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4 luxurious spas to visit in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 12:24 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:24 17 June 2019

Imagine Spa at Park Farm, Hethersett

Imagine Spa at Park Farm, Hethersett

Imagine Spa at Park Farm, Hethersett

Need a little 'me time'? We've done some of the hard work for you and visited four super Norfolk spas

- The Spa, Barnham Broom

this was our first visit to Barnham Broom hotel and restaurant with leisure facilities and its own golf course, just west of Norwich. The setting and warm welcome give the sense of a luxury country club.

The Spa is a tranquil haven of nine treatment rooms with its own reception area. We were greeted by Paris, who took us on a helpful tour of the hotel, guiding us to changing rooms at The Edge Health & Fitness Club, where we were given white gowns, slippers and towels. We changed into these and retraced our steps, passing some of the leisure facilities, including a gym, squash courts and sports bar.

Back in the serene spa, Paris was waiting with the promise of an oriental head massage. In the dimmed light of the treatment room there was little resistance to her request that I relax on the spa bed while she began a 25-minute massage.

She worked magic on the tension in my head, neck and upper back, and the face massage with oils was deliciously relaxing. There was an option to have a mud mask applied to my hair during the scalp massage and this was gorgeous both in fragrance and in the resulting glossiness that lasted for several days.

I could have easily slid into blissful sleep, but of course the treatment had to come to an end and we made our way back to The Edge to bring ourselves out of our reverie with a good swim in the pool. We relaxed here on comfy loungers, while more energetic types made good use of the gym next door.

After trying out the sauna and steam rooms, it was time to shower, dress and head to the restaurant for afternoon tea. Our visit was during May, when Barnham Broom had joined in the celebrations for Norwich City FC's promotion to the Premier League with a special yellow and green treat complete with pistachio and lemon macaron!

- Angi Kennedy

Barnham Broom, home to The Spa, is a luxury country club (photo: James Neale)Barnham Broom, home to The Spa, is a luxury country club (photo: James Neale)

Where is it?

The Spa Barnham Broom, Honingham Road, Barnham Broom, Nr Norwich, Norfolk NR9 4DD. 01603 757545

What does it offer?

The Spa is part of Barnham Broom hotel, restaurant and golf course, plus The Edge Health & Fitness Club.

What treatments can I have?

The Spa offers luxurious facials, massages that include hot stones and personalised aromatherapy, and body treatments such as a salt and oil scrub.

Holistic techniques include reflexology and Hopi ear candling, and there are treatments specifically for men and for pregnant women, as well as manicures, pedicures and beauty essentials.

Barnham Broom afternoon tea (photo: James Neale)Barnham Broom afternoon tea (photo: James Neale)

Offers

A range of spa packages is available, from mini pamper experiences with one treatment each (£50) to the Total Time Out spa experience at £225 including an aromatherapy full body massage, personalised facial, luxury manicure and pedicure and afternoon tea or light lunch.

- Congham Hall Hotel and Spa

on a dreary, rainy day, which felt more like winter than spring, we arrived at Congham Hall Hotel and Spa looking forward to an uninterrupted morning of relaxation and lazing around having a gossip. Surrounded by glorious parkland, deep in rural west Norfolk, the grand, elegant Georgian manor house (quietly) shouts luxury the moment you walk in the front door.

In the Secret Garden Spa, we donned our fluffy robes and slippers, and made our way to the pool. Surrounded by floor to ceiling windows with glorious views of the parkland, even the lack of sun didn't spoil the fabulous setting. After a brief swim - it's important to at least pretend to do some exercise - we made our way outside into the cold air, immersing ourselves in the steaming, bubbling water of the hot tub, surrounded by nature and not caring about the odd spit of rain. Then it was on to the saunas and steam room, but not before sampling the 'experience' showers, advised between each activity. Step underneath and be transported a world away, well almost, from a tropical rain shower to a powerful Caribbean storm, complete with thunder, lightning and even bird song, as well as some aromatherapy scents.

