I was back with my Mum at The Athenaeum Club recently and a couple of things have changed since our first visit in 2010, so I wanted to do a little update…
I have to say that the facilities at the club have hardly changed, they are still of an excellent quality and obviously been regularly updated as they look great. I was also really happy that Jenna who gave me my AMAZING massage was still at the club and still just as fantastic as she was last time.
The price for a one day visit, which includes two treatments and access to all spa & gym facilities is still £125 (as it was in 2010) and it seems the way they have found to save money is to offer less in terms of refreshments.
Coffee and Toast is provided upon arrival, but the portions are smaller – there were no offers to refill our coffee cups this time around. Lunch is now two courses and definitely not as fancy as it was and an alcoholic drink is no longer included. Tea and Coffee are no longer included in the price either, which is a real shame as sipping on a coffee while we were sat by the pool in our robes was so lovely last time.
I appreciate of course that the price of things has risen over the last four years and I would be happy to pay for a cup of coffee, but that wasn’t an option either, the lovely little phone and menu at the pool that you could use to call in your order has gone as well.
For me it was those little touches that made the Athenaeum Club special, it’s the fact that you don’t have to lift a finger for the whole day that makes it so bloody relaxing. And I personally would rather pay £140 and have everything remain the same than keep the price at £125 and lose that incredible attention to detail.
That said the facilities, treatments and service are still fantastic and I’ll be back again in 2015 to test it again.
So, my poor Mum who has been through a tough time recently (fell down a flight of stone steps whilst on holiday) and I, really do like a spa. Last week we visited the exclusive Athenaeum Club in Rochford for a day of pampering…
We arrived at 9am and were made to feel very welcome. After a tour we were assigned our lockers. The changing rooms are large and very clean with lots of showers and jugs of drinking water around. Inside the locker was a robe, slippers, a towel and a little plastic bag to put your wet swimming costume in at the end of the day.
We put our gym kit on first as in my experience if you don’t visit the gym first thing, you will
thankfully unfortunately run out of time to do it again and won’t get your workout in. And then made our way to the restaurant for breakfast. Coffee and toast with lots of jam, marmalade and honey choices – wasn’t too heavy or indeed too light. Whilst having breakfast we were also asked to choose our lunch. Our three course lunch was included and we had to choose from:
Soup of the Day (Tomato)
Breaded Cod with mashed potato and peas
Chicken with sautéed potatoes and a spicy tomato salsa
Mum opted for the Prawn Cocktail, Chicken and Chocolate Mousse
I went for: Tomato Soup, Cod and Chocolate Mousse
After our toast and several cups of coffee we made our way to the gym (don’t judge). The gym is very large and has pretty much every piece of equipment you can imagine. We were the only two people there for the first 30 minutes which was great and after the cross trainer, treadmill, bike and then all the upper body weight machines. We were pretty much exhausted and thought we should go and do something a little less strenuous.
With only 30 minutes before our first treatment, we didn’t want to get our costumes wet, so we sat instead in the Sun Room, which is located next to the pool, and is a lovely place to just sit and relax. Again we were the only people in there, so we spent an uninterrupted 30 minutes of
reading chatting before making our way to the treatment rooms.
To reach the rooms, you go up a grand stone staircase and wait by a glass water fountain for your therapist. Our first treatment was an hour-long full body massage. OH MY GOOD GOD. My therapist Jenna should receive some kind of award for her services to the public.
She pummelled all the stress and knots out of me in the most gentle and relaxing way and left my skin silky smooth. I walked away from her with legs like jelly and just wanted to melt down into the floor.
We spent another 30 minutes in the Sun Room (again all on our own) before heading back to the restaurant for lunch. Your first drink is free with your lunch, I thought it would be rude not to order a proper drink, so I went for a G&T and Mum and glass of wine.
Our lunch was delicious (although there was a bone in my fish (grumble, grumble, grumble) and could quite frankly have eaten 76 portions of that chocolate mousse.
After more coffee and lots of chatting we finally made our way to the pool, sorry that should be the 25m amazingly beautiful pool that was completely empty! There were four other people sat in loungers around the pool everyone perfectly polite and smiling.
After swimming and a session in the jacuzzi we headed over to the sauna and steam room before an ice-cold shower and some more reading time in the Sun Room.
Then it was time for our next treatment: an hour-long facial. Jenna was my therapist once again and good grief she gives a good facial!
She stared by putting a deep cleansing warming mud pad on my back, which was activated by the heat of my skin and popped delightfully against my face like Rice Crispies. My face was then cleansed, masked, scrubbed, massaged, toned and moisturised and left feeling fabulous. Whilst everything was soaking in I also had a great scalp massage.
The rest of the day was spent drinking coffee and eating biscuits in the Sun Room.
All in all it was a fabulous day and I can’t recommend it highly enough!