Christmas cocktails, sushi and a twilight spa at Ramside (REVIEW)

I love Christmas. Yes, it's a busy time of year but really is there anything better. Yet no matter how enjoyable, it does takes its toll on you. It is stressful, there is the endless shopping, writing lists, wrapping, cooking, being snowed under (sometimes in more ways than one) and although I love this time of year, it is easy to forget to recharge the batteries. However, after an invitation to review a recently refurbished spa, The Spa at Ramside Hall - well really, who would say no - I now have the solution.

A relaxing spa, as autumn slowly turns into winter, is just what Santa ordered to set you up for a fantastic festive season, ready to face Christmas and everything this great time of year can throw at you.

Located just off the A1, close to Durham City, Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa is a four-star hotel, set within 350 acres of private grounds. Formerly the home of the Pemberton family, it became a hotel in the sixties.

However, the bright and modern spa emerged as part of a multi-million-pound extension, which also included a second golf course and 47 additional bedrooms to the hotel. The £8m luxury spa now boasts a 25-metre swimming pool, hydro pool, aroma steam, drench shower and sunken sauna, sleep pods, mud chamber and 14 treatment rooms, outdoor garden, vitality pool and infinity pool, state of the art gym, salon and restaurant.

On arrival we were welcomed with a Green Dragon, a glass of fizz with the addition of Midiuri melon liqueur and also a taste of a Gingerbread Martini, one of their new Winter Cocktails which all have a Narnia twist, others include Snowstorm, White Witch, Aslan's Road and a The Lime, The Witch and the Wardrobe mocktail.

Next came the show around from the very informative staff and there was a new ooh and ah around every corner. The gym itself was cool, spacious and uncrowded. The treatment rooms, plush and looked very comfortable and the quiet room an opulent sleep pod that we didn't want to leave.

Then it was time for dinner. We were served a selection of sushi, starters including spring rolls and dim sum with sweet chilli, satay and soy sauce. The food was plentiful and delicious. I love Asian food so this was a real treat. The sushi was so good we took some home for lunch the following day.

The Fusion Asian Restaurant creates a little piece of the orient with its unique take on pan-Asian food resulting in an imaginative and delicious range of dishes? It is open 13 hours a day from 8.30am for brunch, lunch, Asian afternoon tea and dinner.

After dinner and it was time to spa. 

We were handed robes, slippers and a snazzy wristband which gains you access to the amazing facilities. The changing rooms are beautiful. Lockers were easy to use and plenty of towels. I swim as often as I can and I still can't believe I simply ignored the beautiful, empty 25m pool and headed straight to the spa. 

First stop for most of us was the Vitality Pool in the Outdoor Spa Herb Garden. The outside air temperature was close to freezing but that didn't stop us chilling out in the warm bubbles in the pool which has a temperature of 38 degrees. We eased away any tension with the bubbles and swan-necked massage jets whilst having a great catch up for quite a long time. We just wished we didn't have to drive home otherwise another glass if fizz would have been the perfect accompaniment. 

Instead, the juice bar with its selection of (fresh) fruit infused water was a good alternative.

A dip followed in the Hydrotherapy Pool, one of the largest in the UK and which is slightly cooler than the Vitality Pool at 35 degrees but no less relaxing.  The various massage bays and seating areas, with great names such as the central volcano, the calming millpond come with bubbles and spurts of water appearing from above, below and from the side, to massage different muscles and areas of the body, for approximately 6-8 mins at a time. This is said to be very beneficial for sore and painful muscles and to reduce stress and anxiety. It definitely gave me a glow.

A quick stop off in the aroma steam room and sauna then brought the evening to an end. I didn't use the thermal suite fully or get to see the Infinity Pool (closed) so I have the perfect excuse to return.

There is no doubt that driving home on a dark, frosty evening that I felt relaxed, re-energised and very lucky to have the opportunity to try the Spa at Ramside.

A spa experience is very special. And having some me-time in the run up to festive season has now really got me into the Christmas spirit. In the few days since we've baked our Christmas cake and visited our first Santas grotto and it's not even December yet. Christmas bring it on. And it if all gets too much, well I'll just have to 'spa' again.

The Twilight Catch Up, from £55, includes a welcome drink on arrival, fluffy robes and spa footwear; a two-course evening meal in the Spa Fusion restaurant and full use of the outstanding spa facilities until 9.30pm.

Many other packages are also available at a variety of prices, times of day, treatments and to suit all occasions. For full details see Ramside Spa Website

Cost: We were invited to review The Spa at Ramside at no cost to us in return for an honest review, however. the twilight spa is priced from £55.
Time: A good few hours.
Boys Club Rating: Yes I'll be back. Just need to find a good excuse now ...

Which is your favourite spa?

Deb x


  1. It just looks sooooo luxurious Debbie! My friend Katie is a member there and I'm always jealous of her Snapchats relaxing by the pool.

    I've never considered Ramside as a place to visit but over these past few months it has really caught my eye!

    1. It is so lovely. I've never really thought about an evening or twilight spa before as I've always been during the day or while staying at a hotel, but it was just so lovely and relaxing. I need to go back :)

  2. What a great night this was! I'd definitely go back! Love your write up! :) xo

    1. Oh thank you :) You are right - it was fab - wish I could go everyday :)

  3. That would have been a lovely night, I love the interiors and forgot they have an outdoor pool too! I've never actually been to a spa but might have to look into their packages as my Mum loves back massages but hasn't been as impressed with the Clarins ones recently. Asian Afternoon tea sounds interesting! x

    1. It is honestly amazing - i though it would be good but I was blown away by just how good. Durham and the north east has some amazing spas :)