Can you believe that I managed to get to the grand old age of 29 without visiting a spa? To be honest, I didn’t think that a spa would be something that I would enjoy. That was until I visited a spa in the Czech Republic at the end of November. Luckily, I had been invited to stay over at Hoar Cross Hall at the beginning of December. So, I was able to relax and recharge after a busy couple of weeks of travelling. Hoar Cross Hall is not too far away from where I live. I had heard a lot of great things about it from friends who had visited before. I was so excited to finally get the chance to go myself.
Hoar Cross Hall
Hoar Cross Hall is a Grade II listed stately home located just outside of Yoxall in Staffordshire. The hall has over 30 acres of land and the most beautiful gardens. There are also six lakes onsite. If you are a nature lover then this is the ideal place for a walk after breakfast. The nearest train station is in Burton-Upon-Trent which is 9 miles away. If you don’t drive then the best way to get there would be by taxi. It cost us £28 to travel back to Lichfield.
Hoar Cross Hall is also a day spa. So, if you don’t want to stay on site you can still access the spa facilities during the day. Prices start from just £44 for an afternoon retreat. There are plenty of different packages available. You can choose to add as many treatments as you like to your day. If you choose to stay overnight, then you don’t have to leave as soon as you check out.
Although check out is at 11am, you are able to stay and use the facilities up until 5:30pm. Unfortunately, we were not aware of this and we thought that we would have to leave at 11. Haydy had her train back to London booked for 1pm. Had we have known, we would have stayed longer. I would have liked to have made full use of the spa facilities until the late afternoon.
As we were visiting in December, the Christmas decorations were up. As we walked through the front door, the first thing we saw was a giant Christmas tree. There were also Christmas trees outside of the entrance and decorations throughout the bar and restaurant. Another thing that I want to mention is the smell as you enter the reception area. I’m not sure where it was coming from, but it smells amazing! I’d love to know if there’s some sort of candle/reed diffuser/plug in that I can buy in that scent, it was delicious!
We were lucky enough to be staying in one of the suites. I had never stayed in a suite before, so I was really excited when we unlocked the door. In our suite, we had twin beds, a bathroom with a jacuzzi bath, a separate room with a sofa and armchair and two huge closets. There was everything that we needed to make us feel at home. I loved the decor of the room, everything was yellow and it just looked so fancy. I honestly felt like some sort of princess staying in a room like this. When I book a hotel room, I would usually go for a basic double room so this was quite the contrast! The robes and slippers that we needed for the spa were waiting for us on our beds when we arrived.
As I was at a spa in the Czech Republic just a week before, I couldn’t help but compare the two hotels. Hoar Cross Hall definitely feels a lot more luxurious. I think that the Grade II listed building makes it feel so much more special. One thing that I really appreciated was the fact that we had tea and coffee making facilities in the room. This was a great extra and meant that we were able to have a coffee when we checked in and were getting ready for the spa.
The jacuzzi bath
I was excited to try out the jacuzzi bath after not having one in my room in Karlovy Vary. I went down to the shop located next to the spa and purchased a Bomb cosmetics bath bomb ready for a luxurious bath. Any purchases that you make in the shop can be added to your room. This also meant that we could just relax and worry about paying when we checked out. I went for a Christmas themed bath bomb and I was so excited for the bath. The bath took a long time to fill. I spent about half an hour filling it up, however the warmest I could get the water to go was lukewarm. I did get into the bath as I needed to get clean, but as the water wasn’t warm enough, I really didn’t enjoy it.
If I had to use one word to describe the spa facilities at Hoar Cross Hall, it would be ‘astounding’. I had heard great things about the spa before, but when I got there it exceeded all of my expectations.
There’s not just one pool at Hoar Cross Hall, there’s two: a saltwater vitality pool and a hydrotherapy pool. We tried both of the pools out and had a bit of a swim when we first entered the spa. I’m a big fan of swimming and I especially enjoyed the hydrotherapy pool. Both of the pools are heated at 30C, so they are the perfect temperature. I am sure that you will agree that there’s nothing worse than getting into a chilly pool. Luckily, you don’t have that problem at Hoar Cross. Both pools are so warm and inviting. The overall temperature of the spa is great too, you don’t feel cold getting out of the pools or hot tubs. There’s also jet massage pools and luxury whirlpools, both of which are great for aching bodies.
If you like relaxing in saunas, then you have plenty of options at Hoar Cross with their saunas, steam rooms and saunariums. If you are looking for something a bit different, then you can try the Nordic Suite. There are four areas in the Nordic Suite for you to choose from. The Aroma Room, Salt inhalation room, Ice temple and Aspen wood sauna. We spent some time in each one, my favourite being the Aspen wood sauna. All around this area there are signs instructing you to drink water and keep hydrated. This is so important, especially when in the saunas.
