I had the week off work after the August bank holiday and decided that pampering myself was a great idea. I roped my friend Catherine in too (after all it was her birthday week) and headed to wine country for a deluxe spa break!
We were headed to Chapel Down in Kent for wine tasting the day after, so I found the London Beach Hotel on their website as a recommended place to stay nearby. A quick check of their website came up with a great deal – £125 each for a night mid week (it’s more if you go Friday/Saturday), which included access to the Spa area. 1 hour ESPA treatments, 2 course dinner and breakfast.
We were sold!
After some fun getting the train (our original train from London was from Charing Cross and got cancelled due to issues with the track works at London Bridge), we eventually made it to Headcorn station. This is the nearest train station to Tenterden, where Chapel Down is based, and given the aim to wine taste, train was better than renting a car. A quick taxi ride later and we were at the hotel.
London Beach Hotel
The hotel is actually a country club – it has a golf course and lots of sport themed rooms, as well as the before mentioned spa area and treatment rooms. The package included one of the deluxe double rooms on the first floor, with views over the golf course. It’s not in London and doesn’t have a beach…. so that’s clear then?!
The room was vast! Not only did we each have our own queen size bed, but I had plenty of room to do some yoga in the morning without having to move a stick of furniture. Catherine reckoned she could fit her whole 1 bed flat in there!
We were given slippers and robes for the spa portion of our stay. You could keep the slippers, but had to return the robes! Other amenities were a huge TV, bath toiletries, the obligatory kettle and complimentary water. No mini fridge here as they have a bar downstairs.
Our room was decorated with international cricket strips on the walls (very sport focused!), and the curtains and bathroom looked a little dated. It all worked though, so no complaints there.
The best bit was the view of our very own balcony:
We settled into the room, and headed straight to the spa for our first soak in the hot tub. More on that later though!
First I wanted to tell you about dinner that evening:
We booked our evening meal when we had checked in, they like to space out the diners. The included menu is 2 savoury courses with the option to pay extra for a dessert, should you be able to eat more!
The menu had lots of selections – Catherine went for prawn tempura and lamb, I tried the cheese souffle and supreme of chicken.
I didn’t get photos of everything, I would say the starters were ok, not wow. However the mains were fantastic! My supreme of chicken came with a great mushroom sauce, lots of yummy roasted veggies and daulphinoise potatoes. Catherine loved her lamb and they were accomodating on her request to change out the gnocchi for some of my potatoes.
Given that the area is so famous for its wine, we had to wash it down with a bottle of English wine
We found that the Biddenden Ortega Dry was a medium bodied wine – sweeter than the dry white wine we usually like. However it went well with the food and we finished it off – so no complaints there! (ps I think that ice bucket was leaking water all night 🙁 )
We went to bed full and ready for some more spa-ing the next day.
Finally to the most important bit! The spa at London Beach hotel has a separate area just for women. This includes our own sauna, steam room, hot tub and relaxation area:
The relaxation area lived up to its name and Catherine had a little nap on the lounger 🙂
There no pictures of the steam room or sauna, but they both have lots of room for 2 people to lay down flat, or for up to 6 people to sit. Both were very hot though! I guess the door doesn’t get opened as much as the main sauna and steam rooms? We had to sit on towels to avoid getting burnt bottoms lol! The steam room had lovely little lights set into the ceiling like stars, very relaxing.
In addition there was a shower designed to soak you with either hot or cold water (depending on whether you were starting your spa experience or cooling down from it!)
In the main mixed part of the spa the swimming pool has a hydrotherapy area:
There was also a couple of beds where you could lay down and get bubbles coming up out of the bed. I tried this and basically floated off! Another couple of areas in the pool did different things, but the waterfall was definitely my favourite.
The whole of the pool area is saline, so doesn’t have to be treated with chlorine. This makes it much easier to breathe without chlorine fumes and given that I had forgotten my swimming goggles made it much easier on the eyes too.
I checked out the sauna and steam room in the main area and they were as good as the women’s area, but not as scorchingly hot!
There were a lot of couples in the main area, so we pretty much had the women’s spa area to ourselves, both in the afternoon when we arrived and the next morning after breakfast. This would be a great place for a girls spa day or hen do for sure! However you do share all the space with the locals who use the gym at the hotel (access is not included for hotel guests).
Having warmed up in the spa first, we headed upstairs for our ESPA treatments. The treatment rooms are on the top floor (don’t worry there is a lift) and we could walk up there in our robes. Our package included a 1 hour treatment, which was split into a half hour back massage and a half hour facial.
I enjoyed both the massage and the facial and it was a fitting end to our relaxing spa break.
We both left feeling very pampered and ready for the next part of our break – the wine tasting at Chapel Down! (coming to the blog soon)
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