Formerly Clarice House, Bannatyne Spa Kingsford Park is located in Colchester, Essex within a historical manor house. And it’s the perfect place to spend a day relaxing and pampering yourself.
After a busy festive period I decided that a spa day would be the perfect treat for myself and my partner. Lazing around the pool, getting sweaty in the steam room, eating lunch in your dressing gown and relaxing with a massage – honestly, what could be a better way to spend a Saturday?
This spa day package was purchased from Red Letter Days and included full use of the facilities, lunch and a 55-minute treatment at a reduced cost of £109 (£233 RRP). Some packages aren’t available at the weekend, but this one could be used 7 days a week which was a nice bonus.
Arriving at around 10am the spa was still relatively quiet, which meant there was plenty of loungers around the pool and, most importantly, space in the jacuzzi!
We hired a dressing gown and towel from reception on arrival (£15, £10 refundable) and headed to the changing rooms. We were additionally given a wristband which works as your locker key, which is so much easier than trying to keep a key somewhere when you’re relaxing by the pool. The changing rooms themselves were modern and large, with plenty of space to get ready.
The spa area of Kinsford Park features a large swimming pool, jacuzzi, a smaller spa pool with jets and showers and several rooms too: aromatherapy room, sauna and steam room. Round by the spa there is also a water bed room and a relaxation room with heated beds, these can be used all day too but are outside of the pool area.
After a few hours on hopping in and out of the water and relaxing rooms, we put down our books and headed to our pre-booked lunch time slot. I liked that we pre-booked our lunch and massage times in advance as it meant I knew the flow of our day, and was left feeling totally not stressed about it.
We headed to lunch in our aforementioned dressing gowns, arriving in a beautifully light conservatory room for our lunch. There is something strange about sitting down to lunch in a room full of strangers that are all wearing a white gown!
Given our menus, the package we had purchased for our spa day included a one-course lunch. There was a vast array of options including sandwiches, salads, burgers and main dishes too – some of these had additional supplements, but none of these were over £3 which I thought was reasonable. Whilst water was available, any additional drinks are on top of most packages as you would expect.
After a leisurely lunch, where I enjoyed this huge portion of chips with my panini and salad, we headed to the water bed room to relax before our couples’ massage. These beds are a bit of a challenge to get on to at first, but once on I soon felt myself start to drift off in to a nap – they were certainly comfortable, and most importantly relaxing.
Before we knew it our massage appointment time had arrived and we were called upstairs by our therapists. As we had booked as a couple we were sharing a room for this, although the spa did check that this would be ok – so if you are visiting with a friend or family member and would prefer to be alone, this isn’t a problem.
We enjoyed a back, neck and shoulder massage followed by a full body polish. The massage was firm and certainly got all my aches and pains out! The spa also uses Elemis products which was a nice treat. The body polish was the first time I have had a treatment like this but being scrubbed all over and then moisturised was very pleasant – and I left with skin softer than it has been for many years.
After our massage we headed back to the changing rooms to get changed out of our plush dressing gowns, and back in to our winter clothing. We left feeling especially relaxed, and charmed by Kingsford Park Spa – with plans to most certainly visit again.0