Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend a wonderful 24 hours at Carden Park in Cheshire with some of my friends Sarah, Rachel and Jess. Notionally we were going to be talking blogging and sharing tip and ideas. Whilst we did some of that, we also talked about everything else in the world and we were sure it was a better place when we left the hotel 24 hours later.
Last time I was at Carden Park I was with my husband and 3 year old twins and summarised that it was an incredibly family friendly hotel. It’s tricky for a hotel to get the balance right between family friendly and spa/golf resort but Carden Park have definitely done this. Having wanted some quiet child free time last weekend this is definitely what we got.
My review of our stay will focus on all the activities we did at Carden Park, but to read more about our stay including the food, the location and the style of hotel, you can head over to read Jess’s post on how Stylish Carden Park is; Sarah’s post on the Delicious Food and Rachel’s on Carden Park’s stunning location.
We had aimed to arrive at Carden Park at 10.30 on the Friday morning in time for drinks and a catch up before heading off to the Event Station to try some off road driving. We were traveling from different locations but we hadn’t anticipated the snow! Whilst North Wales, Wirral and Worcester had a little flurry, the snow in Burnley was feet deep and had closed the schools – we were going to be a man down! Sarah was stuck at the top of a hill!
We bravely soldiered on without her and made our way over to the Event Station.
Tip: If you are visiting with kids you can buy them a wrist band for £5 (currently a one off charge for your stay) for the Event Station and they can use lots of the activities in there as often as they like.
First on the agenda for us that day was the JEEP 4×4 off-roading experience! Not your usual Spa Day activity.
Jess and I both had a go at driving the Jeep (under the expert tutelage of 4 x 4 Events UK) and Rachel (perhaps more bravely) sat in the back whilst we both tried to drive round the course with the instructor! At one point Jess was reassured that she would be ok because the instructor had a magic pedal – I think he thought we were all a little crazy.
The JEEP we drove was loads of fun. The terrain (due to all the rain we’ve been having and actually had that day) was incredibly slippy and some of the inclines had mini lakes at the bottom of them. Here is a little video of both me and Jess having a go. We both loved it but there is quite a bit of laughing, not sure you would exactly call us pros. If you want to try your hand at driving the Jeeps at Carden Park there are all sorts of packages you can try your hand at.
Lunch in the Vines Bistro followed the off-road driving. We had been booked in for the Winter Reviver package which included a light lunch with a glass of Carden Old Gold sparkling wine; refreshments upon arrival and throughout the day; use of leisure facilities with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy pool and gym; and an hour long treatment. The Winter Reviver Package has now been replaced by the Spring Reviver Package but it is incredibly good value for money.
We took longer over lunch than we intended (for more on the food see Sarah’s post) but needless to say it was fabulous and we spent our time wisely talking about everything and anything. It was so lovely to not feel rushed and have no-one chasing us anywhere. The bistro has such a lovely atmosphere.
Our treatments were booked for 3pm so we checked in to our beautiful rooms (ate some cake!) and thankfully Sarah texted to say she had arrived just in time for her massage.
The Spa at Carden Park is well worth a trip even if you don’t stay over night (although I can highly recommend that you do). Recently renovated in a sumptuous dark purple, the spa is a warm and friendly place. We changed into very fluffy white robs and slippers and were taken to the relaxation room before our treatments started. Between us we tried the Skin Radiance Facial, the Aromatherapy Massage and the Bamboo Massage. Despite being terrified by the sight of the Bamboo Sticks when I went into the spa room. I was put instantly at ease by my therapist and the Bamboo Massage was one of the best massages I have ever had. The bamboo cane is held by the therapist and rolled over your muscle with the same strokes they would use with their hands. The muscle is then kneaded, which assists in the release of tension and easing of knots. It was blissful.
After the hour of pure bliss we met back up again in the relaxation room. If you are on a spa day there is also a room filled with sofas, chairs and changing rooms you can use to sip tea and gossip.
It was a little too busy to spend time in the pool after that (4pm on a Friday is clearly weekend check in time and it was really quite busy) but we knew we had time in the morning if we wanted to use all the facilities then, which I actually did. So whilst 4pm on a Friday may not be a good time to swim in the pool, 9am on a Saturday is amazing. From 9-10 on Saturday morning I basically had the place to myself. The 20m pool and surrounding area is a lovely welcoming place with a large jacuzzi, a very warm steam room and a sauna. Having spent a morning in a spa hotel the week before (lucky me) I know some are not quite as ideal. There is also some thermal beds which are a real treat to lie and relax on. I really did not want to leave.
In summary we had such a wonderful time at Carden Park and I can highly recommend it for some #metime and time away with friends. There are some fantastic offers on at the moment for Spa Treatments and I really do suggest you take a look.
NB: We stayed at Carden Park as their guests but all views and opinions are our own.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.