Attractions, Reviews

Champneys Health Spa

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Champneys Health Spa is located in Ashby-de-la-zouche. Many health spas are limited with the amount of disability facilities and there is narrowed access around the location. But Champneys Health Spa has suitable access and facilities. 

The booking process can be done online. However, if you are a disabled or going with someone with a disability, I recommend you calling over the phone to make your reservation.

You can choose to go for a day and have treatments or stay overnight. If you are a wheelchair user, there is one accessible room available which is why it’s best to book and make a reservation over the phone to ensure you get the one disabled room situated on the ground floor of the location. Speaking with one of the staff members on the phone will also make them aware of your disability in case they need to make any further arrangements. Out of ten I would say the booking process is a seven for ease.

Champneys Health Spa have two or more disabled parking spaces available and depending whether you go at peak times, depends whether you are able to get one. But it’s unlikely that you won’t be able too. 

The pathway to the spa is straight and accessible although it’s on like a rickety bridge; it’s safe but just be careful when manoeuvring on it. The doors to the spa open automatically so there isn’t a problem there. The counter is high and those in wheelchairs may not be able to see over it but it is a quiet environment so you will be able to be heard. 

You will give the information of your booking and they will give you a towel and dressing gown to each person in your party. We have bought things and equipment with us and staff members have helped us get it from the car and to our room. 

The disabled room is big with one bed that can either be pulled into two or kept as one. There is a bit of room on the right-hand side of the bed but not much room on the left-hand side. The majority of space is at the bottom of the room by the door and I found it very easy to manoeuvre. 

The bathroom is an en-suite to the bedroom so it was easy for me to access, the size of it could be bigger but I managed to use a manual hoist in the bathroom with some careful manoeuvres between myself and my Dad. The shower is a walk-in shower which is great. A difficulty might be getting into bed because of the restricted space.

Accessibility around the spa is very good as there is ramp access everywhere. You will soon find your way around and it was nice to see all the different areas. There are some areas where there are steps but if you ask the members of staff who are always on hand, they will point you in the direction with ramp access.

Personally, I was unsure of the treatments I would be able to have because of my disability. I know what I would like to have but I know that some people, who don’t know me, feel very apprehensive when they see my disability as they don’t want to hurt me. I understand this but I hope to go to retreats like this and enjoy a few treatments while I’m there. Having not booked any treatments, due to this concern, I went into the spa and inquired about the different treatments that would be possible. 

A few members of the staff were hesitant and said that I should have booked online. After repeating my concern, I managed to speak to one of the managers who organised the treatment for me. My advice here is to always ask the members of staff about the different treatments, either via the phone before you come or when you arrive so you can enjoy your time at the spa. Another thing I would suggest is to make the staff members aware that you’re in a wheelchair and you cannot transfer or walk up any stairs. You will need to tell them that you require a downstairs treatment room.

I was lucky to have arranged three treatments, spread out over the three days I was there; a manicure and pedicure as well as their head in the clouds massage. All of which were very nice. The manicure and pedicure treatments felt personalised as they spent a lot of time going through different nail varnishes that I might like and even brought down more from upstairs. They also spent time carefully doing my left hand which is the most difficult to manipulate because of my Cerebral Palsy. 

I found them to be cheerful and very open to how they can help me and how they can alter the treatment so it’s easier for me. I absolutely loved the head in the clouds massage as I hadn’t had therapy like this in a long time and my shoulders, my neck and my upper back was really tight, and this definitely helped. I cannot wait to have these three treatments when I next go to the spa and now, I’m more aware of what I can and can’t have due to my disability.   

Outside of the treatments, there are other facilities that can be used such as the sauna and swimming pool, but these aren’t very accessible. I have wanted to use the swimming pool on my visits but have been unable to due to there not being a suitable hoist available. 

Although this was a disappointment, I did just enjoy listening to my music, writing in my notebook or tablet, or reading my book that I brought with me. Another thing that I love about this spa is that you can walk around all day in your dressing gown. It’s a nice, calm and relaxed environment and everyone was doing it. It was very easy to feel at peace and serenity the whole time. 

Meal times are very good at Champneys Health Spa, the dining rooms are very wide and very accessible. It depends on how busy it is at the time you decide to eat but in general it’s good. You are asked to pre book your slots for breakfast, lunch and dinner, all of which serve very good high-quality food. I loved that it was all very fresh and healthy food. My favourite foods were the wraps and pastas served at lunch times which are made to order. 

There were some hiccups and some downsides to the spa regarding the disabled room size as well as the uncertainties with the suitability of the treatments due to my needs. Overall, I definitely enjoyed my trips there and will be returning soon. 

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