Travel review - The 'Tiny Spa' experience offering children rest and relaxation

The "Tiny Spa" experience at Ye Old Bell Hotel Spa near Retford.
The "Tiny Spa" experience at Ye Old Bell Hotel Spa near Retford.

Rites of passage for our children are important times in informing their adult tastes.

With our children grow up so fast and with ever more sophisticated outlooks, discovering a place offering youngsters an opportunity to sample the spa experience piqued my, and particularly my daughter’s interests.

Learning about the benefits of relaxation is as important for wellbeing as any maths or English test the next generation are burdened with. Naturally, there was no need to persuade my young daughter to take the plunge into her first spa day with a "Tiny Spa" experience at Ye Old Bell Hotel Spa near Retford.

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After a two-hour drive through ever more scenic country surroundings, the idea of relaxation was a welcome prospect. Upon our arrival at Ye Olde Bell Hotel, we made our way inside. A courteous staff member accompanied us to a separate building to the rear of the main hostelry. From there on, we knew we were in good hands.

At the Spa reception once the formalities of the paperwork were completed we were shown through to the lounge and bar area. These are modern, airy and comfortable surroundings, with a high timbered ceiling and eclectic mix of brightly upholstered and rattan chairs. We were happy to relax and take in the calming atmosphere.

Whilst on this occasion there were no male youngsters participating, it seems that dads aren’t shying away from the idea of treating themselves to some rest and relaxation while enjoying their family time too. At 4:30pm, everyone was shown through to the bistro, where an array of sandwiches, salad, fruits and snacks was waiting. Juice, refreshingly chilled water or hot chocolate were the choice of thirst quenchers. Requests for alternatives for dietary needs were met with suitable substitutions.

Time for the main event, enter the spa! The participants were directed to the floor heated changing facilities, with simple-to-use, passcode secured lockers, in which very cosy robes waited with fluffy towel and a pair complimentary flip-flops, which my daughter was delighted to learn could be taken home. Our highly obliging hosts readily exchanged my robe for a more suitable size!

Staff came to greet each party, carefully explained that the thermal area was open - excluding the hottest sauna and steam bath - while the other rooms were set at lower temperatures than usual, to ensure the safety of all the youngsters. Availability of further treatments (for an additional cost,) were outlined. One young lady was treated to a nail session, seeming very proud of her rainbow coloured result.

We sampled a few of the thermal facilities including the herbal laconium, looking out over the pool, with warmth enough to relax your muscles, without being too stifling, and the highly enjoyable Stone Baths. The mechanism in there for steam distribution had me fascinated.

Then onto the snowstorm walk. Move over Elsa…this experience with its icy drop or a storm effect whipping up icy particles to stimulating the senses, is not for the feint-hearted!

For some of the youngsters, however, it was all about the 10-metre indoor/outdoor vitality pool. Certainly, it was our daughter’s highlight, and she wasn’t alone in spending most of our time there. And who could resist ordering drinks, brought to you from the bar right to the pool, by the spa butlers? Foregoing alcoholic options, meant ordering two mocktails (£6 each.) Our Sunset Dream and Pina Coladas were enjoyed while we let massage jet bubbles work their magic.

Poolside heated stone loungers made for a comfortable way to unwind after our water activities. Foot spas rounded off the day, the bubbling warm water blissfully massaging our feet and toes.

Customer care level was first rate from start to finish, patrons were well looked after by genuinely friendly staff, who knew instinctively when you needed attending to, with nothing being too much trouble. Going above and beyond ensured an item of clothing left behind in our locker was swiftly returned before we set off for home! It has set the bar high for my daughter’s future spa visits. Now what have I let myself in for?

FACTFILE

Tiny Spa Price: £75 for 1 responsible adult over the age of 21 years and 1 child between 5-10 years old. May 15 to June 19, 2019

Address: Great North Rd Barnby Moor DN22 8QS

Tel: Spa reception: 01777 705121, option 2.

Email: reception@yeoldebellspa.co.uk www.yeoldebellspa.co.uk