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 are colourful making it a great spot for weddings and functions. The hotel’s suites are bright, clean and comfortable; three restaurants and lounges take care of dining.
A flower-lined path leads to the Kinspa, a sympathetic modern extension to the hotel - if you can hear water trickling into the pond, you’re heading in the right direction. Despite being split over two levels, the spa is on the smaller side, but cleverly packs a lot into the space provided.
What's on offer?
We received a warm welcome in the light and airy reception where our spa host, Cathryn, gave us a tour of the spa. She then showed us to a table in the Chiang Mai restaurant where we sat to complete medical forms, order lunch and sip a baobab and passionfruit shot. Cathryn then gave us a further two shots to take away with us: apple cider and ginger to use as an afternoon pick-me-up and mint, CBD and cucumber to sip on departure.
The small, taupe-tiled changing rooms contain dark wood, coded lockers each with Kinspa flip-flops, huge white robe, and towel inside. Two showers contain Noble Isle shampoo, conditioner and shower gel; the vanity area has two hairdryers. Tucked around the corner is a large private changing cubicle.
You’ll find the thermal area – attractively clad in slate grey - 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 one of the five rattan-effect loungers afterwards.
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 window opening to the 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 warmly lit with comfortable mosaic-tiled seating. The sauna, which overlooks the pool, is smaller (seating around eight) but was perfectly hot. Cool down with the ice bucket afterwards trying not to squeal as the ice water hits your head.
Post-treatment relaxation takes place in the Tranquillity Suite upstairs, found at the end of a candle-lit corridor. Look out to the countryside through floor-to-ceiling windows. Here, six beds have their own fluffy grey blankets and side-tables stocked with magazines. Help yourself to tea, coffee, water, smoothies and - on our visit - fresh watermelon slices and flapjacks.
There's a fully-equipped gym at The Kinmel and Kinspa, too, again with those countryside views we just couldn’t get enough of.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed an Elemis Calm Ritual (90 minutes, £95).
My therapist, Hannah, showed me through to a dimly lit treatment room with flickering candles and soothing music, and invited me to take a seat to discuss areas of concern (my neck and shoulders), my desired pressure (medium to firm) and any part of my body I’d prefer not to be scrubbed (nope, knock yourself out).
Hannah then talked me through the steps of the ritual before asking me to get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face down. Hannah placed her hand on my back and began the treatment by gently wafting an essential oil under my nose which I inhaled slowly.
Using an invigorating lime and ginger salt scrub, Hannah worked the exfoliant into every inch of my body in a circular motion. She then turned on the shower and stepped outside the room so I could rinse the scrub off, reach for the flannel mitts provided to get rid of those pesky grains. My skin instantly felt softer.
Back on the bed, Hannah began the massage by working out the knots on my shoulders, strategically placing hot poultices on areas of tightness to loosen the muscles in preparation; the hands-on massage that followed made me feel as light as a feather.
After working on my legs, Hannah asked me to turn onto my back so that she could repeat the process on my front, paying particular attention to my legs using broad, targeted strokes and, again, introducing the poultices.
The final stage to this very calming, three-pronged treatment was an Elemis facial which consisted of a deep cleanse, a scrub, a mask and a scalp massage using Elemis’ famous frangipani oil. This felt wonderfully soothing. Mask removed, the facial concluded with a smidge of eye cream and a slick of Pro Collagen Marine Cream.
In the Tranquillity Suite afterwards, I found my spa partner snuggled under a blanket gazing at the countryside. We tucked into a raspberry sorbet and compared treatments in a relaxed haze. Hannah appearing to gift me the poultices to take home was the icing on the treatment cake.
Kinspa offers a range of facials and body treatments by Elemis, as well as holistic treatments such as reflexology, and treatments specifically for those living with, or recovering from, cancer. Finishing touches include manicures and pedicures by Peacci, spray tanning, and lash and brow treatments.
You can eat lunch in your robe in the warm and welcoming Chiang Mai restaurant, which serves Thai cuisine with a twist, as well as some British classics. We chose to sit at one of the outside tables overlooking the gardens and Welsh countryside; heaters and grey blankets took the nip out of the air.
We opted for the Thai fish cakes with a Thai dipping sauce to start followed by a main course of Teriyaki Seabass with egg noodles and stir-fried greens. Our spa partner enjoyed the king prawn linguine. We washed this down with a cheeky glass of blush. Not managing to fit it in the first time, we returned after our treatments for cups of coffee and dishes of sticky toffee pudding with ice cream.
If you're staying overnight, you'll eat dinner in Brasserie 1786, fine dining in a relaxed setting. Our starter of crispy scotch egg with a runny yolk and brown sauce was a hit. The fillet of pork with black pudding bon-bon, carrots, spinach and potato Rosti – served with an entire jug of mustard jus – didn’t disappoint either.
Our Spa partner was defeated by a large portion of fish and chips but, after a short breather, loosened their belt for a pretty ice cream sundae topped with chunks of chocolate brownie. Our chocolate fondant was a real contender, too.
Our overnight spa packages included an aperitif – from a large menu of spirits and cocktails, we opted for a classic G&T. Don’t miss a pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap in the stylish Oak Lounge either.
We loved / we didn't love
The hydrotherapy pool: we could have spent hours gazing at the Welsh hills in the warm, bubbly water.
The staff: everybody was met on our visit was friendly and welcoming; nothing was too much trouble.
Our treatment: our Elemis Calm Ritual left us feeling totally chilled out yet revived.
We didn't love
The small changing rooms: while the spa was quiet on our visit, we imagine this space feeling a little cramped at busier times.
Who do you think would like it?
Lovers of Thai food: the restaurant serves authentic Thai cuisine with a delicate twist.
Small groups of friends: on our visit, we spied small groups of friends, and mothers and daughters enjoying the spa.
Couples: with its hydro-pool and plenty of areas for couples for cosying up, the Kinmel and Kinspa is a romantic spot for a weekend away.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Kinmel and Kinspa a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of 5 Bubbles. This delightful country retreat may be on the smaller side, but it has everything you need for a comfortable, relaxing spa break. The service, thermal facilities, treatments, food and views are all top-notch; the whole experience is great value-for-money, too.
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.