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Egham, Surrey, TW20 0AG
Has a pool
Has thermal facilities
6 treatment rooms
The runnymede-on-thames in Surrey is a modern hotel complex with great business and family facilities, overlooking the River Thames. It is also home to a delightful spa with everything you need for a perfect spa day, with excellent treatments, facilities, and customer service making this a spa experience not to be missed.
The runnymede-on-thames is a modern, two-storey hotel on the banks of the River Thames, where the Magna Carta was signed by King John in 1215. King John probably arrived on horseback but today the runnymede-on-thames is just moments from the M25 and only 15 minutes' drive from Heathrow Terminal 5.
The spa and health club are in a bright, modern extension to one side of the hotel with a dedicated entrance from the huge car park.
The ground floor of the hotel is large and open-plan and the décor is bright and modern, with plenty of sofas and eating space. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows look onto a beautiful patio area and the River Thames. The atmosphere was buzzy even on a Monday when we visited.
Hotel residents and day guests can use the spa. Spa reception, through a set of glass double doors, has a comfortable waiting area that sets a relaxed tone. The receptionist brings your consultation forms and spa itinerary here.
Another set of glass doors takes you through to the spa proper. The changing rooms have Espa products in the showers plus body lotion for post-shower moisturising. Enjoy the luxury of spa-ing without leaving the changing rooms, as they have a small sauna, and an icy plunge pool for purists. If you have been brave enough, reward yourself on the powerful massage chair close by.
The indoor swimming pool, with floor-to-ceiling windows providing natural light, is big enough to swim serious lengths. When you need to soothe your muscles, try the super-hot whirlpool bath to one side. Loungers are dotted around the pool for relaxing, and the poolside sauna and steam room are both spacious and perfectly heated. There is also a separate indoor children's pool. The outdoor swimming pool is open from May to September. Guests can also use the three tennis courts.
The Garden Room is a bright relaxation area filled with seats and tables and a flat-screen TV, with access to a private garden patio. You can help yourself to juices, hot drinks and fruit.
The large gym has Technogym equipment with built-in TV screens and music docks, as well as free-weights and Power Plates, and a friendly fitness consultant on hand for advice. The dance studio classes cover everything from yoga and Pilates to boxercise and Zumba.
If you have visited the runnymede-on-thames in the past, you may remember Aquitaine, the decadent private spa suite. Aquitaine was damaged by recent flooding and is currently out of action, sadly.
The hotel has 181 bedrooms and suites, many overlooking the river. We were lucky enough to stay in a huge double room with river views, gorgeous bed linen and Espa products in the bathroom.
We had the Aromatherapy Massage with Hot Stones (55 minutes, £75) and the Signature Crystal Facial (70 minutes. £75)
Having dashed up the M3, I arrived at the runnymede-on-thames hot and bothered. Chloe, my therapist, was like a ministering angel: welcoming, cool and very calming. She took me to the candle-lit treatment room, offered me a seat and gave me a long glass of iced lemon water while she explained my treatments.
Chloe offered me a selection of oils to smell by dabbing them on my skin. The idea is that your sense of smell helps you choose what your body needs just at that moment; you might choose a different oil on a different day.
Chloe asked me to undress down to my knickers and lie face down on the treatment bed. I have had hot-stone massages before and been fairly underwhelmed so I did not have very high hopes; Chloe spent the next 55 minutes restoring my faith.
The stones were hot and stayed hot. While Chloe worked on the back of my legs, I could not tell whether it was stones or her hands in contact with my skin. In the end, I just relaxed into this wonderful treatment. In fact, I relaxed so deeply that Chloe had to wake me to turn over. She performed the same magic on the front of my body, using a folded towel to cover my chest, then stood behind my head to massage oil through my scalp.
I was now in a very different state to the state in which I had arrived. All I had to do was lie back and enjoy the facial that followed.
Chloe used the Espa Skin Vision Lamp to assess my skin. I was able to see, too, as Chloe gave me a mirror. Using ultra-violet light, the lamp shows dehydrated skin as purple, while congested skin appears orange. I looked like a panda with dark purple circles around both eyes!
Chloe exfoliated my skin with hydrating cleansing milk and refining skin polish. After removing the cleanser with hot mitts, she applied the gorgeously rich Nourishing Cleansing Balm which she removed using a muslin cloth. Chloe applied eye cream to my dehydrated eye area before placing a hot stone under each shoulder, then massaged my face with oil.
The rose-quartz crystals, after which this facial is named, had been in a bowl of iced water; Chloe now used them to gently massage my face, using the rounded ends on pressure points. The cold of the crystals felt wonderful as I was completely cosy on the heated treatment bed, tucked under a duvet. I was barely awake but I did register Chloe applying a moisturising face mask. I drifted away again as she massaged pink mud into my hair and scalp.
Chloe woke up my skin by using an ice-cold muslin cloth to wipe off the mask. She applied firming concentrate to my eyes, and serum and moisturiser to the rest of my face. Completely serene and glowing, I emerged from the treatment room a very different person to the one who had entered two hours earlier.
The runnymede-on-thames claims to "put the treat into treatments" and they are very good at what they do. The spa menu offers a range of anti-ageing facials from Guinot, ESPA massages and wraps, and finishing beauty touches such as manicures, pedicures and waxing.
If you are visiting for a spa day, you will choose from a short menu of light meals and snacks in The Garden Room, part of the health club and spa area. People in robes mix quite naturally with those in sportswear.
All three of the hotel's restaurants look out onto the river. Left Bank offers buffet dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had breakfast there and were spoilt for choice with the spread of fruit, cereals, pastries and smoothies. The riverside terrace is a popular destination in the summer months.
The Lounge is full of sofas and comfy chairs with people chatting and having meetings. You can order a sandwich or afternoon tea and cocktails, too.
The Lock Bar and Kitchen -- named after the Bell Weir lock that it overlooks -- is a relaxed eatery serving traditional comfort food for lunch and dinner. We had a creamy spiced lentil soup and scallops served with a cauliflower puree; both from the specials board, and both delicious.
We loved the buzzy vibe of the runnymede-on-thames; brilliant for people watching.
We loved that the spa treatment rooms and corridor were lit by candles: so soothing.
We didn't love not having a relaxation room. After a treatment this good, we definitely wanted to lie in a darkened room and drift away for a while.
Those in search of eternal youth! The spa team at the runnymede-on-thames pride themselves on their anti-ageing knowledge and treatments.
Anyone who wants a tailor-made spa experience: the spa has a dedicated reservations team who will spend time on the phone with you when you book to ensure that your spa experience is exactly what you need it to be.
The hotel at runnymede-on-thames caters for families, so the spa offers treatments for teenagers as well as mums and teens who want to spa together. The spa menu also includes treatments for mums-to-be and for men, alongside pamper days and half-days, and overnight spa breaks.
We gave the runnymede-on-thames a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 bubbles. The spa is luxurious with top-notch treatments and excellent customer service. The only thing that lets the spa down is the lack of a dedicated relaxation room.
Super Spy visited the runnymede-on-thames in September 2014
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Egham, Surrey, TW20 0AG
The Lock Bar and Kitchen for informal dining at lunch and dinner; the Leftbank Restaurant for an all-day buffet menu; The Lounge for light lunches and afternoon tea.
8am - 8pm every day