In December last year, I decided to treat myself to a little break away at Champneys to help me de-stress, relax and unwind. I’d always fancied a spa break here, but I used to think that that Champneys was way out of my price range. That was until I checked out their website and realised that on occasion, they offer up to 50% off breaks which is definitely something to take advantage of! So I booked some time off work and got a three-night trip to Champneys Henlow in Bedfordshire sorted – it was so worth it!
What was included in my stay?
Included in my deal was a superior room (with one of the comfiest beds I’ve slept in may I add), full access to the spa facilities including the 25 meter pool, sauna, steam room and the Jacuzzi and of course hire of the classic Champneys bath robe (flip flops were also provided which I got to keep). Also included was a choice of up to 20 different exercise classes per day and access to the gym and garden areas.
All meals were included and for each day I stayed, I enjoyed an all you can eat buffet breakfast and lunch, in addition to a three-course meal in the evening. Superior rooms even include a hanging chair in the courtside outside for you to use – not much use in December when it’s cold and wet but would be lovely in the spring or summer time!
This place really packs the wow factor and on arrival to this beautiful property, I was greeted by a magnificent Georgian manor surrounded by 150 acres of beautiful Bedfordshire parkland. Upon arrival, I was checked in and my bags were carried to my room by the friendly concierge, who then gave me a guided tour of the resort. Once unpacked, I made my way to the spa, where I spent the rest of my afternoon relaxing in the Jacuzzi, swimming and chilling by the poolside on a sun-lounger with a decent book.
Classes and Treatments
During the rest of my stay I booked myself onto a few exercise classes; I thought it was definitely worthwhile giving the yoga and meditation a go (you had to pay an extra supplement for these classes but at around only £5/6 a class, it was great value).
As expected, my balancing is pretty poor so I wasn’t able to hold many yoga poses, although this is something that I’m sure can be achieved with time! Meditation was brilliant and focused on calming your mind from the multitudes of nagging and racing thoughts (something that I experience on a daily basis!) all whilst becoming aware of ‘the present moment’ and focusing on your breathing.
The instructors were brilliant and gave an insight into each class before we started and what we’d be doing. I also attended a stretch class which was fab for slowing things down at the end of the day.
As for treatments, you need to treat yourself to to at least one whilst you’re here! The spa area is incredible and there’s a huge amount of beauty treatments and therapies on offer. I’d definitely recommend not booking treatments before you go, as there are regular offers throughout the week where you can receive discounts on set treatments at particular times (normally mornings between 9-10am).
I treated myself to a very lovely full body massage which was the perfect way to start the day and also experienced a vitamin surge facial and a gorgeous scrub and wrap – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so smooth in my life! All the therapists were extremely friendly and professional and did a wonderful job.
As for the food, it was simply out of this world. The three-course menu changed each evening and there were some great dishes on offer with something to cater for everyone’s tastes, including vegetarians! Mineral water was included with each meal to help keep your thirst at bay. During my evening meals, I tucked into flavorsome and crunchy salads, rich pesto pasta and a salmon fillet that came with vegetables. I only had one starter during my time here as I didn’t want to fill up too much and ruin my main and the desserts! If you go, make sure you have the profiteroles, they’re amazing!
If you’re a lone diner, then there’s the option to join a table of single guests if you fancy a bit of company, but I was quite happy having a read of my book whilst getting stuck into my food! Breakfast and lunch were both equally as amazing as dinner and there was so much to choose from. My typical breakfast would consist of a portion of Champneys (super delicious) soaked overnight oats, with fruit on the side and toast with a smearing of vegetable butter and reduced sugar strawberry jam.
The lunch time buffet was amazing and there was a fantastic selection of both hot and cold foods – think tasty salads and plenty of roasted vegetables with a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian options. Dessert was also included with lunch and there was always a mouth-watering selection available including juicy fresh fruit and healthy mousses.
There’s plenty of areas to relax and unwind around the resort, so whether you just want to venture into the lobby in your robe, relax with a coffee and read a book, then you’re welcome to do that. The lobby is open all night long, so even if you can’t sleep, you’re invited to head here and chill. There’s also a cafe bar located within the restaurant area which overlooks the impressive pool. Here, they serve a variety of healthy smoothies and snacks to feast upon.
On my last day, I ensured I wrapped up warm and took myself for a walk around the stunning gardens. It was freezing, but it was a beautiful clear day and was a lovely way to round off my break at Champneys. The River Hiz runs through the gardens and it’s just amazing taking some time out to get back to nature where you can listen to birdsongs and other natural noises and sights that these wonderful gardens offer.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Champneys if you’re looking for some ‘you’ time and the Henlow Resort in Bedfordshire is just gorgeous. I stayed for three nights, however I think that personally two nights would have been more than enough for me as I started to feel a little lonely by myself, but with a friend or a loved one three nights would be fab! Visiting at Christmas is an absolute must as the resort is beautifully decorated and will really get you in the mood for the festive season and feeling all snug!
Feature Image Photo from https://www.champneys.com/spa-resorts/champneys-henlow/