“ Address: Lord Byron's Walk / Seaham / England / SR7 7AG / UK / Telephone: +44 191 5161400 „
Bad smell of chlorine throughout the hotel and rooms. Broken sink. Broken shower head. Tv trim broken off. Tv signal kept going off. dirty stains on chairs in room. Broken door between spa and hotel causing the smell of chlorine in residential area. Average service, breakfast on first morning was excellent but on the second morning was disgusting. This is not any where near the advertised 5 star standard. I would not be delighted even at £80 per night but the advertised rates are daylight robbery. Don't waste your money! This hotel is tired and in need of refurbishment with dirty and threadbare carpets in the public areas. The spa is good when everything is working but things like the air bed were broken. Overall not worth the money at all I felt ripped off having paid £360 for 2 nights. the exterior of the hotel is scruffy in need of painting, weeding, bark sweeping off the road back on to the Borders etc. We were gutted we spent the money on this place. We wished we had gone back to aldwark manor for £100 per night as it is clean, in good repair and value for money.
As a christmas gift one year I received a voucher to be used at Seaham Hall Spa. I had never had a professional spa treatment before so was very curious as to what kind of treats I would be able to have and I was particularly excited because I had heard only rave reviews about the Serenity Spa.
I decided to be kind and opted for the Heave and Eart treatment which is designed for 2 people, preferably your partner or someone you know very well. Sun-Fri is costs £170 per person or £180 Saturday. At first I was a bit put off at the price as it seemed so much money, but as i had a voucher for part of the payment and had heard only good things I booked up anyway.
Heaven and earth consists of a Rasul, Elmis Hot Stone Body and facial, Indian Head Massage and full use of the spa with a free 3 course meal at the Ozone.
The Rasul is something I had never heard of but is described as 'A traditional Arabian cleansing ritual which uses mud, steam and copious amounts of water'. Basically you enter a room where you cna get changed into a swim suit. You are given a selection of muds for your body, face and scalp on a special tray and an explanation to how you use them. You then enter a large shower type steam room and apply the mud to each other (which is why it is best to bring your partner!) or you can apply it to yourself. You wait a set time until they dry onto your skin, then a hot tropical shower will falls down and you wash it all off.
It was very messy but loads of fun covering each other in mud! We had more of the giggles than relaxation but the mud really helped to cleanse my skin. It felt softer, thoroughly clean and refreshed. A very unusual treatment.
Next was the Elmis hot Stone body and facial. One word, WOW! We were taken to a private room where we got changed and comfortable under the towel. There was peaceful relaxing music playing. The stones were heated but the massage began with oils and was so smoothing. Then something cold was massaged into my back and was directly followd by the hot stones. It was so nice going from one sensation to another. The whole thing was relaxing and we got a nice facial using Elmis cleansers, toners and moisturisers. We both agreed that was such an amazing treatment.
Finally we got an indian head massage which felt so good and tingly. The staff really know what they are doing and treat you so well. In between each treatment we could use the spa or wait in the waiting area, where freshly made exotic smoothies were available or water for no charge.
The Spa itself was very nice with plenty indoor and outdoor loungers, a decent size pool, massage chairs, 2 outdoors hottubs, plunge pool, sauna, jacuqi, steam room, tropical showers etc.
We were entitled to a free meal at the Ozone which was delicious, quite small and fancy, but light enough so I wasn't bloated and unable to use the facilities. It was delicious and filled the spot nicely.
Overall a lovely day, I only wish I could afford to go again!
I visited Seaham Hall's Serenity Spa in November 2009 with my Mam, it was a girly treat for us (because we both deserved it!) and we went for the 'Hours of Idleness' day ritual package which was £170 each and entailed the following...
**Full day access to the spa facilities, thermal baths, showers and free refreshments
**Fluffy bathrobes and complementary flip flops for the day
**Lunch in the Ozone restaurant
**Hot Stone Therapy (full body massage)
**Serenity Idleness Facial
And I have to say right now that a day spent at Seaham Hall is truly a full 5 dooyoo star experience!
Now £170 might seem a little steep, but there's various other packages you can go for, some a little cheaper, some more expensive. I think that ours was really worth it and as I treat I'd definitely pay that price again. One thing I would note is that when you book you have to pay the full amount upfront and a certain percentage of this will be kept if you make a cancellation. So be sure of your booking before you do so.
