S a l t R o o m , S e a A i r , S e c l u s i o n
I n t r o d u c t i o n
Life House spa was recommended by a friend of a friend. Now like all good vibrations, I pass on the recommendation to you. I’ve made 4 trips over the past few years and its never failed to achieve its objective. A neat getaway from the city, healthy options & indulgences on the lingering on the cusp of bad for you, good customer service and at a respectable price. The experience is enough to provide you with the appropriate re-balancing before a trip back to the hustle & bustle of City life. In this review I’ll discuss how Life House works for my partner & I. Take what you will & decide for yourself if it’s for you. There are plenty alternatives, but there’s only one Life House.
H i s t o r y
Life House is an award winning spa hotel situated within 12 acres of lush English Heritage Listed gardens a stones throw away from the coastal town of Frinton-on-sea. Thorpe Hall, as it was once called, has hosted Rudyard Kipling & Winston Churchill among other esteemed guests. The hall was purchased by purchased by Lord and Lady Byng in 1913 and over a course of many years after recruited the help of gardeners & nurserymen to build the enchanting botanical gardens surrounding the spa. For the full history visit the main site.
A T y p i c a l S t a y
How you enjoy Life House may depend on the season. With the spa facilities being indoors you can use them at your convenience all year round. For me and anyone appreciative of nature, the best times are spring & autumn due to the differences in scenery. Blossom & technicolour in spring and red warmth with mild breeze in autumn. Like I said I go for the extremes in seasons but if that’s not for you then summer will give you lush green and winter will seem super cozy as your wrapped snug and outside is barren and cold. These images were taken during May with mild early summer mornings and sunning but cool afternoons. With such spectacular grounds a trip to Life House should be as much about the outdoors as indoors. You can’t stay cooped up in a steam room with all manner of fauna outside your room.
B o o k i n g
The spa has numerous packages to suite your needs and offer savings. So sign up to receive newsletters and wait for an offer that works for you. The spa offers rooms of varying prices. For a little extra I’d advise opting for a signature room, and one facing the sunken garden if available.
T r a v e l
I’ve always opted for driving. Coming from London its not too bad, plus I like driving in the countryside. Alternatively you can arrange to be collected from the nearest train station. Which is always pleasant.
Of course this entirely depends on your circumstance. However I might add that this spa is close to the coast. Not the most attractive beach and the water is ice cold, but it’s still the sea. There’s a hillside elevated above the beach with spread apart benches offering excellent views out to sea and fresh sea air. A short trip down to the seaside after a morning steam, jog, treatment & some lunch to take in the expansive infinite of the view coupled with the sound of the waves is better enjoyed via your own car, far more than a walk or bus ride. My partner & I tend to make this pilgrimage each time we visit Life House.
T i p s
1) Ask for a DVD player when you check in and enjoy a movie after dinner.
2) Take your own wellies if you can. The Spa do provide wellies, but they’re not cleaned and always contain
spiders & cobwebs due to being left near the reception front door.
3) Prep your camera or phone for space so you can snap away at the grounds, fauna, wildlife and food(if that’s
4) Take a walk in the spring or summer to see the sea of bluebells that bloom in secret within the woods
adjacent to the spa – see photos
5) Take old tatty trainers to jog in if you want go for a run around the fields. The slopes less exposed to the sun
May be boggy and possibly ruin your fresh looking trainers. Plus the fields have rabbit, geese and grouse
droppings (it’s the countryside!)
6) If you’re driving pack a couple of lightweight fold-able picnic chairs so you can setup shop by one of the few ponds around the grounds or by the little stream running from the sunken gardens. So you can enjoy a cigar, book, have a chat or simply do nothing and enjoy the surroundings.
Pretty self-explanatory. Just go with the flow and let anyone of the therapists quell your woes!
Be sure to sign up to the Life House newsletter and make use of the many deals Life House send subscribers. They offer seasonal promotions, couples deals, pregnancy packages for your expecting partner.
There's a shop below the treatment rooms offering a wide range of cosmetics. Be sure to put aside some cash so you can splurge. The treatment should be sustained after your visit if you can.
All the rooms are well furnished and pleasant. If you can, opt for a signature room facing the rear gardens on the ground floor so you can enjoy the table and chairs at any point of the day. Just be sure to keep your door closed so ducks don’t wander in and leave gifts in your room!
A great break from the city in a spa that's super breezy, hardly bourgeoisie and generally good value for money. Customer service is good generally, but persistence rules supreme. Some staff are just more switched on than others.
Hope you find this review helpful and enjoy your stay!