Alicia is left feeling relaxed after a heavenly day at Whittlebury Hall spa

Alicia Approved column, by Alicia Babaee.

At the end of December, I was close to a Chistmas meltdown.

It’s my favourite time of year, but I always want everything to be perfect and like to keep our many festive traditions alive.

By the time the big day comes around, I’m usually pretty frazzled (and excited!)

This year, three days before Christmas, I decided to indulge in some me-time at Whittlebury Hall’s day spa.


The timing was brave, given that my to-do list was longer than Santa’s naughty and nice list, but I really fancied a break.

As mum to a toddler, it’s a rare treat to do something for myself. My mum and I made the short trip to Whittlebury Hall, which isn’t far from Towcester.

We checked in at 9am and were given the times of our two treatments and our lunch sitting, before heading to the changing room to pop on our bikinis.

Every visitor to the spa receives a white waffle dressing gown and white towel to use during their stay.

As we hadn’t brought flip flops, we each bought a pair of Whittlebury Hall slippers for £6 from reception desk, which came in a drawstring bag that was perfect for our wet swimwear later on.

We headed to the heat and ice experience room straight away, where we enjoyed the saunas, steam rooms, hydrotherapy pools and foot baths for a couple of hours – with the odd ice bucket shower thrown in for good measure!


Within 15 minutes of being in there, it felt like all the stress of the season had melted away; we were in the zone.

The highlight of our day was an Espa hot stone full body massage, which was part of our Day Spa Deluxe Day package.

I confess, I’ve never been big on massages, but this was bliss – the heat of the stones felt amazing and, drifting in and out of sleep, I felt more relaxed than I have done in years.

The oils smelt incredible and left our skin feeling smooth. The other treatment included in our package was a Jessica luxury manicure, which we wanted to upgrade to a gel manicure.

Gel appointments were unfortunately unavailable, but we were asked to pop back throughout the day to check.


We weren’t in luck, but when we arrived for our nail manicures and mentioned to our individual therapists that we had wanted gels, mine – a lovely lady called Terri – spoke to the treatments manager and upgraded me. She did a wonderful job and is a credit to Whittlebury!

Between treatments, we split our time between the pool and the whisper corridor, where we napped in flotation beds and chilled out in swinging chairs.

We could also have used the gym or attend fitness classes, too, but we were fully focused on relaxing on this occasion. Our package – worth £169 each – also included a buffet lunch in Astons restaurant.

There was a wide selection available – from beef in black bean sauce and seabass, to quiche, cold meats and salads, plus fruit and yoghurt for dessert.

We also had access to unlimited fruit and infused water all day, which was very welcome after all that sweating in the sauna.


We indulged in an additional eyebrow-grooming treatment each, which we were very pleased with, as well as some delicious smoothies on the pool terrace.

When we left at 6.30pm, I felt like a different person to when I’d arrived. I was calm, relaxed and rejuvenated – and I’ve resolved to treat myself to more frequent spa days.

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