Serene Spy tries an Elemis Pro Glow Renewal+ Facial
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 spahotel feels a world away from city life. The spa has its own separate entrance and reception area, where we received a warm welcome.
Shall we spa?
We were greeted by a friendly receptionist in the light, calm reception area, handed a towel and shown around the spa before being left in 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 - as we stayed overnight, we changed into robes in our bedroom.
All four 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.
The star of the spa show is the Aqua Thermal Journey which includes a variety of heat experiences. 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 cushioned loungers to rest on, and water coolers to keep you hydrated. Spend some time reclining on a tiled warm tepidarium lounger with magazines, too.
In the Zen Garden, dip your toes in one of the footbaths before enjoying the bubbly outdoor hot tub, which is raised on a decked area, lined with blue mosaic tiles, and could comfortably seat eight. 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, too, and a rasul mud chamber.
For the facial, my therapist, Abbie, led me to a softly-lit treatment room with a full-length photo of a waterfall dominating one wall; she asked about my skin concerns before leaving the room so that I could get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face up.
The treatment began with a thorough cleanse using a rose scented balm followed by a creamy cleanser and a spritz of toner. Abbie then used a hand-held ultra-sonic peel device to exfoliate my skin. A gel eye mask was then placed on the puffy skin under my eyes; while this hydrated, Abbie treated me to a neck and shoulder massage.
Next came a Galvanic machine - two cool metal prongs which Abbie moved around my face to encourage lymphatic drainage. The treatment ended a range of Elemis products to tone and moisturise.
My therapist for the Welnamis Wellness Touchless treatment was Jan, who explained the purpose of the self-guided treatment before presenting me with a card to select my level of choice - I opted for Mindfullness. Jan then helped me onto the heated bed, placed a fluffy blanket over me, popped some headphones over my ears and a mask over my eyes, and left the room so that I could relax. As soothing sounds filled my ears, and the bed massaged my body, my busy mind began to switch off.
The Spa Hotel 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?
If it’s a toss-up between a facial and a massage, this is a fantastic combination of treatments. I was instantly impressed with the hydra-gel eye pads which visibly hydrated the area beneath my eyes; Welnamis (meaning wellness waves) is excellent for improving sleep quality.
Spot of lunch?
You can lunch in your robe 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. The menu is fresh and tempting, with many foods locally sourced. There are good vegetarian options, and the chef caters for dietary requirements.
Our starter of marinated courgette, fried goat's cheese and pine nuts was light and tasty; our garlic butter poached chicken breast with sausage croquette and Caesar dressed broccoli hearty and delicious. The desserts here are not to be missed - our coconut French toast with cream cheese ice cream, mango and passionfruit was a triumph.
Got all day?
Complete the Aqua Thermal Journey (don’t forget the Zen Garden) before heading to the aptly-named Countryside View Room to relax.
Special occasion? Try the tempting eight course tasting menu with pairing wines.
Short on time?
Book Welnamis, a 30-minute treatment that will quieten the busiest of minds.