Bathrobe at breakfast, bathrobe at lunch, bathrobe at dinner… I’d literally never spent this much time in a bathrobe and I loved it.
Dress for dinner? Pah. I’ll stay in my robe and slippers thank you very much.
My friend and I enjoyed a splendid three-course meal in the restaurant of this 18th-century Georgian manor house in our bathrobes. Because, well, why the devil not?
The relaxation rooms
It’s all about comfort here. Raggers the Ragdale cat roams the various rooms showing guests exactly what it’s all about. Stretching out on this lounger, snuggling up on that day bed... Raggers literally turned up at Ragdale Hall and refused to leave. Smart cat.
If the sun is out, you have to be quick to bag the loungers by the window on the pool deck. But forget the worry of the early towel droppers; there’s plenty of other places to bunker down for a few hours of hard-earned relaxation.
The health hydro and thermal complex is full of areas to explore. The thunder room was my pick of the bunch. One simple push of a button and you’re drenched in warm water and dazzled by flashing lights across the ceiling and the booming sounds of thunder.
For the brave, there’s also the freezing cold sea spray.
Back to the warm bits, there’s the usual Jacuzzi to melt into. Plus there’s a tempting warm river that leads outside with varying jets along the way. A great little nook if the sun is shining.
A steam room comes complete with themed lights and rose fragrances. The candle room lets you float weightlessly in complete silence, while the contemplation room lets you watch calming, coloured images rotate across the ceiling.
You should probably be contemplating life, clearing your mind of the fuss of daily events, but I simply pondered which room to explore next…
The spa doesn’t close until 10pm at night, so you can fit in many a dip (but be warned it is 10pm on the dot). The contemplation room lights went off at 22:00 hours sharp. No messing around.
Not to worry – bathrobe back on – myself and my friend simply continued our quest to sit in every room at some point during our one-night stay.
Each meal starts with a sample dish brought to your table, after which you can browse the buffet at leisure.
Logos dictate the calorie levels of the meals on the menu, and there’s a good mix of indulgent and healthy treats.
My particular favourite was the beetroot gnocchi, as well as a delicious brownie dessert. Although it was hard to top breakfast, which was delivered neatly into our room at 8am. You don’t need to be up and about, just conscious enough to open the door.
And it’s a heaving tray, with everything from muffins to tip top smoothies and pots of tea. The best bit? You choose your selection on arrival, so there’s no need to even think about what you fancy in the morning. If you would rather head to the restaurant, there is a breakfast sitting there too.
The rooms come complete with luxury products in the bathroom, a television and all the bits and bobs to make tea and coffee. There's no fancy in-tub entertainment system or mood lighting, but continues the same calm atmosphere of the relaxation rooms.
Away from doing, well, a whole lot of nothing, there’s also an extensive range of treatments to choose from. You can pop in for a quick manicure, get your hair done or have your eyebrows tidied up. Having plenty of time to spare, we opted to make the most of the spa’s more extensive treatments.
I chose the Clarins TriActive Face and Body Treatment and only turned over twice in the entire 130 minute treatment. If you don’t want to move, this is the one for you. My therapist talked through my skin concerns, my daily routine and areas of tension before using oils and plant extracts to smother my body head-to-toe. I opted for a gentle massage and promptly fell asleep – a sign of a good massage if ever there was one.
Meanwhile, rather fabulously, my friend was being painted gold as part of Ragdale’s self-designed treatment programme, The Golden Indulgence.
Sure, I may have been busy singing the James Bond theme song and willing her to try and take a quick picture of the end result, but jokes aside, she left urging anyone and everyone to try it for themselves.
There’s a bit of movement in this one – you need to hop off for a shower to remove the caviar extract scrub at some point (oh, the trials of modern life, eh?), but it's nothing if not extensive.
From a foot soak with golden crystals, through to anti-ageing full body wrap, via a golden face mask, and onto a golden dry oil rub (which sparkles), it’s no wonder it’s described as “Ragdale’s most relaxing and indulgent treatment”. It may be pricey at first glance (£157 for 155 minutes), but it packs a punch and is well worth the money, especially if you break down how much it would cost to have each bit on its own.
And, the icing on the cake? You get to take your golden mask away to use again, before melting it down to use as your own golden oil rub at home.
And who doesn’t love a spa doggy bag?
All in all, there’s not much to think about once you arrive at Ragdale. Bags seamlessly move from your hand to your room and back again on departure. You can charge things to your room and settle at the end. There are also several little shops to keep your charge card busy if you fancy taking some products home, and extensive grounds if you’re in the mood for a stroll, a spin on the tennis court or even a game of Boules.
The drive to Leicester town isn't far (around thirty minutes), but unless you're visiting for an extended period of time, it feels like there's more than enough to keep you in the Ragdale grounds.
Price: A one night stay at Ragdale Hall costs from £199 per person per night. For more information please visit the website or call 01664 434831. Note: Bathrobes incur a charge unless you stay in a Superior Room and above.
Treatment costs: Clarins TriActive Face and Body Treatment £124/ The Golden Indulgence £157.
Address: Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa, Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, LE14 3PB
Radio Times Travel rating: 9/10 - A short trip was enough to do everything, but our advice would be to make like Raggers the cat and stay as long as possible.
Book a stay at Ragdale Hall for 33 per cent less with Radio Times Travel. See below for this exclusive offer:
Book a two-night blissful spa break at one of the country’s top spas for you and a friend or loved one from just £367pp (usually £548pp) + GET A DECLEOR GIFT WORTH £29.80
YOUR PACKAGE INCLUDES, PER PERSON:
Check in at 3pm into a Superior Twin/Double/Triple Room for two nights (based on two sharing)
Two 40-minute treatments each (choose a body massage, prescription facial, classic manicure or moisturising lavender body treatment).
Full use of spa facilities, all classes and gym. Free Decléor gift per person worth £29.80
All meals included — breakfast in bed, three course buffet lunch and three-course dinner
Plus get a Decléor skincare consultation (for women and men)
To book today please call 01664 433 080 quoting reference 'RT August14'
Terms and conditions This offer is subject to availability (Sunday to Thursday only). Break must be taken before 18 December 2014. Ragdale Hall Health Hydro, Ragdale Village, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 3PB.
Offer based on sharing a Superior Twin/Double/Triple Room for two nights. (Sunday to Thursday only)