Grand exterior of Stapleford Park
A hot stone massage uses an ancient art of stone therapy
Where: Stapleford Park Spa, Stapleford, Nr Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire LE14 2EF
Who went: Susie Boone and her family
Package and treatment: 1 night stay in hotel, with back, neck and shoulder massage in Spa
In a nutshell: A cocoon of peacefulness, giving busy mums and dads the chance to escape the stress of everyday parenting
Best for: Families who are looking for a real treat – mums and dads can relax or work out while the children are looked after in the Ofsted-registered nursery
Watch out for: The Spa is for over 16s only, which means your children won’t be able to hang out in the building with dad while you have a treatment. However, you can either book childcare in the nearby nursery or your family can enjoy the beautiful grounds of the hotel.
Review: “I was definitely in need of some peace and quiet when I arrived at Stapleford Park, and from the minute I walked into the Spa, I could feel the tension start to lift from my shoulders.
“Set in a converted Victorian stable block in the grounds of the hotel, the Spa sits surrounded by a grand courtyard. It’s very Downtown Abbey and helps to transport you to a place far away from dirty nappies, runny noses and tears and tantrums.
“The Spa is a few minutes stroll from the hotel – something to remember if you’re staying at the hotel and assume it’s within the main building. To get there, you wander through the walled gardens, alongside the sheep in the rolling fields and the tennis courts (yes, it really is this idyllic) and then past the nursery house. This is a fully-kitted out little nursery crèche, with its own outside area, and decorated inside in bright primary colours with lots of toddler pictures on the wall.
“Suitable for babies from just six weeks old up to 8 year olds, the nursery is reassuringly Ofsted registered. It costs £10 per hour per child (which is pretty reasonable if you’re only using it for a short period), and is open Mondays to Saturdays. You’ll need to pre-book to coincide with your treatment, which you can do on 01752 787022.
“Our children decided instead to play croquet with dad on the nearby lawns, then boules and finally ended up chasing each other around the hedges and walls of the hotel gardens.
“I, meanwhile, was oblivious, already starting to relax in the quiet surrounds of the Spa reception area, where a choice of Sunday papers were placed next to the comfy chairs. It was a fairly early Sunday morning, so there were only a couple of takers for the on-site Technogym and no activities yet in the large Fitness Studio.
“I’d already had a quick swim in the lovely warm hotel swimming pool. The pool, and accompanying sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, are available free of charge for use by all hotel guests. You can also have free use if you book one of the Spa Experiences, which are either day packages or include a meal at the hotel restaurant.
“Looking for something simple and serene, I decided on the 30-minute back, neck and shoulder massage. I was greeted by my masseuse, and taken through to one of the seven treatment rooms. Mine was a low-lit, warm, wood and stone-decorated room, with the centre piece a display of pampering Clarins products.
“To a background of what I would call ‘meditative’ music, the kind that’s gently soothing, the massage was explained to me, and I was then left to get changed and lie face down on the massage table.
“The massage was powerful without being heavy, and I soon found myself able to drift into a relaxed state, as gorgeous smelling Clarins products were rubbed into my back, neck and shoulders.
“I was able to lay in one position for the whole massage, with my masseuse slowly moving around my body as she worked. This enabled me to shut off even further into my own little oasis.
“Half an hour went past too quickly but put me in the perfect Sunday morning mood. I almost floated off to join our children, who’d managed to have only one altercation with a croquet mallet. The smile on my face lasted at least until lunchtime and the fight over a broken bicycle bell, but that’s another story…”
Price: £30 for Back, neck and shoulder massage, 30 minutes
Other specific packages to highlight: If you’re really splashing out, choose from the Holistic experience (day of reflexology treatment and 2-course lunch for £110) or Lifestyle (choose from body scrubs, facials or massages plus lunch for £100), or the Luxury Spa Break which includes 2 nights at the hotel, breakfast and 3-course dinner as well as pampering in the Spa with prices starting from £700.
Contact: 01572 787057, email@example.com