Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP23 6HY
Has a pool
Has thermal facilities
65 treatment rooms
Champneys Tring destination spa is found within a former stately home in Hertfordshire, and surrounded by 170 acres of rolling parkland. Facilities include a 25 metre swimming pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpool and thalassotherapy pool; plus mixed-sex sauna, steam room and plunge pool, men's steam room and ladies laconium. A Detox and Wellbeing Centre, which opened in early 2016, offers guests a range of water-based personalised treatments using the recuperative qualities of seawater, algae and marine minerals. The spa menu offers over 100 different types of treatments, from the traditional to the exotic such as Reiki and Indian Head Massage. Champneys Tring is the perfect place for relaxation, luxury pampering, health or fitness related treatments, retreats and boot camps.
2 people say this spa is family friendly. 4 people say this spa is a social spa. 5 people say this spa is health focused. 5 people say this spa is solo friendly. 3 people say this spa is romantic.
The Champneys mansion is a red-brick building with tall chimneys which sits at the end of a long, tree-lined drive. The turning circle where you drop off your luggage has a modern metal sculpture inside which a fountain flows.
The large reception area has sofas and seats, so you can check in in comfort. Champneys Tring has had a multi-million-pound update and the style is modern, cool and elegant. Most bedrooms are in the garden wing, a two-storey curved building that encompasses the lawns and gardens.
Champneys Tring has just about everything a spa can offer: Pools large and small, steam rooms, saunas, gym, studios, several relaxation rooms (some with water beds), changing rooms in various places (by the gym, by the pool, near the hydrotherapy pool) and a new wellness and detox centre -- as well as 46 treatment rooms. The treatment reception area has elegant curved seating around the walls.
The 25-metre main pool, in its own building, is designed for serious swimmers. It has limited poolside seating; the aim is to swim energetically rather than lounge about. Light floods in from the glass roof so you can do your morning lengths without missing the sunshine.
The outdoor hot tub opens at 6am, and has a canvas shelter to give shade during the day. An inside area nearby has a steam room, sauna and cold plunge and another indoor hot tub. The thalassotherapy pool has a glass wall overlooking the grounds and a wall of slate with a soothing waterfall running down it.
The Wellness and Detox Area is modern, decorated in white and silver with pale blue furnishing, and has its own reception area.
When you see a sign on the corridor wall which says "Shhh!", you know you have reached the quiet and secluded relaxation area; perfect for cold days when you can escape the grey outside, have a dip in the hot tub, then drift off, lying on a waterbed under a cosy throw, while watching the crackling flames of the wall-enclosed fire.
There is so much on offer that you need the map supplied in your welcome pack along with the exercise schedules. They run up to 18 classes a day from Aquafit to Zumba and almost everything in between.
They make good use of the grounds as well, with a sun-trap terrace, outdoor hot tubs and table tennis. You can take a walking map and just go for a wander, or join twice-daily escorted walks through the 170-acre grounds and woodland.
We had the Detox Ritual (120 minutes, from £69) in the Wellness and Detox area. The treatments here have a sea theme with Thalgo marine-based products and a spell in the thalassotherapy pool which uses mineral-rich waters. The session begins with a consultation in the very stylish reception area.
There are three "Voyages of Discovery": Detox, Wellbeing and Circulation, or Slim and Tone. Each journey has six steps and takes two-and-a-half hours to complete. We began our "voyage" with a drink that tasted like seawater to "cleanse from the inside". The treatments start with footbaths which have alternating hot and cold water, bubbles, and rollers which massaged (and tickled) the soles of our feet.
Then we were off to the thalassotherapy pool where the water feels warm and silky on your skin. Olivia escorted us around the pool, and timed the sessions in front of the various water jets. The aim is to relax and detox the muscles and we certainly felt very relaxed by the end.
Next, the hydro-bath. This massages your back and thighs with the gentle pressure of thousands of tiny bubbles, which is supposed to encourage lymphatic drainage, boost circulation, and aid slimming. I found it so relaxing, I could have stayed there for hours. My spa partner, meanwhile, headed for the Marine Mud Float. The bath fills up with warm water, you sink into it inside a muddy wrap, and it supports your back in a very natural position. This relaxes all your back muscles and eases aches and pains.
