Sharon Reid


It seems like eons since my last massage so I was really looking forward to the prospect of a long -awaited spa visit. My massage came courtesy of The Spa at Thornton Hall; a gorgeous space nestled in the hotels’ grounds. The award –winning spa, according to its promotional material, prides itself on having ‘the very best of facilities.’ The facilities include: a 20 meter indoor heated pool inspired by a Roman Bath; Steam Room & Sauna; Snow Cave; Indoor & Outdoor Hydra Spa Pools.

The spa focuses on both the holistic: Hot Stone Massage, Reflexology, Hopi etc and the clinical – which takes place in The Lodge, a separate facility. The Lodge a ‘clinical sanctuary’ offers a range of non-surgical aesthetic procedures such as: Dermal Fillers, 3D – lipo, Botox injections, Colonic Hydrotherapy, to name but a few.

In addition to the spa is The Health Club at Thornton Hall, a well –equipped gym and aerobics studio which occupies the same building as the spa. Guests staying at the hotel can enjoy complimentary use of the health club. Non –guests are required to sign up for membership which also grants them use of the spa.Outdoor Hydra Pool -Thornton Hall

Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage

I was accompanied by friend and Mi Downtime contributor, Leon; we were booked in for a Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage. After disrobing we took our places on the massage tables and the massage therapists set to work. Using a specialised ESPA Aromatherapy massage blend, my massage therapist was a little too light of touch – even though I don’t have any pre-existing problems in my back, neck and shoulder I do have a preference for a firm, hard massage; my best massage was administered by a man whose strong hands made for a decisive no nonsense massage. However, my male masseur suffered with acute sinusitis; despite his golden touch I found it difficult to get pass the high –pitched nasal sounds that used to emanate from him.

My massage was perfectly pleasant and seemed short at 25 minutes – after being gently woken from my semi –deep sleep, I could have happily slept for the rest of the afternoon my treatment was so relaxing.

The Facilities

After our massages we were free to roam and make the most of the spa facilities, I started with the sauna – a two minute visit to the contrasting snow cave (a room filled with actual snow!) is recommended; the freezing temperatures close your pores, stimulate circulation and boosts immunity. Benefits aside, we did not even last a nano second!Snow Cave - The Spa at Thornton Hall

A brief dip in the indoor hydra spa pool followed – I was not brave enough to venture into the outside hydra spa pool; the five people chilling in said pool had no such reservation and appeared to be having a good time.

I enjoyed myself at the spa, being awarded the ‘Best Beauty Spa in the UK,’ by The World Spa Awards in 2013 and 2014, is very well justified. The spa at Thornton Hall makes for a relaxing, tranquil environment, very much in keeping with the general mood of the hotel and definitely worth a visit.

Overall Verdict

Price – £37 (25 minutes) Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage. The use of the spa facilities are complimentary for hotel guests; day passes are available for non-guests from £65.

Treatment – The massage was pleasant, in retrospect I should have opted for a longer session, 25 minutes felt way too short.

Changing area – 5/5 clean and spacious.


For Spa bookings and further information please visit:

For The Health Club membership enquiries please visit: