5 Bubble Spa 2016

Champneys Tring


Tring is Champney's flagship spa, a combination of glamorous stately home and holistic wellbeing. The extensive facilities are complemented by the Marine and Wellness Spa, which offers guests a range of water-based treatments using the recuperative qualities of seawater, algae and marine minerals. The spa menu has over 100 different types of treatments, from the traditional to the exotic, such as Reiki and Indian head massage. Champneys Tring also offers interesting and unusual treatments, retreats and boot camps.

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Features

  • XXL robes available
  • 25 metre swimming pool
  • Indoor and outdoor whirlpool
  • Thalassotherapy pool
  • Poolside mixed sauna, steam room and plunge pool
  • Men's steam room
  • Ladies laconium heat room
  • Infrared booth
  • Relaxation room
  • Two fitness studios with classes
  • Two tennis courts
  • Hair salon
  • Gym
  • Detox and Wellbeing Centre

Products

  • Champneys
  • Decleor
  • Elemis
  • Carita
  • Jessica

Our Spa Spy review

First impressions

First Impressions

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. 

On offer

What's on offer?

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.

Tell us about the treatments

Tell us about the treatments

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.

Food facts

Food Facts

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.

We loved / we didn't love

We loved / we didn't love

We loved

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!

Who do you think would like it?

Who do you think would like it?

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. 

What bubble rating did you give this spa?

What bubble rating did you give this spa?

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.

Public Opinion

This spa is...
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What others are saying

"I went to Tring for a spa day visit with a girlfriend and this was our experience. Firstly, a complete nightmare trying to get through to book treatments. Long wait and seriously expensive calls. Once the treatments were booked I was told they were unable to confirm what time the treatments would be and whether we would have our treatments at the same time? Bizarre. I was told I would find out on the day. We arrived at Tring at 10.10am. No one was on reception and it was a good few minutes before we were attended to. No apologies for the wait however the lady was very polite but during the registration process she told us that we were going to have such a lovely day she would like to tell us about some packages they had on offer. Surely you do a sales pitch once we have experienced the day for ourselves? And why do I need to have a sales pitch at all? We were then told that our Thalassotherapy treatment had been booked for 10am and therefore we had missed it. If I had been told the day before when we booked the treatments surely, I could have been told this so we didn’t miss it. We then were told to go to the spa reception at the other end of the building to change the appointment, why were they unbale to change the treatment time at the main reception especially as it was Champneys mistake not ours? Although Champneys is in a beautiful setting the actual facilities are poor in comparison to other spas I have visited. The indoor jacuzzi area is small and claustrophobic with very few loungers. The relaxation area to the rear of that area was again small and as a result beds were taken for most of the afternoon by the same people, likewise with the water bed area. I did not find it at all relaxing as it was so difficult to find somewhere to sit and relax. I would also comment that the whole place was not very warm we were encouraged to walk around in bathing costume and robes however all the corridors were very chilly. My massage was a very cold and very business like affair, as I was greeted late but my therapist I only got a 20 minute massage rather than the allocated 25 minutes. The staff we encountered were of a mixed bunch some very lovely helpful polite and wanting to please other were brusk and dismissive . The food at lunch was very good, food and staff were great but sadly for some reason the doors in the neighbouring café had been left open and despite asking for them to be shut we were told this was not possible therefore we had lunch with a cold draught. When we wanted a hot drink in the afternoon again the doors were open in the cafe so we had to sit in another area to avoid the chill factor. I had a lovely day with my girlfriend spending time together however I will not be returning to Champneys I have had far better experiences at other spas, I would advise others to consider alternative spa where the experience will be far more pleasurable "

lynda davidson

  • April 30, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Voted: A social spa


"I selected the spa and paid £160 for my mum and £160 for her friend to stay overnight and then added £100 for treatments. As this was a five bubble spa, I naturally had high hopes; especially given the price that I paid. Sadly, it did not at all live up to expectations (and Champneys has yet to reply to my complaint) and shortcomings included everything from six plants being dead in the spa, to my mum paying for the luxury pedicure, only to be told she could have EITHER the exfoliation or the massage part of the pedicure because she had nail polish left on and this would take 'at least five minutes to take off'. Her friend booked a 25 minute facial and was given a £15 off voucher when she spent over £50 on products. She spent over double that, then when they returned to reception, they saw for just £10 more, she could have had the facial and £45 worth of free products, leaving her feeling ripped off. The list goes on, from being able to have fish for dinner, but needing to pay an extra £3.50 to have sauce on it?!?! Staff that yawned and looked bored, and answered questions with 'what'. I dunno - if I had paid £50 for the spa day, I'd let some of these things slide, but it was £420 plus they spent extra on top and that to me is not worth anywhere near five bubbles."

Victoria Short

  • February 6, 2017 at 9:25 pm

"I have been to champneys Tring with my daughter, and on my own several times. Even when I'm on my own I love it, the treatments are fantastic, always coming out feeling relaxed. Helps me to re focus get away from the daily trudge of life."

WJd

  • January 5, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Voted: Family friendly A social spa Health Focused Solo Friendly


"A most comfortable weekend experience with friends the staff were very accomadating when syncronising all our treatment's to enable us to meet up during our stay. "

GILL ABBOTT

  • November 18, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Voted: Family friendly A social spa Health Focused Solo Friendly Romantic


"I have visited Champneys Tring many times both as a day guest and as a resident, most recently October 2016 and love the new improvements. So much on offer two days was not enough. The food is wonderful and gets better each time. "

Beverley Burgess

  • October 12, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Voted: A social spa Health Focused Solo Friendly Romantic


"Excellent Spa for serious Health and Fitness Also excellent for a relaxing break in luxurious surroundings with fabulous gardens and the most amazing food - the best holiday"

Mrs Susan Foley

  • August 20, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Voted: Health Focused Solo Friendly


"Such an amazing place, stunning grounds, wide range of activities and treatments. Will definitely be returning. "

Lesley Happell

  • August 3, 2016 at 10:05 am

Voted: Health Focused Romantic


Spa Location

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Spa location

Wiggington,
Berkhamsted,
Hertfordshire,
HP23 6HY

01442 291000

website

Extra Information

Dining

On site restaurant with nutritious gourmet cuisine.

Accomodation

91 bedrooms from standard and superior to suites.

Treatment menu

View the treatment menu