Recently I took a trip to Champneys Springs near Leicester. I did want to go to one of the Champneys further South as they do look much better and have better reviews, but they’re all 4-6 hours away from me, so I decided to take a trip to Springs instead. I decided to surprise Jack with this as a little treat and he was just as excited as me to go. He’d never been to a spa before so I told him that he would be in for a treat. I’d done a lot of researching of Champneys Springs and didn’t see anything negative on TripAdvisor, I didn’t find any reviews online or many photos though, but I guess that’s because people don’t really take photos in Spas, I tried to take a few although it was pretty difficult so here is my review of Champneys Springs Health Farm and Spa...
Arrival At Champneys:
We arrived at around 12pm and were told that we couldn’t use the facilities until 2pm, we’d travelled over an hour to get there and didn’t realise that we couldn’t use the facilities until 2pm – it was probably my fault for misreading the confirmation email but I said to the gentleman on the front desk (who was actually very helpful) well we could always just leave and go home then and come back a few hours later? – obviously we didn’t want to do this but there was nothing else that we could do. He suggested that we could pay extra to use the facilities, this seemed ridiculous, as did going home, luckily management sorted it out for us but it was quite a stressful start to the trip. If you visit Champneys, it seems that you don’t actually get two full days like we assumed, you get from 2pm on the day you arrive, until 4pm on the day you leave. I think it would be much better and much better value for money (around £250 for a night) if Champneys let you arrive at 11am and stay until 5pm the next day.
The Spa At Champneys:
We were given our robes and slippers and the gentleman behind the desk looked after our bags for us until our rooms were ready, he kindly took our bags up to our room for us when they were ready. Champneys spa consists of one, really nice swimming pool, don’t get me wrong, it’s good but there’s not much else. There is a Jacuzzi, a sauna and then two steam rooms, but one in the male changing room and another in the female changing room. This means that as a couple, you can’t use the steam room together and have to go into separate changing rooms to enjoy this. I’ve been to the Thermaespa in Bath and Titanic Spa in Huddersfield, both which had plunge pools, a few saunas each, steam rooms and more. I felt that whilst Champneys was very relaxing, they do need more spa facilities as for me, going to a spa is all about having a few really nice pools, having a sauna and a uni-sex steam room.
The second pool, is a thalassotherapy pool which you have to pay to use. Me and Jack did pay to use this (£20.00 per person) because we wanted to experience it. It was really good, you go in with a group of around 5 people, and are massaged by different jets, the thalassotherapy pool is salt water regulated and apparently helps muscle ache, cellulite, tones and more. The sensation of this was absolutely amazing, it made my body feel so relaxed, we liked this so much that we were going to book back on it again and do it twice in one day, oops. Full marks for the thalassotherapy pool! (a bonus tip, it’s only £10.00 if you book on it again so you get your next time half price which is amazing).
The Fitness Facilities At Champneys:
Both me and Jack were very impressed with the fitness facilities at Champneys, if you like keeping fit, Champneys is the place for you seriously. There are numerous fitness classes run all day every day, including Water polo, Aqua Aerobics, Yoga and much more. It’s really simple and easy to sign up for these and it doesn’t cost any extra which is another bonus. The gym at Champneys is also really good, with nice views of the outdoors whilst you’re sweating on the treadmill. It’s a big gym with a good weight and cardio section and you can use it as much as you want throughout your stay. There are personal trainers who are situated just opposite the gym who are on hand to help you with anything at all, this is really good. I was most impressed with the fact that you can go on unlimited bike rides whilst at Champneys. Me and Jack asked to borrow some bikes, this was no trouble to the staff at Champneys, they got two bikes out for us, gave us a map and told us where’s best to cycle to. We cycled for about 8 miles along gorgeous bridle paths at 8am and had the most incredible morning (and I am not a morning person yet I’ve never felt so alive). We ended up in the beautiful village of Packington, think beautiful little country houses and dirt tracks and continued cycling around the village. We did a bike ride twice throughout our stay as we really enjoyed cycling down the country roads, it’s pretty romantic not gonna lie. You can also play tennis anytime you want as well which excited me a lot. I am a complete fitness freak and Champneys exceeded my expectations when it comes to fitness. You can book onto any exercise classes too that you want throughout your stay, so you could do yoga in the morning, aqua aerobics in the afternoon and then go on a jog in the evening – they really do cater for everything. I’ve told my Mum that she simply has to visit just from a fitness point of view as you feel so healthy when you leave.
