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“A home from home”
Review of Eastthorpe Hall

Eastthorpe Hall
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Mirfield
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed April 10, 2012

Having only recently visited Eastthorpe Hall, I am staggered to have read the commentary written by the "Perfectionists" regarding their "pleasant" stay. I have never written a review on Tripadvisor before, but felt compelled to describe my own visit as soon as I read this review. I could attempt to rebut each point in detail, however I think the key message I would like to convey to potential "first timers" is the ethos of Eastthorpe, as I understand it.

Eastthorpe is a "home from home" and does not strive to provide a clinical environment in which you feel analysed or judged. Nor is it a hotel and does not publicise itself as such. I believe it was once a family home and that essence of family could be felt at all times during my visit, centered around warmth and kindness, rather than a structured regime. I would return time and time again, if only it were closer.

My massage was fantastic, not intrusive at all and the pressure was just right. In the past, if I have ever felt sore or tender, then I have mentioned this to the therapist and asked them to change their technique. If I am paying for a service then I want to enjoy the experience at the time, rather than comment on it after the event when it is too late to remedy my discomfort!

I have to say that, in my opinion, time could be better spent by gaining a greater insight into the ethos of Eastthorpe by speaking to the staff and family owners regarding any concerns rather than striving for perfection, when perfection is subjective and can sometimes mask underlying insecurity. For me, perfection means being at one with myself, something Eastthorpe no doubt strives to achieve for each of its visitors. I am sure it is how each visitor chooses to interpret this approach which will determine if Eastthorpe is for you.

4  Thank ForeverYoung14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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128 - 132 of 151 reviews

Reviewed April 7, 2012

This is an amazing place!!! I am very difficult to please and as a customer service trainer the pickiest person alive! I simply can't fault this place from the treatments to the food to the environment!

Yes the price tag seems hight but quite frankly a day at Eastthorpe gives the same relaxation as 2 weeks in the sun, so quite cheap in comparison.

I am a strict veggie and been with friends who have an array of dietry requirements and nonthing is too much trouble for the team.

I have read a previous review but think these people have either been somewhere else and got confused or have a hidden agenda!

My message is simple: SAVE UP AND VISIT, YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!!!!!!!

3  Thank Chargee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2012

Yes, I certainly had high expectations for my visit to this spa, hoping to walk away at the end of the day using words like fantastic, awesome & must book again. Indeed, there are many such reviews on this very site which had increased my expectations and my anticipation. Unfortunately, the best word I can muster up is 'pleasant' and that can only mean it was a disappointment. So, I am going to be as constructive and honest as I possibly can..... I know many people may disagree with my comments as from the things I have read, many clients go back time and time again but I am a perfectionist and there are many simple things that would need to be improved before I would be tempted to part with my hard earned cash.


The Booking Process
As a first timer at this spa, I had no problems with the booking process. Everything appeared to be proffessional and well organised and I had confirmation by e-mail. Looking back however, I did have to ask quite a lot of questions that were either not clear on the website or in the welcome letter. It would be much better if there was a more detailed plan especially for first timers to understand the routine and what to expect. For example, an explanation of what the term 'breakfast' means - I'll explain more about this later. Other things, like it tells you to bring slippers or flip flops but it should actually say to bring both as slippers are not really ideal for walking by the pool and putting wet feet into so you have to walk round all day in soggy slippers. Little tips and advice that would mean so much.

Arrival
Upon arrival, we were greeted and taken into a small lounge and asked to complete a short medical questionnaire. It was not as detailed as others that I have been asked to complete in the past and despite detailing medical conditions that were listed, I was never asked or challenged about these which made me feel as if they were not taken seriously. There is a small changing area which did not feel large enough for the number of people and the lockers were very shabby and falling apart. This leads off to a couple of shower rooms both with a single toilet, and 2 showers, clean enough but again a little shabby such as an unfixed toilet seat etc.

We were talked through our schedule for the day and quite soon realised that we would not be getting breakfast any time soon! We were advised that this was a mid morning break and was up to 11am. As first timers, how could we of known this? I can not see anything on the website or in the brochure. I just had a letter saying we had booked a package including breakfast which I had taken literally (the english dictionary defines this as the first meal of the day) and as I had been up from before 7am and purposely not eaten so I could enjoy my breakfast at the spa, mention of an 11am food break did not go down well. In the end, our schedule was changed so that we could have breakfast much earlier but as someone who has studied body language in the past, it was apparent that this had been a reluctant change as we had dared to change their military operation.

