Jacuzzis and saunas now open at Suffolk spas

PUBLISHED: 19:00 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 24 October 2020

Earlier this month, spas were allowed to reopen thermal facilities such as spas and saunas Picture: Getty Images

Earlier this month, spas were allowed to reopen thermal facilities such as spas and saunas Picture: Getty Images


Six local retreats reveal how they’re staying Covid-safe and which facilities guests are now allowed to use.

The sauna at Weavers' House Spa Picture: Weavers' House SpaThe sauna at Weavers' House Spa Picture: Weavers' House Spa

Following six months of enforced closure due to Covid, spas across England were given the greenlight to reopen their saunas and steam rooms on Thursday October 1.

Originally due to reopen on Saturday August 15, the announcement came as welcome news to those across the spa sector, with many now able to offer their full range of treatments and services again.

In order for spas to operate in a Covid-secure way, a number of rules and guidelines have been laid out by the UK Spa Association, ensuring the safety of both visitors and staff. These include two-metre social distancing throughout spa facilities, staggered slots for guests, regular cleaning throughout the day and increasing air flow where possible.

Here’s six spas that have reopened their thermal facilities, and are ready to welcome back customers.

Inside Kesgrave Hall's sauna, which features a forest view Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDInside Kesgrave Hall's sauna, which features a forest view Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

The Spa at Kesgrave Hall, Kesgrave

The latest addition to the Suffolk spa scene, The Spa at Kesgrave Hall had its grand unveiling earlier this spring, and has now opened its sauna facilities for all to use. The Milsom-owned spa, which has been designed around a series of double treatment rooms, can now offer visitors the full pampering experience - something the spa’s team is very pleased about.

“It feels more complete now,” said senior therapist Carmen Pooley. “The jacuzzi was already open, but only having one of our facilities available just wasn’t the same. As we were a brand-new spa that opened during lockdown, we never knew what it was like to have our sauna before.” Unlike most saunas, the one at Kesgrave Hall faces floor-to-ceiling windows, giving you unobstructed forest views for a totally peaceful experience.

“In terms of social distancing across the spa, people will have to keep apart if they’re not from the same household, and this applies in the sauna as well,” Carmen added. Additional safety measures in place at Kesgrave Hall include regular cleaning of all touch points and areas and PPE for staff during treatments.

The sauna at Weavers' House Spa Picture: Weavers' House SpaThe sauna at Weavers' House Spa Picture: Weavers' House Spa

Weavers’ House Spa, Lavenham

Located within The Swan at Lavenham is Weavers’ House Spa, a tranquil escape tucked deep within Constable Country. All of its spa facilities are now reopen, including its steam room, sauna and outdoor vitality pool. “We are happy to be fully functional again, as are our clients. We are currently working from a Re-Invention menu of spa favourites that are mostly 90 minutes or more in length - this allows for longer relaxation and a safer space with reduced people in the spa,” explained spa director Alex Hurt.

A number of changes have been implemented across the spa, including Covid pre-screening prior to appointments, staggered bookings, a limit of six people or less in the spa’s communal areas and a maximum of two people at a time in the changing rooms. Customers will also be asked to arrive 30 minutes before their appointment, and shower before all treatments.

“There is a new way of spa-ing with us, and we feel making treatments a little longer and staggering our booking times has worked very well. Lockdown allowed us to look at the way we work differently and make some really positive, yet subtle changes. Our clients have said they feel very safe - the spa is extremely clean and hygienic.”

Ufford Park's Thermal Suite is now reopen Picture: Paul NixonUfford Park's Thermal Suite is now reopen Picture: Paul Nixon

Ufford Park, Woodbridge

Ufford Park’s spa has just reopened its Thermal Suite and leisure complex, and the team cannot wait to welcome back its loyal clientele. Marketing manager Debbie Ratcliffe said: “We decided to wait a few weeks following the government announcement before reopening, to make sure we had everything in place. We wanted to ensure staff were fully trained and confident in order to keep our customers as safe as possible while with us. We also have our full treatment menu available now - the spa now feels complete.”

In terms of Covid-secure measures, Ufford Park spa’s five saunas and steam rooms all have a maximum limit of two customers permitted at any time, and all therapists will be required to wear masks, visors and aprons during treatments. “Extra time is being allocated for cleaning between customers, and all touch points are cleaned every two hours. We’ve had many comments from customers saying how safe it feels, and how they appreciate all of the extra precautions we have introduced with the facilities.”

Inside the Hammam at Peake Spa Picture: Stoke by Nayland HotelInside the Hammam at Peake Spa Picture: Stoke by Nayland Hotel

Peake Spa, Stoke by Nayland

Stoke by Nayland Hotel has reopened its Peake Spa, with its pool, jacuzzi and concept showers now ready for visitors to enjoy. The spa’s sauna and steam room are due to open shortly on Sunday November 1, following a risk assessment carried out by the hotel.

“Only guests from the same household may use the facilities at one time,” explained spa manager Chanelle Bell. “Usage is timed, and visitors must wait for other users to exit before entering. The seating bench and touch points will be sanitised between uses.”

In addition to these measures, therapists carrying out treatments will be required to wear full PPE, and all guests will have their temperature checked in reception upon arrival.

The Spa at Bedford Lodge, Newmarket

Following its reopening on Wednesday August 19, Bedford Lodge’s award-winning spa has just reopened its steam rooms and sauna with immediate effect. Reducing its steam room and sauna capacity by up to 50%, guests will now be allocated an exclusive, staggered time slot to use the thermal facilities, in order to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Spa receptionist Cat Reeve said: “Since reopening the spa, we’ve always had our hydrotherapy pool and hot tub available, but our sauna and steam room opened just yesterday. At the moment, every group who books will have exclusive use of the facilities on a rotational basis. For example, one group will be in the hot tub, while another is having lunch and another is in the steam room. This will reduce the numbers of people crossing paths.”

Groups will consist of a maximum of six people, from two households at most. “When people come here now, they say they actually prefer it, as they find the new way of using our facilities more personal and exclusive,” added Cat. Additional treatments on offer at Bedford Lodge include massages, facials, Bowen therapy and hair removal. The spa is open to pre-booked guests only and regular cleaning and disinfecting will take place throughout the day.

Riverhills Health Club and Spa, Ipswich

Following government advice, Riverhills Spa in Ipswich reopened its steam rooms and sauna at the start of October, with new restrictions in place in terms of visitor capacity and cleaning regimes.

“We’ve got a maximum limit of three people in our sauna at any one time now, and as we have two steam rooms, we can have a maximum of five people in each of those,” explained Riverhills’ club manager Darren Grimes. “In terms of cleaning, we make sure to clean all of our surfaces, areas and touch points regularly, and the sauna and steam rooms are fog cleaned at the end of every day.”

A maximum of 12 bathers are permitted in the club’s pool at any one time, and a clockwise one-way system is in place around the pool. Other treatments available at the spa include manicures, pedicures and massages.

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