The Hotel At Champneys:
The hotel is pretty basic, it’s quite old fashioned but the rooms are very big and fresh. I like how Champneys offer you free rain coats in your wardrobe so that you can still go walking around the beautiful scenery near Springs, nothing should stop you stretching your legs. Our room had such a beautiful view of the countryside so it was really relaxing. You’re hardly in your room so it’s really just a place to rest your head anyway, however, the beds are so huge and comfy, pure luxury when it comes to resting your sleepy head after all the exercise you’ll have been doing!
The Food At Champneys:
(please excuse the low quality iphone photos, I slyly took them for you all to see haha)
We were more than impressed with the food at Champneys, literally amazing!
Breakfast: A beautiful large buffet including yoghurts, cereals, bagels, fruit and more. Everything is uber healthy and gives a calorie count. If you’re into health and diet, this is the place for you. Similarly, if you’re someone who wants to find out more about health and nutrition, Champneys is a great learning experience as they only serve good food for you. If you spent a week here you’d be feeling so healthy, I felt so healthy and slim after only two days here.
Lunch: I was worried that I’d go hungry at Champneys with it being a health farm, actually, the complete opposite. We ate like Kings and Queens. You sit down in your robes and can drink as much water as you want, there is a large buffet in the middle with fruit and salad and some hot dishes such as healthy chicken curry and potatoes. There is also soup to start which is delicious and home made, lots of different and healthy breads to dunk into it and then a live station where chefs cook for you. On day one we had the most beautiful chicken and vegetable wraps/fajitas which were perfectly filling, healthy and so delicious. On the second day, we had a delicious healthy pasta dish. I was really impressed with this, so much veg and lots of chicken or tuna if that's what you fancy.
Dinner: Dinner at Champneys was exciting, you could have a glass of wine and me and Jack chose to because we weren’t there to lose weight. We each had a small glass of wine, Jack went for a caesar salad to start, the portion was small but this was obviously because caesar salad isn’t the healthiest of meals, he then had a large portion of ravioli for main and a cake for desert. Again, we were really impressed with the food. I had mozzarella to start, lamb and mash potato with an extra bowl of steamed vegetables (at no extra cost) for dinner and then ice cream for desert. Everything was natural, nutritious and good for you. You can book an all inclusive package like we had, so that breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. The menu at dinner was quite extensive, you definitely wouldn’t go hungry. The service from the waiters was brilliant too.
Massages At Champneys: We had two massages, Jack had a bamboo massage and it was his first massage, he said it hurt, but it was quite an extreme massage. I had a Mediterranean full body hot stone massage which was just incredible. My body was exfoliated with a salt scrub, I then jumped into a hot shower and was massaged with hot oil and hot stones on my back. I even had a scalp massage. This lasted for 55 minutes and I enjoyed every second of it, this did cost extra but it was well worth booking.
Relaxation At Champneys: Everyone at Champneys is in bath robes and slippers which makes it a really relaxing environment. It is a no phone zone so there are no worries from the outside world, you really can just switch off. There are lovely areas all over Champneys which you can relax in, such as lounging sofas, big comfy arm chairs, sun loungers and more all with free newspapers for you to read.
The Staff At Champneys: It's worth noting that whilst some of the staff were really good at Champneys, such as the masseuse and the fitness team, some of the staff did seem un-trained and quite unprofessional, Jack was stung by a wasp whilst we ate lunch and we were sent to the main reception, back to the health and well-being reception and then back to the main reception again. No-one really knew how to deal with such a minor thing and this caused this to be more of a major issue and obviously, neither of us were relaxed as Jack was in a lot of pain (wasp stings really do hurt). Jack was actually allergic to this sting and his knuckle swelled up like a balloon, you couldn't even see his knuckle anymore, there seemed to be no first-aiders on site which was worrying.
All in all, my experience at Champneys was a good one. I’d say Champneys is more of a health farm than a spa, as the spa facilities really weren’t up to much unless you pay extra to have a massage and use thalassotherapy pool (I would recommend doing both of these otherwise you may get quite bored). Making use of the facilities such as free exercise classes, bike rides and the gym really was worth our while, as we enjoyed these things most. The food at Champneys was incredible and beyond all of my expectations, we were both blown away with how good the food was. If you are wanting to learn more about nutrition or lose weight, I really would recommend going for a week and taking part in the sports all day and then living by their healthy eating ways. It will train you up nicely when it comes to knowing how to eat healthily. I’d highly recommend staying over night rather than going for just a day as you want the whole experience. I felt relaxed when I left Champneys and much healthier in myself, I loved the location of Champneys, close to the cutest little village and nestled in the country. Would I go back? Yes, simply for the fitness and food elements of it.
Have you ever been to Chamnpeys? What are your thoughts about Health Farms? Can you recommend any Spas?
Lots of love, Em x