For more details on the other packages and special offers visit their website:
Arriving at the spa
Seaham Hall is simple to find (especially if you're equipped with a tom tom) and parking is free and we found a space no problem. It's situated close to the coast is a quiet and secluded area which sets the tone perfectly before you enter the spa which is in a completely round part of the building. The spa reception is straight infront of you as you go through the doors and the staff were very welcoming and friendly and offered us complimentary orange juices as we filled in various forms (skincare questionnaire etc). We were then given our treatment schedule, robes, flip flops and locker keys and went on the short tour of the Spa to get our bearings. The spa is set round a circular walkway and although you think this sounds quite cool and simple - we often got a bit confused in which direction we were going. But it was just slightly humorous and didn't spoil the day in the slightest.
The changing rooms / showers / toilets etc were immaculately clean and well set out. The lockers were especially neat with electronic keys - very fancy! And there were also hairdryers in the changing room which were free to use. Bodywash, shampoo and conditioner were to be found in the showers but I had brought my own.
*Tip* it's useful to bring some detangler and a wide tooth comb (if you have long hair) if you plan on going swimming or having any of the massages (they often mess up your hair if they include a head massage).
Towels were fresh, heated and abundantly available throughout the day - free of charge.
The Thermal Baths
This is where the relaxation happens! I had such fun the in thermal baths area - trying out all the different steam rooms, chilling in the outdoor heated hot tubs, swimming in the Ozone cleansed pool (no harsh chemicals = no chlorine smell) and as the website states - it really was like swimming in Evian water! There's loungers set all around the pool side where you can sit and enjoy drinks - a lot of people had brought books and magazines to read - regulars perhaps?
The website gives full documentation of what each steam room / bath entails but here's a quick rundown of what they have...
Hammam - I couldn't stay in this one for long as it made my eyes water.
Plunge Pools and Ice Fountain - I loved plunging into the icy water. It was shockingly refreshing!
Lunch was fantastic! Far, far, FAR superior to the lunch at the Malmaison petit spa (see my Malmaison review). Again in a round room with huge windows to enjoy the view of the surrounding gardens and country side while having your meal. The menu was varied, but select and everything looked prepared to perfection (I had a spy at other guests' tables to see what they were tucking into). I had a Parma Ham Salad plate to start - yum, a Chicken Caesar wrap and French Fries for the main course - yum yum, and a Chocolate Brownie (but not just an ordinary brownie) for pudding - yum yum yum! It was superb. I highly recommend staying for lunch or dinner if you plan on visiting the spa! The only thing not included in the cost of your spa day ritual package is drinks - these need to be paid for when you leave the restaurant after lunch. You have the choice of having lunch in your fluffly robes and flip flops or dressing for lunch - the only thing asked of you is that you don't turn up for lunch soaking off the pool. A lot of people were lunching in their robes but I chose to get dressed.
Hot Stone Therapy
Up until my visit to the Serenity Spa, I hadn't had the pleasure of a hot stones massage, so wasn't quite sure what it would be liked. I hoped that it would be good and I'm pleased to report that it was indeed very good. Extremely soothing. From what I could tell (obviously I couldn't exactly see what the therapist was doing as I was facing the floor through the massage bed... and also I think I dosed off at one point...) the stones were heated and in turn the stones heated the massage oil. One by one a series of stones were doused in oil and massaged over the back muscles, leg muscles, shoulders and arms and also wrapped into towels around your hands. It was all very cosy and serene and I'd suggest trying this particular therapy out if you suffer with tired or painful muscles or if you work hard at the gym - this would be an excellent treat for your body.
We both got a short head massage included in the time of the massage which I think lasted about an hour. The head massage isn't mentioned on the website so this was an unexpected bonus!
The Serenity Spa uses Elemis products in it's treatments and all the lotions and potions they use can be bought in the spa's beauty shop but Elemis is available easily enough online or in department stores such as John Lewis if you'd rather not impulse buy and shop around for a good deal. Elemis products run on the expensive side (but well worth it) as they are a professional spa brand.
We both had our treatment in the same room (I requested a double treatment room when I booked the spa day and this was no problem to arrange) it really made the day feel extra special having our treatments done together. I'd recommend enquiring about a double treatment room if you plan on going with your mam or a close friend.
Serenity Idleness Facial
Again, surprisingly, this treatment also included a head massage at the end - our heads were truly relaxed by the end of the day!!
The facial was what you'd expect from a top notch Spa. Before the therapist got started there was a brief consultation about your specific skin requirements and any particular problems that needed treating. Again, Elemis products were used in the facial and I found myself muttering 'ooh that smells nice' and 'mmm' for most of the facial. I think part of the experience was the aromas, but my skin was definitely looking peachy and pleased with itself afterwards. My only complaint about the facial was for a lot of the time I had various eyemasks on with a lavender eye pillow on top. This got took away and replaced several times (between cleansing, toning and masks etc) and I wish that it had been on for a shorter length of time - it got quite heavy on the eyes and I found it a little uncomfortable.
