The Belfry is a resort set in over 550 acres of countryside, not far from Birmingham city centre. The stylish spa offers a range of ESPA treatments, a truly decadent relaxation room, and a finishing studio for nails and beauty. Head downstairs for the fire and ice experience: a spiral journey through a foot spa, feature showers, caldarium, igloo, two aroma steam rooms, a sanarium, a sauna and a hydrotherapy pool. The leisure club has a large, bright pool; two whirlpools; plus a diner-style café with an outdoor terrace.
- Family swim times
- Dual treatment room
- Fire and Ice experience
- Foot spa
- Feature showers
- Aroma cave
- Shower grotto
- Crystal steam room
- Hydrotherapy pool
- Tranquillity room
- Relaxation room with day beds
- Finishing studio (nails and pedicures)
Our Spa Spy review
The Belfry Hotel and Resort is a golfer's Mecca, having hosted the Ryder Cup four times. The resort is a sprawling red brick building with a bell tower (hence the name) surrounded by 500 acres of lovely countryside.
The hotel feels American: everything is high-spec and spacious. The design will appeal to international guests, with roaring fires and clubby armchairs, walls adorned with tasteful black-and-white shots of the course and famous golfers. A striking chandelier is constructed of golf clubs.
You reach the Belfry Spa either through a long porch at the front of the hotel or via reception: follow the wide corridor until you reach the Spa and Leisure Club. The entrance has striped sofas and trees with fairy lights, signalling a very feminine zone. Upstairs is the serene spa, on the ground floor the buzzy and more functional pool and thermal area.
What's on offer?
If you have booked a treatment, a therapist will lead you up some stairs dotted with candles to the spa reception area, with a main desk, sofas and tables. The design is calming but glamorous, with pale and light natural tones and soft textures. Scented candles and low lighting give the spa ambience, alongside shelves of tempting products.
The spa changing rooms are small and neat, there's no shower but there is a hairdryer and hair straighteners. The full-sized lockers contained our robes, slippers and towels. The main leisure changing rooms are on the floor below.
The Belfry Spa has 12 spacious treatment rooms, one for couples, and one with easy accessibility. A large and rather chic finishing studio has manicure and pedicure stations; perfect for parties.
The jewel in the crown is the relaxation room which, with its plush velvet day beds screened by gold beaded curtains, feels like the home of a tasteful Hollywood starlet. Sumptuous sofas, day beds, and high-backed chairs with velvet pouffes are all perfectly arranged so each area feels private. Coffee tables have glossy magazines and water flavoured with fresh fruit.
You need to leave the spa to go to the fire and ice experience, but can do so in your robe. The thermal facilities are open to spa guests from 10am to 5pm every day. Each spa guest has a fifteen-minute slot for entering the facilities so, in theory, you shouldn't overlap too much.
The thermal area is laid out like a horseshoe with experience rooms off each side. An attendant at the front desk will give you a quick tour, telling you the suggested route around the facilities.
There are four tiled foot baths, to which the attendant added a coconut foot soak, a gently warm caldarium with soft coloured lighting, a beautifully hot sauna, an igloo with an ice fountain, next to which is an ice bucket shower. The two wet heat experiences are the crystal steam room and a pink-lit aroma cave. The huge sanarium is in the same room as the large hydrotherapy pool. Most of the rooms seat four or six comfortably, except the large sauna, sanarium and the hydro-pool, which can easily seat twelve or more. There are also experience showers and a tranquillity room with low lights and soothing sounds. If you fancy a rest, try the conservatory with four loungers overlooking a courtyard.
Walk through to the leisure centre where you will find the blue mosaic 12.5-metre swimming pool with two hot tubs at one end, surrounded by plenty of loungers. The leisure-centre changing rooms are rather more basic than the spa changing rooms, and worn, but have showers, lockers and a helpful attendant who will keep you freshly supplied with towels and robes.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Orli Candle Massage (55 minutes, £89).
Katie, my therapist, met me in the relaxation room where I was happily reclining on a velvet chaise longue. She led me to the treatment room, where I took a seat, and let me smell five different candle scents. I chose the Fig and Orange. Once the candle was lit and warmed, Katie would use the oil as an emollient.
Katie began the massage on my back, moving down to the backs of my legs. Katie used long flowing strokes with deeper kneading movements on my areas of tension. The bed was warm, had beautifully soft linen and, coupled with a relaxing massage, was absolute bliss.
Katie asked me to turn over and continued the massage on my legs and stomach, finishing at my shoulders.
My skin was well hydrated with the warm candle oil and smelled heavenly.
The treatment menu at The Belfry Spa caters for special treats, such as a couple's day package, or the four-handed Purva Karma massage, aromatherapy, hot stone, Swedish and deep tissue massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and beauty finishing touches. There are also pre- and post-natal treatments, and a Golfer's Recovery for both sexes.
We ate in our robes in the Leisure Café, a modern, light diner with a brick wall, blue and green painted chairs and black-and-white photos. There's also a terrace for warmer weather.
The café offers choice of cooked meals or lighter salads and snacks. Our spa package included an Afternoon Tea, so we enjoyed a tier of gorgeous fancy cakes, crustless sandwiches and delicious cream scones. The cakes we couldn't quite manage went into an elegant takeaway box.
The Belfry's huge main hotel has several restaurants: one with a grill, a club house with burgers and popcorn chicken, a pizza/pasta restaurant and a bar.
We loved / we didn't love
The design of the spa: With candles, shimmery soft furnishings and muted colours, The Belfry Spa feels luxurious in an understated way. The relaxation room is the crowning glory.
Getting a map at check in: The Belfry Resort is large but very well thought through and signposted. We didn't get lost.
Our dinner in The Ryder Grill: The ambience, service and food made for a welcome evening.
We didn't love
Compared to the spa, and indeed the rest of the hotel, the thermal and leisure area needs investment and updating. Manage your expectations: the "fire and ice" experience is more of a "health club" offering and does not reach the high standards of the separate spa.
The leisure areas were busy and noisy on our visit; great if you're spa-ing with a group, but not great if you're looking for some quiet and peaceful spa time.
Who do you think would like it?
Sporty Spa-istas will like the vibrant energy of the club. I enjoyed an early morning gym session before using the fire and ice facilities. There are plenty of classes to choose from, too.
Golf widows can find a luxurious sanctuary at The Belfry Spa that's a world away from the putting green. It is serene, with enough space to spa on your own.
You could also tempt your beloved with the indulgent couples' packages or treatments for men.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Belfry Club and Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of 4 Bubbles. The spa and relaxation spaces are beautiful and well designed; our treatment was excellent; and the food is just the right side of indulgent. The journey from club to spa is disjointed and the club facilities are tired in places but were well attended to and clean.
Leisure Cafe in the spa and leisure area, serves light lunch, healthy options and kids' menu. Other dining options at The Belfry Hotel include the Brabazon Bar, Sam's Club House, and The Ryder Grill.
A selection of guest rooms and suites.
Monday to Thursday: 9.30am-8.00pm
Friday to Saturday: 9.30am-7.00pm