Spa review – Weavers’ House Spa, Lavenham
- Credit: nicksmithphotography.com
Nicola Warren finds The Swan at Lavenham’s spa ‘a haven of tranquillity’.
I arrived at Weavers' House Spa a bit windswept and carrying a soggy umbrella. Lucky, then, they had an umbrella basket just inside the door of this sanctuary tucked away from the High Street in Lavenham.
I was warmly greeted and, after signing in, was brought a robe and slippers and shown to the changing rooms.
These really have the 'wow' factor. The modern, neutral coloured facilities offer Temple Spa cleanser and toner and two choices of moisturiser, as well as hand soap and hand cream, by the vanity unit. Shower caps are provided if you don't want to get your hair wet, and hairdryers if you do.
There are plenty of secure lockers, which you can lock with your choice of four-digit number. (Reception has an override key if you forget it!). Inside the locker are a towel and a handy bag to put your wet things in afterwards.
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I chose to change in one of the private changing cubicles, then put everything in my locker except my book and went to the spa lounge.
This lovely bright room, with bi-fold doors, offers sumptuous sofas and armchairs with a view of the patio area and vitality pool. Guests of the Swan, and anyone having a 90-minute treatment, can enjoy two hours' complimentary use of the spa.
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I was soon brought a berry smoothie to start my spa experience. I then helped myself to some water with a slice of orange before heading over to the steam room, which is infused with menthol.
Anyone who isn't a regular spa-goer is only advised to use the steam room for about five minutes at a time, which is what I did after leaving my robe on one of the hooks outside. I followed this with a lovely warm shower back in the changing rooms.
After all that heat, I drank some more water, and flicked through one of the magazines in the lounge rather than read my book - I was already too relaxed to concentrate for very long!
The sauna was next, with its lovely reassuring warm wood smell. As a bit of a novice, I laid down on one of the lower benches so that I wouldn't be too overwhelmed by the heat. Again, I stayed in for about five minutes. I followed this with another warm shower before relaxing the spa lounge.
Then I walked, rather briskly as it was a bit cold, out to the warm and welcoming vitality pool, with bubbly jets of water soothing my back.
After getting talking to a couple in the pool, I lost track of time, so I welcomed a staff member giving me a 15-minute warning before my treatment was due to start.
There is a shower outside to rinse under, but given the weather I opted to pop to one the showers in the changing rooms before my treatment.
My therapist, Hannah, met me in the lounge before taking me upstairs to one of the treatment rooms for my Woman-Kind massage.
I got up, in rather an ungainly manner I imagine, on to a lovely warm water bed and lay down on my front, covering myself with a sheet.
When she came back, she put a geranium steam inhalation on the floor underneath my face.
The treatment began with a hot stone massage on my calves, then a hot compress was left on my lower legs. My legs, back and arms were all massaged, and when she made small movements I felt myself very nearly fall asleep.
She held the sheet up for me to turn over on to my back, and put a pillow under my head. Damp cotton wool pads were then put on my eyes and a warm compress over them.
The fronts of my legs and arms were massaged, as well as my tummy, shoulders and décolletage.
The treatment aims to rebalance hormones and make you feel like 'you' again. For me, it also made me feel so relaxed that I could quite happily nod off on the waterbed. But the treatment was over and once dressed I enjoyed the berry sorbet Hannah left out for me.
She then brought me a special blend of tea, which I enjoyed in one of the relaxation suites across the landing from the treatment room.
As I was going to be having lunch in the spa, I was brought a menu too.
After taking time to enjoy the herbal tea, I headed down to place my lunch order at reception then went to get showered and dressed.
Lunch - a refreshing lemon drink and what seemed to be a huge amount of smoked salmon sandwiches - was brought out to me in the relaxing lounge which by then I had to myself.
It was soon time to leave, and I headed back through the reception and shop, where you can buy some of the products recommended by your therapist. Before leaving, they recommended the sleep massage for next time. Although that night, before bed, I knew I'd have a good night's sleep.
I thought back to the words of a fellow spa-goer, who said Weavers' House Spa is "a haven of tranquillity". I couldn't agree more.