Love life, Live well is the brand statement of Lifehouse Spa and Hotel, a contemporary scandi-style hotel and spa located within the Essex Village of Thorpe Le Soken. Set within 130 acres of stunning English heritage gardens, Lifehouse feels like a hidden retreat, a world away from busy city life, yet is easily accessible (just an hour and a half from London Liverpool street.) Just a short drive from Frinton on Sea on the Essex Coast, Lifehouse Spa and Hotel offers the perfect getaway for those looking for tranquillity, an award winning spa and delicious array of food. This adult only hotel and spa also offers health and wellbeing packages for those looking to help overhaul both body and mind.
The style at Lifehouse is very modern and minimalist, muted colours, plenty of wide open plan spaces combined with glass walled corridors letting in an abundance of natural sunlight. This is very much a world away from Thorpe Hall, a Georgian Manor which was redeveloped to make way for the new Lifehouse Spa and Hotel. However what remains from the Georgian era, are the beautifully crafted grounds, which you can easily get lost in. If the weather is unkind, umbrellas and wellies are provided to ensure you do not miss out on the opportunity to explore the gardens.
The vibe at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel is very relaxed and low key, guests can wander around both the spa and hotel in the fluffy white robes and slippers provided. The only requirement is to dress for dinner.
If you venture away from the fantastic facilities at Lifehouse, nearby Frinton on Sea offers an unspoilt stretch of coastline, with traditional style beach huts, or you could make a visit to Colchester, Britain’s oldest recorded town, just a 14 mile drive away.
For those like myself who enjoy a combination of exercise and relaxation, there is a modern fitness centre offering both cardio and weight training equipment. Guests can also take advantage of the range of fitness classes on offer from spin to pad boxing. One to one personal training sessions are also available.
The award winning spa at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel is well equip with tempting wet facilities from the very large swimming pool, to a salt inhalation, sauna and steam room. If you want a dip that will take your breath away, try the bracing plunge pool! A variety of sumptuous face and body treatments are available from Clarins, Decleor and Thalgo. For those who prefer a mani or pedi check out the OPI Nail Bar area. I indulged in a relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage. I really suffer with knots in my shoulders and was really impressed by my therapist’s abilities to help relieve the tension in these problem areas. It’s also worth noting that the highly qualified therapists at the Lifehouse Spa have also been trained by the NHS Christie Trust to adapt spa treatments for anyone recovering from cancer, stress or bereavement. There are a great range of different spa package deals to choose from or you can tailor something bespoke from the menu options.
However for me the experience that took my spa day to the next level was being taken to a unique sleep pod after my treatment. These private sleep retreats offer a large bed with soft pillows and cushions, spa music and adjustable lighting to encourage you to drift off into a natural sleep for up to an hour. I loved this experience as normally at the end of a massage or treatment I am always left with a deep sense of peace and so often you are all too quickly back in reality. The uniqueness of the sleep pods allows you to further appreciate that relaxed sleepy feeling and truly switch off.
The Nordic style hotel rooms at Lifehouse offer ultra comfy beds and simple wooden furniture. They offer space, comfort and practicality as opposed to the boutique style design I would personally prefer, however the view from my signature room overlooking the gardens was quite lovely. Bathrooms are simply tiled with spacious walk-in showers with a selection of toiletries from Gilchrist & Soames.
When it is time for food, the bistro style Restaurant is light airy and relaxed and offers a Mediterranean style menu using a vast array of locally sourced ingredients. To wet your appetite some samples from the current menu include, fillet of cod with a roast fennel and tomato sauce and spicy lemon potatoes, or how about corn fed chicken breast with celeriac rosti, purple sprouting broccoli and cider bramley apple sauce. There is a great selection of both indulgent and healthier main options to choose from.
A lazy breakfast is one of my favourite things about hotel stays and the offering at Lifehouse Spa and Hotel certainly did not disappoint. I tucked into freshly prepared scrambled eggs with smoked salmon followed by yoghurt with berry compote and tasty granola. The buffet style selection is fantastic and there really is something to suit all tastes and dietary requirements including vegetarians and vegans. If you have somewhat of a sweet tooth, I noticed during my stay that the afternoon tea looked irresistible and this can be enjoyed outside on a nice day or in the ultra cosy lounge area.
A Lifehouse Spa Day is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and is an experience that can truly be enjoyed alone or with company and really offers the perfect environment to relax, the mind body and soul.
Lifehouse Spa and Hotel