The setting for Seaham Hall is as expansive as it is exhilarating: the north-east coast (County Durham to be exact), meaning you’re already onto a winner. The spa building and facilities are impressive; the treatments good quality. The spa journey begins at the fabulous underground walkway that connects the spa to the hotel – walk past pebbles and running water until you reach a huge carved elephant. Inside, there’s an ozone treated pool, a hydrotherapy pool and thermal rooms. Outside are two steamy hot tubs and a sun terrace.
- 17 treatment rooms
- 20m pool with massage stations
- Indian steam room with amethyst crystal
- Herbal Sanarium
- Salt sauna
- Hydrotherapy bath with 12 massage stations
- Snail showers
- Ice fountain
- Plunge pools
- Outdoor hot tubs
- Outdoor infinity pool set in spa garden
- Aerobic studio
- Roof garden
- Technogym fitness suite
- Pan-Asian Ozone restaurant
- Temple Spa
- Aroma Stone Therapy
Our Spa Spy review
Seaham Hall is a restored white Georgian manor house set high on the cliffs above the Durham Coast. The interior seamlessly blends original features with contemporary touches; the setting dramatic: in 37 acres of rustic countryside with wonderful views out to sea.
Day guests can park in the Serenity Spa’s own car park and head straight into the spa itself. Overnight guests enter through the hotel entrance and then take the underground walkway where water gently bubbles over pebbles and purple uplighters guide the way. Circle around the large elephant sculpture and go up the stairs to the spa reception. If you have booked in for a day spa, you get a chance to greet the elephant when you leave the treatment rooms.
What's on offer?
The circular reception area is light and bright with large rectangular-strip windows, dark wood flooring and plenty of comfortable seating; pink cherry blossom hangs serenely from the ceiling. We were warmly greeted by Sophie, offered a cranberry iced tea and - after completing consultation forms on iPads - taken for a tour of the spa. If you’re staying overnight, you’ll find a Seaham-branded white and blue-trimmed robe and slippers in your bedroom; if not, your spa host will hand you a white material bag with these in, along with a handy map.
Changing rooms have bronze tile-effect wallpaper, cream floor tiling and large wooden lockers operated by a key-code, as well as loos and showers containing Temple Spa shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. A brightly lit vanity bar has everything you need for post-spa preening, including Temple Spa cleanser and moisturiser. There’s also a smaller VIP Zen Garden changing room with aqua painted walls, a loo, shower and Cloud Nine hairdryer. Help yourself to towels.
The thermal area is bright and welcoming with white walls, blue mosaic-tiled steps and large windows. Start your thermal journey by massaging your feet in the foot spas before moving onto the circular hydro pool with its powerful jets and warm, silky water.
The 20-metre pool takes centre stage; it's large enough to swim a good number of lengths. The far end is circular with a metal "S" in the middle linking to the Feng Shui design of the spa. Give your shoulders a pummelling under the powerful swan pipe or use the jets to massage your back and calves. If all that swimming is too much, you can relax on padded loungers surrounding the pool.
The intimate Eucalyptus steam room with its central amethyst crystal has comfortable benches and was moderately warm on our visit. The salt sauna was a firm favourite with its curved benches and orange brick wall. The more spacious Asian herbal saunarium has seating for 12; there’s also a hammam with snail showers and a warm, bubbly Jacuzzi.
Cool down in between heat experiences in the experience showers, the ice fountain or brave one of two cold plunge pools.
And don’t forget the outside spa area with its bubbly hot tubs – of which there are two - sunk into the decking; down a few steps you’ll find a charming Zen Garden with large infinity-edged hydrotherapy pool. In fine weather, recline on one of the loungers here or cuddle up by the fire pits in the cooler months.
After your treatment settle down for a rest in the quiet Zen Lounge which has an outdoor balcony to enjoy the fresh air and views over the beautiful grounds. Fancy a nap? Hunt out the Hideout Lounge, a cosy dark room with grey tassel dividers between modern chrome loungers. Got a book you want to get stuck into? One of many water beds provide the perfect place for reading. Or put your feet up in the Elephant Shanti Lounge and just admire the elephant statue.
Manis & pedis take place in the rather glam OPI & Taittinger Champagne Nail Bar.
A gym and studio can be found on the spa's upper level – overlooking the pool – complete the comprehensive facilities; classes include Pilates, yoga and HIIT.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Ishga Five Senses Ritual in partnership with Swell (90 mins, plus 30 minutes in the Swell Room £205).
My therapist, Rianne, met me in the Zen Lounge and led me up the stairs to an expansive treatment room decorated in pale greys, blues and dark woods.
Rianne invited me to sit on a chair so that she could talk me through the treatment before commencing a footbath, scrubbing my feet and lower legs with Isgha Herbidean Sea Salt Scrub. Once dried, she asked me to choose between two oils: I opted for the Ishga Invigorating Body Oil - with its scent of lavender, rose geranium, lemongrass and juniper.
