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 hotel and spa above a Welsh valley. The grounds are small but well looked after with an enormous oak tree standing proud in the middle. The four-star hotel was busy and vibrant on our visit and the rooms are comfortable and modern. The spa is just a few steps away from the hotel, along a flower-edged path.
What's on offer?
KinSpa packs a lot into a relatively small space over two floors. You arrive at the ground floor reception. Floor-to-ceiling windows make this space bright, alongside soft taupe walls. The back wall is lined with fresh robes and towels.
The changing rooms have two showers, one loo and a private changing cubicle. Dark wooden lockers line the walls and are locked with a four digit code. A vanity station has hairdryers, a drawer of Elemis samples, and fresh towels you can help yourself to. Elemis products are in the showers and bathrooms, too, so there's no need to pack your shampoo and conditioner.
The thermal area is on the ground floor; it's dark and moody with floor-to-ceiling slate tiles and a flash of pink lighting in the corner. The experience rooms start with the dark brown tiled steam room with a fresh eucalyptus scent; it's large enough to fit about ten people. The glass-fronted wooden sauna is a little smaller but looks out over the pool. Try the bucket shower to cool off from the heat.
The swimming pool is nine metres long, so just about big enough to stretch out for a leisurely swim. The hydro-pool is unusual; there's a bubbly area which would comfortably seat four, but swim under a waterfall to a larger area filled with daylight, overlooking the gardens. It has four different air jets and a window you can slide open to enjoy the fresh air: a lovely addition.
A flight of stairs takes you up to the top floor to the treatment rooms and relaxation space. Treatment reception has lots of comfortable chairs; you fill out you consultation form and wait for your treatment here.
The quiet relaxation room is perfect for post-treatment peace. The room has floor-to-ceiling windows and the panoramic view over the valley is stunning, even on cloudy day. There are six loungers and one large corner sofa. Help yourself to magazines, herbal tea, juice, infused water or fresh fruit -- there was a mix of berries and melon when we visited. Spa assistants visit everyone once in a while and offer a choice of hot or cold lavender-infused towels.
KinSpa is very well tended and smells wonderful throughout. The finishing touches make the space a very nice place to simply be.
A small but well equipped gym has cardio equipment and weights. Choose the treadmill in front of the window for a run with a view.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Willow Organic Luxury Body Polish (30 minutes, £42), Willow Organic Unwinding Body Massage (60 minutes, £59).
My therapist, Gemma, met me in the waiting area and took me through to our large treatment room. She explained that the Willow Organics products are very natural and placed an oil on the back of each of my hands for me to smell. I chose the uplifting oil which smelled of fresh lemon and mandarin.
Gemma left the room while I settled on the wide and long treatment bed. When I was comfortable, she came back into the room and placed an inhalation bowl underneath my face. I took some deep breaths of the uplifting oil scent.
Gemma started the scrub on the back of my legs and moved up to my back. She drizzled a warm oil onto my skin, then applied the salt scrub using circular movements. Gemma removed the scrub with hot towels and moved on to a relaxing massage. She focused on my shoulders and lower back, with strong but soothing pressure.
I turned over and she repeated the process on the front of my body. Gemma removed the scrub with hot towels and massaged my legs, arms and shoulders. My skin felt incredibly soft and I was blissfully relaxed for a mini Bright Eyes treatment (15 minutes, £20).
Gemma lifted my shoulders slightly with the electronic bed. She began by cleansing my skin with a creamy cleanser, then worked a gentle exfoliation over my face and neck. She removed the exfoliator with hot towels and massaged my face; the massage was just a few minutes long but my skin felt plump and revived. Gemma toned and applied moisturisers to my eyes and face to finish.
Gemma lifted my shoulders slightly with the electronic bed. She began by cleansing my skin with a creamy cleanser, then worked a gentle exfoliation over my face and neck. She removed the exfoliator with hot towels and massaged around my eyes using pressure points and long soft movements; the massage was just a few minutes long but my skin felt plump and revived. Gemma toned and applied moisturisers to my eyes and face then finished the treatment with a Nourishing Hair and Scalp massage (15 minutes, £19).
At the end of the treatment, Gemma raised the bed and handed me a glass of water. She left the room for a few minutes and returned with a berry sorbet. The treatments were a wonderful combination.
KinSpa offers a selection of Elemis and Willow Organics face and body treatments for both men and women as well as manicures and pedicures using Jessica polishes. You can also try hot stone massage and reflexology.
If you visit KinSpa for the day, you can eat lunch in the Zen Lounge, near the treatment reception. If the weather is good, you can sit out on a balcony, or cuddle up inside if it's cold.
The food is Thai-themed; choose from the three-course menu with meat, fish and vegetarian options. We had the chicken skewers to start, king prawn Pad Thai for a main, and a creamy panna cotta for dessert. The food is freshly made by a Thai chef, and tastes pretty authentic. The food is heavier than you might expect for a spa day but, if Thai is your thing, you'll love it.
You can also order hot and cold drinks, wine and prosecco. If you somehow have space, sign up for afternoon tea overlooking the gardens: delicious.
We loved / we didn't love
The location: Just a short journey from Chester but tucked away in the rural countryside, KinSpa is a little unexpected but didn't disappoint. We loved sitting in the relaxation room gazing out at the panoramic view of the countryside.
The service: From the post-treatment sorbet to colouring books in the relaxation room, KinSpa is filled with personal touches.
We didn't love
The changing rooms are rather intimate. A little more space, or fewer people, would have made getting changed more comfortable.
The hotel is good, but the service and standard of KinSpa overshadows it. In time, we hope, the hotel will match the spa.
Who do you think would like it?
Solo spa-goers: We felt very comfortable spa-ing on our own; the staff were friendly and welcoming.
Mothers and daughters: We saw a mother and daughter having afternoon tea together then enjoying the spa and relaxing post treatment. KinSpa is a wonderful space to enjoy quality time together.
Those seeking a romantic getaway: The location and local walks make for a quiet, romantic retreat.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
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.