Embraced by the rolling Lancashire countryside, The Woodland Spa is a day spa within the Crow Wood Health & Leisure Club which, in turn, forms part of the Crow Wood Hotel. A destination in its own right, the spa has seven (yes, seven) pools, impressive thermal facilities, a delightful outdoor terrace with its own bar and a 2 AA rosette restaurant. The spa itself is housed in a separate building to the hotel; access it directly from the leisure club car park or - if you are staying overnight - ask the concierge to take you in a golf buggy to arrive in style.
Shall we spa?
The spa reception has double-height windows looking out to the hydrotherapy pool and thermal facilities; it is light and spacious. The treatment rooms and spa restaurant can be found upstairs.
One of the spa reception team greeted us, showed us upstairs to the restaurant for morning coffee and pastries, and talked us through our day using a map (it’s large). Eager to hit the spa we took a slurp and headed back down to the changing rooms.
Fluffy white robe and flip flops on - and belongings placed in one of many large, wooden wristband-operated lockers - we walked passed the limestone-effect showers equipped with Neal and Wolf body wash, shampoo and conditioner to thermal heaven.
The indoor thermal suite is impressive, with its 7.5-metre bubbly hydrotherapy pool taking centre stage surrounded by loungers and columns. We began our journey at the Roman foot baths with their reflexology-effect bubbles before moving onto the three-tier, hotter-than-hot, pine-scented sauna.
You’ll find two steam rooms: a salt steam room and a more traditional humid experience with a delightful rose fragrance. If you're not a fan of the heat, head to the cooler Saunarium overlooking the outdoor terrace and pool, or cool off between heat experiences at the ice fountain, under thecold bucket shower or take control of the temperature yourself under an experience shower.
Despite the wet weather, we braved the outdoor terrace with its three pools: a brilliantly bubbly infinity-edge pool sitting under a retractable roof, two hot tubs and a 12-metre pool, perfect for swimming lengths in more clement weather.
Slump onto a wicker sofa or rattan lounger afterwards and lose yourself in a book or order a cocktail from the Terrace Bar. An enclosed fire pit comes into its own on wintery days, as does the Serenity Room, lined with comfortable rattan cushioned loungers, perfect for an afternoon snooze. A Serenity pool sits - rather unusually - in the centre of the dark area with a fancy fire wall creating flickering light.
Two Rasul mud rooms (bookable at extra cost) and a large, light and airy mani and pedi suite complete the list of facilities.
As The Woodland Spa is part of the Crow Wood Health & Leisure Club, guests wishing to exercise as part of their spa day can make use of the large gym or enjoy a class.
We tried the Medik8 Platinum Facial (75 minutes, £97).
Hayley, my therapist, met me in the treatment waiting area and led me down the Treatment Suite corridor to a softly-lit room with cream and brown furnishings. She then invited me to sit on a chair, explained the treatment, discussed my skincare routine and went through the health questionnaire I completed online prior to arrival. Hayley then left the room so I could snuggle under a blanket on the treatment bed, lying face up.
The facial commenced with an eye cleanse followed by a heavenly-scented facial cleanse to rid my pores of grime. Next up: a bamboo exfoliating facial scrub which warmed up as Hayley smoothed it around my face, working on those areas in need of attention (forehead and jawline). Once removed, Hayley applied a second foaming cleanser to ensure my skin was squeaky clean.
Hayley then massaged my face, neck and arms using slow, firm movements before applying a setting mask, first checking that I was happy for my eyes to be covered (yes please). While the mask worked its magic, Hayley massaged my scalp. The rubbery masked peeled off in one go.
Finishing serums, a slick of moisturiser (with SPF) and a dab of lip conditioner concluded the facial, Hayley ended the treatment with some skincare suggestions, handed me a glass of water and then showed me through to the relaxation room.
How did it measure up?
My blemished jawline felt soothed, while my face looked more radiant. The Medik8 products are pleasantly fragrant; they felt comfortable on my skin and yielded immediate results, too.
Spot of lunch?
The outdoor Terrace Bar serves pretty Tapas dishes plus a good selection of drinks, including cocktails and smoothies.
We stayed in our robes and headed upstairs to 2 AA Rosette Bertram's, the spa’s a la carte restaurant with its green views through floor-to-ceiling windows. On the menu: a classic selection of seasonal dishes such as Cumberland sausage and mash and pan-seared sea bass, as well as soups, sandwiches and homemade desserts. Everything is freshly prepared to order.
Our steak and caramelised onion baguette with a cup of homemade celeriac and honey soup was pleasantly warming; the chocolate and berries dessert to follow was wonderfully indulgent.
Got all day?
You’ll need all day to experience the extensive facilities, lunch and a treatment – thank goodness spa day guests can stay until 9pm.
Short on time?
After a treatment, head to the Serenity Pool and float around in the warm waters without a care in the world.