I can't be sure how long the facial lasted - by this time minutes and hours were merging into one and there's only actually one clock (in the pool area) in the whole spa! This definitely encourages a thoroughly relaxed mood and at one point... I think after a good swimming session, sauna and then a facial me and my mam retired to one of the relaxation lounges, enjoyed some free smoothies and fell asleep! They had reclining loungers and it was warm and cosy and there was ambient chill music playing and basically no one could resist a nap under those conditions! We weren't the only ones snoozing either - it seemed to be quite normal to completely zone out. After all - a spa day is such hard work! Hehe.
But then the end of the day came and we were sad to leave. We got dressed and admired the building and ambiance for a while and as we left we were sure that we would definitely return!
This probably has to be one of my favorite hotels I have stayed in ever.. and I have stayed in lots of hotels!!
As soon as you arrive at the hotel you get the wow factor. The fountains at the front of the hotel are very impressive and although the building is traditional the hotel feels very contemporary.
The reception area follows on from your initial impression and the staff are extremely helpful and friendly, which is rare in more exclusive hotels.
The room was just gorgeous, plenty of room, gorgeous bedding, really comfortable bed..... just perfect really. The bathroom was also faultless and stocked with a wide range of toiletries!
The hotel gardens and terrace area are beautiful. I stayed here in September and the weather was lovely so could sit outside and enjoy the views. The staff were very attentive and came round without being overbearing to take drinks or snacks orders. The drinks were not as pricey as expected. You are looking at £4 per drink but for a hotel of this quality you would expect to pay more
The hotel is pricey and you are looking at least £200 a night for a room but it is worth every penny! I like it that much I'm looking to get married here... How is that for a recommendation!!!!
I first stayed at Seaham Hall in County Durham in 2001. We were living in Northumberland and the hotel had recently opened having been converted from a stately home built way back in 1791. Its claim to fame that Lord Byron married Annabella Millbanke there in 1815. Hubby and I were there to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The suite no 15 (they are all suites) had a bath surrounded by candles and Molten Brown toiletries in the actual bedroom. We also had a separate shower room. The bed was huge and extremely comfortable and we were given a "pillow menu" to choose from. With crisp white linen, I remember feeling like I was sleeping on a huge cloud. The following year the second phase of the hotel, the Serenity Spa opened. As a birthday treat, I spent a pamper day with my sister. A whole day of massages, facials and reflexology as well as using the pool, sauna and steam room. I remember thinking that the icing on the cake would have been a night's stay at the hotel. As I drove home completely chilled out, I thought of that wonderful fluffy bed and the bath big enough to take a rugby team.
For my birthday this year (13th March) my husband booked us both into the hotel for 2 nights along with a special pamper day "Time to Share" designed for couples or close friends. We now live in Manchester and one night would not be enough. We arrived at the hotel at 2pm, an hour before the actual check in time and were shown immediately to our suite. The hotel doesn't have a reception; guests are "received" in their rooms. The porter carried our bags and once inside gave us a guided tour; a demonstration of how to use the lighting system, temperature and air conditioning controls and delighted in showing us how the Bang and Olufsen TV worked. After what seemed like a very detailed talk on the domestics of the hotel, he ordered complimentary tea, which came accompanied by warm hot cross buns. As I explored the room, I realised that a few changes had been made since our last stay. The Molten Brown toiletries had been replaced by a vast range by Aromatherapy Associates, the pillow menu seemed to have been discontinued and there was no hospitality tray. However one would be brought to our room should we request it and tea and coffee could be ordered free of charge whenever we wanted. This had a plus side because we were brought fresh milk and not that awful UHT stuff often found in hotel rooms. We had chosen a different suite (no10) which was a corner room and had two windows, one with views onto the woods and the other to the sea.
Seaham Hall is on the coast and after our refreshments we decided to take a bracing walk on the beach. Seaham itself is not the prettiest of towns but the beach is natural and pleasant enough. Returning to the hotel we had a walk around its lovely grounds and admired the spring flowers. We took photographs of the hotel with the William Pye water sculpture in front of this cliff top house bringing this ancient place into the 21st century and reminding us of the delights within.
