If you know a thing or two about spa days and spa breaks, you’ll potentially be no stranger to The Woodland Spa. I say this because I for one have been familiar with it for yeeeears, mainly due to it’s string of shiny awards.
In more recent years, it boasts awards such as Luxury Day Spa of the Year 2017 at the World Luxury Spa Awards, the Best Spa in the North at the Good Spa Guide for 2014/2015 & 2016/2017, and more impressively: Global Spa of the Year 2016 at the World Luxury Spa Awards.
Global spa of the year? This place has got to be something…
The Woodland Spa, Burnley
So, the North seems to own a gem of a spa, and it was my mission for a pre-birthday treat to go and check it out, and see what all the fuss is about. I’m lucky that as part of my job, I get to visit a lot of spas around the UK, so I feel like I can tell my snazzy from my substandard, the superior to the second-rate.
The first thing you’ll notice when travelling to The Woodland Spa is the location. It’s set within 100 acres of beautiful Lancashire countryside, nestled between rolling landscapes, sensational woodlands and pretty views.
When you drive down the meandering path to get to the spa and hotel, you can almost feel yourself detaching from the world. You know you’re heading to a corner of the UK where you’ll escape in relaxation and peace.
Luckily, when myself and my Sister arrived to celebrate our birthdays, we were blessed with freakishly good UK weather. So I wasted no time getting into my bikini and lapping up the sun in these almost holiday like settings, and taking it straight to Instagram, as you can see above!
We were firstly taken to the spa, where the lady talked us through our entire day from start to finish, and gave us a tour of the place. I was really surprised at the beauty – although I don’t know why I would expect anything less.
I guess it was just how much I felt like I was at a premium Spanish hotel or something, with it’s shimmering swimming pools and outdoor bubbling hot tubs.
She shown us the range of Thermal Suite facilities for the ultimate heat and ice journey, followed by a trip into the relaxation room. This room had to be one of my favourites – a tranquil, warm pool lit my a screen of warming flames to create that poolside cosy-ness.
We started off our spa day with a trip to the bubbling foot spa tubs, where we wrapped ourselves in our cute oversized robes, and planned how we would spend our day. They are sooooo lovely on your feet – so warm and bubbly and relaxing!
And because as I mentioned before, the weather was insanely good, we made the most of it by securing two poolside sunbeds, and settling down to chill out in the sun for the early afternoon/late morning.
By midday we were already hungry, and The Woodland Spa had the perfect lunch time offer for us. As part of our package, we could pick a cocktail and two tapas dishes each. So obviously, we chose different ones, so we could share up four dishes between us.
As you can tell from the photos above and below, the seating area for dining and drinking overlooks the poolside and hot tub areas, and it’s all designed super stylish and modern.
Because of the glorious weather, all the roofs were down, so it gave us that real sense of drinking and dining Al Fresco, with poolside views.
As if we were really in Burnley! It actually was a dream situation…
The bar area for lunch also has it’s own private style room, which features corner sofa seating, and those gorgeous rock formations which give out heat in the middle, making a cosy setting.
I can imagine if you were here for an occasion, a hen party, a weekend girly break or if there was just a lot of you attending, it would be the perfect place for the group to sip Prosecco Cocktails and share tapas.
The Tapas Terrace
After trying out the incredible indoor heated pool, which comes with various jacuzzi style jet points and a more powerful whirl pool in the middle, and having a little laze around in the sun and outdoor hot tubs, we headed off for lunch.
Of course, we started off with Prosecco Cocktails. I went for the Dominican Fizz which was laced with mint leaves – delicious…
I’ll warn you now: just because the Tapas menu says small plates, they really aren’t all that small! We found that four dishes between two was plenty enough, because each plate was loaded with food, all at generous sizes.
We opted for Thai Salmon and Cod Fishcakes with Sweet Chilli Sauce, Tempura Prawn Lollipops, Sweet Potatas Bravas topped with Halloumi and Fresh Chilli, and Porcini Arancini Balls.
Possibly the best selections we could have made – all were so tasty, and presentation was fantastic! You don’t usually expect anything too ground-breaking from spa day lunch, but this setup was incredible. Real luxury, and it felt like a slice of fine dining too. By far the best spa lunch I’ve experienced…
Our treatments were booked in later on in the day at around 3pm, so we headed to the Saunas and Steamrooms to let our bellies settle. Then, we spent some well-deserved relaxation time in the relaxation room.
