Following on from my post about our stay at The Morritt, here are our thoughts about neighbouring spa – The Garage. Our spa experiences historically have been limited to those found within hotel chains. Him Indoors and I visited the Macdonald Marine Hotel on our first weekend break away many moons ago and had a lovely time. Myself and my friend Laura have visited the Hilton in Gateshead on a Groupon deal, but felt their facilities were in need of a spruce up. We had to share the pool with a load of kids, which you may think would be ok being a Mum. I went for a break away from Jnr though, and it wasn’t conducive to relaxation having to deal with other people’s kids!
We ambled across to the spa later than anticipated because Raf had taken so long to eat his delicious breakfast in the hotel. I was a little miffed as I wanted as much relaxation time as possible. We hadn’t booked in for treatments as we felt like the saunas and different pools would be enough for us during our visit. The therapist talked us through the various options available to us if we decided we wanted to. The body scrubs sounded great as I’m suffering with very dry skin at the moment, but I didn’t want to leave Raf. It was Valentine’s Day, after all! She showed us round the facilities – the indoor hot tub, the plunge pool, the salt and steam rooms. We eventually got to the piece de resistance – The Secret Garden. This was specifically why I was so keen to book into the spa as it looked like heaven. Everything was softly lit, with candles twinkling around the areas. Magical.
The therapist left us to get ourselves sorted with a nice fluffy robe and some flip flops. The locker area is a bit cramped when you’re trying to sort out clothing and bags, but the private bathrooms are lovely. I especially liked the quirky toilet, which has been built into the unit you place your possessions on. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo, and there isn’t one in their Gallery. It can be liked to what you might have found in Roman times. When you visit you’ll see what I mean! I didn’t see any facilities for hair drying, but to be honest I didn’t look or ask. I unusually wore my hair up so I didn’t have to worry about it.
We headed straight outdoors as we were desperate to try the hot tub, but it was to capacity. We decided to sit in the outdoor seating area to ensure we got first dibs on the tub when it became free. The outdoor fireplace wasn’t lit at the time, so we made use of the fluffy throws available as we read our Kindles. They also have a Shepherd’s Hut which houses a log sauna, but that was also in use. I felt a little concerned that Valentine’s probably wasn’t the best time to visit if we wanted uninhibited use of the facilities, but Raf told me to relax. That’s precisely what I was there for!
As it turned out, my fears were unfounded. We had sole use of the outdoor hot tub for ages, which was lovely and romantic. Even the chilly February weather didn’t spoil it for us. We loved the indoor tub, which was super bubbly. We chatted to some girls who had booked in for a day package, which included lunch. The food options sounded so good, but we were both still stuffed after breakfast. We made sure we tried everything fully, even the freezing plunge pool! Raf was far braver than me and fully submerged himself, while I managed to only get as far as my knees before my toes felt frostbite!
All of the pools and areas were exceptionally clean, which is often a worry of mine when visiting spas. If I see a used plaster floating in the pool or everything is overly chlorined it puts me right off. Believe me, that has been my previous experience! No such thing here though.
Raf couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew by while we were there and it was 1 o’clock before we knew it. We changed out of the swimwear and made our way through to a quaintly furnished seating area beside the reception. We had made plans to travel on to the beach afterwards, but were both so chilled we decided against it.
Our Overnight Indulgence Package included a Cream Tea afterwards as part of the deal. We waited over 20 mins from the scheduled time for the scones to arrive, but they were instantly forgiven for the delay as the scones were lovely and warm. By this time our tea was on the cold side, but we weren’t that bothered anyway.
Both of us were unanimous in our verdict: our stay was a bargain for £109 per person. The attention to detail, standard of facilities and service we received from staff make The Garage Spa and Morritt Hotel real gems, and we’d visit again in a heartbeat. If you ever feel tempted by a Groupon or Living Social spa deal, book in for their Morning Indulgence Package instead, which includes lunch at Gilroy’s in the hotel. You’ll thank me for it later! On the drive back towards the A1 we spotted an interesting looking farm which had camels and llamas in the fields, so will definitely make a pit stop there when we’re next in the area 🙂
Thanks for reading,
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