Serene Spy tries an Aromatic Moor Mud Tension Relief Treatment

Jan 23 2023

Serene Spy

On the Road

4 min read

Take me with you…

Set in acres of formal gardens and surrounded by the Derbyshire countryside, Ringwood Hall is set in a rather peaceful location. As the name suggests, The Garden Secret Spa is a hidden gem tucked behind the main hotel, surrounded by flowerbeds and trees.

Shall we spa?

We received a warm welcome at the spa’s reception and shown through to the Glasshouse Brasserie. Staff offered us a refreshing apple, banana, strawberry, pear and oats smoothie shot (five a day: tick) while we filled out consultation forms.

Our spa host, Jess, met us here, and talked us through our day before showing us around. The changing rooms occupy a large, light space with banks of lockers lining one wall and a comfortable leather bench in front by which to change. We found a fluffy beige robe, towel, branded flip-flops and a little welcome note from the spa team inside the locker. Two grey-tiled showers are stocked with Pevonia shampoo, conditioner, and body wash; you’ll also find two toilets, and a dressing table complete with hairdryers and straighteners.

Prepare to be wowed by the striking design of the thermal area… in the centre you’ll find a large, kidney-shaped hydropool with shimmering tiles and rattan loungers with plump cream cushions in front of a faux living wall. A black mirror above reflects the movement of the water. The pool has two massage chairs at one end, benches along one side, and Jacuzzi-style seating at the other.

We started our thermal journey at the two self-filling footbaths. Next, we moved on to the gentlest heat experience: the Himalayan salt sauna, set to 45 degrees. This overlooks a pretty terrace and green trees, and could seat four. You’ll find the blossom steam room - with its blue tiles, seasonal mulled wine scent and seating for four - next door.

Our favourite thermal experience was the large herbal sauna which has charming views of the gardens. Cool off in between heat experiences under the experience showers or by grabbing handfuls of ice from the ice fountain.

There are plenty of places to relax at The Garden Secret Spa with two relaxation rooms: one light; one dark, both located on the upper floor. The former also has a foliage wall at one end, a cherry blossom tree at the other and six loungers with blankets and colourful armchairs; the latter eight reclining loungers and mood lighting. There's an outdoor relaxation area, too; sit back and listen to bird song.

The Garden Secret Spa also has a mani/pedi suite, a rasul and a VIP couples' suite with its own Jacuzzi and sauna.

Treatment talk

We tried an Aromatic Moor Mud Relief Treatment (50 minutes, £75).

My therapist, Honey, met me in the light relaxation room and led me through to Rose Buds, the spa’s couples treatment room. Before leaving the room so I we could disrobe and get comfortable on the treatment bed lying face down, we discussed the treatment and established any areas of concern.

Honey began the treatment with warm oil which she drizzled on my back to soften the skin in preparation for a sugar scrub, which she massaged into my back and shoulders. Honey then removed the scrub with hot mitts and used a dry buffer to catch any rogue grains.

Next came the mud - a healing black magma mud mask made of vitamins, minerals and enzymes – which Honey slathered onto my back before layering a protective plastic sheet, hot towel and another sheet on top. Whilst the mud did its relief work, Honey performed a rather dreamy leg and foot massage.

Honey gently uncovered my back, removed the mud mask, drizzled hot oil in its place and massaged my back, neck, shoulders, and the back of my arms. The deep pressure ironed out any tension leaving my muscles feeling revitalised.

To end the treatment, Honey applied a light refreshing gel to my back with felt soothing and tingly. On rousing, my legs like I was walking on clouds; my mind calm yet uplifted. After a glass of iced water i was shown through to the dark post-treatment lounge to daydream.

The Garden Secret Spa offers a range of body treatments by Lola's Apothecary, facials by Pevonia, Jennifer Young treatments for those living with or beyond cancer, a VIP couples' suite for three-hour rituals, and a range of manicures and pedicures.

How did it measure up?

Be it the design, the treatments or the view, The Garden Secret Spa has nature at every turn. Watching two squirrels chase each other around a tree trunk whilst cocooned in the herbal sauna was a real highlight.

Spot of lunch?

You can eat lunch in your robe in the spa’s Glasshouse Brasserie. a bright area with floral wallpaper, round tables, and alternate fuchsia and teal velvety chairs. The two-course lunch menu includes a range of pastas, salads, fish and meat dishes and afternoon tea, as well as ample options for spa goers with allergies.

We loved our smoked salmon and beetroot starter; our baked seatrout and herby new potatoes for mains was full of flavour.

Got all day?

Make time to explore the manicured gardens overlooking the Derbyshire fields. We could have spent hours wandering through the stunning rose and peaceful Italian gardens. Afterwards, grab a lounger on the outdoor terrace and warm up beside tall heaters.

Short on time?

Spend a good amount of it sitting on a massage chair in the hydropool; remember to look up: the reflection of the water in the mirrored ceiling is super relaxing.


Serene Spy

23rd January 2023

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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