person).
Arrive at a very civilised 9.30am so you can still get a lie-in, then enjoy an invigorating 60-minute head massage and an express facial to get your skin glowing, before sitting down to a delicious Pigs Pub breakfast.
Or for a treat to help you unwind after a hard day at work, the Twilight Spa (also £75 per person) includes a 40-minute treatment and a three-course dinner.
Treatments and experiences need to be booked in advance.
Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, Newmarket
The contemporary spa at Bedford Lodge puts you in the lap of luxury. From the moment you step through the door, there’s an air of serenity. Gentle music. The scent of essential oils. A soothing colour scheme.
Pop-in to use the facilities as a day spa guest. After grabbing your robe and towel, head into the cocoon of the heated spa area, with its jet-filled pool, sauna, steam room, experience showers, chill-out rooms, and roof-top hot tub.
Or sample one of the signature treatments, including a gorgeous Balinese massage with hot stones (£137). During the experience, warm aromatherapy oils are poured over the body and smoothed into the skin using heated volcanic stones.
Packages this summer include Dusk & Dine (£79) using the spa facilities, followed by a meal in the award-winning Squires restaurant, a Cheese & Wine Spa Evening (£85) including three hours’ use of the spa facilities, followed by a platter of local artisan cheeses and a glass of wine, and Evening Bliss (from £100) including three hours in the spa, and a 35-minute massage or mini facial.
Lotus Spa, Thompson Hall Retreat, near Thetford
During the pandemic, many of us have rediscovered how soothing it can be to get out into the great outdoors and connect with nature.
Nestled in woodland between Thetford and Watton, at Lotus Spa at Thompson Hall Retreat you can indulge in some serious forest bathing.
The luxury hideaway opened the one-of-a-kind outdoor spa in May. The centrepiece is the natural swimming pool (a very pleasant 25 degrees), complete with its own ‘beach’, a safari tent chill out area, a barrel sauna, an aqua trainer where you can swim against the current, hot tub, showers, a massage pod, and, one for devotees of Wim Hof, an ice bath.
And their gorgeous outdoor baths, hidden away under a canopy in the middle of the woods, are due to be unveiled in July.
They have visiting therapists offering a range of treatments – and packages include the dreamy-sounding Spa Pamper Package (£75).
Available Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am to 3pm guests can enjoy a 30-minute treatment (choose from the foot ritual, back massage, pedicure or scalp massage) and a light lunch, as well as exploring the facilities, soaking up the idyllic surroundings and switching off from the daily grind.
Owner Amanda Benton’s favourite treatment is their foot ritual.
“Your feet are soaked in our home-grown dried rose petal and mint,” she says. “We then use the Natural Spa Factory’s Fig and Vanilla Scrub to exfoliate and finish with Sole Food Foot Nutrition Cream, which is heaven,” she says.
When the outdoor baths are completed, guests will be able to enjoy the experience with a glass of bubbles and a fruit, cheese or antipasti platter.
Weavers’ House Spa, Lavenham
The iconic Swan hotel’s spa in the centre of the medieval village prides itself on being a little bit different to your average hotel retreat.
Everything, from the colour scheme and music, to the scents within the building have been considered to place guests into a cocoon away from it all. Little touches such as an arrival smoothie, and sweet treats, add to the experience.
The spa has just introduced the brand-new, exclusive ONE treatment by Tribe517 (£125), whose carefully curated holistic products have been created with a focus on wellbeing of the mind and body.
The treatment lasts 90 minutes, beginning with a massage using warm avocado, sweet orange and vanilla oil, packed with antioxidants. This is followed by a white chocolate and coconut sugar scrub to dust away dry skin, and a conditioning whipped melt for long-lasting moisture.
Until the end of July, the spa is offering a limited edition 60-minute Spa Tool Kit treatment (£85) from Tuesday to Thursday. It combines a warm, wavestone back massage to relieve tension, and Temple Spa’s Facial Tool Kit to revitalise the eyes and face. The package includes an hour unwinding in the spa’s heat sweet with an outdoor pool, steam room, sauna, garden terrace and relaxation lounge.
The Old Post Office, Harleston
Housed in a former bank vault, the Hammam at The Old Post Office at Harleston must be one of the most unique spas in the country.
And with 10 different massages on offer it might have one of the most extensive treatment menus too.
Owner Claire Myers-Lamptey spent three years transforming the landmark Georgian town centre building into a luxury guest house and spa.
As she explains, Hammams originate from the Middle East, and are similar to saunas.
It was a perfect way to give one of the building’s most interesting historic features a new lease of life.
“This hammam was created out of the former bank vault, still with the original exposed brickwork with reinforced iron. Traditional Hammam designs are based on an arched ceiling, perfectly adaptable to what is an arched vault,” she says.
The indulgent list of massage therapies on offer at TOPO, as it’s affectionately known, include Himalayan salt massage, Balinese, Hawaiian, LomiLomi, Ayurvedic and traditional hot stone, reflexology, Swedish and deep tissue. They also offer Moroccan Natural facials, luxury manicures and pedicures and waxing.
