The Belfry is a luxurious golf resort set in over 500 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 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 arm chairs, 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 are ESPA cleansers, moisturisers, a hairdryer and hair straighteners. The full-sized lockers contained our robes, slippers and towels, as well as ESPA tester products. 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 poufs 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 and 5pm every day. Each spa guest has a fifteen-minute slot for entering the facilities, so in theory, you shouldn't overlap too much. In practice, however, the thermal area can get very crowded.
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.
The fire and ice experiences are dated. There are four tiled foot baths (two were out of order during our visit), 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, the crystal steam room and a pink-lit aroma cave, were not quite steamy enough during our visit. 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, a conservatory with four loungers overlooks a courtyard.
In this part of the leisure centre is 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 ESPA Hero Back, Face and Scalp Treatment (85 minutes, £109), which includes a back massage with hot stones, a facial, and a head massage.
My therapist, Sam, collected me from the relaxation room, where I was reclining like Lana del Ray (in my mind at least). Our serene treatment room was lit with scented candles and gentle, soothing music played.
I sat on a comfortable chair while we talked through my consultation, including which areas I'd like Sam to focus on. Sam chose two ESPA oils and dotted them on my wrists, asking me to choose the smells that appealed the most. I was drawn to the rose and geranium scents of the Hydrating Floral Spafresh, good for dry and sensitive skin, and the musky Optimal Skin ProSerum.
I settled onto the wide and comfortable treatment bed. Sam cleansed and scrubbed my face, then examined it under a UV lamp. She said my skin was combination with an oily T-zone, and a little dehydrated around the eyes. Once the inspection was complete, I turned over for the massage.
Sam massaged in the oils with long, blissful strokes, introducing the hot stones for key areas such as my tense shoulders, aching lower back and spine. The stones were more soothing than hot, so I started to drift off. Sam massaged my arms, hands, shoulders, décolletage, head and the back of my neck.
Sam moved onto the facial part of the treatment. She massaged my face, using pressure points and working on my tense jaw, paying particular attention to my eyes and nose. She cleansed my skin and applied a finishing serum and moisturiser. At the end, I felt utterly relaxed. Sam brought me a drink of water, then led me back to the relaxation room.
My face looked noticeably plump, rosy and youthful, and my tension was gone. I loved the smell of the oils and decided to leave them on as long as possible.
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 a champagne cream 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 relaxation room with the fringed gold bead curtains and velvet day beds. There are lots of places to cosy up with your leading man/lady.
The design of the spa: With candles, shimmery soft furnishings and muted colours, The Belfry Spa feels luxurious in an understated way.
Our blissful ESPA Hero treatment: I felt confident and relaxed in my therapist's skilled hands.
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?
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.
Girls (and guys) on a night out: The Bel Air nightclub is part of the Belfry complex.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
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