Chapel Spa Cheltenham
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4DW
Has a pool
Has thermal facilities
7 treatment rooms
Set in a picturesque 19th Century chapel with Cotswold limestone walls and arched windows, this charming spa has a Mediterranean, rather than English, feel. The candlelit lounge is built inside the gallery – lunch is delivered by a nearby café and tea rooms, and you can eat in one of the cosy booths here. Facilities include a gym, hydrotherapy pool, steam room and Arabian rasul, while treatments use products from The Ease range, a Chapel Spa own brand, as well as Elemis.
True to its name, Chapel Spa in Cheltenham is set within a nineteenth-century chapel with original arched windows and Cotswold limestone walls. The interiors feel more Mediterranean than English, which adds to the slightly quirky feeling of this day spa. There are seven lovely treatment rooms, excellent therapists, and a cosy thermal suite in the basement.
Make your way up the stone steps and through an elegant arched doorway into Chapel Spa's reception, which has soaring ceilings and a grand staircase to each side. The large, airy spa lounge just beyond serves as both the spa café and the treatment waiting area. The warm, sunny space is flooded with natural light from the chapel windows and dotted with comfortable sofas and armchairs, with plenty of magazines to flick through. Help yourself to the flavoured water or juices.
Stairs take you down into the basement to the gym, thermal experiences and the changing rooms. The single-sex changing areas are relatively small but have large lockers, two showers, two bathrooms and a well-appointed vanity space. There are hairdryers and straighteners, and Elemis cleanser to de-make-up.
The thermal suite contrasts with the rest of the spa space; its dark and moody Moroccan-inspired décor is lit with faux candles. At the centre of the room is a warm and very bubbly hydrotherapy pool with jets and swan pipes that would comfortably seat eight. Plenty of loungers with rich purple cushions surround the pool, as well as a large tiled steam room, stacks of magazines and infused water so you can stay hydrated. There’s also an aromatic mud chamber, which you can book as part of your day – paint different colour muds on your body then wallowing in the steam.
The gym is small but well equipped with cross-trainers, treadmills and weights.
We tried the Indian Head and Scalp massage (40 minutes, £45) followed by the Elemis Biotec Line Eraser facial (60 minutes, £75).
Chapel Spa has its own "Ease" skincare brand, devised by Mena Louka, the spa's original owner, who developed the products with a distinct aromatherapy influence.
My therapist, Emma, met me in the spa lounge and took me into a treatment room with high ceilings and beautiful arched windows, which she shielded with a blind for a more ambient feel. Emma asked me some questions about my skin and suggested we swap from the original "Firm-a- Lift" facial option to the "Line Eraser". We also chose Chapel Spa's deliciously scented Ease Comfort Oil for my massage, concocted to combat anxiety and nervous tension.
Emma began with hot towels on my feet, gently pushing on pressure points before working her way up my back with broad strokes and intuitive skill. Having teased the knots from my shoulders, she set to work on my neck and scalp. I descended into complete relaxation.
Massage complete, Emma asked me to turn over and began work on my face with the Elemis Biotec products. The Line Eraser is designed to smooth wrinkles, using a combination of peels with active ingredients, micro-currents, light therapy and an O2 infusion. By the time she finished, I couldn't wait to check out the results. Sure enough, my face looked visibly radiant and my fine lines dramatically reduced; this is a facial with immediately visible results.
My spa companion tried the Ease Paraffin Massage (60 minutes, £70) and Ease Reflexology (40 minutes, £45). She sang the praises of her therapist, Abby, for delivering an impeccable massage and reflexology session.
Chapel Spa has a wonderful range of massages using the Ease aromatherapy oils. They also offer body treatments, a rasul ritual, facials and specialist treatments for men and mums-to-be. If you're up for a little beautifying, try the manicures, pedicures, brow sculpting and waxing.
During your spa day, you can eat in a cosy booth on the mezzanine of the spa lounge. There are no catering facilities on site, so you can opt for lunch from the Story Teller restaurant next door which includes hot meals such as wraps, burritos and larger meat and fish dishes. Or give in to afternoon tea from Well Walk, one of Cheltenham's top tea rooms (this requires 48 hours' notice).
We tried the afternoon tea which arrived on a four-tiered display of plates bursting with sandwiches, scones and many varieties of cake. Paired with hot tea and a glass of bubbly, it was the perfect end to a lovely afternoon.
We loved the chapel setting: The entrance, lounge and mezzanine felt bright and airy, with beautiful feature windows.
The customer service was excellent: All of the staff we spoke to were very friendly and knowledgeable.
We thoroughly enjoyed the spoils of Chapel Spa's afternoon tea: It was pretty naughty but delicious.
The changing rooms and the relaxation room were looking a little tired and could do with a bit of sprucing up; we noticed a few uneven floor tiles and areas with chipped paint.
On the day we visited Chapel Spa we saw a couple, two friends and a mother and daughter -- it’s a great spa to enjoy as a pair.
Smaller groups are well catered for too, the hydrotherapy pool in the thermal zone is big enough to fit eight guests.
We awarded Chapel Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 bubbles. The customer service is excellent, the treatments well executed, and the decadent afternoon tea made it feel like a really special spa day.
Spirited Spy visited in August 2016 and awarded it 4 Bubbles
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Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4DW
Lunches are cooked by the Story Teller Restaurant, which is next door to Chapel Spa. You can also have a home-made Afternoon Tea. You can eat in either the gallery area at the spa, or in the restaurant itself.
Monday 9am – 6pm
Tuesday – Thursday 9am – 8pm
Friday 9am – 9pm
Saturday 9am – 6pm
Sunday 10am – 6pm
There are no offers for this spa.