A few of our readers asked if we knew of any accessible Spa’s so we’ve found some of the most stylish from around the UK and added our ratings on Accessibility:
Cowshed Spa, Babington House
“Babington House opened in 1998 for those who wanted to enjoy the countryside but weren’t prepared to compromise on urban luxuries”. The Cowshed at Babington House is part of the Soho House Group, which have multiple spa in England and around the world. We gave them a provisional 2.5 BBS Ticks and here’s why!
Everything at the Cowshed spa is one level – entering the building is flat and there are no steps throughout. All the treatment rooms are accessible and there are wide frame doors to ensure wheelchairs can fit. Also the beds in the treatment rooms are easy to lower and staff will help people into a comfortable position to suit them, if necessary. There is a pool at the Cowshed and it has easy access into the pool area, but no hoist to get you into the pool.
Coworth Park Spa
Coworth Park in Ascot, Berkshire has been reviewed previously and got 3 BBS Ticks. The hotel is part of the Dorchester Collection and the Spa building, which is fondly compared to the Teletubbies home as it’s built into the ground & surrounded by grass, is “flooded with natural light, crisp contemporary architecture, art and sculptures throughout”. Carol Joy London, Kerstin Florian and Aromatherapy Associates are three of the brands used in the spa to provide that luxurious feeling and all of them are made with natural ingredients.
Luckily, this spa has brilliant wheelchair access and disabled facilities, so you can go and be pampered! There are no steps into the spa, once inside there are two floors with a lift to take you between them. They do have a fully equipped disabled changing room with a basin and toilet, wet room and locker space all with necessary grab bars!! The beds in all the treatment rooms are hydraulic and can be adjusted as needed. Unfortunately, there is no hoist to get you into the pool and there are steps to tackle, however there are rails and you can get in with a bit of help. There’s an added bonus that a few Polo Players may visit as Coworth Park’s world class polo grounds are managed by Guards Polo Club! It gets 2.5 BBS Ticks as no hoist for the pool.
Ragdale Hall Hotel & Spa
Ragdale Hall is in the Leicestershire countryside. “Ragdale’s luxurious Thermal Spa is the most contemporary and pampering experience in the UK” and some of its features have been specifically designed for this spa and won’t be found anywhere else! The Thermal Spa has a candle pool, thought zone, colourflow cave, cave shower, rose sauna and a few other parts to it that sound so inviting!
And the access and facilities sound as good as the spa…
The building which houses the spa is over 300 hundred years old so some areas are difficult to get around but they seem to have made it as accessible as possible with a lift and ramps to help you get around. Inside they do have a disabled toilet and changing room, designed for this purpose. Unfortunately, there is no hoist to get you into the pool but there is a handrail in the pool to help you down the steps (this seems to be a common feature at spas). They have a specific disabled friendly treatment room and most of them have height adjustable beds to assist you onto them. Staying at the hotel also isn’t a problem as they also have an adapted bedroom with lots of disabled equipment. Another conditional 2.5 BBS Ticks for Ragdale Hall.
Champney’s Spa, Henlow Grange
“Escape, relax, unwind and discover at Champneys.” There are four Champney spa’s but this particular one was recommended by Conde Nast Traveller and is said to be a great spa for ‘life changes’ (I think that means you eat healthy food with no alcohol?), and a good place to go for a bit of peace. It’s a former monastery and now a spa, “Henlow Grange is the ideal country escape and pampering health retreat.”
They have pretty good disabled access for and old building so we give them a provisional 2.5 BBS Ticks. There’s a ramp to get you into the building and a lift inside to get you upstairs. There is a changing room that can fit a wheelchair but it isn’t specifically designed for disabled people so no handrails, which is a shame. Just like the other spas the treatment rooms have adjustable beds. There are bedrooms in the hotel that are adapted for the needs of the less able and they have hand rails, suitable showers etc.
