The historical Swan Hotel in the picturesque village of Lavenham is all oak-beams with huge open fires. Head along a path at the back and discover a beautiful modern spa in a delightful secret garden. Weaver’s House seems small, yet surprises with its use of space and light, managing to pack in a sauna, steam room, relaxing garden room and outdoor vitality pool on a pretty terrace. Treatments use Temple Spa and Jennifer Young products; afterwards, head to the cosy, dark relaxation room in the eaves.
- XXL robes available
- Six spacious treatment rooms including one double
- Two relaxation suites
- Manicure and pedicure emporium
- Hot stone sauna
- Aromatic steam room
- Spa boutique
- Outdoor vitality pool
- Terraced garden with relaxation beds
- Temple Spa
Our Spa Spy review
In the sleepy Suffolk village of Lavenham, Weavers' House Spa is a very peaceful place to be. The fifteenth-century Swan Hotel is all low beams and roaring fires but the spa is a modern extension in a quiet courtyard. Simple touches -- such as fresh macaroons post-treatment and burning aroma candles -- elevate this spa to a blissful level.
What's on offer?
Weavers' House Spa has its own entrance so you won't get entangled with the hotel. Walk through the courtyard dotted with plants to reception; this sets the tone for the spa through taupe walls, wood floors and scented candles. There are Temple Spa products to try and buy, a reception desk and a slightly hidden area for manicures and pedicures. Staff warmly greeted us and asked us to sign in.
The changing rooms are small but chic, and follow the taupe and honey-wood decor. One wall is lined with shelves of rolled-up towels and in the wooden lockers are your fluffy white robe and slippers. Further on are three private changing cubicles and a vanity desk with tissues, cotton wool, hairdryers, a large mirror and Temple Spa hand-wash and moisturiser. There are two loos to the left; to the right are two showers containing Temple Spa shampoo, conditioner and body wash.
The spa's oversized white marble steam room would easily seat ten and was wonderfully hot and steamy on our visit. The glass-fronted sauna is equally big with double-stacked seating comfortably accommodating eight people. We loved the small areas before each room with benches to take a break from the heat, hooks for your robes, and fresh towels to help yourself to.
Outside is a sun-trap courtyard with a decent-sized square hydro-pool sunk into the paving. Turn on the jets and enjoy the water, which is heated to 37 degrees -- very soothing on a winter's day. There's a shower just next to the pool, and lots of wicker chairs and loungers to take a pew and soak up the fresh air.
The spa lounge is where most people chill out during the day. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlook the courtyard, making a light and bright space. Sofas, stools and armchairs are gathered in little enclaves so that you can chat without disturbing others. Taupes, nudes and pale woods are interspersed with pastel pink-hued cushions. Help yourself to magazines and water, with freshly-cut lemons to make your own infusion.
The darker relaxation room is upstairs; curl up on one of four chaise-longue-style beds -- each with cushion and blanket -- and doze post treatment. The blinds are drawn so you can really drift off in peace.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Treatment Repose Aromatherapy Facial (75 minutes, £95) followed by the Aaahhh Foot and Leg Revitalizer (30 minutes, £45).
My therapist, Hannah, collected me from the sunny spa lounge and led me up the stairs to one of six treatment rooms, attractively decked out with fern-hued walls and light wood floors. After an initial consultation about my skincare routine and concerns, Hannah left the room so that I could get comfortable face down on the warm treatment bed.
My treatment began with a very relaxing neck and shoulder massage using hot stones. When I turned over, Hannah started the facial with a double cleanse to deeply clean my pores. The toner Hannah used smelled of fresh green tomatoes, and was light and tingly.
Assessing my skin, Hannah deemed it to be dehydrated and applied a Repose Aromatherapy night cream which she left on for a few minutes. I don't know if it was the warm lavender eye mask, the soothing guitar music coming out of the stereo or Hannah's amazing scalp massage, but I promptly fell asleep.
The treatment continued with a gentle face massage, concentrating on the thin skin around my eyes. Hannah applied a calming mask designed to firm, hydrate and cool. While this worked its magic, she treated me to a hand and arm massage.
For my Revitalizer, Hannah expertly swept a body brush up my legs, beginning at the ankle and stopping at each knee, before applying a sugar scrub containing olive oil, eucalyptus and lavender. Once wiped off, Hannah smoothed a good dollop of the iconic Temple Spa Aahhhh revitalising cream over the front and back of my legs.
A quick look in the mirror revealed a smoother, more radiant face, while my legs felt lighter and better nourished. Hannah left me to get dressed, returning with a refreshing raspberry sorbet and a glass of water. In the relaxation room afterwards, treats continued with a pot of Inner Radiance tea -- a delicate blend of rose, hibiscus and vanilla -- and a fresh cream macaroon.
Weavers' House Spa at The Swan at Lavenham offers a good range of Temple Spa treatments from traditional facials, massages and body treatments to more unusual signature treatments, including the Swan Song -- a facial and massage for two -- or the two-hour Hug massage. The spa also runs Reiki and meditation classes alongside its Touch Therapies for those living with cancer.
Food options are a little limited within Weavers' House Spa itself, with a menu of salads, sandwiches, and snacks such as humous and pitta bread. The spa has a good reputation for afternoon tea, serving two varieties: classic and a gluten-free option.
Our brown-bread steak sandwich with salad and root vegetable crisps was lighter than it sounded and perfect with a glass of chilled white wine. If you fancy something more substantial, you will need to dress and head to the hotel.
If you're staying overnight, you can eat in the hotel's wood-panelled fine-dining restaurant, The Gallery, which serves three, four or five courses of classic British cuisine with wine pairings.
We sensibly opted for three dishes. Our starter of cauliflower and cheddar risotto with truffle shavings was rich, creamy and surprisingly moreish; the scallops for our main course were perfectly cooked. For dessert, we chose a modern take on a Black Forest gateau: a beautiful plate of chocolate, cherries and cream. What's not to love?
The sommelier at The Gallery really knows his grapes, perfectly selecting a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc to complement both our starter and main course.
We loved / we didn't love
Our treatment was personalised, expertly delivered and simply divine.
The well-thought-out areas in the thermal facilities: Hang your robe, grab a fresh towel (and dispose of your wet one) or use the bench to take a break from the heat. Other spas should take note.
We didn't love
Some of the jets in the outdoor hydro-pool didn't seem to be working on our visit.
Who do you think would like it?
Weavers' House Spa is relatively small so lends itself to solo spa-goers, duos of friends or couples.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
There are three dining options at The Swan at Lavenham; the laid-back and relaxed Airmen's Bar, the informal Brasserie or fine dining at the AA two Rosette Gallery Restaurant.
There are 45 rooms available at The Swan at Lavenham from cosy Cygnet Rooms to Constable Suites.
See the hotels entry on Pride of Britain Hotels.
The spa is open Saturday to Wednesday: 9am-7pm; Thursday and Friday: 9am-9pm.