A fantastic chance to relax and unwind in Staffordshire
Product: Spa days from £89, stays from £169, www.hoarcross.co.uk Price: £89.00 Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
What they say...
The basic spa stay package includes check in and use of facilities from 2pm; welcome drink and introduction; three-course dinner, breakfast and lunch; robe, towel and slippers; unlimited access to spa and leisure facilities; check out at 11am but continue your break until 8pm. Treatments etc can be added or packages upgraded.
What our tester said...
Looking for a spa break that won’t break the bank, that’s more accessible than London but not a million miles away from major transport routes?
We spent a night at Staffordshire’s Hoar Cross hotel to see what its spa and hospitality had to offer.
Our stay included access to the spa, dinner, bed and breakfast and a sumptuous lunch on our second day. We were also treated to the latest anti-ageing GeneO facial which uses heated, laser technology.
After a warm welcome we quickly found our stunning suite and enjoyed a complimentary beverage, before slipping into our robes and heading downstairs to explore the spa area.
While all rooms are beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean, the older part of the building is in need of some accessible renovations. The lift is narrow and would struggle to accommodate a wheelchair, for example.
Likewise it is easy to distinguish which of the pools and changing areas was once adapted from the original building (much of the relaxation pool area seems to be converted from what was once ‘below stairs’) and which areas have been added later on.
The newer areas, including a salt water pool, steam and sauna areas, jacuzzis, the delightful aqua massage area and the treatment ‘hub’ are stunning. Our favourite bit was the row of heated stone loungers, covered in tiny ceramic tiles and moulded perfectly to provide ultimate comfort and wiggle room for our bottoms. There is plenty to keep you happy for hours until treatment time.
Our GeneO facials lasted 60 minutes and cost £89. The spa staff were very helpful and informative, and though there were disclaimer forms to sign because our treatment involved lasers, the therapists put us at ease throughout the process.
The treatment was very warming, so perhaps not one for serial hot flush sufferers. However it was also heavenly. Following a period of exfoliation and massage, a thick gel mask is applied and a laser wand is gently guided over your skin.
It’s hard to relax to begin with, but you do get used to the sensation and your skin feels fantastic afterwards. The brightening and lifting effects promised at the outset were delivered almost immediately. No make up necessary for dinner, even.
The evening meal is served in the Ballroom, a fabulous reception area in the old Hall, and the food is excellent. After dinner we enjoyed live music in the bar area before retiring to bed.
The following day we had to vacate our room by 11am but the lockers in the spa are plenty big enough for most overnight bags. Otherwise staff can recommend alternative storage.
Lunch provided during spa breaks is served in close proximity to the treatment areas, so eating in your robe and slippers is entirely acceptable! Be prepared for three delicious courses that will have you heading for somewhere to lie down as soon as possible. By the time we reached lunch I was almost falling asleep in my seta, which just shows how relaxing our weekend was.
Overall: a great value spa break, perfectly situated in the Midlands, with good food and mostly excellent facilities. When current renovations are completed, Hoar Cross will be a serious contender for a place in the UK’s Top 10 Getaway Spots.