Thursday 7 August 2014

Champneys Tring Review

In the beginning of July I was surprised with my biggest competition win to date. I was one of four lucky winners (I think) who won with  twitter competition  to win a 2 night stay for 2 at any Champney’s Spa resort.

I was absolutely over the moon that I had won such an incredible prize and if I’m honest, I didn’t actually believe it was true until I received a confirmation email from the Champney’s resort I had chosen to stay at!

My mum has sworn by their products for years, so it only seemed fitting that I bring her along on this wonderful experience.

Below is the full spec of what I won, worth a whopping £1018!

2 nights’ accommodation for two people
Champneys Massage 25 mins
Champneys Relaxing Facial 25 mins
Thalassotherapy pool session 25 mins
Use of facilities
Access to up to 20 different classes per day
Complimentary robe hire
Nutritious 3-course dinner, buffet breakfast & 3-course buffet lunch


I’ve never been to a spa before so I was hoping this would live up to all my expectations, and boy, it did.

We decided to visit the Tring Spa, as this was the closest one to us (only around an hour away from where I live). The Tring spa is described as a ‘Health Spa’, so all the inclusive meals are extremely healthy and well balanced meals (meaning crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks are off the menu!). 

TIP: If you are going to a spa, bring you own snacky bits! Crisps, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, and even flavored water! Trust me, you can bring it home if you don’t eat it, but if you don’t fancy paying £5 for a Mars Bar, take heed!

Once we arrived we were shown to our room and had a tour of the facilities and the manor house.

Our bedroom was large, bright, fresh and clean; it was lovely. We also had a lovely view of the Spa’s ground.

Cheeky selfie

I was slightly disappointed with was the shower/bath. The shower was inside the bath (nothing wrong with that!) but it looked a bit old and not in the most tip top condition. Considering the stay would be worth around £509 each,  I thought the facilities would be a bit more…up market? Ha! But hey, I’m just nit picking – plus I know they’re currently upgrading rooms which will hopefully address this issue.

Another small issue was the mattresses; they were flat as a pancake! I’m not saying I had an awful night’s sleep, but the Premier Inn has nicer beds! Another tiny flaw I feel needs addressing.

One massive positive for me was that you couldn’t hear your neighbors. I don't enjoy staying in hotels because of loud and obnoxious neighbors, but this was not a problem here, thank goodness.

As I mentioned earlier this resort is a health spa, meaning the meals were healthy, low in fat, high in protein and fiber and other nutrients, it was lovely.

I love fresh fruit and vegetables and they offered a wide variety of seasonal fruit, which all tasted fantastic.

However, I did find myself feeling quite peckish in-between meals throughout my stay. The meals were very light and quite small, so it was inevitable this was going to happen.

Below are a few cheeky snaps I took of my food whilst I was at Champneys.

Chicken, mushroom and asparagus salad

Possibly the tasiest dinner I've ever eaten. Lamb (I'm really am not a fan of lamb) green beans and mash

Baked apple stuffed with god knows what and dates, along with cinnamon yogurt - it wasn't to my taste.

The Restaurant 

The madre

Fresh fruit, granola, green tea and a cinnamon and apple health shot.

Quinoa, sweet broccoli, hummus salad with pumpkin seed loaf.

Seabass on mushed peas, topped with lamb's lettuce

Summer Fruits jelly

Halloumi salad

Chicken, potato, carrot and leek tart with ratatouille

Summer berry cheesecake and a fruit salad

Pomegranate juice, fresh fruit and special K with natural yoghurt 

I was making full use of all their facilities during my stay; the gym, the swimming pool, hiring a bike and attending exercise classes, which meant I was working up quite an appetite. I felt there was just the bare minimum to eat, which is not a good mix when working out. 

(I seem like such a fatty now I've looked back through the photos...oops)


Off on another positive - the grounds were immaculate; each flower was pruned within an inch of their lives! The grass was constantly being cut (I love the smell of cut grass!) so everyday we took a walk around the grounds and even took a bike ride through a forest! It was all rather lovely.

Along with never going to a spa before, I’ve never had a massage either. As I was getting an inclusive massage and facial in my stay, I thought, when in Rome, I'd pay for another treatment.

So I booked myself a Spa Heaven Cocoon, which was just insanely good. 

The treatment is described as the following:

‘A top to toe luxurious pampering treat including an exfoliation, warm body cocoon, foot and scalp massage. You can choose from indulgent Oriental spa recipes or delicious Exotic fruit fragrances to leave your skin feeling smooth, silky and conditioned, as you emerge like an exotic butterfly’. 

I was so unsure what treatment to book; there were so many choices, but this was perfect for me; exfoliation, massage, wrap, head and foot massage - fabulous!

I didn’t get to choose the fragrance they used on me, I personally wanted the Exotic Fruit Fragrances but I was just given the Oriental spa recipe instead.

However, I am so glad I didn’t choose the fruit fragrances because the Oriental treatments smelled heavenly.

I love exfoliation treatments and I did think for a second that maybe this was a waste of money and that I could do this myself. It's true, I could. But not as amazingly as my masseuse did. They rub you all over with this scrub (on dry skin, which supposedly works much better) within an inch of your life, and then you have a quick shower and wash it off for the next process of your treatment. The exfoliation felt invigorating and equally quite relaxing. 

I then returned to then have a body moisturizer rubbed all over and massaged in to me; heavenly! I was then wrapped in a cling film type material and weighed down with a thick blanket on top of the cling film; I felt as snug, as a bug, in a rug!

