Over the first weekend of March, I finally visited a place that has been on my list for a long while – Ribby Hall Village. I’ve always left it last minute to look at booking here for family breaks over the years, finding myself not being able to go due to it’s popularity over the Summer holiday periods.
When we go away as a family, there’s quite a number of us! My sister has children, so many times I’ve looked at the lodges and family accommodation, to then go away, ponder, and then realise it’s all booked up. And no wonder – it’s a village packed full of amenities and entertainment for all ages of the family. Eateries, a fully kitted out health club, a spa hotel, restaurants, coffee shops… plus, it’s close to Blackpool and St Anne’s for those who want to take further trips.
For my visit, I escaped the family element of it and decided on a more selfish break – a spa break for two with my other half. I mean, if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m always raving about and reviewing spas around the country, sharing my hit list of my top 5. The list sometimes changes the more places I get to experience, and in all honesty, I love keeping it centered around places in the North West.
Ribby Hall Spa Hotel is based in Kirkham, North Preston, and is the perfect spa break getaway from those who live around Manchester, Bolton, Burnley, Preston and South Lancashire areas, who don’t want to travel too far. However, if you live further South and wanted to explore the seaside locations of Blackpool and Lytham St Anne’s, then Ribby Hall Spa Hotel makes an ideal overnight stay to indulge in some luxury before heading further North for a typical British break.
We arrived at the hotel on a Sunday afternoon, checking into the spa hotel and was given a lovely tour of all it’s facilities. I have to highlight that when driving down road straight into the Ribby Hall Village and up to the spoa hotel (it’s at the back), it was almost as if the welcome had been rehersed. The sun was up, peeking through the clouds and there were ducks on the grass. Families were unpacking from their car boots into their accommodation, and I instantly got that holiday vibe.
The Spa Hotel
Firstly, the rooms are comfortable and modern, beautifully decorated and ours was overlooking the Zen Gardens – the stunning outdoor part to the spa. It was nice to dump our bags and spy that the room came with specialty tea and coffee, complimentary ELEMIS toiletries, smart TVs, 24 hour room service, free WiFi and Pillow Menu for the perfect night’s sleep. Couldn’t go wrong.
Plus, it’s always extra points for me when the staff are waiting to take all your heavy bags up to the room for you. Not all spa hotels do this, but it’s incredibly welcome after a long drive.
Upon our little tour, we saw The Orangery restaurant where those on the overnight break package can dine for dinner and breakfast, a little room for teas, coffee, lunches and cakes, luxury treatment rooms above the spa where all the massages, facials and beyond take place, the Zen Gardens (the outdoor spa space which comes complete with an outdoor bar – perfect excuse for going for a cheeky daytime Prosecco), and the Spa Hotel’s own gym.
If you’re looking for a fully equipped, state of the art gym, Ribby Hall has it’s own fitness center which is a huge place, and really is a super smart gym. More on that in a mo…
After we had a tour of the spa hotel, we went for a scone and tea in the hotel before exploring the spa. It’s such a nice room, a real pretty and peaceful place to take a break throughout the spa experience. I had a little look at the lunch menu which offered up some lovely lunch options too, although we arrived slightly after lunch time therefore couldn’t really try it out, but definitely looked ideal!
Our treatments were booked the next day (the Monday morning) which meant we had a good few hours to enjoy using the spa without being interrupted.
The Spa & Zen Gardens
The Spa Hotel is fully equipped for relaxation, with everything focused on relaxation, pampering and the ultimate chill out session. The hydrotherapy pool is set to a blissfully warm temperature, featuring tall water foundations which shoot down water at an intense pressure, perfect for standing under and letting the water ‘massage’ your shoulders. I stayed here for way too long, and probably hogged the area for longer than imagine, but my word it was incredible. My shoulders felt instantly eased. I dread to think if the faces I was pulling while stood there!
The next highlight was the outdoor bubbling jacuzzi (or hot tubs as the modern day lingo has overtaken). This is situated in the well-kept ‘Zen Garden’ – a place that must be absolutley amazing come the Summer months. More so because there is an outdoor hut-style bar, a lovely welcome touch to the gardens and also – in my eyes – an excuse to go and order a bottle of prosecco. It’s truly blissful, and we took a few moments to just sit on the swinging seats and enjoy being outdoors wrapped in the cosy robes.
When the chill finally hit us, we nipped into the sauna which is situated outdoors with full length window doors, allowing us to look out onto the Zen Gardens while enjoying the heat. It was so peaceful, even to say there were a few Mother-Daughter groups, a hen party and various couples dotted around. It just seemed so serene and relaxed.
In the summer months, I can imagine it would be brilliant to arrive at the spa early and make the most of the well-kept Zen Gardens, experience their tropical outdoor showers. We we’re there for the start of the sunset, which made a lovely excuse to capture some photos.
