As you might be aware, it was my birthday 2 weeks ago and for the occasion, my boyfriend surprised me and organized a Spa day for both of us! I’ve never been to a Spa before, so I was really excited about it when I figured out where we were heading to!
Of course, it was really unexpected and I can imagine that he must have paid a lot! So when we were at the reception of the hotel to check in, I was wondering: Are Spas worth the money?
It seems like I was about to find out!
1. My arrival at the Spa
When we arrived at the station of Thorpe le Soken, I still had no clue where we were going. It’s only when I saw the car from the hotel arriving that I understood what the plan was. My boyfriend took us to the Lifehouse Hotel and Spa in Thorpe le Soken ( I couldn’t miss the name on the car!). He told me that he booked 1 month in advance (I would advise booking as far in advance as you can to have more interesting rates).
So this car from the hotel came to pick us up at the station (it’s a free service that the hotel is proposing) and drove us back to Lifehouse Hotel and Spa, which was 10/15 minutes away. I found it really surprising (in a good way!) that the hotel proposes this service to its clients: really professional and premium!
The car took us straight to the reception of the hotel where we checked in. The staff was very polite and professional. They knew my boyfriend booked this as a surprise for my birthday, so they wished me a happy birthday and gave the itinerary of the day to my boyfriend only. He didn’t want me to see it because something else was coming! I found it really sweet that they played the game of the surprise birthday.
2. Time to enjoy the Swimming pool and the treatment
We went to the room to leave our luggage and put on our swimwear to go to the swimming pool! Here again, the hotel surprised me by leaving a birthday card to my attention with a little note from the Lifehouse team in the room!
Once ready, we headed up to the swimming pool! Luckily the reception gave us a plan of the hotel because the place was quite big and we struggled to find it. The swimming pool was not too deep: I had water up to my shoulders so it was deep enough to swim.
In the middle of the afternoon, my boyfriend took me to the treatment area as he booked a luxury pedicure for me (first pedicure ever!). The staff was really friendly, professional and polite. We started the pedicure on the time I booked (no delay) and I was treated like a princess for almost an hour! The pedicure was including the following: mask and exfoliation, cuticles and nails care and finally painting of my nails in the color of my choice… It was a-we-some (of course, I can’t compare it to any other pedicure as it was the first one, but it felt amazing!)
3. Spa experience
After this treatment, we went to the bar of the hotel for drinks and nibbles… in the bathrobes! (I will spare you the picture of my boyfriend and myself in the bathrobes… You’re welcome!) We felt really weird to walk around in bathrobes… until we turned around and see all the other clients with their robes as well. Then you feel much better, I swear!
We went then back to the Spa and enjoyed a great relaxing time! We tried the Jacuzzi (We stayed more than half an hour in there! The massage from the jets of water were sooooo good!), then we experienced for the first time the steam inhalations, following by the salt inhalations.
The steam inhalations is literally a room full of steam with a very high temperature. The smell inside the room was really appreciable: a bit minty. In the salt inhalations room, I had the feeling that the temperature was less high (If you’re not sure of supporting the heat, I would start with this one), but here again, the smell was really nice (I can’t identify what smell it was though…). In any case, the hotel advises not to stay longer than 15 minutes in the steam rooms.
4. We’re hungry: where to eat at the Spa?
After all of this, it was already 7pm, so we went back to the room and we ordered room service… (Lazy us!) My boyfriend wanted me to experience the princess life for a full day, so he insisted! (I let you imagine that I didn’t fight long…). But do you know what? It’s ok to be a bit selfish sometimes and have a moment for yourself, a moment where you treat yourself.
Anyway! We ordered different dishes to share. I think we went a bit extra though… (A bit?! Are you kidding me?! We were wayyyyyy extra!) So we ended up with a small pizza, a chicken club sandwich, a small plate of tomatoes and basil pasta (starter size), French fries, dry roasted peanuts and drinks.
However, what I wasn’t expecting is that my boyfriend ordered a birthday cake for me! It arrived at the same time than the rest and it was HUGE! How cute is it, right? I still didn’t realize all what happened on that day!
We spent the night watching TV, enjoying the food (surprisingly, we were dead after the whole day in the Spa!) and struggling to eat the cake after all the rest! It was a delicious chocolate cake with a chocolate icing on top and a sort of whipped cream in the middle.
The next morning we went for breakfast. The breakfast was included in the room he booked so we could have access to the all-you-can-eat-buffet (where you could get cereals, scrambled eggs, fruits, beans, bread and toasts, etc.), but if you wanted something extra like salmon, fried eggs or poached eggs, for instance, then you had to order it separately (at an extra cost of course).
5. Time to say goodbye to the Spa and feedback
And this was it! The car from the hotel took us back to the station after our breakfast and the checkout and we went back home by train. The place is really accessible from London. You just have to take a train from Liverpool Street straight to Thorpe le Soken (same for the way back).
Here was my first experience at the Spa! Overall, I think a Spa is a great idea if you need a break. I felt really relaxed when we left the hotel the next day, so I can say that Spas are great if you need some time to treat yourself and relax. To answer the question “Are Spas worth the money”, I would say that it’s worth it if you go for a weekend for instance, but I wouldn’t stay longer. The expected effects (I mean the relaxation) came after the first day already, so I don’t feel like I would need to spend more money on this. I would keep it as a weekend escape only.
And you, have you ever been to a Spa? If yes, how did it go?!
Let us know in the comments below!