Monday 10 July 2017

A Spa Day Experience for Couples at Rockliffe Hall

Enjoying a spa day experience as a couple is one of life's greatest pleasures, something that Simon and I have only recently discovered. Taking time out of our hectic schedules to chill out without arguing about the housework and to focus on each other rather than looking at our phones is essential to making our relationship a happy one.

Last weekend we enjoyed our first visit to Rockliffe Hall, a luxury 5 star hotel just outside Darlington, for a spa day experience to beat all others, perfect for couples wanting to enjoy a romantic day together.

A Couples Spa Day at Rockcliffe Hall, Darlington

c/o Rockliffe Hall

We arrived at Rockliffe Hall at 10:00 am on Saturday and were greeted warmly at reception before being taken up to the Brasserie for brunch. A lot of the spa day experiences at Rockliffe include food in the Brasserie whether it's a breakfast, lunch, cake & coffee or dinner and I'd highly recommend booking the full spa and dining experience if you get the chance.

I don't know if you've had breakfast at a spa before, but in my experience it tends to be all fruits, berries and leaves washed down with water.

Not at Rockliffe Hall!

We were thrilled to be presented with a two course brunch menu that not only had some delicious sounding lighter options for those embracing a healthier lifestyle, but also had a full english!

Decision making was tough with so many of my favourite breakfast dishes making an appearance but in the end I opted for a deliciously creamy porridge with chopped banana followed by a bagel served with a generous amount of salmon and scrambled eggs.  The food was fantastic and it wasn't long before we were chatting about how we'd have to come back another time to try out the afternoon tea or maybe enjoy a Sunday lunch.

Brunch at Rockcliffe Hall, Darlington

As we tucked in to our breakfast we filled in our spa questionnaires, Simon making me chuckle as he noted his skincare routine down as "shower gel" (I promise I keep trying to tell him the importance of good skincare but he just ignores me).

Once we'd finished our breakfast and were ready for our spa day experience we were escorted down to the spa, presented with our itineraries, some fluffy dressing gowns and slippers and lead to the changing rooms to get ourselves spa ready.

I was so impressed with the changing rooms. The lockers were huge with plenty of space to hang my coat and fit my excessive amount of baggage. The code lock system meant there were no worries about losing my locker key and I could easily duck in and out to my locker whenever I needed to grab any essentials. There were some private cubicles to get changed in and a huge stash of freshly washed towels to take through into the spa.

We had treatments booked in for 12:30 pm so decided to spend the first part of our day at Rockliffe Hall having a much needed relax. Despite it being a Saturday there were plenty of seats round the pool as well as loads of spare loungers in the sunny garden. Even though there were a fair few people enjoying the facilities we never once felt like the spa was overcrowded. It was peaceful and relaxing, people were very respectful of each others space and even popular facilities like the hot tub were easily grabbed after a short wait.

We both eagerly picked up a magazine from the huge pile scattered round the poolside and helped ourselves to a complimentary strawberry ice tea to enjoy with it. It isn't often we truly switch off and it was so lovely being able to completely lose ourselves in some indulgent magazine flicking.

Before we knew it it was time to make our way into the lounge area to get collected by our therapists. We'd both booked a 45 minute Hot Rocks massage (£70). If you are enjoying a couples spa day at Rockliffe Hall there is the option to use the Double Treatment Room for you and your partner if you ask at the time of booking. We decided to enjoy our massages separately so were lead into different rooms by our therapists.

c/o Rockliffe Hall

My treatment started with a nice foot soak in some bubbly water whilst my therapist, Kerry, chatted through any allergies or problems and explained what would be happening in my treatment. Then it was time to relax and get myself comfortable.

If you've never had a hot rocks massage before I can't recommend it enough, especially the treatment at Rockliffe Hall. The treatment alternated between warm stones and cooler stones, each being used at different times to massage my back, legs, shoulders and feet. It felt incredible and was so relaxing. I usually find it quite hard to fully lose myself in a massage but by the end of this one I was almost dozing which is unheard of.  I really didn't want it to ever end.

My favourite part of my massage at Rockliffe Hall was afterwards when I met up with Simon and we got taken to the Sleep Retreat for a little lie down.  A cosy dimly lit room with comfortable loungers covered in blankets and faux fur throws.

Guess what? I actually managed to fall asleep!  Despite being in a room full of dozing strangers I felt so relaxed I had a snooze and even had a dream so it must have been a pretty good sleep.

c/o Rockliffe Hall

When we were finally ready to make our way back into the spa and compare notes on our treatments I was so happy that Simon had enjoyed his just as much as I had enjoyed mine. Simon's pretty new to the spa experience and I was a little worried he wouldn't enjoy his massage as much as I did so I was very thankful that he loved it to.

