First Look: Inside Kesgrave Hall Spa

PUBLISHED: 19:31 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 24 July 2020

Enjoy a relaxing sit in the sun after being pampering at Kesgrave Hall Spa Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Enjoy a relaxing sit in the sun after being pampering at Kesgrave Hall Spa Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

Find beautiful open spaces, luxurious Elemis treatments and pure pampering at Suffolk’s newest destination spa near Ipswich.

The spa features a south-facing deck, hot tub and sun loungers Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe spa features a south-facing deck, hot tub and sun loungers Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Following on from its grand opening on Monday July 20, Kesgrave Hall Spa is now ready to offer guests a range of high-end treatments - using some of the most luxurious and rejuvenating products available.

The 4,000 square foot spa is the latest addition to the Milsom Hotels & Restaurants portfolio, and forms part of Kesgrave Hall – the four-star boutique hotel and restaurant which sits just on the outskirts of Ipswich. It is co-owned by Paul Milsom and Jonathan Hills.

As you pull up to the grounds, you’re immediately surrounded by tall trees and luscious greenery – acting almost as a canopy, shielding you from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Simply perfect for when you want to get away from it all.

Upon entering, you’re met with an array of comforting scents, soothing sounds and friendly faces who are more than happy to welcome you in and help you hang up your stresses at the door.

The spa's outdoor sofas and fire  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe spa's outdoor sofas and fire Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Open-planned, airy and spacious, you’ll notice how natural light streams in through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows – helping you really feel at one with nature.

From its initial planning right through to its opening, Kesgrave Hall Spa has been a year in the making and has cost Milsoms around £2 million.

Geraldine Milsom, director of Milsom Hotels & Restaurants said: “Jonathan Hills is the managing director of Hills Building Group, and designed all of the exterior. I played my part with the hot tub - but my specific area was to look at the interiors, the layout of the treatment rooms and the public areas.

“Grey just happens to be a favourite of all of ours, and it’s very calming. What we were trying to use were natural stones, wood, granite, and materials that sit well within the beautiful location amongst the trees. We started around that, and then did the design - as opposed to doing the design and then adding the materials.”

The team at Kesgrave Hall Spa Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe team at Kesgrave Hall Spa Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Perhaps what sticks out most are the gorgeous copper accents throughout. From the water dispenser on the honesty bar, to the table surfaces, this on-trend metal gently complements the interior.

“I love copper – it’s one of my favourite metals,” added Geraldine. “We first sat down with Benchmark, who made a lot of the larger pieces of our furniture - the reception desk, the honesty bar and the tables. I then wanted copper on every piece that they made.”

Coincidentally, it’s turned out that the copper not only has stylistic purposes – but hygienic ones too.

“It has now transpired that copper is one of the best materials to sit at, eat from, and drink out of in this new world that we find ourselves in.”

Spa manager Katie Baker alongside the socially-distanced treatment beds Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDSpa manager Katie Baker alongside the socially-distanced treatment beds Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Research from the University of Southampton has shown that although the novel coronavirus survives for days on surfaces such as glass and stainless steel, it dies within hours after coming into contact with copper.

For anyone who still might be uncertain about visiting a spa in the coming weeks, the folk at Kesgrave Hall Spa have got social distancing covered – from relaxing on the deck to being pampered in the treatment rooms.

“We’ve got an enormous building here, even down to our deck chairs which are socially-distanced apart. The sheer nature and size of our furniture almost means that you’re going to naturally social distance yourself as well.”

In regards to the spa’s five treatment rooms, each one measures five metres by four metres, with the beds spaced over a metre apart.

Inside the spa's spacious sauna Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDInside the spa's spacious sauna Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“When it comes down to cleaning, we’re extending all of the treatment times, so the rooms are deep cleaned in-between every client.”

Beside each door is a wall-mounted Elemis hand sanitiser, and all guests are politely asked to sanitise or wash their hands before treatments begin.

“All of our girls wear face visors throughout performing the treatments – but if our clients would rather wear masks too, that’s absolutely fine. We also take the temperatures of all of our staff and every guest coming into the building, too.”

In terms of the treatments themselves, Kesgrave Hall Spa offers an array of luxurious pampering sessions designed to suit every want and desire – from manicures and pedicures, to facials, massages, waxes, body wraps and makeovers.

Geraldine Milsom of Milsom Hotels Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDGeraldine Milsom of Milsom Hotels Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Spa manager Katie Baker is on-hand to showcase what luxury products the spa has carefully chosen - and why only the best brands have made the cut.

“Elemis is our main face and body brand, and we chose it because of its ethos, the quality of its treatments and its reputation. Elemis’ training and support are really important to us.

“We use OPI for the manicures and pedicures, and GelBottle for our gel nail treatments.”

The spa also uses Novalash and LVL Lash Lift for eye treatments, and Lycon wax which harnesses natural ingredients and aromatherapy oils.

The spa's relaxing hot tub Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDThe spa's relaxing hot tub Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“We wanted the best brands and products, all of the highest quality, and we really did our research before taking any of them on,” she added.

Head over to the retail shelves, where guests can spoil themselves with a range of high-end products to take home with them after their visit.

“We sell OPI, St Tropez, Revitalash, our makeup brand Delilah, Copper Cups, and Loggique.”

Based near Woodbridge, Loggique is a local brand that makes candles, diffusers, moisturisers, handwashes, creams and room sprays in a variety of natural scents including Rose Otto and vetiver.

Kesgrave Spa Hall has a vibrant lounge area on arrival  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDKesgrave Spa Hall has a vibrant lounge area on arrival Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“Interestingly, Sue Bunting, our PR manager at Milsom Hotels showed me a candle she had bought in Woodbridge, and I absolutely loved it,” explained Geraldine.

“She then introduced me to Pauline, and we actually went up and spent the day with her. She is so enthusiastic about everything she does. She talked us through making our own scent, and Sue and I actually made our own candles. Everything she does is so exciting, and that’s the reason we stock her products. Not only are they all natural, every smell is absolutely amazing.”

Back to the spa tour, and Katie explains what guests can expect to experience during their visit to Kesgrave Hall Spa.

“In the changing rooms, we have 12 lockers in the ladies and 10 in the mens – lockers are actually resanitisied once guests have put their stuff in and have left. At one time, we’ll be having no more than 10 spa days in the building, so it could be one group of six, and two groups of two. It’s very exclusive at the moment, which has been really popular, and we’ve had great feedback already,” she said.

Along the hall are five double treatment rooms, adjacent to the outdoor hot tub and south-facing Iroko wood deck.

“We’ve got St Tropez spray booths with in-built ventilation, and the treatment rooms have privacy blinds so you can only see out, not in. We’ve also got blackout blinds.”

Head to the end of the hall and there you will see the large sauna room – which unfortunately isn’t open yet as per government guidelines.

“It’s rare that you have a sauna with a window, and even though we’re not using it at the moment, it’s so spacious. When people can use it, guests will be able to sit opposite the sauna on the chairs and still be social.

“People ask us what makes Kesgrave Hall Spa different to any other spa, and I say ‘it’s really hard to tell you until you get here – it’s just a completely different experience’.”

With stunning exteriors, carefully-considered interiors, and an array of luxurious treatments on offer, a trip to Kesgrave Hall Spa could prove to be the perfect opportunity to kick back and unwind as things slowly start to get back to normal.

Visit the website to see Kesgrave Hall Spa’s full list of treatments and availability.

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