Day at Champneys

Mum found an excellent offer for Champneys Health Resorts in the paper last weekend – two for the price of one on their Spa days.  It took her quite a while to get through on the phone but we were glad she stuck it out, as we managed to book for yesterday. 

ChampneysWe arrived at the Forest Mere location just before 9 and checked in at reception.  On arrival we were given our welcome pack, which contained our schedule for the day, an activity programme, a locker key and our towelling robe. 

Just walking through the reception area we felt we were in for a treat.  A few people were lounging in their robes reading the papers, and everywhere was clean and luxurious looking and there was a really peaceful atmosphere.

The receptionist took us for a quick tour to show us where all the facilities were, and then left us at the pool lounge where we were served orange juice.  We spent a little time looking at the activities programme for the day and working our what we fancied doing.  There was plenty of choice of activities – aerobics classes, gym classes, walking, relaxation classes, talks – along with all the activities that the location had to offer – bikes, pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, lounges, croquet, walks, gym and more! 

ReceptionWe decided to try the gliding class at 9.30, so changed into our sports gear.  We weren’t quite sure what it was but it was described as a class to tone and sculpt the body using smooth, fluid, graceful movements.  It turned out to be a toning class where you do a lot of squats, lunges and lower body work.  It was good fun and not too serious, although I am not convinced I was very graceful!  My muscles know I’ve used them as my thighs and bottom ache today!

After the gliding we decided to spend some time in the gym.  After the leg work we weren’t up to anything too strenuous, but we had a good work out and felt we’d done enough to enjoy lunch without and guilt.

At 11 we had our appointments for the massage and facial.  We waited up in the waiting room in our towelling robes until we were called through.  The massage was wonderful and very relaxing – my legs, back, arms and neck were treated to some relaxing massage oil which left me feeling nicely rested.  I particularly liked the heated bed!  The facial was really good too and left my skin feeling nice and purified. 

View across the lakeAfter our treatments we had about 45 minutes until our lunch slot, and so we decided to join the Lakeside walk and see some of the grounds as the sun had come out.  We waited down by the fitness reception to find that no-one else was doing the walk, so we got a private guided tour from two of the young lads working there.  Nothing quite like the personal touch!

TomAfter the walk we headed to lunch.  Lunch was a buffet style – salads and cold meats for starters, followed by a hot buffet choice of sweet and sour pork, fish, rice, roasted sweet potatoes, carrots and freshly cooked chicken fajitas.  I chose a fajita and a little of the pork with some salad and carrots and it was all really tasty…and fairly guilt free.  For dessert we got a choice of trifle or panettonne, and fresh fruit.  I had the trifle which was lovely.

Deciding we needed some more fresh air and a chance for lunch to go down we chose to go on the country hike through the woods around the site.  We picked up a map from the fitness reception and headed out.  We were lucky to catch a glimpse of a deer on the way around, and there were some nice views on the walk.

PoolOnce back at Forest Mere we got changed into our swimming gear and went to use the pool, jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.  The pool was huge and we had it almost to ourselves.

At 4pm we had our Thalassotherapy appointment and so we met at the entrance to the Thalassotherapy pool.  We were given an introduction to what it was – a warm, detoxifying, salt and mineral pool with various different massage jets – and the different health benefits associated with it.  The pool was a round pool with 4 different ‘stations’.  We got to spend between 5 and 10 minutes at each.  The first was right in the centre and had jets of water which flowed up from the floor.  Then we moved on to what was like a giant water pipe shower which gentle pumelled our back and shoulders.  Next were jets which shot out from the sides of the pool at different heights and you could use to massage different parts of your body.  Finally we settled on the ‘beds’ for a more traditonal all over jacuzzi experience.  My skin certainly feels very soft today.

After getting showered and dried we headed for the final class of the day – relaxation class called Total Body Stretch focussing on improving flexibility.  It was a nice end to the day and left us feeling nicely tired.  I’ll certainly visit again, especially if I can find another good offer!

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