Serene Spy tries a Pro Glow CryO2 Sculpt+ facial

Mar 13 2024

Serene Spy

On the Road

5 min read

Take me with you…

The Spa Hotel at Ribby Hall Village is part of a large holiday complex located right at the end of a long driveway. Set in 100 acres of Lancashire countryside, with a small lake containing a fountain and ducks, the adult-only spa hotel feels a world away from city life. The spa has its own separate entrance and reception area.

Shall we spa?

We were greeted by friendly receptionists in the light, calm reception area, handed a towel and shown through to the changing rooms. These are spacious with grey tiled floors and banks of light and dark brown wooden lockers. You can change in one of three private cubicles or, if you’re staying overnight, change into your robes in the comfort of your room.

All seven glass-sided showers were spotless on our visit, and stocked with Elemis shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Spa goers can dry wet costumes in the spin dryer before making themselves presentable at one of eight marble-topped vanity stations equipped with hairdryers and straighteners. Try the cleanser and toner, and cotton pads on ice.

The star of the spa show is the Aqua Thermal Journey which is so large there’s a wall map to guide you round. Ideally, start in the gentle aroma room then, once acclimatised, enter the mosaic-tiled aroma steam room. Next, you can either massage your warmed limbs in the hydrotherapy pool - with its timed massage jets and swan pipes - or cross over to the mosaic-tiled Balinese salt inhalation room, which was one of our favourites. Cool off with the monsoon showers, ice fountain or cold bucket drench.

Next, try the herbal saunarium or the outdoor rustic sauna which looks over the spa garden. The spa has plenty of woven grey cushioned loungers and egg chairs to rest on, and water coolers to keep you hydrated. Spend some time reclining on warm tepidarium lounger with a magazine, too.

In the Zen Garden, dip your toes in one of the footbaths before enjoying the raised outdoor hot tub with its blue mosaic tiles and eight seats. You’ll find a Zen terrace on the next level with another mosaic hot tub (deliciously hot) and a Himalayan salt sauna, which felt ultra-soothing. For one final treat, order a smoothie or glass of bubbly at the bar.

There are ample places to relax pre- and post treatment, a nicely-equipped gym and a rasul mud chamber, too.

Treatment talk

We tried a Thermotherapy Scrub (25 mins, £35) followed by a Pro Glow CryO2 Sculpt+ facial (60 minutes, £99).

For the scrub, my therapist, Victoria, met me in the thermal area and guided me outside to a small hut with a black marble bed in the centre. Victoria explained the steps of the treatment and then left so that I could get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face up.

Victoria began by using a handheld shower to drench my skin. She then cleaned my body with a vanilla and fig wash before applying a salt scrub. Washing the scrub off, Victoria moved the shower up to my hair, applied shampoo and massaged it in. Victoria then applied an Elemis Rose Cleansing Balm and removed it with cotton pads. Sufficiently washed and buffed, Victoria gifted me a small pot of vanilla and fig moisturiser to keep – a nice touch.

For the Pro Glow CryO2 Sculpt+ facial, my therapist, Abbie, led me to the Elemis Skinlab where photos of my skin were taken to taken to determine the presence of wrinkles, sun damage and blemishes (all better than average, thank goodness). She then guided me to a spacious treatment room where I climbed onto a heated treatment bed and snuggled under a blanket, lying face up.

The treatment began with a thorough cleanse using a rose balm, followed by an energizing cleanser and a spritz of toner. Abbie then used a hand-held ultra-sonic device to deeply exfoliate my skin. A gel eye mask was then placed under my puffy eyes; while this hydrated, Abbie placed a 7-in-1 light therapy mask over my face, set the light to red and treated my right hand and arm to a massage. Changing the light to blue, Abbie then switched the massage to my left hand and arm.

A facial massage to get the blood flowing then preceded a Cryo2 therapy machine, a chunky handset which Abbie moved methodically about my face to sculpt. This felt like cold raspberries being blown on my skin (even the sound was accurate). The treatment ended with a range of Elemis rose products to tone and moisturise.

The Spa at Ribby Hall offers a range of massages, facials and holistic treatments as well as specialist treatments for men, mums-to-be and people being treated for cancer, alongside physiotherapy sessions.

How did it measure up?

The only way Victoria could have improved the Thermotherapy Scrub would be if she had blow-dried my hair afterwards (can you imagine?). The Pro Glow CryO2 Sculpt+ with Abbie was possibly my favourite Elemis facial to date.

Spot of lunch?

You can take breakfast or lunch in your robe or enjoy a dressed dinner at the two AA Rosette The Orangery, a bright restaurant with lime and orange leather chairs and a glass orange chandelier hanging down from a skylight. All menus are fresh and tempting, with many foods locally sourced. There are good vegetarian options, and the chef caters for all dietary requirements.

Staying overnight, we dined the night before our spa visit and tucked into a light starter of smoked beetroot, goats curd, sunflower seed praline and picked radish; this was nutty, light and tasty. Our roast lamb rump with slow cooked shoulder dumpling, spiced red cabbage, honey glazed swede with side of greens was both hearty and flavoursome. The desserts here are a triumph: our cherry Clafoutis and vanilla ice cream was a to die for.

Got all day?

Book a Luxury Spa Dinner Break - with £35 dinner allocation and breakfast - and request to stay in the newly refurbished balcony suite overlooking the lake. In the spa, try theAqua Thermal Journey before booking an Elemis Biotec Facial.

Short on time?

The Aqua Thermal Journey has everything you could wish for, be it hot or cold.


Serene Spy

13th March 2024

Spy Likes:

Soft fluffy robes, imaginative vegetarian food, products that combine luxury with strong eco credentials and spas which look after their therapists’ wellbeing too.

Spy Dislikes:

Showers that aren't spotless, snootiness and having to get dressed for lunch.

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