Ramside Hall is set in 350 acres of leafy grounds near the buzzing city of Durham. If you are staying overnight, book into one of the modern spa bedrooms close to the Spa at Ramside so that can just wander along the corridor in your robe. If your visit is for a special occasion, luxe it up in one of the treehouses adjacent to the 18th fairway of The Prince Bishops Golf Course.
Shall we spa?
There is plenty of spa to play with here - the thermal suite has two saunas, two steam rooms, a caldarium and a mud Rasul, as well as a 25-metre swimming pool that attracts members and serious swimmers alike.
The huge, circular hydropool is the main focus of the spa and where we spent most of the day taking short dips in the bubbly water before snoozing on large, well-padded loungers. We did leave our loungers long enough to venture into the spa garden with its outdoor whirlpool.
Help yourself to fruit-infused water or grab a treat from the tray provided – our chocolate brownie was a welcome treat. Fancy a glass of fizz or a cocktail? Grab the attention of a spa host and order something cold to be delivered to your lounger.
Upstairs you’ll find a quiet realm of treatment rooms and a post-treatment Sleep Sanctuary in which to relax or snooze without interruption. The private balcony infinity pool, a beauty snug (for manicures and pedicures) and the spa day changing rooms (where you’ll find lockers containing towels and flip-flops, and showers with Elemis amenities) are also on this floor.
The Spa at Ramside also has a studio for a range of classes.
We tried a Voya Mindful Dreams Ritual (85 minutes, £139), a full body exfoliation with a sleep-inducing massage using lavender and rose quartz.
Rachel, my therapist, collected me from the treatment waiting area and guided me around a curved, dimly lit corridor to a treatment room with dark wood floors, green walls and a walk-in shower. After talking me through the treatment and discussing any medical issues, Rachel left the room to allow me to disrobe and get comfortable on the heated treatment bed, lying face down.
The treatment began with a cleansing foot ritual followed by three deep breathes of a citrus-y Voya Essence. Rachel then massaged a lavender and rosemary scrub into my back before asking me to turn over so that she could repeat the same on my front. Showing me the shower, I washed the grainy substance off; my skinf felt instantly silky.
Back on the treatment bed face up, Rachel placed a rose quartz crystal in each hand before beginning a sleep-inducing massage using long, continuous Balinese-inspired strokes, which she then repeated on my back. The sound of chimes drifted me out of my relaxed state.
Rachel then showed me to the candle-lit Sleep Sanctuary where I joined my spa partner who was snuggled under a blanket on one of five electric soundwave therapy loungers. Eager to try one of the waterbeds on the other side of the room, I climbed on and starred up at the twinkling lights on the ceiling whilst listening to music - the perfect post-treatment space.
How did it measure up?
I felt calm and rebalanced after the massage; my consistently-tight neck and shoulders felt much looser and the Voya products felt comfortable on my skin. If the aim of this treatment is a good night’s sleep, then it definitely did the trick.
Spot of lunch?
Guests can eat in their robes at the spa’s award-winning pan-Asian restaurant, Fusion, which now has an outdoor terrace area for sunny days. There’s plenty to choose from, including Bento boxes, sandwiches with an Asian twist and full meals such as Pad Thai. There’s a separate menu for vegans, too.
Our spa day package included a sharing Tapas Platter which consisted of pork satay, honey ribs, vegetable spring rolls, Vietnamese duck rolls, Thai fish cakes and tempura king prawns served with dipping sauces and a crunchy, colourful slaw. Breakfast, afternoon tea and evening meals are also available.
Got all day?
Book The Voyager Spa Day and make an energetic start with a few lengths in the 25-metre pool before touring the sauna and steam rooms (feeling brave? Cool down under the ice bucket). Afterwards, head outside to the spa garden and enjoy the fresh air from the comfort of the bubbly hydropool before taking lunch at Fusion. Leave the afternoon free for a treatment followed by a nap in the Sleep Sanctuary.
Short on time?
Book an hour or two in the private balcony infinity pool with its own relaxation area – enjoy a glass of fizz, submerge your shoulders in the warm water and watch the sun set over the golf course.