The original dedicated spa retreat, Ragdale Hall is a large, comfortable country house set in attractive gardens and grounds. The spa has quite a cult following; you’ll find good quality, well-priced treatments delivered by people who really know their stuff. The huge array of facilities on offer will have you visiting your favourites time and again. Gloriously, at Ragdale you can be as pampered or healthy as you like; enjoy a healthy meal or opt for cake and Champagne.
- Single sex facilities
- XXL robes available
- Relaxation spaces including The Retreat and The Pavilion
- Candle pool
- Indoor/outdoor waterfall pool
- Thought Zone
- Colourflow cave
- Volcanic salt bath
- Scented room
- Rose sauna
- Cave shower
- Experience showers
- 25m swimming pool with raised whirlpool spa
- Steam room
- Exercise pool with underwater gym equipment and whirlpool spa
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Tennis courts
- Mind gym
- Beauty shop, boutique and gift shop
- The Beauty Express
- Spa Find
- Lava Shells
Our Spa Spy review
Tucked away in the Leicestershire countryside, Ragdale Hall is a destination spa; the handsome red-brick Victorian property has an impressive facade (think clock tower, crenellations and Virginia Creeper), sprawling grounds and pristine gardens.
The inside is equally impressive with elegantly-appointed rooms and suites, a restaurant, two bars, a lounge and an all-encompassing spa.
What's on offer?
The welcome starts in the car park where attentive staff park your car and carry your luggage to your room while you sip a welcome drink in the Garden Room. Here, you receive your room key, a map of the spa (which you'll need), a locker key and a menu to pre-order your breakfast if you're staying overnight.
This large, quirky spa has three changing rooms: one near the gym and two in the pool and thermal area (called "blue" and "green" respectively), each with their own colour palette. We used "green" and marvelled at the cheery bright-green lockers, as big as they are bold. Robes and slippers are inside. Change beside dark wood benches or nip into a private changing cubicle thoughtfully containing body moisturiser. Showers are well equipped with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel, and a vanity bar has plenty of hairdryers for post-shower use. Shelves contain plenty of towels.
Ragdale Hall has not one, not two, but five pools including a sunken candle pool surrounded by flickering candles (where silence is golden), a colour-flow cave for swimming through a series of different shades, as well as seven thermal experiences. In short: you'll need a good amount of time to experience it all.
We began in the cave shower, with its thunder-and-lightning effect, before hopping into the gently heated sanarium that plays birdsong. There's a classic (and hot) wooden sauna seating six and a volcanic salt room; sit on a tiled bench and breathe in the salty health benefits. Throw a pebble into the middle of the wishing steam room and make a wish (we told you Ragdale was quirky).
We moved on to the series of outdoor and indoor pools and pushed various buttons to set off waterfalls and massage jets. The main 25-metre pool is perfect for swimming lengths and surrounded by colourful loungers.
Ragdale Hall has a good number of places to relax: for swing seats and bean bags, head to The Retreat where décor is Cath Kidston meets Laura Ashley. In the mind gym, you can exercise your mind through puzzles and jigsaws.
More swing seats are in the garden, which also has pretty wooden gazebos dotted around the lawn and deckchairs where you can enjoy a cheeky glass of wine.
Ragdale Hall also has a gym, a fitness studio and a boutique shop.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed an MOT Wellbeing Massage (80 minutes; £71).
My therapist, Mary, led me to a cosy, chocolate-hued room with a black ceiling displaying sparkly coloured lights. She went through my consultation form and determined my preferred level of pressure. She also asked me to choose a crystal from a selection; I was drawn to a green one, which Mary said was good for my throat chakra.
As I lay on the bed (on my back), Mary placed a crystal in each of my hands which felt wonderfully grounding. Mary ran warm oil containing pungent ylang ylang through my hair before massaging my scalp. This could have continued for the full 80 minutes, as far as I was concerned. Mary moved on to my shoulders and arms, using long strokes to relieve the tension. While she did this, she placed a crystal on my forehead, which didn't feel as strange as it sounds.
Mary then asked me to turn over so that she could focus on my legs and arms. When she used hot stones on my back, I fought to stay awake; the warmth relieved my tired, achy shoulders.
At the end of the treatment, Mary warned me that I may feel a little achy from the massage and emotional from the crystals. An hour later, right on cue, I experienced a surge of emotion which lasted for approximately ten minutes. It's a reaction I've never experienced after a spa treatment before.
Ragdale Hall offers an extensive treatment menu which is over twenty pages long. Choose from face and body therapies using Elemis, Decléor and Clarins products. There are treatments for men, mums-to-be and Jennifer Young treatments for those who are in treatment for or recovering from cancer.
There is a manicure and pedicure studio as well as The Beauty Express, where you can get mini treatments and your brows done, and a hair studio for a blow-dry before you go home (or out that evening).
Lunch is a buffet where you can eat in your robe and be as virtuous (soups and salads) or as indulgent (hot dishes and desserts) as you wish. Gluten- and dairy-free options are on offer, as well as vegetarian choices. Use the clever 1, 2, 3-system to add up the calories as you go. Despite good intentions, we ended up trying a bit of everything.
That evening we ate in Ragdale's oak-panelled dining room complete with impressive chandelier. We enjoyed three courses: smoked chicken and tarragon terrine with piccalilli gel; English rump of lamb with toasted pecans; and tart with hazelnut Chantilly and toffee sauce. All dishes were beautifully presented although this particular Spa Spy would have liked a bit more seasoning.
We loved / we didn't love
The roomy spa: Although there were lots of guests on our visit, the spa never felt overcrowded.
The customer service was exceptional, with every single staff member attentive and smiley.
The little shelves outside each thermal room: We could enter each room safe in the knowledge that our glasses weren't going to get squashed in our robe pocket.
We didn't love
A darker relaxation room for post-treatment snoozing would be a really good addition to Ragdale Hall.
The treatment beds weren't as comfortable as some we have experienced.
Who do you think would like it?
The attentive service and personalised programmes will put solo spa goers at ease.
We saw small groups of women and several couples enjoying the spa on our visit.
Ragdale is a spa for all ages. From mums and daughters to generational groups, the spa was filled with an array of ages. Ragdale welcomes you from 16 years upwards, making for a perfect introduction to spa-ing.
Breakfast is served in your room; The Garden Room and Verandah Bar serve hot and cold refreshments and snacks; the main restaurant serves lunch and dinner.
Six room types available, from Economy Rooms to Suites.
Open from 8.30am to 9.30pm.