Breakfast
Food breaks are taken in a conservatory area - reasonably civilised and with an outlook onto the garden area. We were asked to help ourselves to a drink which consisted of a table area with a selection of tea bags, sachets of instant coffee and a tray full of 'ikea' style white mugs. I'm on a very expensive relaxing spa day and I have to make my own coffee and then it's instant? Bring me some freshly ground coffee and bring it to my table please! Again, I was expecting a couple of food options but this is a 'one size fits all' approach so a solitary croissant is served for you to add butter, marmalade or jam. I must confess, it was a very nice croissant and it had been warmed and was obviously very fresh but a bit more choice and an increased portion would be desireable. I was not expecting a full english but perhaps a few bread rolls, fresh fruit salad, yoghurt etc. If you are going to market this as breakfast, make it breakfast. If it is just a mid morning snack, make that clear so we can eat before we arrive!

The Building
The building is an old house, very querky and interesting. It does feel as if you are intruding in someones own home at times so keep this in mind. If you prefer a more 'clinical' type of spa, this would not be for you. There are a couple of lounges with comfy sofas and a fire but at times we wandered about trying to find somewhere private to sit and chill out but everwhere had been taken. Outside, the garden is lovely and South facing I think with trees, pond etc but you never quite escape from the sound of trucks & cars passing on the busy main road just a few metres away. I also found the building to be far too hot. All the radiators were on full blast and it was difficult to breath at times.

Steam, Sauna & Pool
Our first treatment consisted of 10 minutes in an individual steam cabinet followed by 10 minutes in the sauna. The girl that took us through this process came back after each 10 minutes and ushered us on to the next activity - nice enough but I would of liked someone to explain the benefits of the steam cabinet etc. The other thing that made my stomach churn a little was that when we came out of the steam cabinet, we were obviously dripping with sweat but were seated in the sauna where towels were on the seats and I never saw anyone change them so we were all sitting on each others sweat. Also, when we came out of the sauna, we were ushered into the near by swimming pool and told we now had some free time to swim and go in the jacuzzi. As I went into this area, I asked if there was a poolside shower and was told, no, it's fine, just get straight in. I challenged this and said, surely for hygiene reasons, everyone has to shower before going in a swimming pool? I was told no, it;s fine. I have never known this before and I was disgusted by it, especially as everyone was sweating.

I was also concerned that the pool water was very still, I went up to all the filters and could not find a single one that was working. I could see hairs and other unidentified particles floating on the water. I had indicated on the form that I had high blood pressure but at no stage was I advised to avoid the sauna, jacuzzi etc or indeed see any signs warning me. It only seemed as if we had been in the pool for 15 mins when we were asked to leave and change ready for our next treatment. At this stage, it felt like a military operation and as if we were been rushed but the loungers at the poolside were hard white plastic so it was impossible to relax anyway. So, we quickly collected our bags and were pointed to the shower area but the girl had gone as quickly as she had appeared and we were left only with our towels from the pool which were soggy. A small touch perhaps but if you send someone to have a shower, check they have a dry towel. We had been told to change into our underwear and dressing gowns for our treatment so we quickly showered and changed only to be told we had another hour free time before the treatment. So, why did you not leave us in the pool for a bit longer or tell us we had over an hour so we could have taken our time in the shower? Probably because you wanted the next lot to come along the conveyor belt and we were in the way?

By this stage, the heat was unbearable. We went from room to room and every door we tried was locked, there appeared to be no way to escape to the garden or get any fresh air. I found a young girl in the kitchen area and asked how I could get out - she gladly obliged but had to go back into the kitchen to get a key to open the door of the conservatory onto the garden. My first breath of oxygen was incredibly lovely but then this thought turned to terror as I imagined what the process might be in the event of a fire. We had never been advised of any health & safety rules or fire escape plans. What if there was a fire and I could not find the key!!

Massage
So, after what seemed an eternity of doing nothing, it was time for the massage. Believe it or not, I am quite a shy person and I did explain I had only ever had 1 massage before. The experience was very painful and I laid there, tense in pain, wondering if it was meant to hurt this much. Also, I was very shocked that as I laid on my stomach with only my pants on, they were pulled down completely to reveal both buttocks. Again, this did not happen the last time and I had no idea if it was right or wrong but was too afraid to say anything. I'm sure there are lots of people who like to have their buttocks massaged but I'm not one of them and even if I was, it would of been nice if I had been asked if this was acceptable as it is a very personal thing. What concerns me greatly however is that my sister had exactly the same massage with a different therapist and when I asked if the same thing happened to her, it did not ?? The other thing I would point out is that, if you are in the therapy rooms on the side nearest the main road, all you can hear is traffic noise - not that relaxing!

