Review: Bannatyne Health Club spa day (Norwich)*

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A spa day has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, I actually tried to book one about two years ago, but we never got around to it. So, to say that I was looking forward to it was an understatement. Plus, it came as a much-needed break from work and my tiny tornado of a son. Since the beginning of January work has been mad busy and in between all of that Jamie and I have been struggling to fit in any ‘us’ time. Our spa day gave us the perfect excuse!

As part of our package (usually costs £39pp) we had a choice of facial, massage and manicure, as well as full use of the spa facilities that included gym, fitness classes and sports.

Upon arrival we were given some forms (general health and information) to fill out and then given a guided tour of all the facilities, which was good as the spa itself was a tad confusing to find! We also got two of their spa bags (£5 each) that contain flip flops to keep and robe/towel hire.

Soon after we arrived Jamie declared that he wanted to do some sport activities and try out the gym – I tried to book all of this way before the day but he was insistent that he didn’t want to. Of course, he changed his mind and we had no suitable clothing at all. Jamie went to reception to see what they could do for us and they ended up loaning us some trainers and we got two pairs of their training shorts from their store. Overall, the manager was incredibly helpful and did everything he could to ensure we had a good experience while there.

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Relaxation Lounge and Treatment

I pre-booked my Swedish neck, back and shoulder massage for the middle of the day to give us a chance at trying out a few of the facilities beforehand – especially the gym! In the treatment area you have full access to unlimited tea, coffee and hot chocolate and I’m not going to lie, we took full advantage of that offer! When you walk into the reception area there are displays of all the products that they use and testers to try. The candle lit path leads down the hallway of treatment rooms and to the relaxation lounge.

The relaxation lounge features six heated loungers in a dimly lit room. No talking is allowed within the room, so you can just lie back and relax! Although, a few of the people in there were talking a bit and constantly on their phones and it did ruin the atmosphere slightly but it all comes down to who you are in there with! I heard from a few people that they are looking to extend the size of the lounge, which would be a great idea as six beds just aren’t enough! It’s very popular and you may not be able to get one without waiting a little while first. Luckily, there were two available as we turned up to our massage appointment a bit early.

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Spa Facilities

Included in the spa day is full access to the swimming pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Honestly, this is where we spent the majority of our day and that’s exactly how I thought it would pan out. The stairs that are just off from the main reception area lead directly up to the changing rooms. At the back end of the changing rooms are steps down to the spa area. The changing area is massive and in no way would you be cramping yourselves in or hunting for an available locker. I was also pretty impressed that they had a fair few hairdryers and even a dryer for your swim wear – which was lucky, as you needed dry swimwear for your treatments! A few of the lockers were also family friendly and one changing room had a changing table – rarely do you find a men’s changing room with that included!

As you enter through the doors there are hooks and a space to hang up your towels, robes and flip flops. At the back end corner of the area are some loungers, tables and chairs which offer a general area to kick back and relax. Lined up in front of you is the sauna and steam rooms with the jacuzzi next to them. We headed into the swimming pool first but then decided we would much prefer to be in the steam and sauna rooms. I’ve never been in a steam room before but was very happy to give it a go! When I first walked in I noticed how minty the air was, kinda like the room was full of vapour rub. Honestly, I didn’t really think much of it and wouldn’t necessarily go for it again but it’s great for those who really enjoy it!

We then went next door into the sauna and I very much preferred it to the steam room. I really, really hate heat so I was a bit wary but was surprised at how relaxing it was. Both of the rooms are really good sizes and can’t fault them at all!

After being in the sauna for a little while we then went and sat in the jacuzzi, where Jamie had a tough time getting me back out again! Jacuzzi’s have got to be one of my top favourite things ever so I could have happily sat in there for the entire day.

Lunch

We had our lunch within their café bar. All of the spa day guests are advised on pre-booking their lunch when they arrive as they can get pretty busy and this just stops you from having to wait. The menu has a fair bit to choose from and all healthy options! I was surprised at how cheap the meals were too, most of them being around £3-£5. I ordered a Turkey BLT and it came with coleslaw and a salad and really was lovely. For those health focused all of the menu items feature protein, calorie information etc.

In the café bar, they have tables and chairs as well as leather sofas to chill out on. Whenever we went to get our free hot drinks we always went back into the café bar and kicked back on their sofas. (The cafe bar is named as such as they also sell alcohol!)

The Gym

After being in the spa area for a fair while we decided to go and be active in between waiting for our pre-ordered lunch and massage. The gym area itself is quite big and you’re spoilt for choice with the range of equipment they have. We used the gym as a trial because we’re looking at getting a full membership at some point. I decided to head off on the exercise bike and then tested out some of the weights. Jamie went for the treadmill and then weights as well. The equipment is pretty impressive with screens so you can watch TV, listen to radio and even watch outdoor videos that make it seem that you are running etc outside. The screen also allows you to set yourself a goal, keep an eye on your calories burnt, distance travelled, speed and more.

Sport Activities

We pre-booked out a tennis court and were given the racket and ball – usually these are hired out for £2 each. You have the option to book out tennis, squash and badminton. They also have table tennis available. When you book the one you want you typically get a 90 minute slot, well worth the amount you pay! A lot of the courts were being repainted when we were there but they still managed to fit us in.

Verdict

I would definitely go again and recommend it thoroughly! The staff throughout our stay were really helpful and couldn’t do enough for you. Perfect for a birthday, Christmas or even a late Valentines present! I may have been given the spa day vouchers, but my views within this post are all my own.

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