Going back indoors, we embraced their nine-point Aqua Thermal Journey, which is a range of heat and spa experience treatments to detoxify, relax and revitalise. We gave the whole journey a go, starting at the first of the six saunas and steam rooms, each with a different purpose. Some offered aromatic and uplifting cleansing, others a much higher temperature to really open those pores and get you sweating.
Then, we sat at the warm bubbling pedidariums, which act as small bubbling jacuzzis for your feet. If you wish to be a little daring, you can head over to the ice bucket experiences for an intense cool down. My boyfriend decided to give this a go and I desperately wanted to film this to capture the sheer horror on his face, but he was having none of it…
To truly experience a journey of self-care and wellbeing, I was booked in for a 60 minutes deep tissue massage to fully recieve the spa experience. I love nothing more than a full body massage, and even when the 60 minutes are up, I could lie there for another hour.
It’s not just massages that take place here though, and the range of brands the therapists use are second to none. Firstly I spotted Neom Organics all around the spa, the flickering candles with aromatic scents burning to help reduce stress and aid in tranquilty. I have Neom at my own home so I know how powerful and beautiful the products are. It’s like the slightest inhalation of their essential oils and you could drift off to sleep.
Alongside Neom, The Spa Hotel also works with Ishga, a skincare brand I wasn’t overly familiar with, which is crafted with anti-oxidant packed seaweed, directly from the Scottish Hebrides. It’s an ethical brand which is something I always look out for and was pleased to see. The word Ishga translates to ‘water’ in Gaelic, and the mindful brand centers around working with intelligent skin healing properties. My tailored massage was an Ishga full body massage, and my therapist gave me a full consultation before working those magical hands.
The lady was phenomenal to say the least – I wish I had taken note of her name as she deserved a shout out!
When the massage was over – much to my sadness as I was ready to just kip on and overly enjoyed the circulation boost – we took 10 minutes out in the bright, naturally lit relaxation room, helping ourselves to mini flapjacks and fruit, while sipping on herbal tea. I definitively spied at least 4 people fast asleep in those comfy relaxation beds! They had the right idea for sure…
The Health Club
Not everyone wants to make use of a gym when they are on spa breaks, but believe it or not, a lot of people do – especially if you bring your partner with you (and he’s a gym freak like mine is!). However, even if you’re not looking at working out on the same day, it’s nice to have the option of using a fully equipped, state of the art fitness suite if the option is there.
For us, it was a perfect addition to our overnight break. It’s an award winning health club and I can totally see why: this place is huuuuge and it literally boasts one of the best activities and fitness class timetables I’ve seen in a long time.
If you’re local to the area, Ribby Hall Village’s premier health and fitness club has everything you need to start your new healthier lifestyle. It’s not just a place to exercise and make use of the gym. It’s a place to relax and meet friends; enjoy a coffee at the new coffee shop Blend, or try a personal training service.
We had a good explore of this place and made use of the state-of-the-art equipment, and noticing it also offers free crèche facilities, online class bookings and so much more.
Headed up by Hotel Manager Andrew Scott and Head Chef Michael Noonan, the team at The Spa Hotel take pride and passion in providing the highest quality food and service for their guest. Again, this place has won awards and it was clear to see why. I recently took to Instagram to rave about the amazing food I was served up here – presentation to an absolutle top quality standard.
As I’m a food and restaurant critic by job, presentation is something that is key for me. If I’m wowed by the layout of the food on my plate at first instance, it really does give me the trust that the food quality will follow as exceptionally high.
And for those who saw my review on Instagram, you’ll know it did just that.
I’d describe the food as hearty yet sophisticated food. It gives a nod to it’s Lancashire heritage but pulls out all the stops, giving you what you would expect to see at a fine dining eatery. The salmon starter I had was delicious, followed by the juiciest duck breast.
Washed down with a bottle of red wine, I felt fully satisfied with the food and drink, and more importantly, the service, which was brilliantly spot on. The ambiance in The Orangery was what you would want from a spa hotel too. It wasn’t overbooked or ridiculously busy, just a steady flow of guests, without any rowdiness.
We returned to The Orangery the next day for the buffet style breakfast as well as an order from the menu.
It didn’t take us long to pick out the Eggs Benedict, and as always, I had around 3-4 servings from the breakfast buffet. I honestly think a good hotel breakfast is the icing on the cake, especially if you’re a foodie like me.
Thank you to the team at Ribby Hall for the most wonderful trip. The spa, the hotel, the food, the therapists, the health club, the grounds – everything exceeded my expectations and now I’m super excited to plan a return trip this Summer (if all is well!).
For details about booking your own spa break or Ribby Hall village stay, take a look here.