Sometimes you just really need to treat yourself, don’t you? And what better way to treat yourself than head to a Hilton Hotel for a posh spa weekend with a best friend? This is exactly what I did back in August with my good friend Katherine. Read on to hear more about the spa and what we got up to on our grown-up girly weekend!
I drove from Devon to Southampton and it took bloody ages in busy summer traffic! By the time I arrived (late!) at the Ageas Bowl Hilton Hotel and Spa I was hot, sweaty, stressed and very much in need of some relaxation! Lucky I found myself the right place for some proper R&R.
Katherine was waiting for me, having already checked into the spa and was enjoying a glass of Pimm’s on the sun terrace! I got myself checked in, completed the health form and we were ready to rock! Or should I say relax!
The Spa Facilities
The facilities at the spa were really good; large changing rooms with plenty of mirrors and hair dryers to check you still looked human after lounging around all day! After changing into our swimming gear and utilising our free flip-flops and bathrobes we explored what the spa had to offer. I headed first to the foot spa as I love all things feet treatment-related, whilst Katherine tried out some of the funky rain showers and even the ice cold one – she is mad!
We moved on to enjoy the pool which had some very relaxing jets in – we laughed hysterically though at how the jets blew up our swimsuits making it looked like we were balloons being blown up! The spa wasn’t very busy and so it felt really chilled and like we had the place to ourselves really. This made me feel much more comfortable as I’m not really someone that enjoys taking my clothes off and wandering around in swimwear!
After lounging around, enjoying the facilities and doing way too much gossiping, it was time for our afternoon tea in the before spa kitchen. This was included as part of our spa break package and it was totally scrumptious. The restaurant has a chilled vibe and guests using the spa can enjoy a light lunch or afternoon tea whilst being cosy and comfy in their bathrobes – ideal!
The afternoon was delicious and we were stuffed by the end of it. I’m not actually sure we were able to finish everything which is very unlike both myself and Katherine! There were little sandwich rolls, a variety of tasty little cakes and some lovely filling scones with jam and cream – perfect! The kitchen overlooks the golf course at the hotel and so there were some lovely views of the lush green course and we enjoyed spotting all the golfers – some of who were clearly more successful than others!
Next, we headed to the relaxation room to chill out in preparation for our spa treatments. This was a really chilled out room with super comfy chairs and relaxing music – I could have easily had a nap there! The spa deal included one spa treatment each and Katherine and I both opted for neck, shoulder and back massages which were super relaxing and just what I needed after a stressful few months at university. My massage therapist was really friendly and I had noted on my health form that I sometimes suffered from some anxiety and claustrophobia and she was really sweet in broaching this with me and checking the room, temperature and music were all OK for me. This helped put me at ease and I allowed myself to really (about 85%!) relax which is a rarity for me! I think I enjoyed my massage more than Katherine did which is a shame as I had hoped we would both feel the benefits of it afterwards.
We spent the reminder our time checking out the other spa facilities and doing yet more gossiping. We must have sat in the outdoor hot tub for a good hour just chatting and catching up which was great. We spent more time in the indoor infinity pool as well as trying out the heated relaxation room, saunas and steam rooms. I, of course, made sure I went back to the foot spa bit!
There were various different groups of people using the spa including mothers and daughters, small groups of friends and couples. I couldn’t help but think a spa day or break would be a lovely thing for Nathan and me to do together as I don’t think he has ever been to sap or had any professional treatments before! He, like me, isn’t one to take his clothes off and parade around either so he might take some persuading!
After enjoying our afternoon in the spa and re-dressing (it’s amazing how used to chilling in a swimsuit and robe you get) it was time for us to check into the hotel and see out room. We did this with ease and were pleased to find we had a lovely big room with twin beds. There was an en-suite bathroom with shower and all the usual amenities including complimentary tea and coffee and a huge TV. The room also had huge floor to ceiling windows and we were quite high up so I was glad there were net curtains to obscure the drop down to outside somewhat!
For dinner, we decided to check out the onsite restaurant owned by cricket legend Sir Ian Botham- BEEFY’S. BEEFY’s offers great British food and boasts awesome views over the cricket ground. There was actually a cricket match on the night we stayed so there were lots of people outside enjoying a local game – I personally don’t know much about cricket but this was the closest I had even got to a cricket ground so I found that pretty exciting! Despite there being a match on the restaurant wasn’t too busy and we were seated straight away. I loved the decoration and the huge chandeliers in the restaurant, it had a good vibe and people seemed to be having a good time. Katherine and I were both excited by the menus and ordered ourselves some cocktails and main courses. Unfortunately, that was when the excitement ended for us both with my drink arriving way later than Katherines and after our food arrived. After all the water and fun in the spa, I was super hungry and excited to dive into my huge chicken burger only to find that after a few bites the chicken breast was raw in the middle! We immediately sent it back and the waiter asked if I would like another one however I had been somewhat put off by the chicken and opted to have a replacement beef burger instead. This came very quickly and was cooked this time which was great but I had lost my appetite a little and then was fretting a tad about being poorly which ruined the meal for me really. I think Katherine enjoyed her dish however they didn’t seem to be much of it for the price and it felt a little overrated. We were equally unimpressed when the bill came with an already included 12% tip which we did refuse to pay given a slow service, the difference in timings with the drinks and the raw chicken burger! What a shame as I reckon the restaurant and food could be so much better here!
We made our way back to our room and chilled out watching some rubbish on the TV and chatted putting the world to rights. The beds were really comfy, the hotel quiet and we both slept well.
In the morning we headed down to BEEFY’s again where the included breakfast was served. It was buffet style and wow there was so much on offer! There were tables full of hot and cold food including all your full English breakfast items, fruit, cereals, pastries and more! There were plenty of juices on tap too and tea served to the table. It’s times like this when I am presented with all you can eat oodles of yummy food that I wish I was more of a ‘breakfast person’. I never feel I can eat much in the mornings and feel I don’t do justice to what is on offer. We enjoyed our breakfasts and I was glad to see everything was cooked fully!
We checked out and then it was time for Katherine and me to go our separate ways and head home! I really enjoyed our spa break at the Hilton Ageas Bowl in Southampton and would return for their spa facilities, afternoon tea, the nice hotel rooms and plentiful breakfast. The only downside was the experience at BEEFY’s but I guess maybe the restaurant was just having a bad night! The whole spa break cost us £150 which I think for a night in a posh hotel, spa treatment, use of the spa facilities and breakfast isn’t bad indeed! I look forward to the next spa break Katherine and I treat ourselves too!