Seeing as my career gives me the perfect excuse to visit a spa frequently, you may be surprised to know I spent very little time actually relaxing in spa like surroundings. In all honesty a trip to the spa is usually more effort than it’s worth, as my brain attempts to absorb everything around me to aid future descriptive blog posts. I turn down the majority of opportunities because I’d often just like to close my eyes and enjoy the moment (rather than worrying about what products are being applied when, and what the specialist vibrating bed felt like!) but some things are just too hard to resist. When Champney’s Tring asked me to spend the day at their iconic hideaway, it was an opportunity too good to turn down. Having lived no more than thirty minutes away practically my whole life, it’s somewhere I’d always wanted to visit but never quite had the right opportunity to do so. Although Champneys were pioneers of the concept of holistic wellbeing (having developed the first UK health spa chain and the first purpose-built health resort,) over the last decade or so their brand had become a little dusty and a little out of touch with the needs of the modern woman. Suffice to say they’ve spent the last few years getting their house in order and totally revolutionising the Champney’s experience – and if you’ve been to one of their resorts previously, you won’t recognise the new incarnation at all.
Located in the midst of the Bedfordshire countryside, their Tring resort greets you like a knowing friend out of the vastness of green that surrounds it. The house grounds are stunning, while the touches of a grand wrought iron gate and beautiful fountain outside the main entrance make you feel like you’ve just arrived at somewhere from a movie. What’s brilliant about an encounter at Champney’s is the attention to detail that makes the whole day a dream: the greeting by a member of staff who guides you through to a healthy breakfast, the printed itinerary for the day which is zipped into a waterproof pocket, the guided tour that ensures you’re familiar with the surroundings, the money and therefore fuss free resort which means you don’t have to keep going back to your locker, and the endless supply of healthy yet delicious food to enjoy at lunchtime. I’ve been to a lot of spas and enjoyed a lot of treatments over the years, but none can compare to the experience Champney’s provides – you can tell they’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make every guest’s visit as stress free and enjoyable as possible, and it pays off.
Unlike a lot of spas that offer up a list of standardised and timeless-in-a-bad-way treatments, Champney’s offer a huge portfolio of modern and enjoyable experiences that really aim to tackle body issues while ensuring maximum relaxation. The ‘detox centre’ offers everything from a Frigi-Thalgo Leg Wrap (an intensive anti-cellulite treatment encouraging the elimination of toxins and excess fluid) and Pressotherapy (detoxifying boots that help remove toxins at a cellular level by inflating and deflating over a 20 minute period,) to Hydrotherapy Bath (an invigorating underwater massage that features water jets to encourage lymph drainage, boost circulation and aid slimming) and a Mineral G Detox (which features algae and a refreshing blend of stimulating essential oils via dry floatation.) You can choose to enjoy something as simple as a brow shape, pedicure or spray tan, or opt for a bamboo massage, seaweed wrap or Thalassotherapy (a mineral rich pool with hydrotherapy jets to stimulate and tone aching muscles.) The possibilities are endless, but equally if you just want to chillax for a day and do little else but read a book then the surroundings lend themselves perfectly.
With three jacuzzis (one outside,) a large swimming pool, relaxation suite, fully blown retail space, terrace tearoom, saunas, fitness studios and more sun loungers than you know what to do with, there’s almost too much to fit in between treatments. I’ve always wondered how people spend a whole weekend at a spa without getting bored, but having spent a single day at Champney’s I now totally understand the appeal. The atmosphere is utterly relaxing and totally invigorating, leaving me feeling revitalized and refreshed even though I’d only been at the spa for eight hours; I can only imagine what an overnight stay manages to achieve. During my day I experienced a full body exfoliation, the Thalgo Leg Wrap (which left me feeling like a mummy but was totally invigorating,) Pressotherapy (which was a very strange few minutes out of my day,) a brow shape, manicure, pedicure and spray tan – as well as plenty of dips in the pool and a chilled out hour with my book. I left feeling and looking preened and pampered ahead of the weekend, but it also left me desperate to return – if only to try the incredible Thalassotherapy pool which I kept seeing people dip into. From the healthy food options (no chips in sight) to the plethora of herbal teas available for sipping, I enjoyed every moment of my visit. Suffice to say I’ve found my new retreat and will be hiding out at Champney’s in Tring every time I need to recharge my batteries.
Spa Days are available at Champney’s Tring from £59.00; you can add in the treatments you want to enjoy on top, or choose from one of their pre-designed packages.
I was a guest of Champney’s Tring, but was under no obligation to write about my day; all opinions are my own.
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