Spa stay review: Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, Newmarket, Suffolk

Where:  Bedford Lodge Hotel, 11 Bury Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7BX

Top Santé tried: Dry Floatation Experience

What is it? An indulgent treatment that combines body exfoliation and oils with being wrapped up before floating in a warm cocoon!

And what else? Top-class food and plush accommodation.

There’s nothing like a relaxing spa day to help you re-set and recharge, and at Bedford Lodge, they certainly know how to make you feel pampered!

As I enjoyed a dip in the indoor experience pool, I felt a sense of pure serenity wash over me. The pool is set in a tall glass building so you can sit back and watch the changing skies outside; it’s particularly beautiful at sunset.

There are three different bubble pool compartments, a bench seat to kick back on and two powerful water jets, which really help to pummel away any knots and tension when you stand under them.

Once you’ve experienced that, you can go on to enjoy the spacious sauna and steam rooms, or refresh yourself under the ice bucket or experience shower. I decided to make my way to the rooftop hot tub with a cheeky glass of bubbles!

Light lunch is provided during your spa day in the restaurant attached, and there’s a great selection of healthy snacks on offer.


A sensory experience

The dry floatation experience sounded intriguing so I was eager to find out what it entailed. I began by lying down on a bed as I would for a massage or other treatment, then my therapist gave my body an all-over exfoliation using an ESPA invigorating salt scrub.

She then buffed it away and applied a luxurious ESPA body mud before wrapping me up in my towel, followed by a foil blanket and further padded blanket.

Once I was cocooned and suitably comfortable and toasty, she pressed a button on the bed that lowered me down into a pool of water. Don’t worry, you don’t get wet because there’s a waterproof lining between you and the water, sort of like being on a waterbed.

As I lay there ‘floating’, I felt weightless and incredibly relaxed. My therapist dimmed the lights and left me to relax for 20 minutes with the soothing music. It was an incredibly peaceful experience.

My only warning is to people who are very claustrophobic – this might not be the treatment for you. While you’re not lowered too far into the water and there is a button to press if you want to come back up from the floatation, you are wrapped quite snugly with your arms by your sides, swaddled like a baby, meaning you could feel quite restricted.

My advice is to make sure you’re comfortable with everything before your therapist leaves the room. You could always ask for a little more wiggle room in your blankets, although I personally enjoyed the warmth of the wrap.

When my time in the tub was up, I was raised back up to regular bed height and my therapist buffed away the body mud, leaving me with silky soft skin.

Fine dining

After a day of pure relaxation, you’re treated to a three-course meal in the hotel restaurant. There’s an extensive choice of dishes with three different menus: one traditional, one Sunday lunch menu (also served on a Sunday evening) and a bar / snack menu, with each menu stating the provenance of the ingredients. It was a little overwhelming, but I’d always rather have too much choice than too little, and mixing and matching from different menus was allowed!

I chose the asparagus and lemon tagilitelli, which was fresh, flavoursome and beautifully cooked,

And after a day being pampered and well fed, I retreated to my plush room with comfy king-size bed and had one of the best sleeps I’ve ever had away from home, thanks to the peace and quiet of the Suffolk countryside.

Other USPs (unique spa points!)

Attention to detail: The spa is set in a different building to the hotel, so you have a dedicated team, purely focussed on your spa experience.

Friendly staff: The staff in both the spa and hotel are friendly and helpful, nothing is too much trouble.

* Beautiful setting: Nestled in the heart of pretty Newmarket, the location is surrounded by picturesque buildings and greenery. The town also has a big equestrian community so is perfect for anyone who loves horses.

Telephone 0800 652 2991