We met up again in the salt steam-inhalation room, a white room with glass walls and two curved white seats. Surprisingly cool, salty steam swirled around us which we breathed deeply. Good for the lungs, apparently.
Next, off to the waterbeds to relax with a cup of cleansing tea. Olivia presented us with cotton buds soaked in oils to put up our nostrils. Effective and clears the head wonderfully but I was glad we were not sharing the room with others!
The very word "Detox" is slightly intimidating; it can conjure up visions of fasting and colonic irrigation. This version of detox is gentle and enjoyable. I still felt that I had detoxed; I was relaxed and calmer, and had fewer cravings for high-carb foods or coffee afterwards.
I also had the Champneys Collagen Gold facial (55 minutes, £65).
This started with a cleanse and an exfoliation, followed by the application of a gold mask. The mask, in the shape of a face, arrives sealed in plastic. My therapist, Sally, laid the mask over my face. When it had done its work, she simply lifted the mask off and applied a final layer of moisturiser. My rather dry and dehydrated skin was glowing and plumped up and the results lasted for several days.
I then had a Hot Stone massage (55 minutes, £79). Sally began with a foot ritual and cleansed my feet with warm cloths: a great start to any treatment! A full-body massage followed. Sally used the hot stones to massage all my main muscles with a smooth stroking action on my arms and legs. My horribly tight shoulders needed deeper massage and Sally used the sides of the warm stones to work into the muscles and try to loosen them. It helped, but I might need a massage like this for several days running to really make a difference.
The treatment menu at Champneys Tring covers facials, massages, body treatments, and beauty finishing touches using Aromatherapy Associates, Carita, Elemis and Decléor, plus complementary therapies such as Bowen technique, acupuncture and osteopathy.
The dining room is split-level with comfortable chairs around small tables. It's light and bright with a large self-service buffet area for breakfast and lunch, and table service for dinner.
For lunch, we had soup and a selection of bright, colourful and flavourful salads. A wide choice of hot dishes includes chicken and fish, and light desserts such as fruit and yoghurts.
Champneys take food intolerances seriously with plenty of gluten-free and lactose-free choices. They will also arrange special diets if you contact them in advance. There is no bar at Champneys Tring but they do offer wine or champagne with meals.
The stylish makeover: The spa was created in 1925 and has been through many changes but, in recent years, was looking tired. Now it is modern, luxurious and chic. If you want to push the boat out for a special occasion, book one of the Garden Suites. These huge rooms have a seating area, bedroom, dressing area and two bathrooms. Heavenly!
The sheer range of facilities and treatments with so many areas to visit and try out. The focus is water and warmth: hydrotherapy pools, hot tubs, steam and sauna, all spread around the spa so no one area feels too large or overcrowded.
We didn't love
Getting a bit lost. There is so much at Champneys Tring, it can be hard to find your way around; we had to ask for directions several times. Don't lose the map in your welcome pack!
Anyone serious about their health or anyone recovering from an illness or operation: Champneys Tring offers sessions with physiotherapists, nurses, nutritionists, physical therapists and doctors using a service called Doctor Now. (At a cost: the doctor's fee is £125 for a 30-minute face-to-face session.) They offer specialised tests including blood tests, food-sensitivity testing, hormone testing and adrenal stress profiles. They also run specialist days and retreats such as the three-day "Living with type 2 diabetes".
Couples: Champneys Tring does not feel feminine or frilly and there are many exercise-based activities to keep fitness addicts happy. Plenty of couples were using the spa when we visited, with a wide age-range of guests.
Shy VIPs: You can pay extra for a "premier" stay; this allows you some extra privacy in terms of a reserved area in the dining room and an enclosed part of the treatment waiting area. You can also have your stay tailor-made to suit your needs.
We awarded Champneys Tring a Good Spa Guide rating of Five Bubbles for its stylish upgrade and wide range of facilities and treatments. It a pleasure to be in the spa with light, interesting décor and plenty of space.
Sybaritic Spy visited in July 2016 and awarded it 5 Bubbles
Wiggington, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP23 6HY
On site restaurant with nutritious gourmet cuisine.
91 bedrooms from standard and superior to suites.
There are no offers for this spa.