Champneys, Forest Mere

Champneys is a haven of tranquillity and luxury and the Forest Mere branch provided the perfect sanctuary for my best friend and I on our weekend away from the city.

Located just an hour from busy London, this beautiful location provides instant relief for the mind, body and soul. On a sunny Friday morning the drive to Forest Mere filled us with excitement, the entrance stuns with a dazzling lake view and fresh green countryside all around you, it is refreshing and invigorating. We were welcomed and well looked after, exemplary service that continued throughout our stay.

We spent a heavenly 24 hours in the resort, enjoying nutritious delicious food, thoughtful and enjoyable classes and indulgent treatments. Meals are served in various dining areas, a selection of salads and healthy dishes are available, and in one corner a chef makes personalised specialities… we tried noodle stir fry and tortilla wraps. The food is good though fat and salt are obviously limited, I struggled a bit with the lack of salt on the table and felt very naughty specially requesting it!

All the facilities at Forest Mere are conveniently close and after our lunch we went straight to the changing room to try out the swimming pool. Aside from lengths, the huge sparkling blue pool is used for water exercise groups, a class we thoroughly enjoyed. Whilst moving to the music you are instructed to push through various routines and drills, good exercise but more importantly great fun! The Ballet core strength class and hula-hooping were equally enjoyable and hilarious at times; the teachers are all encouraging and motivating with a good sense of humour.

The treatment rooms provide ultimate seclusion and a blissful sense of calm. I was lucky enough to try the Bamboo massage and personalised facial. Both were performed with expertise by the therapists, the massage was energising while the facial pampered my skin and deep cleansed and moisturised leaving my complexion bright and awake.

After changing and refreshing in our attractive Premier Suite, we went down for supper. Three courses are offered with a surprising range of options. The food was exceptional – starving hungry from the day of exercise and relaxation we scoffed it down with great appreciation. The menu is designed to nurture the body providing you with essential nutrients whilst avoiding any unnecessary nasties! That night we slept like exhausted children in our giant plump bed.

I felt aware while relaxing that this is a health spa to improve your wellbeing rather than just a hotel for pampering and idleness. Champneys is a home away from home, comfortable and comforting but without pretentious and unnecessary extravagance. I would love to go back regularly, but even after just one visit I feel I have kickstarted a healthier routine.

Visit the Champneys website here for more information.

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