It’s hard to take photos at a spa day, as you really have to respect other guests privacy. I for one wouldn’t like to be caught on anyone else’s camera when I’m all relaxed and having a private, chilled out day. But I did try to capture the setting of the Relaxation Room whilst it was empty (below).
The ceiling of this room is adorned with tiny starlights, giving that feeling that you are sat underneath the twinling stars…
Both myself and my sister decided to have a different treatment each, so we could compare afterwards how we found each one. I’ll always snap up the chance to have a facial, as facials are so important and it’s rare you get to indulge in them as often as you should.
My sister had a one hour Decleor Inner Calm Back Massage and I had the Decleor Glow Power Boost Facial – a fantastic facial for ridding of any dull, sluggish skin cells. My therapist was so knowledgeable about skincare and science, diet and everything to do with the health of my skin – it was such a pleasure to chat to her about my concerns before having it carried out.
In a nutshell, this power packed facial literally awakens even the most tired of complexions in the shortest of times. She used exquisite massage techniques to revitalise both my mind and body, whilst the powerful infusion of Essential Oils in the Hydrogel mask left my skin with an airbrushed luminosity. It was so luxurious!
We both had a lovely en suite room, with two single beds and plenty of space. The accommodation part of The Woodland Spa is facing the spa, and feels like you’re walking to a little country retreat. Each room is individually designed and beautifully finished with the finest fittings, furniture and fabrics.
The rooms offer the perfect retreat for a romantic break, a nice girly night away, or a break for friends and families to enjoy together.
Our stay included a 3 course dinner at Bertram’s Restaurant, and breakfast the following morning. It was lovely to feel like we were secluded in a country retreat, somewhere like The Lakes for example! Our room was pleasant and sweet, and just a short 2 minute walk for our evening course…
Bertram’s is there for you to enjoy throughout your spa day, whether it be lunch in the day (we chose to enjoy the terrace due due to the tapas offer and the blazing hot sunshine!) and for evening dinner.
The restaurant prides itself on providing exquisite freshly prepared food, which is beautifully presented and served in the most unique of surroundings. The menus were very extensive, which I wasn’t expecting for a spa break – sometimes you just get a choice of 5 mains and around 3 options for starters and desserts.
But nope – we were spoilt for choice! And, we were sat right at the ceiling to floor window seating area, overlooking the pools and the terrace, whilst we sipped a delicious bottle of white wine.
I opted for the Grilled Asparagus with Crispy Egg for my starter, and my Sister went for the Soup with Homemade Bread. The bread deserves a mention itself to be honest! It was by far one of the softest, tastiest breads I’ve tried.
Plus, they delivered a tray of small baked dough ball style breads with butters and oils to try before our starters, which were simply divine.
I have to say – 10/10 for presentation. I don’t think I have ever eaten Asparagus so pretty before! Even a bowl of soup came out looking pretty fancy…
For my main course, I picked the Roast Chicken Breast, with Garlic Creamed Potatoes and Spinach & Wild Mushroom Puree. Again, a generous portion size, tasty chicken, with the nicest, creamiest potatoes.
It goes without saying that the presentation was pretty special yet again!
And for dessert, the Churros! Now these were devoured in about 5 seconds flat with it’s delicious chocolate and salter caramel dipping sauces. Incredible.
The staff at The Woodland Spa were absolutely brilliant from start to finish. From the manager at reception who took us through to the Spa and shown us to our room, to the lady who gave the spa tours, the staff at the terrace, and most importatnly, the super attentive and polite waiting on staff at the restaurant.
We were looked after from start to finish, and I completely understand why this place scoops up all the awards, year and year after year…
The spa has the best facilities out of the majority I have visited, and I say that because of it’s layout and how many outdoor heated pools you get. I’m yet to see this much offering at any other spa.
Overall, we enjoyed a full spa day with treatments each, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast, and I feel like I can saefely say I’d recommend this package to anyone looking for complete R&R.
We were pampered from start to finish, in the most luxury surroundings.
An award winning spa break for sure…