Urban House & Retreat Spa

I had left booking my accommodation for post Trailwalker finish to the last minute. There was no shortage of options luckily for me and when I found a premier suite with a free-standing roll top bath I knew I had my room for the night sorted. I had always wanted to bathe in one and now was my chance. And so after the most emotional moment crossing the finish line, the champagne reception and the Gurkha curry, it was time to check in to Urban House & Retreat Spa. Getting out of the taxi was nothing compared to walking up three flights of stairs having just completed a 100km walk. I threw a bit of a grump at the fact there was no lift in the establishment! My legs were rapidly ceasing up and my ascent was probably 1/3 normal pace…. I just kept my thinking about the bath at the end of this seemingly never ending staircase.

Upon arrival the room was pleasant enough, a bit of mismatched classic contemporary style with the bath in the main room rather than the bathroom (which was well below the standard of the rest of the suite). All I could think about was my hot bath in the roll top. It was a struggle getting in the bath, but getting out was a whole new world of fatigue. My brain was sending the signals to move them but they were dead weights. Something tells me I should have stretched out a lot more and drunk more fluids! The bath was enjoyable enough but I had always imagined the surroundings of my roll top to be much classier.

After crawling to bed I then proceeded to devour the fish and chips Charlie had popped out to get and then it was time to sleep. When I woke up the clock said 8 o’clock but there was no distinction of morning or night and I had lost all sense of time. My legs felt paralysed – my arms had to move my legs to the edge of the bed to get up. When I asked Charlie if it was morning or night he said morning. Wrong! I had only been asleep for a few hours so swiftly crashed back down onto the bed and went back to the land of nod.

The breakfast in the morning was continental style, and I filled my boots. Then it was time for the spa. We had booked an hour in there but the girls working were late and made us wait to enter. First disappointment – no jacuzzi or equivalent. Has anyone else ever been to a spa lacking in this? I haven’t. Second disappointment – the sauna was tiny, about half the size of a small garden shed and rickety like one also. The steam room was again quite small but bigger than the sauna. Having let us in late the girls then told us our time was up 10 minutes before the hour was due to finish and had not allowed for letting us in late. When I questioned this they told me they had treatments booked so needed us out! Had I not been quite so tired I would have kicked off. All in all an average hotel and an extremely disappointing spa experience. Don’t waste your money on going here, head straight to the Aquarium which was excellent!

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