Focusing on relieving daily stresses and tension, using essential oils chosen - by you - to suit your mood, my 45 minute quick fix massage feels anything but quick. From the moment it started, my shoulders began to unwind from my ears, by the time my massage had ended, they were virtually on the floor, unknotted and noticeably less creaky. I left feeling so gloriously relaxed I could have almost melted into a bed and slept for a week. After some (more) chill out time and some peppermint tea, I returned to the poolside loungers for another round of relaxation - then it was time for lunch. There is no lounging around in robes, you need to be dressed for lunch in the elegant dining room - but it is in no way stuffy and the food is absolutely delicious. We finished with a pot of tea, just to squeeze in a few more minutes of luxury and relaxation before heading back to reality.

- Rachel Buller

The soothing setting of Congham Hall's treatment room (photo: Darren Strange)The soothing setting of Congham Hall's treatment room (photo: Darren Strange)

Where is it?

Congham Hall Hotel & Spa, Kings Lynn, PE32 1AH; 01485 600250

What it offers?

Relax, rejuvenate and unwind in The Secret Garden spa which has a 12 metre swimming pool, a thermal suite, which includes a sauna, steam room and bio sauna, 'experience' showers and an outdoor hot tub, overlooking the beautiful parkland.

What treatments can I have?

Seasonal herbs and fresh blossom from Congham's renowned herb garden inspire the spa's signature treatments to replenish, restore, ease and relax the body, skin and mind, from massage and facials, to reflexology, body scrubs and wraps.

Congham Hall and Spa pool (photo: Rebel Heart Photography)Congham Hall and Spa pool (photo: Rebel Heart Photography)

Offers

Congham Hall offers many different packages, from day visits to overnight stays. We enjoyed the half-day treat and taste spa day, which included a welcome drink, a robe and slippers and a 45 minute Essential Quick Fix Massage, £65.

- Imagine Spa, Hethersett

imagine an afternoon of pure indulgence, in a setting created to relax, reassure (and reinvigorate if that's what you're after.) It was my daughter's birthday and, as a high school teacher and mother of a three-year-old, a spa session is a rare chance for her to sink into luxurious lethargy and emerge into oceans of calm.

I had far fewer reasons to award myself several hours of exquisite pampering - but it was sooooo good.

We began at the pool. My daughter took a book, I took a dip, and then a sauna, then a session in the beautifully-fragranced steam room, all punctuated by refreshing showers. This was already the life. We sank into the vigorously bubbling spa pool for a bit and I finished with a quick hit of swim, sauna, steam room and shower before, wrapped in white robes, we padded through to our treatments.

And Imagine Spa puts the treat into treatment. One of its special features is that guests can choose treatments on arrival. You can book ahead if you like - or pick, depending how you feel that day.

The luxurious Imagine Spa at Park Farm, HethersettThe luxurious Imagine Spa at Park Farm, Hethersett

My daughter asked for a sensory body scrub, followed by a body wrap. She emerged, a little over an hour later, with tales of rubs and pastes and warmth and peace, and wonderfully soft skin.

I started with a sensory massage and it was bliss. Twinges in my neck, shoulders and lower back were soothed away, the scent of ginger and lavender and lots more loveliness, combined with lilting music, and I was floating through a warm sea of rolling, smoothing, pressing and kneading. Eventually it was over and I had to do more than marvel at the magic. I had to choose the nail varnish colour for my first ever pedicure. I floated out of the treatment room with silky smooth feet, the perfectly primped and prettified nails as turquoise as the sunlit swimming pool.

We could have enjoyed the final part of our treat in our robes and slippers. Afternoon tea (three sumptuous tiers of sandwiches, sausage rolls, scones, jam and cream, cakes and puddings - book with the hotel) was served in the quiet privacy of Park Farm's garden room. It was a delight, tasting just as fabulous as it looked.

- Rowan Mantell

Imagine Spa at Park Farm, HethersettImagine Spa at Park Farm, Hethersett

Where is it?

