Spa wars!

The infinity pool at Aqua Sana, Centre Parcs

It’s no secret that I love spas. And it’s no secret that one of my life goals is to visit as many spas as I can as much as I can.

I’ve had lots of different spa experiences, some just for the day, others have included an overnight stay, some with treatments, some just lounging by a pool and a dip in the jacuzzi and I’ve experienced pretty much every type of sauna and stream room going, thanks to Aqua Sana at Centre Parcs in Woburn! I’ve even tried flotation tank therapy and a roller message machine, but not sure if they count.

At this point in time, my two favourites have been whittled down to Whittlebury Hall near Towcester and Champneys Henlow Grange. In fact me, my mum and sister spent the weekend before Christmas at Champneys and are currently debating whether to go back there this year or experience what Whittlebury Hall has to offer over the festive season.

Having already been to Whittlebury Hall twice – the first time for a hen weekend and the second time with my friend Kate – I’ve always thought you get a lot for your money. Both times we paid around £100 each and that includes an overnight stay, use of all spa facilities, the heat and ice experience, a 30-minute treatment, buffet lunch, a three-course dinner and breakfast the following day.

Swing chairs at Whittlebury Hall

Getting to waft around in a soft white dressing gown and slippers is my idea of heaven and I like the fact that there are magazines dotted around so you don’t have to bring your own.

The Quiet Area has those wicker swing chairs, which look divine, but are a bugger to get in and out of in an elegant fashion, whilst wearing a dressing gown! The spa is set apart from the hotel and also has a conference area and a gym, which I’m ashamed to say I didn’t set foot in – my excuse is I can go to the gym any day of the week!

So three things to note about Whittlebury Hall:

  • The food is amazing
  • There are water beds to nap on in the Quiet Area
  • The bedrooms have fridges so you can bring your own wine – bingo!

Moving onto Champneys, I have also been to Henlow Grange twice. The first time was a day spa with the female members of my extended family and the second time, as mentioned above, was an overnight stay with my mum and sister.

It’s a bit more expensive than Whittlebury Hall, but on arrival we were offered a mulled wine, what’s better than that? Oh a full 24 hours of doing nothing but relaxed. Bring it on!

Set in an old manor house, Henlow Grange has lots of lovely gardens and a weir, which our bedrooms overlooked, and there are guided tours throughout the day, provided you bring your wellies.

The pool at Champneys Henlow Grange.

I also had the chance to experience a very rigorous game of water netball. Now playing on-land normal netball, I have never scored a goal, but I discovered I was a whizz at water netball – seven goals! There are also lots of lovely places to relax – a conservatory, a grand sitting room with an open fire and loungers by the pool of course.

Treatments are an added extra but I was lucky enough to have been given a voucher from the boy for my birthday so I was all set.

OK, three important things about Champneys Henlow Grange:

  • There are classes throughout the day that are free to guests
  • You can take advantage of the lovely grounds and garden, weather dependent
  • It has a gift shop!

So many spas and so little time! Is visiting one every weekend really that extravagant?


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