The Garage Spa


The Garage Spa has a fascinating past, transformed from an ancient stopping station into a modern spa. Today it’s part of the historic Morritt Country House Hotel and embraces its background by offering quirky themed names for spa facilities and services. The spa has both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a steam room, salt inhalation room and a hammam. Treatments by Germaine de Capuccini and Caci sit alongside Jessica manicures and pedicures, beauty treatments and alternative therapies.  

Features

  • Women only days
  • Salt relaxation room
  • 4 Car wash shower experiences
  • Dry floatation room (bookable)
  • Hammam
  • Rasul mud pit (bookable)
  • Steam room
  • Three indoor hot tubs (hot; medium; cold plunge pool)
  • Two outside hot tubs
  • Couples treatment room
  • Private rooftop cabriolet (bookable)
  • Manicures and pedicures for under sixteens
  • 'Girls Night In' on Thursdays
  • XXL robes available

Products

  • CACI
  • Germaine de Capuccini
  • Jessica Natural Nailcare
  • Kissed by Mii
  • Mii Cosmetics

Our Spa Spy review

First impressions

First Impressions

The Garage Spa is truly a find. Firstly because it is located in the middle of nowhere on a little cul de sac; secondly because it's brilliant and totally original: a former garage which has been converted into a very special spa.

The Morritt Country House Hotel is immediately next door; this is where you will stay if you are on an overnight spa break at The Garage Spa. Rooms are old fashioned -- we had a four poster bed -- and the bathrooms have full-sized Garage spa products for you to use.

On offer

What's on offer?

The Garage Spa is a small spa that manages to pack in a large array of facilities. Taking a maximum of twenty guests at any one time, there is plenty for everyone to do without feeling cramped.

In recognition of the Garage's former purpose, many parts of the spa are named accordingly. So, spa reception is called The Forecourt. This area has a wood burner and two comfortable armchairs, a cosy welcome on a cold day. Retail therapy includes The Garage spa's own brand products, also with car references. Products have names such as Soft Top Body Lotion, Unleaded Shampoo and Turbo Boost Conditioner.

Immediately behind The Forecourt is the Relaxation Lounge. This is all about old-fashioned relaxation with armchairs, sofas, an open fire in colder weather, and a cosy, snug vibe. The Paint Room, directly off this lounge, offers manicures and pedicures as well as haircuts and styling.

As you enter the wet spa with its low-hanging metal lights and grey tiles, the atmosphere changes completely. Even the robes are grey; you are entering the realm of the garage.

The changing rooms have no communal changing area; seven private changing rooms each have their own shower and sink. A wooden bench lifts up to reveal a loo on one side and a hairdryer in a compartment on the other, with an old-fashioned toilet cistern above, on the wall.

The first thermal experience is the Salt Relaxation Room, which has reclined chairs and cute little sheepskin footrests. The temperature is ambient so most guests stay in their robes and gaze at the changing colours on the bricks on the wall. The steam room is large with natural light. Outside there are jugs of water with cucumber, and chairs with zebra-print blankets. If you need to cool down, you have the Car Wash: an open-plan block of four showers including a cold douse and cold bucket showers.

The wooden "hot" tubs are a treat: one warm and one hot; you can bubble away under multiple low-hanging car-inspection lamps. The third is a cold tub which can be used as a plunge pool after any of the heat experiences.

Outside, the Secret Garden has more spa treats. Our favourite was the Shepherd's Hut converted into a sauna. Plenty of loungers are out here for warmer weather, some around a fire pit for chillier days. There is also a fireplace built into the wall under an overhanging roof. The roof also shelters the hydro-pool which is a large copper bath. Both outside and inside, wicker hammock chairs have cushions and blankets to get extra cosy.

Back inside, the eight treatment rooms are upstairs, with names such as Rover and Bentley and a couples suite called The Rolls Royce. The Whispering Lounge is also upstairs, dedicated to post-treatment relaxation. There is a lift for those unable to use the stairs.

Tell us about the treatments

Tell us about the treatments

We had the Candle Comfort Massage (55 minutes, £70). This signature treatment uses The Garage's own scented massage-oil candles. We also tried the Germaine de Capuccini Signature Facial (90 minutes, £90).

Michelle, my therapist, met me in the Relaxation Lounge and took me upstairs to the warm, candle-lit treatment room, which smelled delicious. Michelle poured melted candle oil onto my skin, starting with my back and the backs of my legs, then my abdomen, chest and arms, covering each area with towels afterwards. There are no gimmicks with this treatment; it's simply a very comforting massage and the candle oil felt silky on my skin.

Michelle began the facial by using a pinda, or herbal compress, to knead all of the muscles in my legs and arms. She then asked me to inhale citrus scented Vitality Oil.

Michelle cleansed my face twice, toned, and used a brush to paint on an enzyme peel. After removing this, Michelle applied a sesame and kombuca-based anti-ageing serum, dotting it onto areas in need of special attention first.

