Set in the grounds of a Georgian hotel, this tasteful spa has a dramatic glass structure housing the lovely hydrotherapy pool, so you can lie among the various bubble jets and gaze at the sky. There is also a glass-fronted sauna and steam room with hammam table, a rasul, an ice-fountain and a decked roof terrace with a hot tub. Have an ESPA treatment, cocoon in the relaxation room and lunch in robes in the stylish Spa Lounge.
- 10 treatment rooms
- Couples treatment suite
- Therapy room for visiting cosmetic doctors offering non-invasive procedures
- Beauty room for manicures and pedicures
- Spacious hydrotherapy pool with five water experiences
- Outdoor rooftop hot tub
- Steam room
- Experience showers
- Relaxation room
- Ice fountain
- Mii Cosmetics
Our Spa Spy review
Bedford Lodge Hotel is a grand, whitewashed Georgian hotel in manicured grounds near the Suffolk town of Newmarket, famous for its racecourse. The two-storey spa is housed in a modern extension with its own entrance. Walk down a path leading from the car park and through Grecian stone pillars with lilac wisteria hanging overhead.
What's on offer?
Staff warmly greeted us in the spacious reception area and handed us a pair of robust flip-flops, a locker key on a bracelet, and an electronic door card to access the spa. Abi then showed us through to the spa lounge to fill out a consultation form and down a spinach, apple and pineapple smoothie shot.
Kat then gave us a tour of the spa which is subtle and classy with grey tongue-and-groove doors opening out to neutral spaces with tactile furnishings.
Small but perfectly formed, the changing rooms have stone-effect tiled floors, mocha-coloured walls, and large wood-panelled lockers containing three different sections for your coat, overnight bag and clothes; an idea we wish more spas would adopt. You'll find a chocolate-coloured robe and towel inside.
There's a central bench for getting changed, one private changing cubicle (plus an accessible changing room next door) and a double vanity mirror with ESPA moisturiser, two hairdryers and a pair of GHD straighteners. The three shower cubicles -- each containing ESPA shampoo, conditioner and body wash -- and toilets are at the other end. Everything was immaculately clean on our visit.
The main spa is on the ground floor. Heated to a pleasant 42-46 degrees C, the steam room is larger than most with black marble seating and spotlights in the ceiling; sit or lie on the central slab and breathe in the oil-infused steam.
Mock embers give a warm glow to the toasty sauna which was nicely heated to 80-100 degrees C; pull the cord of the ice bucket outside for an instant (and rather invigorating) way to cool down. The experience shower delivers everything from a cold mist to a full-on downpour.
Despite it being a little chilly on our visit, we loved the oversized hydro-pool; natural light floods the area through floor-to-ceiling windows, offering views of the spa garden. There are five different features to try: we loved the powerful hydro-therapy jets which pummelled away at our tight shoulders.
The roof terrace, with its hot tub and recliners, is the ideal place to relax before or after treatments. Despite it being a chilly morning, we braved the outside, sank into the warm water and turned on the strong jets.
The main relaxation area, on the mezzanine level, overlooks the hydro-pool and roof terrace. Bright and airy, it's decorated in calming creams and chocolate browns, with plenty of seating. Help yourself to chilled water and a selection of glossy magazines.
Dimly lit, the second relaxation room -- designed for post-treatment time -- is like an Aladdin's cave, with dark wallpaper, thick curtains, comfortable sofas and bright fuchsia cushions.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the ESPA Mindful Massage (80 minutes, £110).
My therapist, Elisha, met me on the mezzanine level and led me to one of nine treatment rooms; mine had wood floors and truffle-coloured walls. The dulcet sounds of Enya emanated from the stereo; a nice change from the usual spa music
Elisha invited me to sit on a chair and talked me through the treatment, asking about any areas of concern and inviting me to choose a massage oil; I selected one containing sandalwood and frankincense. Elisha then left the room so that I could lie face-up on the treatment bed.
Elisha began the Mindful Massage by chiming small cymbal over my head with the aim of opening my energy centres (also known as chakras). She then asked me to take several deep breaths, holding each for three counts, then four and finally five. Once I was nicely relaxed, she asked me to visualise a colour and imagine it working its way down my body, from my head to my feet.
My hard-working feet were then treated to a wash using hot towels. Elisha poured my chosen oil down the right-hand side of my body and performed a very assured and relaxing massage. She worked her way up to my shoulder and neck before moving my neck to one side to give it a good stretch.
Elisha then did the same to the other side of my body before asking me to turn over. She lowered the bed and placed an inhalation bowl underneath, asking me to take three deep breaths. This time, Elisha concentrated the massage on my knotty shoulders, using a rotating motion to work them out, while also paying attention to my lower back, which I recently injured. Even my fingers were treated to Elisha's expert touch.
Once I turned back over, Elisha's skilled hands continued to work on my scalp, tugging parts of my hair and performing some static rotation work. I was in Spa Spy heaven. Rose quartz on my forehead, also the ‘third eye chakra’, and more hot towels on my feet ended what was an incredibly professional massage.
Rousing me slowly, Elisha fetched me a cup of lavender tea and led me to the deep relaxation room. I entered the treatment room feeling washed out and left feeling relaxed yet alert, leaving me able to do a couple of hours' work before dinner.
The Spa at Bedford Loge Hotel offers everything from massages and facials to wraps and scrubs, as well as microdermabrasion, skin peels, reflexology and flotation. There are also treatments for men and mothers-to-be, plus makeovers, manis/pedis and beauty finishing touches.
We ate lunch in our robes in the comfortable spa lounge with its large fireplace, high-backed chairs and abundance of soft furnishings. Choose from a menu of sharing plates, salads, wraps and toasties; hot drinks, detox drinks and smoothies, as well as wine by the glass.
Our Cromer crab salad with mixed leaves, lime mayonnaise and sourdough toast was fresh and crunchy, and perfect with a cheeky glass of crisp Chilean Sauvignon Blanc.
Guests staying overnight are in for a treat, with dinner served in the hotel's two AA rosette restaurant, Squires, which has large Georgian windows and a bright palette of fuchsia and florals. The gastro-pub-style menu includes seafood, steaks and traditional burgers.
Our seared sea bass with pan-fried new potatoes and green beans was a delight; for dessert, we combined a scoop of dark chocolate ice-cream with an orange sorbet: a winning combo.
We loved / we didn't love
The spa garden, with its manicured lawn, central fountain, flowered borders and visible church spire, makes for very relaxing spa-ing.
Our treatment: We love trying treatments we wouldn't usually select and being wowed by them.
The mezzanine level: From the rooftop terrace with hot tub to the spacious and airy relaxation room, The Spa at Bedford Lodge is a charming place to be.
We didn't love
While we loved the size and features of the hydro-therapy pool, it was a tad chilly on our visit.
Who do you think would like it?
We saw couples, mother-and-daughter duos and groups of friends all enjoying The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel.
Solo spa-goers: The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel is a peaceful spa, the ideal place to grab some much-needed "me" time.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of 5 Bubbles. The spa is stylish, functional and well thought-out, with decent facilities, good food and some treats to enjoy. We loved our treatment. Being in the Suffolk countryside makes the spa feel like a real getaway, too.
The Spa Lounge offers both indulgent and healthy food and beverages; Fine dining in Squires restaurant; Afternoon tea can be taken in Roxana Bar or on the terrace.
See the hotels entry on Pride of Britain Hotels.
77 bedrooms and suites
Sunday to Thursday: 9am to 7:30pm; Friday and Saturday: 9am to 9pm.