Very last minute on Wednesday, I was informed that a spa day was in order. As it was my own mother informing me, I couldn't (and wouldn't, who would!?) say no.
If I could sort it, we'd be going. I was organising it before you could say complimentary robes.
Spa breaks can easily add up when you start to bring treatments into the mix, so I decided to search Wahanda to see if they had any deals not too far away from me. They came up trumps with a 2 for 1 Spa Welcome Package at Hoole Hall Spa near Chester.
I had initially wanted the Hoole Hall Spa day with Lunch, but at such short notice, I was relieved they could squeeze us in at all. The only difference between each package was a mud treatment, and I could live without it.
For £95 for two people, including a treatment of choice (we both went for full body massages), lunch and use of spa facilities. It's a steal.
So, what's the lowdown on Hoole Hall?
First and foremost, my massage was an absolute dream. It was done by a friendly and skilled masseuse and I drifted off into my own world for the hour that she worked on my tense muscles.
After my treatment I was given a shot of lemon sorbet and sent to relax in the Meditation Room whilst I waited for my Mother to finish.
I had a lovely time whiling away the hour listening to the relaxing waves and getting slightly hypnotised by the ceiling...
After we were reunited, we went down the basement area that houses the spa suite & pool.
All the facilities we tried were great, but I was slightly disappointed that the steam room was out of use and all of the recliners had been 'saved' with towels/books/slippers "Like a Majorca Holiday Camp" (classic Mum quote)
I particularly like the outdoor thermal pool, I imagine on a hot day it's bliss.
My one slight criticism about the spa facilities is they looked a little bit tired in places, above the hydrotherapy pool the ceiling had paint peeling, not a good look when you recline directly under it.
A three course buffet/tapas style lunch on The Terrace is included and it was full of delicious nibbles that I couldn't fault for a light lunch.
It was just enough to satisfy but not leave you feeling like you might sink to the bottom of the pool.
The Overall Experience.
Now, this is where issues arise.
On arrival, the staff were competent, pleasant, but didn't shine. Unfortunately, the story continued throughout our stay. With the exception of the lovely girl who gave me my massage, neither myself or my mum felt like we'd received true service. Similarly during lunch the service was fine, ok, competant. But not memorable.
It was all a bit lack lustre from start to end.
The important thing to add is that it wasn't bad service. It was just OK.
If you're going to a Spa to be pampered and relax. OK just isn't enough.
I still had a lovely day and enjoyed escaping the world to laze around in a bath robe, but Hoole Hall didn't sparkle like it should.
"Excellent treatment and a delicious lunch, but engaging staff and a genuine smile would have gone a long way"
*Paid with my very own pennies. Not affiliated or sponsored by Wahanda or Hoole Hall.