This Germaine De Capuccini facial uses a special piece of kit called a Germanium rotating wand; this aims to balance the skin's positive and negative ions and plump the skin. Michelle rubbed one end of it on my face quite briskly, to warm my skin, then applied the wand to pressure points on my face. It was a deeply relaxing facial massage.

Next came a mask, which also contained sesame and kombuca. Michelle warned me that this would be cold and it was. While the mask was working, Michelle applied exfoliator to my arms, then massaged in moisturiser.

Michelle removed the mask before applying moisturiser and, unusually, serum on top, as well as eye and lip balm. Michelle placed a warm towel under my neck which she pulled to perform some gentle stretches. The final treat was a spritz with a gorgeous scent. I emerged, blinking in the light, with silky soft skin on my body and my face looked noticeably brighter.

The facials on offer at The Garage Spa concentrate on advanced anti-ageing from Germaine De Cappucini and CACI. CACI treatments include a jowl lift and eye lift, both using the CACI Ultimate aesthetic system. Body scrubs include the Bergamot and Calendula Flower Salt Scrub and for the ultimate in body indulgence, you could try the Gleaming Gold Champagne Body Wrap. Apparently, Champagne contains anti-ageing properties. You can also book other wraps, massages, dry floatation, or try the hammam.

The Cabriolet Hot Tub is a treat for couples who can sit in a copper hot tub on a private heated rooftop terrace.

Overnight spa packages are great value, including spa, afternoon tea, and dinner, bed and breakfast next door in the Morritt Hotel.

Food facts

Food Facts

If you are on a day package at The Garage Spa, you'll eat lunch or afternoon tea in the Relaxation Lounge or, if the weather is warmer, outside at the tables in front of the spa. The afternoon tea was very popular when we visited, served on old-fashioned china and tiered cake plates. Our lunch choices included a risotto of the moment, soup, and smoked Highland salmon and prawns (a generous portion and very fresh). We skipped the mains -- comfort foods such as steak, burgers and fish and chips -- and went straight to the perfect dark chocolate torte with blueberry compote.

If you have booked a spa break, you'll eat dinner in the 2 AA Rosette Gilroy's Dining Room next door in the Morritt hotel. The chef is very interested in using local produce as well as foraged plants and herbs. Our vegetarian main course was refreshingly unconventional and delicious: broccoli with Yorkshire Blue cheese, sage mash and toasted almonds. For pudding, we eventually decided on the poached pear with sorrel ice cream, forsaking the sea buckthorn curd with pine tuile.

We loved / we didn't love

We loved / we didn't love

We loved the sheer inventiveness and individuality of The Garage Spa. This is a spa with a vision and the confidence to pull it off.

We loved that The Garage Spa has managed to fit so many facilities into quite a small space. There is no lap pool, but every nook and cranny offers up a delight.

We loved our treatments. Having felt (and looked!) a little under the weather, the treatments restored both our radiance and our equilibrium.

We didn't love not having somewhere to lie down after our treatment. The Whispering Lounge is comfortable and quiet but after treatments this good, we needed to get horizontal.

Who do you think would like it?

Who do you think would like it?

Anyone who has that "been there, done that" spa feeling should go to The Garage Spa to restore their spa faith.

Anyone looking to convert a reluctant male to the joys of spa-ing: the garage theme and masculine décor will ensure that he feels on safe ground.

What bubble rating did you give this spa?

What bubble rating did you give this spa?

We gave The Garage Spa a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. The Garage really stands out. The design is quirky and cool, the facilities are excellent, and the food and treatments worth travelling for. We loved this spa and think that you will, too.

Super Spy visited in June 2015 and awarded it 5 Bubbles.

Public Opinion

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What others are saying

Spa Location

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Spa location

Greta Bridge,
Nr. Barnard Castle,
County Durham,
DL12 9SE

01833 863100

Visit the spa's website

Extra Information

Dining

The Morritt Hotel and Garage Spa has a range of options in order to exceed everyone's expectations. The 2 Rosette award winning Gilroy’s Dining Room offers seasonal produce with a contempory twist, in contrast The Dickens Bar and Bistro offers classic dishes cooked in a homely fashion. They also offer Afternoon Tea, light snacks and al fresco dining.

Accommodation

The Morritt Hotel and Garage Spa has a wide variety of room types and styles to suit all needs and tastes. Classic double/twins, family, deluxe and executive make up the 26 room collection.  They also have an adapted room with special facilities, in order to offer everyone the opportunity to join us and enjoy themselves. In addition to the hotel accommodation they have a self catering holiday cottage that sleeps 20 people and includes its own hot tub and sauna, perfect for a hen do celebration or family staycation. 

Opening Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday - 9am to 8pm

Wednesday and Saturday - 9am to 6pm

Treatment menu

View the treatment menu

The Garage Spa promotional video
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