Bedford Lodge: Visited one of the best spas in East Anglia with its own rooftop hot tub – Hope Woolston

I’ve always wanted to spend a day at the spa. With all the photos online and on social media about hot tubs, they seem like a great way to relax.

However, with so much choice, I never knew where to go. I was also put off by the prices as I wasn’t sure if it was worth it.

When the spa at Bedford Lodge invited me for a day at the spa, there was no way I was not going. This spa, located just half an hour from the Essex/Suffolk border, has been voted one of the best in the East of England.

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As well as receiving the prestigious “Five Bubble” spa award for the ninth consecutive year, The Spa at Bedford Lodge was also a finalist in the 2021 Good Spa Guide Awards for the East. In addition to its awards, this spa also has numerous five-star customer awards.

I was invited to try their Restful Spa Day package. This package – which starts at £165 – includes full use of spa facilities, a one-course lunch with a soft drink, a personalized 60-minute EPSA massage and a bag and slippers to take home.

I booked for a Sunday with my other half and couldn’t wait. We were due to arrive at 9am with my massage booked for 12pm and lunch at 2pm.

First impressions

I knew we were gonna have a blast

Arriving at the spa, I knew we were in for a treat. The exterior of the building is beautiful, with a very well maintained garden. It was like entering a sanctuary.

We were very warmly greeted at reception and shown to the restaurant for a cup of tea and to fill out our health forms. We were also able to pre-order the food we wanted to have for lunch.

Once we were ready we were shown around the spa and given all the information we needed. I was blown away by the beauty of all the facilities.

The locker rooms to begin with were absolutely gorgeous. Everything looked luxurious.

Everyone receives a locker in which there is a bathrobe, towel, slippers/thongs and a canvas bag. After changing into my bathing suit and locking away everything I didn’t need, I returned to the spa to meet my fiancé.


The sauna
The sauna

The hydrotherapy pool is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows giving you a view of the garden. We were lucky with the weather during our visit, which also meant that we had the heat of the sun on us through the glass.

The swimming pool gives the impression of entering a bath. It’s the perfect temperature and I really could have stayed there all day.

In addition to the relaxing water, the pool also has a number of special features. In two of the corners there are jets, one with a chair, the other without, there is also a jacuzzi section and more.

In addition to the swimming pool, the ground floor of the spa also has a sauna and a hammam. Both are large with plenty of space and again look very luxurious.

There are also two different showers. One gives you the option of several different rainfalls like a rainforest-style mist.

There was also an ice bucket shower that simply pours a bucket full of ice cold water over you to “rejuvenate your body”. I wasn’t brave enough to try this but my partner did after getting out of the sauna.

My lunch
My lunch

Downstairs near the reception you will also find the lounge. A small varied menu is offered with sandwiches, soup and salads for lunch.

I had the crab poke bowl and my fiancé had the ham panini. Both dishes looked beautiful and tasted equally good.

There was a great selection of drinks including juices, smoothies, cocktails and more. There was also a nice breakfast menu.


The Mezzanine of the Spa
The Mezzanine of the Spa

Upstairs you find the Spa Mezzanine. This lounge is the perfect place to relax between using the other facilities.

There are sunbeds, chairs and sofas for you to relax on. The weather is nice and warm, and again the large windows let in the sunlight. We both brought a book with us and found it to be the best place to relax and read.

The rooftop hot tub
The rooftop hot tub

Just outside you will find the rooftop hot tub. The hot tub wasn’t huge, but it’s absolutely perfect for a couple’s romantic bath.

The water is nice and warm and there are a variety of jets you can use. Although the hot tub is on the roof, you have plenty of privacy and no one who is not at the spa can see you.

Although sunny, the day we visited wasn’t too hot so no one was hanging out on the rooftop other than in the hot tub. However, I can imagine that during the summer it is a great place and has some nice views.

My treatment

As part of my package, I was treated to a personalized 60-minute EPSA massage. I was picked up from the mezzanine at my time slot and taken to the treatment room.

Here there was very low and relaxing lighting and it smelled amazing. My massage therapist, Sophy, introduced herself and walked me through what my massage would be like.

I was asked if there were any areas I would like her to focus on and was given a choice of the type of oil I wanted. Sophie then left the room to allow me to undress and sit comfortably on the table.

I had never had a professional massage before so I was a little nervous, but Sophy quickly helped me feel relaxed. The massage was a full body massage, with some emphasis on my shoulders as I requested.

Sophy somehow seemed to float around the room quietly. She would be on one side of me then suddenly on the other without stopping the massage.

I left very relaxed. The smell of the oil has stuck to my skin for ages and also left it super soft. For my very first massage I was really impressed and can’t wait to go back for another one.

Overall I was very impressed with the spa at Bedford Lodge. For my first spa day experience it was absolutely amazing and I will definitely be booking in the future

You can find out more and book here

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