Retreating To Grayshott Spa By Fiona Sanderson


Imagine two hard-working girls who never have time to take a moment to pamper themselves, never mind try to reduce their stress levels. Deciding enough was enough, my girlfriend and I took ourselves off for a couple of days to the award-winning Grayshott Spa Hotel in Surrey, less than an hour’s drive from London.

I’d always had the feeling that health spas such as these cater purely for celebrity types, and aren’t interested in meeting the wellbeing needs of us mere mortals. Not so at Grayshott, however!

On entering, you feel like you’re walking into Nirvana. Almost immediately, I was struck by how peaceful the place is and in turn, we allowed ourselves to submit to the peace. Despite the stresses of our day-to-day lives, it was very easy to forget about them and relax here. We were given a health check by a nurse on check-in before enjoying a range of treatments, including full body massage and a facial, which completely relaxed and de-stressed us.

We shared a magnificent room, with high ceilings, a stylish, comfortable bathroom and all the latest mod-cons – perfect for two girlfriends who wanted to stay and catch up over a couple of days. We were particularly impressed by the dinners – we were served utterly delicious, fresh food, such as beetroot gravadlax and pan-fried sea bass.

Grayshott's Manor House Suite

The highlight of our stay was cranial osteopathy, a form of osteopathic treatment that encourages the release of stresses and tensions in the body through the gentle assertion of pressure on the head. Elaine Williams, Director of Natural Therapies, has fans from all over the world, and it’s not hard to see why. In her hands, I completely relaxed as she applied light pressure on the back of my skull. Despite the limited touches, it felt as though I was having an internal massage, stimulating all the parts of my body holistically.

I also had a Dietary Evaluation. Having suffered all my life from dietary problems, the suggestion of a non-Candida diet was the answer to my prayers. As 10% of a doctor’s working life is spent treating patients with digestive troubles, it’s good to know that someone is thinking outside the box when it comes to providing an answer that actually sticks. So I’m intrigued by Grayshott’s new health programme, simply called The Grayshott Programme. Targeting your core health through education about the digestive system and understanding your diet, the programme has been developed to give a flatter stomach, increased energy levels and more radiant skin and hair. The thinking is that if your digestive system is functioning properly, so will the rest of your body, but with marked improvements – your body will be detoxified and rejuvenated. In January, I shall be trying this strict seven-day programme, as I’m hoping it will restore my digestive system, making it function properly, whilst addressing other issues such as weight loss, blood pressure, joint pain, energy levels, backache, arthritis and diabetes, amongst many other health problems. Apparently, after several days on the programme, guests will invariably experience an increased sense of vitality and mental clarity. Watch this space!

Although we didn’t try all of the treatments available, there is a range of enticing options to indulge in, ranging from a Himalayan Mineral Salt Scrub to Hopi Ear Candling to Hot Stone Therapy. There’s even the delightful-sounding Blissful Slumber – a full body massage designed to help insomniacs and those with other sleep-related problems.

Grayshott's Pool

The sense of relaxation continued into the evenings, as we were free to enjoy films in Grayshott’s on-site cinema.

In essence, it is Grayshott’s attention to detail that sets it apart from its competitors. The prices are reasonable, given the care and service you receive. Whether you’re looking to completely de-stress, or simply just escape from life for a few days, Grayshott has a tailored treatment to suit every requirement. After nearly 50 years, they have perfected their approach to holistic therapy and nutrition, creating a truly unique environment. We left feeling healthy, revived and utterly relaxed, and can’t wait to return.

You can find out more about how The Grayshott Programme works by visiting or download the brochure at
To make a reservation, call +44 (0)1428 602020.