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Norton Hotel spa break - bliss

Last weekend, four girlfriends and I went to a spa weekend near Winchester. Every year we try to do something; the last two have been at Centerparcs. This year I'm working in a school and can't take time off. This suited us fine, Saturday night costing £129 pp including two 25 minute treatments, lunch, dinner and breakfast.

We arrived on Saturday morning in time for our treatments - I had my nails done and a mini facial. The others had massages or the same as me. The spa was quite a big one for a hotel, and at no point did we feel we were "on a deal". My therapist was very nice and my treatments were wonderful. My nails are still fine now two days later, no chips at all! My facial was just what I needed going into Autumn. I feel like very refreshed now.

Sun loungers around the large pool made relaxing rather easy. The pool was large enough to do lengths. We had a large sauna and steam room, heated tiled beds by the side of the pool, curved to soothe those leg muscles. There was also a relaxation room with nearly ten beds in - oh these were lovely! I left one of my friends slightly snoring as there was no one else in there. Free herbal teas added to the healthiness.

Lunch was a buffet, and while the salad wasn't that great, the hot meals were delicious. I had chicken stroganoff, rice, bean cassoulet and smoked haddock fish cakes. There was soup and jacket potatoes. The best thing was being allowed to eat in your robes! Dinner was from a full menu; I had a mushroom on brioche starter, with rib eye steak and chips. There was an allowance of £26 pp and anything not spent was used on your pals' meals, including coffee/desert. Very fair we thought. You could pay if you went over, but that was only necessary if you chose the steak AND wanted a pudding. We had a bottle of fizzy rose.

After dinner we retired to one of our two rooms. We'd set up a bar (we'd each brought a bottle - Pimms, gin, wine, bacardi) and there was a communal cheese board. We'd each brought a cheese, crackers and chutney. (We always find at parties that nibbles are nice, but cheese goes down so well every time.) Add in the two ipods with the playlists, and you've got your own party from 9pm until 2am! We weren't that noisy, but certainly did enjoy ourselves.

Breakfast the next day soaked up some of the alcohol and the sauna sweated out the rest. Some of our party had extra treatments; the rest of us lounged around again. One put us to shame and went for a run in the stunning grounds. She discovered a walled garden. At 3pm we decided to call it a day and changed out of our robes, into civvies and back to reality.

The prices are normal hotel spa prices, not deals or offers, and we were certainly treated as if we were guests in a 5 star Bali spa! The staff couldn't have been more helpful; the spa manager got our second room keys for us, saving us having to get dressed and traipse back to Reception. The waiting staff were very attentive, with just the right amount of humour. Breakfast we had to queue for, but the staff brought us takeaway coffees to help. (Or could they smell the hangovers?)

I would certainly recommend this to anyone. The standard of the hotel, food, spa and staff was top. They do a day spa for £70 but it's worth the extra to stay overnight. I'm going again with my best friend in January, and the group I went with this time are already trying to book up again in Spring. The best thing? I didn't spend an extra penny!

(This wasn't a sponsored post, but I'd be happy to try out any other treatments on my next stay!!!)








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