Time to use the pool and warm up in the steam room and sauna. From the rooms, a magical underground tunnel in which a teak and glass boardwalk is suspended over running water links the spa. The hotel porter has advised us to wear the bathrobes and slippers when going to the spa so we donned our swim wear and went to check it out. After half an hour in the pool, I realised that we had been misinformed. We were the only people in our robes and slippers; the spa's reception offer cotton gowns and flip-flops much more practical than our sopping slippers and wet robes. We changed them immediately. We did the rounds from the 20 metre ozone cleansed pool, sanarium with crystal light therapy and the black granite steam room with amethyst crystal to the snail showers and Jacuzzi and the hydrotherapy bath but my favourite was the outdoor hot tubs. As we opened the doors from the lovely warm pool area to brace the elements of the north-east wind on this very sunny but icy cold day, the tubs were just heaven. Surrounded by daffodils and very pleasant gardens I felt myself nodding off. With all this hard work, time to return to our room for an hour's nap before getting ready for dinner.
The hotel has two restaurants, the Ozone, which is situated in the spa building and serves Pan Asian and a large selection of vegetarian food and is very informal. The White Room is more formal and has 3 menus priced at £50, £55 and £60 for 3 courses which doesn't include coffee. As our spa package included lunch at the Ozone, we decided to dine both nights in the White room. Since our last stay, the White Room has been awarded a Michelin star and this perhaps is reflected in a price increase. After ordering pre dinner drinks in the bar area, we were brought a selection of delicious canapés. We ordered a bottle of Muscadet, which at £20 was one of the cheapest on the list and although there were some very expensive wines, in general I found the prices reasonable and similar to those in my local restaurants. We both chose scallops for starters which were succulent and very tasty. A complimentary and very refreshing shot glass of gazpacho followed this course. I had a wonderful chicken dish, three pieces of chicken cooked in three different ways whilst hubby enjoyed the sea bass. Before the pudding course, we were given another complimentary dish (a pre dessert course) of ice cream and sorbet. A dark rich chocolate torte served with edible gold for me and a cheese board to die for with over thirty to choose from for hubby.
Back in our room which had undergone a turn down service. This included replacing all the wonderful toiletries, which were now safely packed in my suitcase. I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and I didn't wake up until room service called with our early morning tea at 8am. Breakfast can be served in room or in the restaurant. Again something the porter failed to tell it and us wasn't in the hotel blurb either. Having completed our slip the night before, breakfast arrived punctually at 9.15am. The waiters armed with tablecloth and fine silver cutlery laid our table, which overlooked the woods. Time to tuck in to our healthy choice of home made vanilla yoghurt with fresh fruit followed by poached eggs on toast.
We were booked to start our spa treatment for 11am. An hour before we received a call to say that the mud machine required for our Rasul treatment wasn't working and we were offered the Dry Floatation as an alternative. This was a big disappointment as we had both been looking forward to having a lot of messy fun. The floatation treatment is quite something, wrapped in sheeting and placed on a bed which gradually sinks and the floatation sensation starts. Once again totally relaxed, the therapist conducted an Indian Head Massage. The whole thing lasts about half an hour and is apparently equivalent to having eight hours sleep. As part two and three of our treatment programme wasn't until the afternoon, we returned to the pool area, the sauna and the hot tubs. A three-course lunch is included in a day treatment package. A lot of char gilled fish, meat, chicken and tofu as well as Thai curries and tropical fruits. The choice of one drink from a selection of smoothies wines and juices. We both chose a delightful vitamin c smoothie.
The Aroma Stone Back Therapy is wonderful. I had it on my last visit and it was the highlight of my day. Hot oily stones work wonders over tense limbs like nothing else. Then the Special Facial that takes an hour and is so relaxing that I fell asleep and only woke up when I embarrassingly started to snore. Apparently this is a big compliment to the therapist!
Another wonderful evening meal and unbroken night's sleep, woken with a pot of tea followed by breakfast in the restaurant and my birthday break was over.
Seaham Hall and Spa is a juxtaposition of the old and the new. Together they create a true destination getaway for discerning travellers looking for style alongside a subtle indulgence. Rooms start from £250 and include breakfast and use of the facilities in the pool area and gym. Spa sessions range from facials and reflexology to full day treatments. Our programme cost £170 per person including lunch. There are programmes for men only, pregnant women and couples. The food is excellent in both restaurants and I cannot fault the accommodation.
As well as its Michelin star, Seaham Hall has won lots of awards including best spa hotel by the Guardian newspaper and Conde Naste Travel and best spa by the Sunday times.
All 19 suites are non-smoking, smoking only being allowed on the terraces.
Seaham Hall is only a 15-minute drive from the historic city of Durham and 20 minutes from the bustling city of Newcastle. With the beautiful county of Northumberland on its doorstep, this is a delightful place to stay for a special occasion.
This luxury hotel situated above the rugged North Sea coast offers a calm and relaxing atmosphere.