I ADORE my feet being rubbed (which doesn't happen as often as I’d like) and once I was in a lovely, dozy, cling film induced slumber, I then had my feet rubbed and my head massaged with a beautiful smelling oil called Champneys Revive & Refresh aromatherapy oil - uhhh amazingggg!

The whole experience was so gosh darn amazing in fact, I bought the oil, the scrub and the body moisturizer to have at home! (3 for 2 offer at Champneys - bargain!)

I would thoroughly recommend this divine treatment! It’s £55 for 55 minutes but it’s easily the best £55 I’ve ever spent!

Why have I waited 26 years to have a massage done?!

One, tiny, iny, winy little hang up was that my treatment only lasted around 45 minutes, which is a bit of a jip really! 

My inclusive treatments were the next day so I was doubly excited now I knew what to expect.

As I waited to for my massage and facial, another tiny hang up occurred. This time, my masseur was late by around ten minutes, which made me worry that I had got the times wrong or I wasn't actually booked in, which was quite annoying, considering I’m supposed to be at a heightened state of relaxation.

Alas, the young lady did show up and she was fantastic.

So fantastic in fact…I fell asleep. Yep! Laid out, on the table, at a level of undress that I'm not really comfortable with usually, I fell asleep!

(I regret nothing). 

Aside from the quick snooze I had, I did think that with all these products being used on my face and rubbed in that I would come out in spots (I have sensitive, oily skin) but I didn’t.

Thumbs up to Champneys facial products.

A quick round up!

My not so positives:

The majority of the staff were so miserable. They all look bored out their skulls and didn’t really look as if they wanted to be there or help any guests. You could stand at any of the receptions for at least five minutes, in silence, while two people behind the desk ignored you and walked off...No one would address you to explain they were busy and that we should was all very odd and quite rude.

No one mentions money! Ever! Is this an unspoken rule I'm not aware of? None of the staff tells you the price of anything. Why?! I don't understand? You either had to sit their guessing the price or ask them and even then they weren't very forthcoming with this top secret information. I understand this is supposed to be a 'high end' spa, but my goodness, I think all people are entitled to know how much their spending, even the wealthy ones.

The staff would also not tell you what was free! When we arrived for lunch, there was a buffet of salads, grains and fruit, no hot food, but not one staff member explained that we could have a hot meal which was inclusive in our package, we had to find this information out from other guests. Why was this information not readily available on menus? At the front desk? Anywhere? This happened several times during our stay. I think this needs to be address immediately, people need to know what they're entitled to, considering they're paying for it!

The beds, as mentioned, were thin and seemed a bit 'past their time'.

The shower/bath - I personally think there should be a separate bath and shower within the rooms or at least an upgrade so they don’t look so haggard.

Treatments should last their allocated time and not ten minutes less, which moves me on to my next point…

Masseuses should arrive on time or earlier! Being 5 – 10 minutes late is not acceptable. Considering that the lost time was not added on to the end of the treatment – cheeky!

Bigger portions of food! Enough said.

Final thought:

With all of that moaning aside, is it worth over a £1000? I have toiled with my answer for days now and I would say yes. Wellbeing and peace of mind is essential in life and I've never truly realised how essential it is to have a pampering session, with someone else pampering you. 

I have never felt so relaxed and zoned out like I did there; everything is so laid back, I felt half asleep the majority of the time. I genuinely think everyone, at least once in their lifetime, needs to have a full blown pamper session; it really does make you feel incredible.

Maybe both my masseuses were late, but they were both excellent. Maybe there wasn't enough food, but what was available was still tasty.

Ignore the negativity for a moment and think is it worth over a £1000 to feel all those fantastic feelings and be completely waited on for 2 nights for 2 people, I would say it is easily worth a £1000. I know I've complained a little but realistically I wasn't there to talk to reception staff or to eat my weight in food, I was there to relax, chill out, exercise and use all the facilities, which is exactly what I did.

If you can visit for more than one day, I would say do it. I know it's a lot of money, but I don't think you would really get the full benefits of the spa and all it has to offer within 1 day.

All in all, I had a wonderful, relaxing and pleasant time at Champneys Tring. There is no riff raff, loud people or ‘banter’ going on. It’s the most idyllic, calm, relaxing and chilled place I’ve ever been to in my entire life and you are surrounded with like minded people, who just want to also enjoy themselves and have a little ‘me’ time.

The resort was not overcrowded and there was enough space for everyone to use all the facilities comfortably (I did go midweek so this is maybe why, on the Saturday I did notice more people arriving). 

I know it’s expensive but keep an eye out for offers on their site and on Last and I’m certain you will not regret staying at such a wonderful place.

Here are a few other cheeky photos from our stay. I hope you liked this review and if you've stayed at a spa, tell me what you experience was like!

These were available within the ladies changing rooms for the gym and swimming pool - fantastic!

 GHD straighteners and hair dryer available within the ladies changing rooms

This is a laconium or a dry heat room (I've never been in one before). Unlike a sauna the heat is minimal and it was very therapeutic. People would use this once they had come out of the showers to dry themselves off. 

This is the Thalassotherapy Pool - apologies for my reflection. This is a 'mineral rich warm pool with hydrotherapy jets to stimulate and tone tired aching muscles. Excellent for treating cellulite, arthritis and general muscular and joint aches and pains'. Our session in this pool was inclusive but only for 25 minutes. I love water and the healing powers it has, I just wish this was a longer session.

The swimming pool, with just my mum swimming in it ;)

The Manor House

The Drawing Room - spot the Marion


The Music Room


Wall paper in the Music Room

Our Bike Ride

The Grounds

And a few cheeky photos of my mam and me

This is probably the most in depth, honest review I could possibly give. I hope it gives you an idea of the resort and answers some questions you may have had about it. 

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