There is the option of completing your day spa by adding sharing platters, afternoon tea or Julia Martin of Purple Plum catering’s Lebanese meze – and guests have the use of one of the luxury bedrooms to get changed in during their visit.
During June guests can book in to the Hammam with afternoon tea for £45.
All Saints Hotel, Golf & Spa
Found just on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds, All Saints has everything you need for the idyllic getaway. A superb 18-hole golf course (with the river Lark running through), two eateries (including 2 AA Rosette restaurant The View), and a spa with a state-of-the-art gym, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, relaxation rooms, and new outdoor hot tub.
The Health Hub Spa uses the ever-indulgent Temple Spa brand within its treatments – the most spectacular being the 90-minute Champagne and Truffles facial, which hotel director Hannah Cuthbertson says is the crème de la crème. Your treatment begins with a double cleanse, followed by a glycolic resurfacing peel, a skin-destressing alginate mask and cold stone therapy, and a skin-lifting and muscle-firming massage. A glass of Champagne and chocolate truffle complete the experience.
Current offers at the spa include the Afternoon Retreat (£99) available daily, including a 60-minute Drift Away massage or My Kinda Skin facial, full use of the facilities, and a luxury afternoon tea, and the Ultimate Day Retreat (£99) including a Drift Away Massage, My Kinda Skin facial, full use of facilities, and luxury afternoon tea.
The Secret Garden Spa, Congham Hall
Close to Sandringham House, The Secret Garden Spa at Congham Hall is a simply beautiful place to unwind.
The Georgian manor is hidden away in 30 acres of glorious west Norfolk parkland.
The hall is well-known for its herb garden, and it incorporates vitamin and anti-oxidant rich seasonal herbs and flowers into its signature treatments such as the aromatic Muscle Melt Massage (£90).
The 60-minute treatment combines stimulating ho leaf and rosemary balm with deep tissue massage to soothe sore and tight muscles.
There’s a range of spa packages available, combining treatments and use of the spa facilities, which include a 12-metre swimming pool with gorgeous views, a sunken outside hot tub, experience showers and a thermal suite with a sauna, steam room and bio-sauna.
Stoke By Nayland Hotel & Spa, Stoke By Nayland
The family-run hotel celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer. Over those five decades the directors (all members of the family) have utterly transformed the venue, to become a destination encompassing modern hotel rooms, the Apple Tree Lodges resort, two much-loved golf courses, a driving range, two restaurants (including AA Rosette-awarded eatery The Lakes), a shop, high-tech gym and, of course, the Peake Spa.
The spa offers multiple breaks and half day and day options, focussing on treatments using the blissful Neom product line.
Relax in the pool, sauna, steam room or hot tub. Or book in with up to four friends to try out the Rasoul suite, covering your bodies in different types of mud, before sitting in the dedicated heated room, where a tropical rain is released at the end of the session, cleansing your skin and leaving you feeling super-cleansed.
The hotel’s seasonal spa day offer is now on. The Summer Sparkle Spa Day (£109) is available until September 30, and includes a refreshment on arrival, afternoon tea or a lunch platter with a glass of fizz, a 55-minute treatment including a watermelon, beet and yuzu scrub, body moisturiser application, mini Decleor facial, full use of the spa facilities, and complimentary use of robes and towels.
Upgrade to add bed and breakfast from £43.50 per person (based on two people sharing).
Marketing director Tamara Unwin says: “My most favourite treatments in Peake Spa are from the Neom collection, which focus on four areas of wellbeing – happiness, de-stressing, energising and sleep. These 25, 55 and 85-minute treatments feature a combination of shiatsu and Thai massage, guided meditation and trigger point and reflexology techniques.
Book any 55 or 85-minute Neom treatment from now up to July 31, quoting EADT, and you’ll receive a free Neom gift.
Spa Kesgrave Hall
“The Spa at Kesgrave Hall is popular with hotel and local guests alike,” says Alice Milsom. “Drawing from the natural beauty of its woodland surroundings, Spa Kesgrave Hall blends seamlessly into the Suffolk countryside. It's a haven of relaxation and rejuvenation, with five double treatment rooms, a huge hot tub, sauna, covered terrace, and log burning fire.”
A range of spa days and breaks is available, including the Afterhours Spa from 5.30pm (£110) including use of the facilities, a glass of prosecco on arrival and a 25-minute treatment, from a list including an Elemis Touch facial, Elemis Lime & Ginger of Frangipani body polish, Elemis back, neck and shoulder massage, or file and polish for hands and feet. A £30 voucher to use within the Milsoms Kesgrave Hall restaurant is included.
Alice says she’s very excited about the spa’s newest treatment – the lava shell massage, priced from £65 for 40 minutes.
“It’s a must for hot stone massage fans. This heat treatment uses tiger clam shells as a massage tool. The shells used to be thrown away but now are recycled, making this a natural eco-friendly spa treatment. The heat from the shells will gently relax tense muscles and smooth away any knots - leaving you feeling revitalised and rebalanced.”
You can add a lava shell to the 25 back, neck and shoulder massage for an additional £10.