If your idea of a perfect weekend is spending the day in the grounds of picturesque Georgian building with a world renowned spa, Seaham Hall is a place you need to add to your bucket list. Voted as one of the world's top 100 spas, the Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall blends together 44,000sq of unadulterated enchantment, designed to deliver the ultimate in terms of tranquility and wellbeing.
Built on the grounds of Seaham Hall, a Georgian country house which dates back to 1791 and has a fascinating history linked to the American prohibition and Lord Byron, the serenity spa features: a 20-metre pool, outdoor balcony hot tubs, a hydrotherapy pool, jacuzzi, 17 treatment rooms and Hammam with snail shower. Last Sunday I was invited by Seaham Hall to test out the serenity spa amenities and compare this to other leading UK spas that I had previously visited.
When we arrived at the spa we were greeted by the spa receptionists and given a welcome drink of freshly squeezed lemonade along with a tour of the facilities. Stepping foot into the Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall is like taking a fast track flight to Thailand. The spa features teak wooden beams, an array of red and purple fabrics and decor which is typically associated with Thai culture such as ornamental elephants.
Once we had been shown the changing rooms and slipped into our fluffy white robes and slippers, we headed straight to the pool area and the hot tubs. The pool at the Seaham Hall serenity spa is one of the more larger spa pools I have visited and because of this it felt like there was plenty of space for everyone to have their own part of the pool and feel relaxed, without any overcrowding. The hot tubs were on a balcony surrounded by greenery and fencing for privacy, but if you stood on the steps, it overlooked the Seaham hall gardens. Unfortunately the weather wasn't that great so we were unable to bask in the sun all day, but the heat of the hot tub was just the right temperature for us to sit back and relax for half an hour.
After an hour of relaxation in the pool and hot tub area, we focused our attention on the additional spa facilities such as the saunas, hydropool, solarium and the Moroccan Hammam that I was intrigued by. The Moroccan Hammam was one of my favourite parts of the spa, it was like walking into an eastern paradise - a room with dark gemstone walls, where you can sit in a jacuzzi bath and take in all the steam in the air. It was a sensory heaven and something that I hadn't seen at any other spas.
Like most spa breaks, our spa day came with lunch and this was in the Ozone restaurant which serves pan-asian food to accompany the overall theme of the spa. The Ozone is a charming, informal brasserie-style restaurant with floor to ceiling windows overlooking Seaham Hall grounds, a cocktail bar and an open kitchen. Restaurant guest attire consisted of slippers and dressing gowns, although you did get the odd guest who came specifically for the restaurant and they wore their usual clothes. The menu was extensive with plenty to choose from and vegetarians and vegans had their own menu which I really appreciated - it's very rare these days to get restaurants that go and above and beyond to cater vegetarian diners.
For my starter I opted for the vegetable spring rolls with plum sauce and for main I chose the tofu marinated in sweet chili sauce with jasmine rice. Both meals had plenty of flavour and were cooked to perfection. It was the first time I had tried plum sauce with spring rolls and it was revelation - I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Once we had digested our food, it was time for my husband to head to the gym and for me to head up to the treatment area for Seaham Hall's newest treatment - a 90 minute Ytsara Ultimate Fusion facial. The Ytsara facial is a special one of a kind treatment only available at Seaham Hall which blends together together Eastern and Western skincare techniques to give the ultimate face ritual. The facial features a Chinese Guasha Jade stone massage, Thai warm poultice and French massage techniques to awaken and rejuvenate the skin, leaving it feeling soft, toned and glowing. The spa therapist was a lovely Thai woman who told me about the skin therapy they use back in her homeland of Northern Thailand and how they had been incorporated in this particular treatment. She also gave me a 'foot cleanse' as soon as I entered to the room to 'banish negative energy' - something which is really popular in Thailand and that I had done plenty of times when visiting the country last year. Although I do think 90 minutes is a little bit excessive for a facial treatment, I did thoroughly enjoy it and my face still feels remarkable one week later. At £130, this isn't your run of the mill weekly facial and it is something a little bit more special. If I was to visit again, despite the long treatment time, this is something I would definitely consider saving up for.
Walking to the car park at the end of our spa day, I did get a sense of sadness leaving Seaham Hall. It is a place of remarkable beauty and in all honesty, I didn't want it to end. My day at the serenity spa was second to none and definitely the best spa I've had the pleasure of visiting. From the food to the treatments, to the spa facilities and the staff, everything was first class and it's easy to see how this spa got it's world acclaim. Would I go back? Definitely.
Have you been to Seaham Hall before?
*My trip to Seaham Hall was complimentary and all views are my own