Review: Tranquility reigns at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel in Thorpe-le-Soken

By the lake at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel

By the lake at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel - Credit: Archant

As I lay there, eyes closed, with the sound of dew-drops dripping through the layers of undergrowth in the rainforest and the tension in my neck being eased by the expert hands of the therapist, I felt a million miles from home.

We may have enjoyed only an overnight stay at the Lifehouse Spa and Hotel, in Thorpe-le-Soken, but it was enough to convince my sceptical husband that even in these times of austerity a little R&R can pay dividends.

He reluctantly joined me at the luxury new spa, overlooking the Essex coast and less than an hour from Ipswich, expecting to find a female-dominated retreat where no-one spoke louder than a whisper.

But once in the spa area with its steam rooms, sauna, hydro baths and tropical showers, he was won over. Instantly, we were both able to relax; there were no interruptions, and a sense of calm descended.

Instead of grabbing a few moments together between work, football and the ironing, we had hours to spend doing nothing but relaxing in the luxury surroundings of this contemporary spa.


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If lounging by the pool or bubbling away in the hot tub become too much, there is always the well-equipped gym or a series of classes to try. And in the summer months, you can enjoy the stunning gardens.

Rested and calm, I was booked in for an ESPA signature massage. Using essential oils to calm, and focusing on “troublespots”, the therapist helped me sink further into a relaxed stupor, shutting out the world for a blissful hour.

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Dinner is served in the modern, informal restaurant on the ground floor, overlooking the beautifully manicured gardens. Embracing the healthy living theme, all meals are balanced, low in fat, and packed with energy-boosting ingredients.

Guests are welcome to indulge in a glass or two of wine, but those wishing to fully embrace the cleansing environment can sample one of the fresh juice concoctions or smoothies.

We tried the duck liver parfait with a fig and grape chutney and toasted brioche for starter, pan-fried fillet of sea bass with crushed new potatoes, braised carrot, beetroot and a dill cream sauce for main, and a white chocolate mousse, poached strawberries and shortbread biscuits for dessert. It was delicious.

Breakfast is a buffet affair, with everything from the saintly porridge and fresh fruit to the sinful croissant or full-English available.

Our room was spacious, well-appointed and finished to an extremely high spec, as you would expect from a luxury hotel.

The décor was modern, the bathroom was immaculate and the bed was comfortable – although by this point we were so relaxed we could have slept anywhere.

My husband is now well and truly converted.

The cost of a one-night stay is from £74.50 per person if you book a Summer Break offer.

Treatments cost £38 for a prescriptive manicure or £65 for a 55-minute ESPA Personalised massage

Visit www.lifehouse.co.uk for more details.

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