Rianne left the room so I could de-robe and get comfortable on the heated treatment bed, lying face down. She returned and placed a bowl of seaweed in hot water and oil beneath the treatment bed and asked me to take three deep breaths.
Rianne then switched on the Swell soundtrack: forget your standard spa music, this soundscape experience has been created by Sound Therapist and DJ Brian D’Souza to take you on a journey into consciousness.
The treatment commenced with a back scrub, using firm strokes before wiping off with a hot cloths. For the hot stone massage, Rianne began by working out the tension in my neck and shoulders before moving onto my lower back. Asking me to turn over, she re-positioned the treatment bed in preparation for the facial element.
Rianne treated my skin to a double cleanse and tone before applying an Exfoliating Face Mask which she removed with warm mitts. A nourishing oil was then applied to aid a slow, circular facial massage. A regenerating serum, a rejuvenating eye balm and a dollop of ishga’s new Hydra+ Marine Cream was followed by cold stone eye therapy using sea glass from Seaham Beach.
The treatment concluded with a heavenly hot oil scalp massage. I floated out of the treatment room with softer, rejuvenated skin.
Rianne then led me to the Swell Room – complete with two vibroacoustic loungers, immersive sound and a large ocean scene as the backdrop. She covered me with a cosy blanket and popped headphones over my ears. Using different frequencies, the Hebridean sounds combine field recordings, music composition and sound therapy to lower the heartbeat and induce ultimate relaxation.
Glancing over at my (usually) highly-strung spa partner, it obviously did the trick (she looked utterly relaxed). Whatever this wizardry is, it worked a treat.
A post-treatment fruity water, small dish of popcorn and tangy mango sorbet hit the spot.
Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall offers a range of holistic treatments for the face and body - ranging from 60 minutes to two hours - as well as massages, scrubs and facials using Temple Spa and Ishga products.
You can eat lunch in your robe in Ozone, an Asian restaurant in the centre of the spa that slopes down to a bar area. Décor is striking with bold use of black and red; ambient house music sets the scene. You can choose to sit inside or outside on the terrace.
If you are booked on a spa day a two-course lunch is included. We chose finger-licking Indonesian marinated chicken with peanut dipping sauce, and king prawn skewers with lemongrass, ginger and chilli, followed by a delicious and spicy Szechuan beef stir fry with rice and a vibrant Thai yellow curry. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc proved a perfect match.
If you stay overnight, you can eat in the elegant Dining Room in the hotel which serves locally-produced food in inventive ways. We opted for Ozone Restaurant, starting the evening with two delicious Mango Margaritas before sharing starters of salt and pepper squid and shredded duck pancakes. For main, we tucked into succulent sirloin steaks with a soy, chilli and ginger dipping sauce, salt and pepper fries and Asian slaw. All washed down with a delicious glass of Pinot Noir.
We loved / we didn't love
The Ishga Five Senses Ritual in partnership with Swell: expect ultimate relaxation from this imaginative treatment. The use of Seaham sea glass in the facial is a lovely touch, too.
The Ozone Restaurant is the place to be. We loved watching our delicious pan-Asian dishes being cooked in the open kitchen.
Eating breakfast in our Seaview suite while watching dolphins frolic in the North sea is a new Spa Spy high.
We didn’t love
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: Seaham Hall is a romantic hotel with an equally romantic spa; dip into the outdoor hydrotherapy pool and soak up this euphoric space.
Those needing to switch off: book the Ishga Five Senses Ritual for two hours of utter bliss.
Besties: play in the thermal suite, catch up on the pool-side loungers and feast in the Asian-inspired restaurant (mango Margaritas optional).
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
The Dining Room in the hotel offers decadent surroundings based on best of British food using local produce lead by Head Chef Damian Broom.
The Serenity Spa offers a more relaxed dining experience. The Ozone, Pan Asian inspired restaurant serves authentic Asian style food, handcrafted cocktails with views over the hotel grounds and brand new Spa Garden.
All spa days include access to the award-winning facilities, fluffy robes and slippers, and a two course meal in the Pan-Asian restaurant, Ozone.
Book a spa day here
Seaham Hall's historical background is reflected in its elegantly resorted 21 bedrooms: from Garden suites with private outdoor terraces, to the unique mezzanine Ada Lovelace suite.
Book a stay here
Monday- Friday 6.30am – 8pm
Saturday- Sunday 8am – 8pm
Travel and Parking
Seaham hall and Serenity spa is in the heart of the North East of England, a 15 minute drive from the historical cathedral city of Durham with direct links to all surrounding cities. The hotel and Spa is part of the Durham Heritage coastline with plenty of accessible parking, and a valet service for hotel residents.
Both the hotel and spa have accessible facilities and parking. The hotel has accessible suites for disabled users and the spa has single and double treatment rooms for guests to experience at their leisure.