To say I was looking forward to a night away from Sheffield with my mates was an under statement. When Boris confirmed Covid restrictions would be easing as planned on May 17th that was it. There was a quick group discussion which resulted in a Spa break being booked to celebrate Rachs 50th birthday. [Thankyou Karen for organising it all]
Ye olde Bell Spa and Hotel is located in Barnby Moor, Retford which is only a 40 minute drive from Sheffield. Thanks to Sat Nov we, or rather Carol the designated driver, found it without any complications. Parking was not a problem; there is a large carpark to the front of the building with adaquate room for atleast 20 cars.
We booked one of the overnight spa break packages. This included full access to the day spa [9.30am – 5.30pm] lunch, and an overnight stay in one of Ye Olde Bell’s individually styled rooms complete with full English breakfast the next morning. We paid extra for our evening meal and any drinks we had during the day . Prices start at £140 per person, subject to availability, which I think is very good value.
After dropping our cases in the hotel reception we made our way across to the spa, with our day bags and swimming costumes.
The Hotel and Spa are polar opposites. The hotel is very traditional – you know stuffed fox and tapestry territory – while the Spa is extremely modern. It’s definitely got the WOW factor. I was lusting over the pink and gold arm chair, it would look rather fabulous in my living room.
We had our temperatures taken and we were asked to check ourselves in with the government Covid app.
The wearing of face masks is compulsory while in the reception area and the changing rooms … so we were all masked up.
It was all very slick, everything felt safe and clean. We enjoyed a quick glass of complimentary water while we pondered over and selected our lunch [ the menu is seriously good ] before being ushered through into the changing rooms.
We knew it was going to be special when we made our way down the gold, glittery corridor. Very extra , very plush.
You are provided with a free locker, towel dressing gown, and flip flops -which we swiftly changed into before excitedly making our way into the heart of the spa.
The spa area is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t in our favour; while it wasnt raining it was just a little chilly.
This didn’t stop us enjoying our complimentary tea and coffee ‘alfresco’ in one of the little half huts. One of the fabulous Spa Butlers lit one of the two fire pits for us.
Incase you are wondering what a Spa Butler’s is. They are basically like Santa’s little helpers .They run around ensuring the Spa is kept clean and tidy [ it was spotless] and they take your drinks orders. You can drink anywhere in the spa, even the pool.
We snuggled around, supped our beverages and had a quick catch up .It was all very cosy. If required they could provide you with warm blankets. Nothing was too much trouble.
After finishing our hot drinks the day was spent relaxing .
We slipped in and out of the hydrotherapy pool which was absolutely delicious. It’s heated to the most perfect temperature, and there are hydrotherapy jets scattered all around. I found the one that pummeled my bum and stopped there for a while ! It felt like you were stepping into a luxurious, warm bath. It’s half indoors and half outdoor. There’s a sliding glass door ; you press a button and it opens to let you outside … and vice versa . Genius .It reminded me of contraption at the pool at Sea Life , you know the one that releases the sharks, dolphins etc into the pool . Not sharks today , just 6 Sheffield ladies . To be honest I’m not sure what’s scarier !
We spent time experiencing the various sauna and steam rooms, moved onto cocktails and lounged on the loungers.
I had not booked a treatment but the rest of the ladies had. Treatments are all undertaken upstairs on the second floor, it is fully accessible with a lift if you are unable too, or find taking the stairs difficult. Apparently it was amongst the best facial and massages some of them had ever had, which is high praise indeed.
We were booked in for a two course lunch at 1pm. The food was seriously good , better than I had expected. I’m not sure why but I had envisaged little portions and bland food. The food we consumed couldn’t have been further from that – tasty , good portions and extremely moreish.
Take a look …
At the end of the meal there was a complimentary dessert for Rach because it was her birthday . We all tucked in. It’s the little touches right.
It tasted AMAZING.
At the end of the day, due to it being available and before our last cocktails , we booked into the Breathe and Detox Haloir Experience.
What’s that I hear you ask ? Walk this way and I’ll tell you …
We entered a room that was set out like a beach, complete with real sand, deck chairs and the sound of the sea crashing onto the shore.
It might very well be the only beach I get to see this year !
You are instructed to make yourself comfortable, sit or lay down and inhale the salty air. Apparently this opens your airways and you enjoy the warmth of the infrared heat as it envelops your body, helping to ease muscle and joint pain.
It uses medical grade chromatherapy, which uses different light waves to combat numerous conditions. You basically go from morning to night.
I presume you are supposed to lie still and chill out , but us being us and in a beach setting we started reminiscing about past holidays and giggling like school children.
Undertaken properly it has the following benefits
• Reduces stress and fatigue
• Muscle pain relief | Eases joint stiffness
• Immune system boost | Anti-bacterial
• Detoxifiying | Improves mild skin conditions
This was not included in the package and cost us an additional £25 each.
We ended the day with a much needed cocktail. This spa malarky is very tiring and makes you ever so thirsty!! Hello little Aperol Spritz of my dreams.
Cocktail prices are at the high end and range from £8.50 to £10.00. Should you just require a non-alcoholic ‘refresher’ there is complimentary water and fruit teas available throughout the day. You just help yourself.
I thoroughly recommend Ye Olde Bell Spa, it’s right up there with Moddershall Oaks as one of my favourite spa’s I have visited to date.
I envisage it won’t be long before we organise a return visit.
You can read more and book • HERE
Have you been, or are you planning on visiting? I’d love to know.
Until next time,
* all photos taken by myself *