THE HOTEL REVIEW
Careys Manor is home to one of the UK’s best loved and well-know spas – SenSpa. Reputed to be the best spa in the New Forest, its one of the best in the UK. Built around an historical property in the village of Brockenhurst in New Forest, Careys Manor has a number of specially built accommodation wings with good sized rooms that look out across the manicured gardens. Well appointed, with very comfy big beds, it’s a great base for walking in the forest or taking a weekend away for rest and relaxation. Cosy lounges and wood fires set the scene and the staff are welcoming and friendly.
There are a number of places to eat at Carey’s Manor, I dined at the Zen Garden restaurant which is Thai through and through. Whilst it might seem a bit incongruous in the heart of the English countryside, when it’s paired with the Thai spa, it all works. Serving healthy breakfast and heartier options, plus lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, this is where guests on spa packages dine and it’s mighty fine too.
Carey’s Manor is not an uber-trendy country house hotel and it’s prices reflect this. It has a big heart, you instantly feel at home and fans return year after year.
THE BEST SPA IN THE NEW FOREST
SenSpa at Careys Manor is a multi award-winning spa that takes its Thai theme very seriously. Flowing through the treatment menu, the Thai and Asian inspired treatments fit well with the decor and style. Lots of bamboo, teak wood, a few Buddhas and gold motifs and prints transport you in an instant to the Far East. There’s an Asian garden outside the spa area and the theme is reinforced with a subtle soundtrack.
I wasn’t sure how this would fit, nestled in the heart of the New Forest, but it does. There’s an air of authenticity here, helped by the music, little welcome gestures like SenSpa tea and scented towels on arrival and the large contingent of Thai therapists.
SenSpa has a huge range of facilities, large pool with sauna, steam and jacuzzi. For day spa guests (and hotel guests who upgrade their spa stay) there is a massive hydro suite to enjoy. It features a large pool with a multitude of water jets, herbal sauna, crystal steam room, experience showers, cool room with ice buckets. Then another level up, laconicum and tepidarium. The relaxation room is one of the largest I’ve ever seen and off this is a quiet room. The fitness suite is well equipped and Thai temple studio is flooded with daylight.
There are enough experiences to enjoy a full day here and they are well maintained and varied.
THE SPA TREATMENT: SenSpa Lava Shell Massage
This is a totally relaxing massage using the unique self heating Lava Shells. Never heard of Lava Shells? Well, it’s s bit like a hot stone massage, the little shells are filled with self heating liquid which provides a deep heat massage treatment. The therapist in this instance combined hands and shells for a deep massage that focused on releasing tension in the back, neck and hip area. A little massage oil is used, but it’s not overly oily and in all a great way to smooth aches and pains.
The best bits at SenSpa Careys Manor
Warming my muscles in the herbal sauna
Experiencing my very first Lava Shells treatment
Resting in the gentle warmth of the laconicum
Taking tea on arrival
Imagining I had been transported to the Far East
ROOM TO IMPROVE
Swap the current in room amenities to mini SenSpa products
Corridors could do with a refurb to bring them in line with room decoration
Add some green juice options to the spa restaurant menu
Sen Spa Lava Shell Massage – 60 mins – £85
Double bed and breakfast from £159 for one night.