Last week my mum and I headed to North Lakes Spa and Hotel which is part of the Shire Hotels group for a day of total relaxation and pampering. My mum had never been to a spa before so I was very excited to share the experience with her as I knew she was going to love it! The spa we visited was in Penrith which is about an hours drive from my home town in the Lake District so it was really convenient for us to get there. I travelled home from Manchester the night before and mum drove us to the spa the following morning. It only took us about an hour to drive and we enjoyed the journey having a catch up and listening to some of our favourite songs at full volume! We were told we could arrive any time after 9am and that our treatments would begin at 2:30pm so we decided we'd get there between 10 and 11 giving us a couple of hours to chill out and use the spa facilities before we had lunch and our treatments.
When we arrived we parked up in the car park and made our way into the spa. As soon as we saw the building we thought it looked quaint and welcoming so we couldn't wait to see what was inside. We walked into the most gorgeous reception area with comfy sofas and an open log fire and were shown to the spa reception area where we were then checked in and shown around by one of the lovely staff members. Mum and I were pretty blown away by the facilities they have - it has everything you could want including a huge pool, a spa jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. On top of this there was huge changing rooms that were comfortable and clean, a gym (which we didn't go near), a private and comfortable dining area to eat lunch and a chill out area that we could use to relax when we weren't using the spa. Mum and I looked around oohing and ahhing at how lovely everything was before we finally got changed and headed to the jacuzzi!
We spent the first 30 minutes of our day chilling in the most gorgeous jacuzzi and then moved into the pool to have a little swim! We attempted the steam room and sauna too but realised they weren't really for us (we couldn't handle the heat) so back to the jacuzzi we headed - that was definitely our favourite part of the spa although we were so impressed by how blue to pool was - as you can see from the photos, it was beautiful! After a bit more chilling and chatting, we headed back to our private changing room to pop on our complimentary robes and slippers before lunch. We then headed down to the dining area which again was so comfortable and welcoming - they had the most beautiful wooden mirrors hanging from the walls - I need one of those for my future home! We were given a lunch menu and consultation form when we first arrived and I loved how there was a few options for lunch, all of them being very healthy! I opted for the asparagus and prosciutto whilst mum has the salmon and new potatoes. They were both served with a lovely salad and we also got a berry smoothie each and a dessert. I went for the yoghurt, berries and granola and mum went for the slightly naughtier creme brulee! We also had unlimited tea, coffee and still or sparkling water to enjoy so we were well looked after and had everything we could have wanted.
After lunch we headed back to the jacuzzi (can you tell we loved it in there) and chilled for 30 minutes before our treatments began. We then headed to our changing room to get ourselves ready for the two treatments included in our Taste of Relaxation package. There was various treatments available including body polishes, body scrubs and manicures but mum and I both chose the ESPA taster facial and the back, neck and shoulder massage as we thought they'd be the most relaxing. I've had facials and massages in the past but because it was mum's first time, she did feel a little apprehensive as she didn't know what to expect. I assured her she'd love it and were then shown to separate treatment rooms by the two ladies who would be doing our treatments. The atmosphere in the treatments room was relaxed with soothing music playing and an aromatherapy scent filling the room.
I was really impressed by how thorough my therapist was - she asked me questions about my skint type and what I currently use and also talked me through everything both treatments were going to involve so I knew exactly what to expect. She also dabbed different oils and lotions onto my hands so I could choose my favourite scent. The products she used for the treatments were from ESPA and I've heard really great things about the brand and know that they're very luxurious products. She also asked how firm I wanted the massage and if there was any areas I wanted her to work on. I loved that she asked this as I've had massages in the past where they haven't been firm enough for my personal preference. I told her I suffer with lower back pain on my left side and that my shoulders get very tense so she said she'd concentrate on those areas.
After we'd been through everything, she left me to get myself undressed and lay on the bed ready for the massage to begin. The massage itself was lovely - she was really firm in the areas I've asked her to be and the oils she used were very relaxing. When she'd finished the massage, she began with the facial and informed me that this would also include a scalp massage. I was super excited about this as I love when hairdressers do head massages - its so relaxing! The facial itself was amazing - my skin was thoroughly cleansed and exfoliated and she then added a face mask and left this to work its magic whilst giving me the most amazing scalp massage with a deep conditioner. She then removed the face mask and applied toner, eye cream, a face oil and a moisturiser. Its safe to say she gave my skin a right good pampering!
When the treatments were over (around 1 hour in total) she left me to get dressed and then came back in the treatment room to give me some aftercare advice. I've never experienced this at a massage / facial before - they typically do the treatment, leave you to get dressed and that's that. However, she told me that she noticed the left hand side of my back was extremely tight and that would be the reason I'm suffering with lower back pain. She advised me to go and see a physio and to also get regular massage to help it. This was really great to hear as I've been suffering with back pain for years now and for her to notice that my muscles are tight was almost a relief as I've always wondered what's been causing it. She also told me my skin type was combination (like I'd thought) and that my skin was lovely and soft but I was dehydrated around my eyes. She recommended I start using an eye cream morning and night and told me how to apply it. She said I should apply it just above my cheekbone and around in a circle above my brow bone instead of applying it directly under my eye. I didn't know this was the correct way to do it so this was a really useful tip. She also told me that using an eye cream would help with the darkness under my eyes so I'm definitely going to take her advice and start using one.
All in all we had the most fantastic day! The spa had everything we wanted and more and we felt like pampered princesses for the whole day. We'd 100% return for another spa day at North Lakes Spa and I'd recommend it to everyone wanting a day of relaxation. It would be the perfect place to visit for a special occassion. If Penrith isn't near you, there's other spas within the Shire Hotels group and you can find where they're located here as there's plenty of other locations.
Have you ever been for a spa day? Do you like the look of this one?