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Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB
Has a pool
Has thermal facilities
49 treatment rooms
The original and still the best dedicated spa retreat, Ragdale Hall is a large, comfortable country house set in attractive gardens and grounds. Ragdale is the John Lewis of spas: good quality, well priced and delivered by people who really know their stuff. You’ll find unfaltering customer service, an extensive range of top-quality treatments, and a fine array of facilities and classes. You can feel at liberty to be as healthy or as pampered as you like, and with varying prices for rooms, Ragdale can accommodate most budgets.
3 people say this spa is family friendly. 17 people say this spa is a social spa. 13 people say this spa is health focused. 12 people say this spa is solo friendly. 7 people say this spa is romantic.
Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa is housed in a large country retreat topped with crenulations that make it look rather like a small castle set in lush green surroundings in Leicestershire.
Arrival sets the standard for the stay; your car is whisked away to be parked, and you are taken straight to the Garden Room café and offered a drink while you check in. Once the paperwork is done you go to your room, pop on a robe and just relax!
Ragdale is large spa that offers an amazing range of treatments, classes and experiences. The main pool is 25-metres, perfect if you want to tackle a few lengths. It also has a Jacuzzi area and a shallow side with swan pipes to massage your back and neck. There is a separate exercise pool with aqua-gym equipment and a daily programme of water-exercise sessions.
At the end of the pool is a steam room and sanarium. This is cooler than a sauna so you can stay in for longer, and has changing lights and the tweeting of bird song.
In the Thermal Spa there is a host of experience rooms. My favourite is the Candle Pool; you enter through a door and down some steps into the water. The cave style pool is lit by ‘candles’ and has gentle relaxing music. The pool is usually heated to 34 degrees, though on this visit it felt a fair bit cooler. The Waterfall Pool links the inside and outside; even with snow showers falling (it was a chilly March day) people were enjoying the warm water and a chance to swim outside. The Thought Zone has heated curved seats where you can lay back and watch calming images on the ceiling while listening to gentle music. The Volcanic Salt Bath is invigorating, the humid Colourflow Cave has exotic scents and the Rose Sauna will warm you through to your bones. If you get too hot, head for the Cave Shower which offers a tropical storm, complete with thunder and lightning.
There are daily classes in the gym and the two studios. You can also use the bicycles, the tennis courts, croquet, pitch and putt, and the smaller outdoor pool during the warmer months.
There are several lounges and plenty of seating so you can just sit and drift away. Take a book or two, or if you fancy a nap The Retreat has a real bed as well as comfy chairs.
The bright and airy Pavilion Room has turquoise and apple-green velvet furniture and is glass sided so you can soak up the sunshine. The traditional lounge at the front of the building is wood panelled and has an open fire.
We had the Ragdale Intensive Hand and Foot Treatment (55 minutes, £54) and the Golden Indulgence Treatment (150 minutes, £153).
Unlike other hand and foot treatments, this one takes place on a treatment bed and includes a scalp massage. Katie, my therapist, exfoliated my feet, then slipped them into booties filled with hot wax. For a second or two I wanted to say ouch, but then the wax spread out around my toes and ankles and simply became warm.
The procedure was repeated with my hands and while the wax worked its wonders my scalp was massaged with coconut oil. The combination of warmth on my extremities and a relaxing massage made me almost drift off to sleep. Katie then unwrapped my hands and feet and removed the last pieces of warm wax.
If our hands show our age, mine looked ten years younger! My ankles were less puffy and my poor neglected feet looked almost good enough for summer sandals.
The Golden Indulgence Treatment matches its name; it’s very indulgent and I felt golden and glowing afterwards. It is an all-over treatment that involves an exfoliation, a wrap, a massage, a foot treatment and a scalp massage. Golden oil, golden crystals, champagne and grape extracts, and even caviar are used at various stages. Nicole, my therapist, has been at Ragdale Hall for 16 years and she told me she loves this treatment and I could soon see why.
The treatment begins with a foot soak in warm water with golden crystals added. I then had a full body exfoliation using fine and silky caviar extracts, then a warm golden body mask was painted on my skin both front and back. This mixture included more champagne and caviar extracts which sit on the skin. I was wrapped up in warm towels while the body mask soaked in. Nicole massaged my face, working hard on my jawline and neck area with really deep-lifting massage movements. It’s amazing how therapists notice your weak spots when chatting to you, but tactfully never mention them! The facial element was finished with an anti-aging gold and plant collagen mask; it was cool and soothing.
Moving on, Nicole massaged my scalp and then asked me to take a shower to wash off the body mask. Because it includes honey, the mask was slightly sticky so Nicole gave me some flannel mitts to make the removal easier. Once I was completely dry I had a full body massage using hot stones and gold dry oil.
The end result was a golden glowing body and face, and a very relaxed, de-stressed mind. Everyone should have this treatment at least once! It’s a brilliant combination of relaxing and uplifting. My skin was still smooth and glowing several days later.
Breakfast is served in your room -- a luxurious start to your day. You can choose from one of two set breakfasts or from a selection of cereals, muffins, fruit and hot foods. Muesli and fruit was perfect for me, while my husband opted for an Emmental and ham wrap served warm.
You’ll be allocated a time slot for lunch and dinner served in the main dining room. You can join the social table if you are spa-ing alone, it can be very interesting to chat to others and compare treatments. The menu is graded with different symbols to help you choose or avoid dairy/gluten/nuts or opt for lower-calorie meals.
Lunch is mostly a buffet with a choice of starters served at the table. The evening meal is all served at the table, and there is a good choice for each course. You can order soft drinks and wine with your meal. Coffee and tea is served after meals in the two cafes.
Most people eat lunch in their robes, but dress casually for dinner.
Being able to unwind knowing that everything is being taken care of. The Ragdale staff really do go out of their way to make sure guests have everything they need and are happy. There is a saying in business that ‘people are your most precious investment’, and it is the staff that make Ragdale a special place.
Having such a wide choice of treatments and product brands. You do have to make sure you get extra treatments booked in advance -- Ragdale will send you a reminder a couple of weeks before your visit. Any treatments available on the day are put up on a blackboard so you can make a last minute decision to try Reiki or reflexology.
The Beauty Express Room. A new section which offers short treatments like manicures and eyebrow treatments as well as hair treatments. Perfect for the day you go home or to get some expert advice. My eyebrow reshape and lesson in how to groom my brows was very effective.
Although you have to vacate your room at 11am, you are given a day locker and can use the facilities until 6pm which makes it a real bargain!
We didn’t love
The food is generally very good and well planned, but the dining room is quite large and busy and there is some considerable coming and going as tables are re-laid in order to fit everyone in.
Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa is great for groups of friends; it's a sociable place if you want it to be, but also good if you want to spa alone.
Anyone who appreciates great customer service; with a staff-to-customer ratio of 2:1, you really are looked after.
Keen fitness fans will love the many classes and the large pool.
Once again, we awarded Ragdale Hall a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. At Ragdale, there is something for everyone and everything is done well. Ragdale is such a relaxed, welcoming, well-run spa-retreat; there is virtually nothing to fault.
Sybaritic Spy visited in March 2015 and awarded it 5 Bubbles
Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB
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.