When my husband pulled out of our trip to the Titanic Spa at the last minute owing to a work commitment I was torn. Should I try and rearrange for a time he could come? Or could I possibly *gasp* go alone?
As it turns out it was kind of a blessing in disguise; as much as I would have obviously loved him to come, it was surprisingly nice to truly embrace a little me-time, and I can’t think of a better place to have embarked on my first solo trip.
Titanic Spa is near Huddersfield, only a 40-minute drive from the centre of Leeds, and is one of the largest destination spas in the UK. They’re also highly eco-conscious, and even have their own natural water source underneath the building! After an ever so slightly stressful drive (I may have gotten a little lost), I stepped straight into a haven of tranquillity, dropping off my suitcase, getting my robe, slippers and itinerary from the lovely and welcoming staff in the glossy reception area before a tour of the spa.
There are all the standard features you’d expect from a spa – hot tub, pool, gym (if you’re that way inclined), but dig a little deeper and there’s so much more than that. The Heat and Ice Experience was far better than I could have imagined, with various aromatherapy rooms where you can let your troubles drift away on the clouds of scented steam. For dry heat, there are two different temperature saunas – perfect for warming up to the higher heat, or for those who aren’t a fan of really high temperatures. The magic really happens, though, when you get involved with the perhaps less tempting Ice part of the experience; alternate warming up with cooling off to truly get the most out of it, take a dip in the plunge pool if you’re feeling brave, or sit a while in the ice room for something a little gentler.
As you’d expect there are various relaxation spaces around the spa, and armed with my book I set off to figure out which was the most relaxing – an arduous way to spend a Wednesday morning, I know. The Relaxation Lounge is best for hard-core resting, i.e. taking a nap or just settling in among the beanbags and closing your eyes for a while. Poolside is good for perusing a magazine or two but was a little bit busy for my liking. My favourite spot to sit and read? Outside on the terrace! As soon as the rain stopped I headed out to enjoy some great Yorkshire sunshine and settle in to one of their obscenely comfy cushioned outdoor sofas. In fact, this was one of my favourite spots of the whole trip – I came back later for a pre-dinner drink. The setting is just so tranquil that even the outside spaces feel like a seamless continuation of the spa. It was also the perfect spot to settle in and truly enjoy being by myself, soaking in the restorative qualities of being in nature. It might feel counterintuitive, but I would truly recommend a solo spa trip here.
Lucky me, I was treated to an Elemis Face & Body Sensation in one of Titanic’s beautifully equipped treatment rooms. Combining hot stone massage with a mini-facial it’s a great option if, like me, you can never quite decide between body and face, and picking one over the other always feels like a compromise. Sophie, my therapist, was incredible – taking the time to really go over any muscle tension and my skin concerns to really make the treatment work for me. Hot stones are always good in my book, and the massage was great, but my favourite part of the treatment had to be the facial. It’s billed as anti-ageing on the website, but Sophie did a great job of tailoring it to my skin. It was also the first time I’d had a gel peel off mask during a facial, and it was fantastic – afterwards my skin was positively glowing.
To call my accommodation a ‘room’ is almost an insult. It was bigger than my first flat in Leeds, boasting two bedrooms upstairs, each with an ensuite (one a bath one a shower), and an extra loo downstairs just for good measure. There was a massive open plan kitchen living room with some of the biggest sofas I’ve ever seen, plus a separate laundry room off the kitchen (just in case you fancied bringing your ironing), and a balcony. It was genuinely tricky deciding whether to chill out in my room after check-in or head back down to the spa. Ideal for celebrations, with more than enough room (and champagne flutes) to go around.
There was absolutely no need for me to make use of the kitchen though, other than to eat my cereal in the morning and imagine I lived in this palatial apartment, as Titanic has its own bistro in the spa area. To begin with, I felt a little weird about the idea of eating in my robe (it’s customary to have lunch in your robe and slippers, but dress up for dinner), but it’s funny how quickly that attitude changes, and it actually felt incredibly luxurious to have my halloumi salad and champagne all snuggled up in spa gear. Dinner was equally delicious, tucking in to a crab salad to start, followed by a beautifully creamy chicken dish that still managed to feel virtuous, and diving in to one of the largest large glasses of wine I’ve ever seen. Lunch and dinner are included on one of Titanic’s overnight packages, so you just pay for any extras like sides or drinks – though these are very reasonably priced. Breakfast is in your apartment, with a selection of cereals and croissants plus fruit.
The take home message? Titanic spa is a fantastic location for a relaxing solo spa trip like mine, or indeed the romantic getaway I’d originally intended it to be. In fact, you could pretty much come for any type of getaway and Titanic would be versatile enough to enjoy in basically any scenario. The only downside? Having to leave this haven the next morning.