The Gleneagles Hotel & Spa
“Set in an 850 acre resort of beautiful countryside in the heart of Scotland, The Gleneagles Hotel is the perfect setting for one of the most luxurious spa destination in the world. Every aspect of the unique and tranquil space enhances the therapeutic ESPA treatments. ” I think the website manages to sell their spa pretty well to be honest, in that it sounds idyllic!
The entire spa is on a ground level and if someone wants to use the gym, the country club next door has a lift so you can get up there. In the spa there is a treatment room that is designed around disability, with a height adjustable bed and a wet room. They do have other disabled bathrooms in the spa and they also act as a changing room as they are pretty spacious – unfortunately, there is not a changing room specifically designed for the less able. Getting into the vitality pool could be a challenging if you go alone as there are steps but the staff are happy to help get into the pool but going with someone would be a good idea. Brilliant disabled access and facilities we give them a provisional 2.5 BBS Ticks.
Blythswood Square is a hotel and spa in Glasgow’s city center, they were the first to have a luxury spa in Glasgow and they offer “a calming and understated space with wellness as the key focus.” The products they use for their treatments “blend the potency and power of organic raw ingredients with an advanced bio-scientific approach to skincare” making them some of the most effective treatments available, apparently.
Blythswood Square spa gets a provisional 2.5 BBS Ticks. They have a ramp into building from the street and a lift to get you downstairs to changing rooms. There is not a specifically designed changing room to cater for people with a disability however, there is a larger changing room that can fit a wheelchair but there are no grab bars. They do have a disabled toilet in the spa and in all the treatment rooms there are height adjustable beds. As for the pool and hydro pool they only have steps and a handrail to get in, no hoists here!
We have previously reviewed Chewton Glen Hotel whom we gave 2.5 BBS Ticks and the spa gets a provisional 2.5 BBS Ticks! The website says “Our spa hotel in the New Forest of Hampshire features specialized therapy rooms, health and beauty services, and fitness facilities to enjoy during your stay.” This spa has been recommended by Conde Nast Traveller Readers Spa Awards 2011, The Sunday Times and Tatler Magazine’s Spa Guide in 2010 – they must be doing something right?!
To get you up and down the stairs they have a chairlift!! They also have a disabled toilet and changing room – with grab bars and a wet room shower – fabulous! The treatment rooms have height adjustable beds and therapists are told of a person’s needs so they can help moving you when necessary. They do have a pool and it is accessible, they have a hoist!! It’s only for the main pool though but it’s a first amongst the spas’s mentioned. The hydro therapy pool has grab rails as there’s not enough room for the hoist.
If you’re in London and cant’t get away to the countryside to relax there’s the AWAY Spa at the W hotel in Leicester Square. It’s accessible and the beds are all adjustable but there’s no pool. They have “a leading team of celebrity therapists offering head-to-toe treatments to leave guests revitalised and red-carpet-ready”. It’s a place to be seen and v. trendy but not sure how relaxing it is. After all I don’t want anyone famous seeing me in disarray in a spa. Trendy but only a provisional 2 bbs Ticks.
Also in London is the Spa at One Aldwych whose bar and hotel we previously reviewed. They have treatments from Spanish skincare specialist, Natura Bissé:
“Treatments offer a magical combination of the latest scientific innovation in cosmetics with unadulterated relaxation.”
However there is no disabled toilet in the spa but there is one within the hotel that can be used for changing. The pool has steps but no hoist although they are looking to add one. There are 3 treatment rooms that are easy to access and the beds recline but they don’t lower. The entrance is accessible and the staff are very helpful and have had ‘disability training’. Further information can be found in their access statement, here. They get 2 BBS Ticks.
BBS Ticks all round for these stylish spas! Might be worth mentioning when booking any specific needs you have so you can find out if they are able to cater for them. Now choose one and go and relax for a day or two!
We are waiting to hear from The Sanctuary’s Spas and the Corinthian in London & number of other spas across the country and will report back as soon as we have this information. But let us know your experiences via the Contact Us link.