Lunch
It was lunch time shortly after the massage but there was no opportunity to shower again so we were a little oily as we walked back into the conservatory and asked by the chef to line up and gather round. He appeared to be a lovely guy and was obviously very passionate about food as he explained what each of the dishes contained and then allowed us to grab a plate and help ourselves. The food I was able to eat was limited but what I did have was nice. I could not help thinking though that there was a strict budget and limited portions. There were things like salad, salmon, quiche, potato wedges but it looked as if there was only enough for one thing each. Again, it was self service on the drinks and the lack of chilled water was difficult as it was so hot. There was water available but it was tap water and not very cold. There were no alternatives unless you paid extra for wine. After lunch we had more endless free time........................

Parrafin hand wax
This consisted of dipping our hands in hot wax for a few seconds, covering them in tissue and mittens and then leaving us for 15 minutes before peeling it off - again, no explanation of what it was, what it was doing for our hands etc.

Tea
Tea felt like it was only 15 minutes after lunch but I am sure it was probably longer. We were ushered through to find a plate of about a dozen homemade cupcakes. They were beautiful I must admit but the note propped up behind the plate warning us that there was only enough for one each and we could not take more than one, was in bad taste and another indication that this was an establishment on a strict budget. After eating our bun we were told we had another hour free time - this was incredible, surely there were not this many hours in the day. Luckily, it was quite warm outside - if I had to sit inside in the dark and stuffy atmosphere, I would of lost the will to live.

Facial
4pm finally came and we were taken for facials. This was fine, nothing special. I could not believe though how dark the room was. How can a therapist see the condition of your skin and assess treatment in the dark? Also, no headbands ever used so my hair was covered in oil, just in time for me to go home. At the end of the facial, it was time to pay and leave for us and several other people so you could not easily get access to the showers and had to just get changed and leave feeling very oily, greasy and grubby.

Opening & closing ceremony
I am not sure what the point of these are - no-one ever explained them. The opening one consisted of a stranger suddenly stroking my legs about 5 times and then each arm. The closing ceremony appeared to be very similar.

Summary
So, in summary, the day was 'pleasant'. We had a few laughs and time to relax but the experience could have so easily been made better with a few minor changes. The day consisted of times where everything felt rushed to then suddenly having lots of free time. If I was in charge for a day, I would:

1. Develop a detailed welcome pack for first timers. Ask regulars for hints and tips to be included.
2. Show first timers around the building and explain where things are including fire exits, spare fresh towels etc. Talk through medical questionnaires and advise them of things to avoid.
3. Provide a larger and more varied breakfast and serve before 9.30am.
4. Establish a drinks menu including fresh coffee, fruit juices, teas and serve guests at their tables.
5. Buy some decent cups or mugs.
6. Agree the running order of the day and treatments with each client the week before to ensure it fits with what they need or expect.
7. Provide hair bands during treatments.
8. Explain the health benefits of each treatment.
9. Fit a shower by the poolside.
10. Take the sweaty towels out of the sauna.
11. Move all the therapy rooms to the side of the building furthest away from the road.
12. Dump all the plastic chairs and sun loungers outside and by the pool and replace with padded ones.
13. Buy new dressing gowns including various thickness and sizes (preferably white and not brown)
14. Open all the doors and let people know how they can get out to the garden.
15. Bring in new lockers.
16. Put in more shower rooms and more toilets.
17. Have shampoo & conditioner & other toiletries available.
18. Create a lunch menu with options for people to select and serve at table.
19. Scrap the opening & closing ceremony - they add no value.
20. Turn the heating down.
21. Switch the lights up a touch.
22. Spread out all treatments & activities throughout the day to avoid periods of boredom followed by hectic rushing.
23. Set a rule for therapists to 'ask' before intimate body areas are touched.

I am sure I could think of many more but perhaps not all that I could manage in a single day!

16  Thank perfectionists
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2012

Quite frankly one of the most amazing spa's I've ever been to.... and I been to quite a few... pricy but worth it!

3  Thank Carly H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 29, 2012

I would recommend this spa to anyone and everyone. I enjoyed my half day so much. Thank you to all the staff

2  Thank HannahVarley1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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