Imagine Spa at Park Farm Country Hotel and Leisure, Hethersett, near Norwich, NR9 3DL. 01603 810264

What does it offer?

Imagine Spa at Park Farm is in a country hotel just outside Norwich, surrounded by pretty gardens. Leisure facilities include an indoor pool complex with a 16m swimming pool, bubbling spa pool looking out on to the gardens, sauna, steam room and loungers. There's a large, well-equipped gym too.

What treatments can I have?

Treatments range from body scrubs, wraps and massages to manicures, pedicures and facials. Try a hot stone massage, using heated smooth lava stones and therapeutic oils, or a raindrop massage with warm scented oils dripped along your spine and the back of your legs, before a massage and warm compresses.

The outdoor pool at Energise PentneyThe outdoor pool at Energise Pentney

Offers

Spa packages include Discovery, £45 weekdays, £50 weekends, with a 30 minute treatment, use of the leisure facilities and a drink. The Serenity is £65, £70 at weekends, with an hour of treatments, plus use of the pool complex and a drink. Afternoon tea with spa and leisure access - £28.95 per person

- Energise Pentney Fitness & Spa

as a spa first-timer I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew there would be fluffy dressing gowns, towels and steam, but what else?

Energise Pentney Fitness and Spa is tucked out of the way in lovely old flint buildings on the outskirts of the village. We were greeted warmly, given our fluffy essentials and a tour of the facilities and went off to change ahead of our treatments.

Being a little stiff of back these days, I had chosen the Thalgo three algae back treatment and massage. After an introductory briefing in the rather lovely Ocean treatment room, all soft lights, cocoon-like warmth and soothing sounds, I climbed on the couch and awaited the ministrations of Fredericka.

The last back massage I had was about eight years ago; from memory it was more like a punishment beating, especially compared with what occurred here. Warm oils were applied, expertly smoothed around and tense muscles gently eased.

Relaxing room with a viewRelaxing room with a view

I lost track of what was actually happening but at some point the algae was gently added and my back was wrapped while my legs were given an expert massage and more tensions were squeezed out.

I don't think I have ever been as relaxed, physically, as I was on that table. I felt like I might just pour through the face hole in the table into a puddle on the floor; it was amazing. On the adjacent table, Mrs C was enjoying a similar trip into perfumed bliss…

"I chose a full body aromatherapy massage which was delivered by the experienced hands of Josie. After offering a choice of warmed, fragranced oils, she started by working on my back, expertly kneading out all the many knots before working her magic on my neck, legs, feet and arms, a section at a time, until, like Dom, I believed I would melt, not only through the face hole in the table, but over the sides as well. Exquisite."

Like all good things, it eventually came to an end and we emerged, blinking, into the daylight and a spot of lunch; an excellent chicken caesar salad for me and a fine salmon and avocado salad for herself.

Afterwards I pottered off to do the rounds of the spa - the saltwater steam was a particular favourite - and there is something quite lovely about being in a warm pool outside while it is raining. A bit of a swim in the main pool and I was done.

Mrs C, meanwhile, was entrusted to Megan's skilful care for a deluxe pedicure; an hour of buffing, rubbing and polishing which left her pinkies very perky.

It was a delightful first experience - and it certainly won't be the last.

- Dominic Castle

Where is it?

Energise Pentney Fitness and Spa, Low Road, Pentney, King's Lynn, PE32 1JF 01760 338933

What does it offer?

Spa, gym, treatment rooms, swimming pool

What treatments can I have?

Energise has sauna and steam rooms monsoon showers, an indoor heated pool and a heated outdoor vitality pool. The Revive Treatment Rooms have a range of therapies including facials, aromatherapy, hot stone and full body or back massages, manicures and pedicures.

Offers

Revive for two packages at £80 per couple include three hours of access to the spa facilities and pools, and a 30-minute treatment each. You can also order in a light lunch. Upgrade to a £120 package for hour-long treatments.

We were all guests of the spas visited in this feature.

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