This post contains affiliate links (noted with an asterisk) I was gifted this experience in return for a review.
When it comes to presents, I love gifting and being gifted experiences over things. I really value making memories and sharing experiences with the people I love and think it’s a great gift idea. So when Red Letter Days kindly got in touch to see if I’d be interested in reviewing one of their experiences I jumped at the chance. We all need a little pampering from time to time so I decided to treat myself to a spa break*, and I took my best girl aka my mum along for the treat.
Can we just take a second to appreciate how cute the packaging the voucher comes in? It’s in a little cardboard red envelope with a letter and voucher card inside, activating the voucher couldn’t be easier to do online or over the phone. It’s such a nice way to receive this gift and would be really easy to wrap up and gift to someone.
We went to the Bannatynes Charlton House Hotel & Spa located in Shepton Mallet which is a fairly short drive from Bristol.
The hotel itself is beautiful, set in lovely grounds and surrounded by the natural beauty of the rolling Mendips.
Inside it’s warm and welcoming. It has an almost Highland Country Estate feel, with lots of tartans, deep red accents and antlers on the walls. I was pretty obsessed with the very cool hot air balloon light fixture.
We enjoyed a liquid lunch in the delightful lounge area, it’s so cosy yet grand. Full of comfy sofas and armchairs to settle down in. Being in the countryside it’s a very peaceful place to spend time, and as guests are allowed to freely wander around in the bathrobes and slippers provided there’s a restful atmosphere to the whole place.
(Taken from Bannatyne’s website)
The cosy atmosphere and comfy seating areas made it an ideal lounge area to spend time in ahead of our room being ready.
This is the view into the dining area, such luxe velvet chairs.
I paid a little extra to upgrade our room to the deluxe option, I wanted to treat my mumma as an early Christmas present, and OMG it was so the right decision. The room was stunning! We were in a building separate to the main house, and our room had its own courtyard with a hot tub.
I stopped in my tracks when we walked through the door and realised we had a freestanding claw foot bath, in the room. I was so delighted. I’ve never had a hotel room with a bath in it before and as someone who loves baths, and hates the fact she doesn’t have one in her flat, I couldn’t wait to dive in.
Loved the complimentary slippers, flipflops and robes to lounge around the hotel in.
We got into our robes basically as soon as we were let into the room.
So what does the rest of the room look like? Well, it’s safe to say we were not disappointed.
The twin beds shared a tartan canopy with a beautiful leather sofa at the end. The room was huge, so much room to spread my things out – for even one night I don’t pack light haha.
The beams and tartan made us feel like we were in a Highland Laird’s Lodge.
Not pictured is the absolutely huge tv on the wall opposite the bed.
Little touches like this around the place really elevated the decor. I loved the touches of greek influence which fit the spa perfectly and contrasted with the rustic hotel.
(Taken from Bannatyne’s website)
I didn’t actually take any pics in the spa because I was in full on relaxation mode but these are far better than any I could have taken.
Our package included a free treatment and we both opted for a back, neck and shoulder massage. It was heavenly! The whole spa is Greek/Turkish themed and has a luxurious lounge/waiting area full of velvet sofas. We waited there until be lead to our treatment rooms by our individual masseuses. I was offered a choice of massage oil, one for rejuvenation, one for nourishing and one for relaxation, I chose relaxation and the massage began. The masseuse was so skilled and worked really hard to get my many knots and kinks out. She was so friendly and the whole experience was perfect. Afterwards, she told me the best order to do the steam rooms to ensure my skin gets the benefit of the oils and it was time to hit the spa.
(Taken from Bannatyne’s website)
The spa is small but not short on facilities. There’s a Swedish sauna, a steam room, rainforest shower, hydrotherapy pool and outdoor hot tub. We were easily able to waste a few hours there. I adored the inside-outside pool and the hot tub, there’s something so decadent about being in a steaming hot tub on a cold, dark winter night.
I even took a little nap on the comfy seating area. After a few hours and almost impossibly relaxed we returned to our room to get ready for dinner.
Our package included a two-course dinner and glass of prosecco each, because I was too busy enjoying the food and the company I totally forgot to take any photos – good job I’m not a food blogger. So you’ll have to take my word for it that not only is the food delicious, with a great range of options for vegetarians like myself, but it was presented beautifully. The staff were attentive and friendly and the whole experience was lovely. It would be a great venue for a romantic dinner as the setting is rustic but intimate.
This was our breakfast menu, I was really impressed with how extensive it was. On top of this we had a continental breakfast with a huge selection of pastries, breads, cakes, cereals, fresh fruits and juices. I was almost too full for my vegetarian breakfast.
Not only was there a lot of choice but the food itself was delicious, and the setting was lovely. The restaurant has a huge conservatory and breakfast in the sun is a lovely way to start the day.
We set off shortly after breakfast as we wanted to get back to our respective houses, but included in the package is unlimited use of the spa until 1pm on the day of check out, a great perk if you’re not quite ready to get back to normality just yet.
I absolutely adored this experience and it was the perfect pampering weekend away with my mum. I felt truly relaxed when I came home the following day and despite only being gone a night I really felt like I’d had a break. I can highly recommend and I’ll definitely be looking into using Red Letter Days to book future experiences as they have a great range, at great prices and it couldn’t be easier to arrange. Already got my eyes on a hot air balloon experience, wonder if I can sneak one in before I leave the country haha.
Love, Sarah x
Disclaimer: I was gifted this spa break by Red Letter Days* in return for a review. As always this is an honest review and all opinions are my own. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links (noted with *), this means that should you click them and make a purchase I receive a small percentage of commission. This helps with the running costs of this blog but does not affect the price you pay.