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
- Technogym fitness suite
- Aerobic studio
- Roof garden
- Pan-Asian Ozone Restaurant
- Temple Spa
- Aroma Stone Therapy
- Made for Life
Our Spa Spy review
Seaham Hall is a restored white Georgian manor house high on the cliffs above the Durham Coast. The interior seamlessly blends original features with contemporary touches. The setting is dramatic with wonderful views out to sea.
Day guests can park in the spa carpark and go straight into the spa itself. Overnight guests enter through the hotel entrance and then take the underground walkway where water gently bubbles over pebbles. Circle round 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 go to the treatment rooms.
What's on offer?
The circular reception area is light and bright with large windows, dark wood flooring and plenty of comfortable seating. We were offered a seasonal drink and, after completing our consultation forms, taken on a tour of the spa.
There are three female changing room with robes and slippers provided by your spa host.
Each changing room has private cubicles, toilets and showers containing Temple Spa shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. A well-equipped vanity bar has everything you need for post-spa preening.
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 that surround the pool.
The Indian steam room with an amethyst crystal has comfortable benches and was moderately warm on our visit. Inhaling in the salt sauna quickly improved my cold symptoms. The Asian herbal saunarium has seating for 12; there is also a hammam with spiral showers and a warm, bubbly Jacuzzi.
Cool down in between heat experiences in the experience showers, the ice fountain or one of two cold plunge pools.
Outside are two bubbly hot tubs, and down a few steps in the Zen Garden is a 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 of the year.
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. Help yourself to fruit-infused water, dried fruit and nuts.
There is a gym and studio on the spa's upper level, which overlooks the pool. Classes are regular and varied, and range from Pilates, yoga, HIIT and LIIT.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the new Ishga in Good Hands treatment (60 minutes, £85), designed for those recovering from cancer but also good for anxiety, depression, stress and sleep problems.
The treatment combines the natural, healing properties of seaweed with an advanced 'touch' technique. You choose two treatments from a list that includes a variety of focused massages on specific areas, a mini facial, hand and foot treatments, and an algae gel wrap which is said to be healing for scars. After a long chat with my therapist, Sarah, I chose a foot and leg massage and then a facial with a head massage.
Sarah used the Ishga Nurturing Body Oil with almond, thistle, jojoba and rose. She began with the foot and leg massage, enabling me to relax and drift off. For the facial, she gave my skin a thorough cleanse, applied and removed a face mask, then massaged nourishing face oil with slow, circular motions. It was very calming. Sarah then tapped regenerating face serum into my skin, focussing on deep grooves between nose and mouth, and finished with a marine antioxidant cream.
The gentle products and advanced ‘touch’ massage technique are perfect for anyone feeling fragile: I had been feeling pretty stressed out beforehand and felt nurtured and calm afterwards. Sarah has trained with Ishga’s Cancer Touch and Made for Life and explained that treatments can be adapted to suit most needs.
Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall offers a range of holistic treatments for the face and body, ranging from 60 minutes to two hours including personalised hypnotherapy. As well as massages, scrubs and facials using Temple Spa and ishga products.
You can eat lunch in your robe in Ozone Restaurant, 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; 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 went for a main course only at lunchtime – prawns for me and duck for my spa partner – but then went back later in the day for coffee and cake.
If you stay overnight, try the elegant Dining Room in the hotel which serves locally produced food in inventive ways. We had great fish dishes: a rather small portion of turbot with celeriac and wild mushrooms, and a much larger and perfectly cooked halibut with shrimp sauce and hand cut chips – posh fish and chips.
We loved / we didn't love
The service: Staff at Serenity Spa work hard to make your visit special, with nothing being too much trouble.
The Asian influence: from the elephant statues to the Pan-Asian food in Ozone Restaurant it all works to create a serene and calm atmosphere.
The personal hot tubs: Stay in a ground floor room and you have the use of your very own hot tub outside the French doors.
We didn’t love
The uneven floor in some areas around the main pool. It has lifted in a wave pattern which makes you feel a bit unsteady when you walk over it.
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.
Anyone feeling fragile: book one of the nurturing sessions and decide on the day exactly what you fancy.
Anyone celebrating an occasion: Seaham Hall is a special place and would mark an occasion with enthusiasm and charm.
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.
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.
Monday to Friday: 6.30am - 10pm; Saturday: 7am - 10pm; Sunday: 8am - 10pm
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.