Located in Liphook, a flourishing village in the Hampshire region, is Champneys Forest Mere. With four other destinations spread over the country – Springs, Tring, Henlow and, most recently, Eastwell Manor - Champneys have been able to brand themselves as offering the exceptional spa experience. The Luxury Health Spa Resorts are known for being Britain’s top country escapes for health and well-being.
Gemma and I have simply been the luckiest interns to date, as we’ve been invited to each Champneys location to experience and indulge ourselves in the luxury facilities and exclusive Champneys treatments. And what a pleasure we had accepting!! The first venue on our list was Forest Mere, known for its beautiful lakeside surroundings and refined country feel. Champneys had kindly organised an evening spa experience and 3-course meal for our visit. What a dream – we truly couldn’t wait to feel revitalised!
On approach to the spa resort, the sun was just setting and beamed across the beautiful 160-acre woodland. The luxury manor house was secluded at the very back of the estate, framed by a sweeping lake and enchanting forest. Mesmerised by the panoramic views, we were whisked into the car park ready for our experience to begin!
The entrance was easily accessible and opened automatically into a large reception area. The warmth firstly struck me, as a customer walked by in her robe. The freezing conditions outside were instantly left behind and I was ready to roll into a robe and flip flops! We were welcomed by the reception staff and handed a complimentary juice drink – delicious!
A warm robe and specially sized flip flops were distributed to us in a fabulous Champneys tote bag! After being shown round the spa facilities by one of the friendly receptionists, we were heading straight to the changing room! To our surprise (yet excitement), the changing room was filled with everything a girl could need, from makeup remover to earbuds, and dyson hairdryers to GHD hair-straighteners. Now cosy in our robes and flip flops (thank god I had freshly painted toenails), we were off to explore the facilities!
Heading down the corridor towards the spa, we passed many different lounges, shops, and treatment rooms. Peering inside, there’s no doubt Champneys have most definitely made it their aim to cater for all! Every room has it owns character to make it an individual experience for everyone to relax – a lounge decorated with a grand piano and chess board, a gym filled with equipment for every muscle, and even a coffee conservatory!
The shopping area was full of luxurious Champneys lotions and potions, as well as an area dedicated to Clarins (the temptation to not have a quick look was just not an option!).
It was no lie that the spa was the ultimate rejuvenation and relaxation facility to escape all outside stresses. Once changed into our costumes, we wandered into the open plan pool area. I instantly spotted the water beds and swiftly hopped on over. The most comfortable things ever – I want one and will definitely be bringing up the idea at home!!
In the corner of my eye, I then spotted a relaxation room, and next door to that, a nap room! Yes, a room just for napping (heaven!). The fire was on and crackling away whilst hanging chairs and fleecy blankets hung ready for snoozing in.
Back outside, it was time to try out the pool. Reaching one side of the room all the way to the other, the swimming pool would be fantastic for anyone wanting to swim lengths or in large groups. Two jacuzzies framed each side and overlooked the rest of the room. An outdoor hot tub was also available for anyone wanting a different experience outside. Covered by a canopy, the hot tub had an area to lay back and relax into the sculpted ledges for total relaxation!
After taking full advantage of the water facilities, it was onto the steam room and sauna. Both were located in the corner of the room, along with thermal rooms, an ice room, a smaller hot tub, and tropical storm showers. I know you’re now wondering what a tropical storm shower is… well, these specially designed showers allow you to become part of the environment. Using sounds of birds and rainfall, there were 3 options to choose from; cold mist, tropical rain, and Caribbean storm.
Lastly, as if it couldn’t get any better, we were shown to the restaurant for a 3-course dinner. The delicacies on the menu were plentiful. After huge discussion, we finally chose our starters – Gemma had gone for a meat terrine, and I decided on the cheese souffle. Oh my, they were delicious – the garnish of onions and tomatoes really added to the lightness of the meal.
Onto the mains…the duck curry stood out to both of us and was definitely not a bad choice. The quality of the duck was devine and the presentation made it even more delicious. Finally, we were onto desserts, and although filling up, I most certainly saved room! As it was delivered to our table, I could feel my eyes widening – a salted caramel blondie for myself and a chocolate melt for Gemma. YUM!
What a fabulous day, I can confirm that the both of us had never been to such a luxurious spa before and would most certainly return! The staff were friendly and always available for assistance. They even handed us a gorgeous Champneys gift bag to take home with us – filled with indulgent Champneys body lotions and a selection of Clarins serums – we were well and truly spoilt! A huge thank you to Matthea for organising our visit and for all the staff and their welcoming smiles!