Kinspa, a few steps away from the hotel and set in acres of parkland, has a petit swimming pool, a large hydrotherapy pool with a swim-through waterfall overlooking a water garden, plus an aromatherapy sauna and steam room. Treatments use Elemis and Willow Organic products, and food served in the Zen Lounge is Thai-themed. Post-treatment, head to the quiet relaxation room with its stunning panoramic views for a delicious sorbet; there are even adult colouring books to calm your mind.
- Hydrotherapy pool
- 9m swimming pool
- Aromatherapy steam room
- Drench shower
- Tranquillity suite
- Double treatment room
Our Spa Spy review
The Kinmel and Kinspa is a large, sprawling white hotel and spa in a Welsh valley, surrounded by tree- lined hills and farmland. While the grounds are small, the gardens themselves are colourful and peaceful. The hotel is bright, vibrant and, on our visit, busy with happy guests.
A flower-lined path leads you to the spa which is a sympathetic modern extension to the main building. As you near, you hear the sound of trickling water as it runs into the pond; the scent of a NEOM reed diffuser then fills your nostrils, putting you in the spa mood.
What's on offer?
The Kinspa is split over two levels and packs a lot into a relatively small space. We received a warm welcome at the light and airy reception. Danielle, our spa host, gave us a quick tour of the spa.
The small, taupe-tiled changing rooms contain dark wood, coded lockers; Kinspa flip-flops, a taupe robe and towel are inside. Two showers have Elemis shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. A well-stocked vanity area has two hairdryers, spare towels and all of the Elemis products you could need for post-spa preening. Tucked around the corner is a large private changing cubicle.
The grey-slate thermal area is on the lower level. The 9-metre pool is just long enough for some leisurely lengths and is attractively bathed in pink and blue lights. Help yourself to cold water from a water fountain and settle down on a comfortable lounger.
Next to the pool is the star of the show: a delightfully bubbly hydro-pool. Three steps lead down into a section with powerful jets and seating for four; through the water curtain is a larger area with a swan-neck fountain and sliding door leading outside. We loved the cool breeze on our faces as we bubbled away, listening to birds chirping in the garden and admiring the view of the hills.
Back inside, we tried the aromatherapy steam room which was large and invigorating, with a refreshing peppermint scent on our visit. The sauna, which overlooks the pool, is smaller (seating around eight) but was perfectly hot. Cool down with the ice bucket afterwards; just try not to squeal as the ice hits your head.
We loved the tasty smoothie that Danielle kindly brought to us halfway through the morning and the warm scented towel which found its way to us later that afternoon; little details which make a spa day memorable.
The main relaxation area is upstairs, at the end of a candle-lit corridor. Look out through floor-to-ceiling windows; on a clear day, you can see out to the sea. The six beds have their own fluffy grey blankets next to side tables stocked with magazines. Help yourself to tea, coffee, water, juice and fruit.
There's a fully-equipped gym at Kinmel and Kinspa, too.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed a NEOM Full Body Massage with Hot Stones (75 minutes; £69) and an Elemis Express Facial (30 minutes; £38).
My therapist, Stephanie, showed me to a dimly lit treatment room with flickering candles and soothing classical music. She invited me to take a seat on a white leather stool so that she could ask about my skin concerns (both dry and oily, frustratingly). With this information, Stephanie chose an Elemis Tri-Enzyme facial for the second part of my treatment.
Stephanie left the room so that I could change and get comfortable on the heated bed. She placed a cushion under my ankles and began by massaging the back of my legs. She used long, sweeping, fluid strokes and seamlessly switched between her hands and hot stones. It was like she was performing a ballet with her hands.
Stephanie paid close attention to my problem area -- the top of my shoulders and neck, where I hold tension -- using the warmth of the stones to relax my muscles. Stephanie then massaged my front, finishing with my décolletage and face with a facial massage using a blend of pinching and upward strokes.
The facial began with a thorough cleanse and tone in preparation for the Papaya Enzyme peel mask which smelled wonderfully fruity and felt slightly tingly. Stephanie removed this and applied a hydra-gel mask under my eyes and a second resurfacing gel mask on my skin. While this set, Stephanie gave me a blissful Indian head massage. She gently removed the mask and massaged a refreshing skin bliss recovery capsule into my skin, followed by an Elemis pro-collagen serum, eye cream and moisturiser.
Stephanie slowly raised the bed so that I could "come to", aided by a glass of ice-cold water, and a sweet and refreshing berry sorbet. I left the warmth of the treatment room feeling relaxed and refreshed. My skin felt incredibly soft and clean, and looked firmer and revitalised, too.
Kinspa offers a range of facials and body treatments by Elemis, NEOM and Willow organics, as well as holistic treatments such as reflexology, and treatments specifically for men. Finishing touches include manicures and pedicures by Jessica and make up by Mii.
We ate lunch in our robes on the balcony of the Chiang Mai Thai Restaurant. We loved the initial spice test to ensure our meal had the right amount of heat.
Our starter of Lab Gai salad with chicken, chilli and lemongrass was fresh and zingy, and perfect with a glass of bubbly. Our main of King Prawn Pad Thai was delicious and well balanced.
That evening we ate dinner in the Brasserie, which serves modern British cuisine in informal and relaxed surroundings. Our beetroot and walnut salad was sweet, salty and crunchy, while our short rib of beef was melt-in-the-mouth fantastic. Dessert was a blueberry soufflé with elderflower jelly -- a light, tasty delight.
We loved / we didn't love
The hydrotherapy pool: We could have spent hours bubbling away outside, gazing at the Welsh hills.
The staff: Everybody was warm, friendly and welcoming; nothing was too much trouble.
Our treatment: Our massage and facial combination was perfectly tailored to our needs.
We didn't love
The small changing rooms: When a small group of friends arrived, the space felt a little crowded.
Who do you think would like it?
Kinspa is perfect for solo spa goers: We felt welcome and at ease on our visit.
Kinmel and Kinspa is a romantic place with its outdoor hydro-pool and plenty of areas for couples to cosy up.
On our visit, there were small groups of friends and mothers and daughters enjoying the thermal facilities and a treatment.
Lovers of Thai food: The restaurant serves authentic Thai cuisine; we loved the initial spice test.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Kinmel and Kinspa a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of 5 bubbles. This delightful country retreat may be small but it has everything you could need for a relaxing spa day. The service, thermal facilities, treatments, food and views are all top-notch.
The spa features a Thai restaurant which serves a Thai food and afternoon tea menu. The hotel's Brasserie 1786 offers fine dining in an informal atmosphere.
The hotel offers forty rooms including double rooms, twin rooms, executive rooms and suites.
The thermal spa experience and gym are open Monday to Thursday: 7am-10pm; Friday: 7am-9pm; Saturday to Sunday: 8am-9pm. Treatments are available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 10am-8pm; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10am-7pm; Sunday: 9am-7pm.