Aqua massage therapies
There is also a number of different aqua massage therapies that you can try out. Each one has a different benefit and there’s signs telling you which is the best way to use them. There are shoulder massagers, kneipp pools for your feet and body jets to name just a few. We made sure that we tried out each one. I wasn’t keen on the ones involving cold water, but I could have spent all day having my feet massaged by the jets. There’s no surprise that I also really enjoyed the whirlpools next to the swimming pools. I feel like this is just what my aching body needed after so much travel.
There is a huge range of different treatments available at Hoar Cross Hall. From full body massages, to manicures – there’s something for everybody. As I mentioned, I had been travelling a lot in the two weeks prior so I felt like I would really benefit from a massage. I went for the Scalp, Neck and Shoulder massage which usually costs £35. You can book your treatments before your stay. If you change your mind while you are there, you can simply go to the spa reception to see if any other treatments are available. You just need to check in at the spa reception 15 minutes before your appointment. You can then wait on the comfy sofas until it is time for your treatment. When the time came, I was collected by my therapist, Chelsea.
Scalp, Neck and Shoulders
Chelsea took me upstairs to the treatment room and instructed me to remove my robe, pull down my straps and lie on the bed underneath a towel. For the next twenty minutes, Chelsea worked her magic massaging the knots out of my neck and shoulders using Elemis products before moving on to my scalp. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy a head massage, but I found it to be so relaxing. I could have easily had a nap while she was working on my head.
As we were staying overnight, we were entitled to lunch, dinner and breakfast. Our confirmation didn’t mention lunch, so I didn’t know that we were able to have it. As we checked in, we were told that our lunch was booked for 2pm the next day. Unfortunately, as I’ve already said we needed to leave at 11am due to booked trains. Luckily, they were able to accomodate for this and let us have lunch on the day that we checked in. We just had enough time to leave our things in our room and then rush down to the restaurant before they stopped serving.
I was expecting something light for lunch, however it was a three course meal. The starter was a buffet which included soup, pasta, salad, bread rolls and various different meats. I tried not to have too much from the buffet so that I would have room for the other two courses. For my main, I went for the ‘Red wine braised blade of feather beef’ which was served with mash and parsnip crisps. As it was lunch, I was not expecting such huge portions! I really enjoyed the beef, it was so well cooked and tasted delicious.
For dessert, I had the ‘Vanilla creme brulee‘ which was served with a cranberry biscotti. This was one of the best creme brulees that I have ever tasted, it was so rich and creamy. I was so pleased with the whole lunch. The menu was really luxurious and such a treat. I tried not to eat too much as I wanted to swim afterwards. However, I could have eaten so much from the buffet!
Breakfast and Dinner is in the Ballroom which is one of the prettiest rooms in the building. We had dinner around five hours after we had lunch, so I was still feeling quite full. Despite this, I still managed all three courses. For my starter, I chose the ‘Honey roasted ham roulade’. This isn’t something that I would usually go for, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.
I went for my usual favourite of steak for my main course. I chose the ‘Steak of the week‘ which was an 8oz flat iron steak. The steaks are all served with fries. There is an option to order different sides including triple cooked chips. I prefer to have my steak well done. Usually when the steak is this thick, it can be tough when cooked well done. Luckily, my steak was still really tender. I ate most of it but made sure I saved room for dessert which was a ‘Hot chocolate pudding‘. I’m not usually a fan of chocolate, but when there’s a melted middle cake option on the menu, I have to have it. I really enjoyed this dessert and I could have eaten two of them!
Breakfast at Hoar Cross is buffet style. I am a big fan of buffet breakfasts as I get to choose exactly what I want and how much of it. In the morning I was starving and so ready to eat! I went for my favourite breakfast foods, which includes toast, scrambled egg, bacon and sausage. I also had a pot of coffee which we ordered to the table. There was so much choice – as well as the hot items, there was also various cereals, fruit, yoghurt and pastries. I made sure I had a croissant and some nutella too.
Overall, I really enjoyed my stay at Hoar Cross Hall. I would love to go back again and spend the full time there using the spa facilities. It’s my 30th birthday next year, so maybe I will go back to celebrate that. There are so many treatments that I want to try out next time I visit. I will definitely be getting a full body massage. I have a slipped disc, so I suffer with chronic back pain. A full body massage would really help with the pain. This was one of the best hotel breakfasts I have had in a long time.
Do you enjoy spa days? Have you ever been to Hoar Cross Hall?