There is nothing quite like a Spa day to cheer a girl up and help recharge the batteries. I tend to grab my friends and book one at least twice a year. I have had the pleasure ( and on occasion displeasure) of visiting many of the North West Luxury Spas but this was my first time at Stanley House .
What We Booked :
Designed to include time at leisure in our stunning spa, before our skilled therapists provide your choice of V.I.P. treatments to ensure that every guest enjoys the luxury they desire.
• A glass of chilled Prosecco
• 2 hours at leisure with full use of our thermal bathing facilities*; sensation showers, salt infusion room, aroma steam room, herbal and Finnish saunas, ice fountain and rural hydrotherapy pool
• Sensory Welcome Touch
• Choice of one 55 min treatment from- ILA Bliss Facial (Ananda); Energising and Detoxifying Renewal; Marine body wrap; Relaxation and peace massage; Pristine manicure; Plush pedicure
• Light lunch in the Spa lounge or Mr Fred’s bar & lounge
The drive up to the house was giving me full Downton Abbey vibes. Set in 54 acres of Ribble Valley countryside the setting was breathtaking. Plenty of parking right next to the entrance, so no lugging bags too far. We didn’t get the warmest of welcomes as we entered, due to the receptionist being on the phone and a hand being held up to us before we could even speak, but a very lovely manager ( I think it was the new GM ) walked past and offered to escort us to the Spa reception.
The spa receptionists were friendly and efficient. We were given some forms and shown through to the guest relaxation area where we could fill them in and enjoy some light refreshments. A nice selection of juices, tea’s and water was available but sadly no cups or glasses to enjoy them in. Cut to me awkwardly searching cupboards and finally giving up as we were due to go for lunch in 5 minutes anyway.
We pre-ordered our 2-course lunch a few days before we arrived and were given ample choices from the menu. The staff greeted us warmly and asked where we wished to be seated. As it was a beautiful day we choose outside in the stunning gardens. A drinks order was taken very quickly and arrived 5 minutes later. The food ( Caesar salad ) arrived 40 minutes later, leaving us only 10 minutes to eat and get back to the Spa in time to change for our Thermal Journey starting at 2 p.m. We didn’t have time to eat our dessert so we asked if we could pop back after our treatments. This was agreed upon. I must add that the food was delicious but to wait 40 minutes for a salad was excessive and we did feel rushed to eat it quickly so we didn’t miss our time slot for the Thermal Journey. *Just a note for anyone eating lunch at Mr Freds, the outdoor area being gardens means it does attract a LOT of wasps. One sadly lost its life in my prosecco.
I do feel the quality of the changing area can make or break a good spa day. No one wants to get changed in a dirty room or shower in an old mouldy cubicle. I can firmly confirm that the changing area was pristine. 3 bathrobes, towels and flip-flops were laid out ready for us and a Spa staff member talked us through how to use the lockers. Molton Brown toiletries were available and 2 dressing tables with hairdryers. There was also plenty of extra towels available to grab if you required more.
First impressions. Tranquil, only 2 other ladies in the area at the same time as us ( 5 total ). The views across the gardens and huge ponds were instantly calming. The Thermal Journey consisted of sensation showers, salt infusion room, aroma steam room, herbal and Finnish saunas, ice fountain and rural hydrotherapy pool. It took us about 20 minutes to experience the different rooms and the hydro pool offered jacuzzi seats and jets to relax the muscles. In all honestly any more than 8 people would have felt crowded as the area is very small. It would have been nice to have an outdoor area seating area with some hammocks to relax in or even a separate jacuzzi. After an hour and a half, we decided to get out and get showered before our treatments.
We were shown back through to the guest area to wait for our treatments. Once again there were no cups or glasses. I did notice quite a few unoccupied tables with food dishes and cups there, so maybe that answered the question of where they all were. We had arrived 5 minutes before our treatment time of 4 p.m but waited until nearly 4.10 pm before our Therapists came to collect us. Not the worst thing in the world but just something to note. My Therapist was friendly, chatty and very professional. The treatment room was simple but very clean with a relaxed atmosphere. She started with the Sensory Welcome Touch, which was a foot-washing ritual. It was very pleasant and a great way to start the treatment.
I choose the 55-minute relaxation and peace massage as my main treatment. Much needed too. Simply put this was one of the best massages I have ever had. The Therapist sent me to sleep and it’s been a very long time since I have felt that relaxed & peaceful. Top marks from me.
After the treatment, we were shown back to the guest area, now featuring 2 glasses for water ( there was 3 of us ). Our desserts were ordered and brought through to us while we relaxed. A great way to finish the day. * This was the dark chocolate and raspberry bomb. Highly recommended.
I was advised by my Therapist that the new owners were investing in a whole new Spa area to be completed in the next couple of years. This would indeed include an outdoor area and extend on the Thermal Journey’s offerings. My honest opinion is I think I will wait for that to be opened before I return. When you book a Spa Day you want to feel 100% relaxed from the second you enter the building and I didn’t. It just felt disorganised at times and very simple things like no glasses for water or a salad taking 40 minutes to arrive, takes the shine off the overall experience. The Thermal Journey was too small for me personally, even though we pretty much had the place to ourselves. When you compare the package price to that of Ribby or Low Wood Bay I felt the facilities were not matched. Scores on the doors I would say 7 out of 10.