With hours of time left in the spa we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the spa facilities that Rockliffe has to offer.

We began with a relaxing lie down in the Tepidarium - lounging about on hot tile beds listening to really soothing music. I honestly could have spent my entire day in there if Simon wasn't so keen to drag me into the Igloo.

To fully get the most out of your spa experience at  Rockliffe it's a good idea to alternate the hotter rooms with the igloo. Great for your body, the room is much colder than the other rooms and even has a supply of ice that you're encouraged to rub over yourself. I have to say sitting in the very chilly igloo I was feeling pretty doubtful on the benefits but Simon insisted I stayed for the recommended 5 minutes (despite my whinging!)

c/o Rockliffe Hall

As soon as he let me escape I was in the Roman Sauna to recover and enjoy the beautiful dry heat which felt so relaxing. I somehow managed to let him convince me to visit the Igloo again before we treated ourselves to a visit to the Tropicarium - a high humidity wood lined cabin that smelt delicious and made my skin feel so soft.

The most fun experience of our day was using the foot spas where we got to sink our feet into warm then cool bubbling water which just felt amazing.  My poor feet are always feeling tired as I really do work them hard during the week so I really appreciated being able to focus some attention on them.

c/o Rockliffe Hall

Our day ended with Simon doing a few laps of the huge swimming pool which he thoroughly enjoyed. At 20 metres long it's one of the largest swimming pools I've ever seen in a spa.

Unfortunately I can't swim and it's been many many years since I've been brave enough to get into a swimming pool but something about the relaxing environment at Rockliffe Hall encouraged me to be brave and have a little dip. A great treat for Simon who had literally never seen his wife in a swimming pool before. It's a great compliment to Rockliffe that I felt comfortable enough to do something that I usually find pretty terrifying!  Being in a swimming pool for the first time in years felt pretty emotional and I'm so happy that being at Rockliffe Hall gave me the chance to start overcoming one of my greatest fears.

c/o Rockliffe Hall

Tailor made spa days, half days or luxury overnight stays for a special treat, Rockliffe Hall offer a huge amount of spa packages to suit all budgets and lifestyles - there really is something for everyone.  To truly treat yourself you can also upgrade to the Spa Garden experience or enjoy one of the many massages, facials or treatments.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our time at Rockliffe Hall and it was easily the best spa I have ever been to. I'm now leaving the spa booklet on our coffee table at every available opportunity in the hope that Simon gets the hint and treats me to a night away at the spa and hotel!

Let me know if you've been to Rockliffe Hall and your favourite experience there, we can't wait to go back!

We were treated to a complimentary experience at  Rockliffe Hall but all thoughts and opinions are our own. 


  1. I love a spa day and Rockliffe Hall has long been on my wish list of places to visit - for both the spa and food. I'm a County Durham girl so always keen to check out places like this in my old stomping ground. My best friend is from Darlington and lives in London now, I think I'll suggest that we go here next time she's visiting home. I'm laughing at Simon saying shower gel is his facial routine, that's hilarious bless him. It sounds really good and luxurious. I'm impressed with a two course breakfast! Mark loves eating out for breakfast so this might tempt him to the spa with me. So far my favourite spa experience in the North East is Seaham Hall but looking at this I think it could beat it. I'm pleased you had a great time.

  2. This sounds amazing, I'm definitely going to try and persuade my husband to try Rockliffe Hall! I've been to the new spa at the Ramside a couple of times, I loved it there but this sounds just as good!

  3. So pleased you loved it - hot stone massages are just the best aren't they x

  4. Rockcliffe Hall is up there in my top Spas in the North east. I love it. I've stayed over quite a few times too and done a dreamy departure which means you get to use the spa a little longer. It's such bliss. Don't worry. I fall asleep all the time when I'm at a spa, doesn't matter if strangers are there or not. Katie x

  5. Ooh great post, Andrew and I are wondering whether to do a spa break for our wedding anniversary so I'll take a look here!
    JH |

  6. This looks brilliant! you guys get to do the coolest stuff!

  7. We got married at Rockliffe Hall, so it's naturally one of my favourites! I definitely recommend the afternoon tea - I might be biased, but it's one of the best I've had, especially the scones.

  8. This sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day! Ive never actually been on a proper spa day, but think I should rectify that soon!


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