Champneys: the post mortem


Well, it seemed that everyone was talking about Champneys last night, as ITV presented an “insiders view” of the operations, the staff and the £10 million renovations. Naturally, it would involve conflict, a few gregarious characters and some unhappy customers. It wouldn’t have made good TV otherwise.

Charting daily life at the spa in Tring, I can only guess that the idea was to show how the brand is dragging itself out of the last century and presenting a more upmarket approach. And rightly so. Competition in the spa market is fierce and people expect great service, top quality spa facilities and good accomodation.


At times I found the programme cringe worthy. The moaning and groaning woman having the massage – was in poor taste and didn’t work. The addition of a comical musical score underpinned a narrative that was really taking the mickey.

There was chaos – yes

There were women in robes – yes

There was drama – of course

Gearing up to celebrate its 90th birthday next year, Champneys is world renowned and a name synonymous with spa. I know many spa insiders and industry experts who think this was an ill advised move. I wonder how the team feel about it this morning? Social media is merely one way to gauge reaction – and it was bad.

Sadly, the renovated spa only managed to secure five minutes of air time. But a good story wouldn’t make for interesting viewing.

I have been invited to check out Champneys and will take them up on the offer. I think it’s time to see for myself.


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