You know that so-relaxed feeling which means you could slither under the door instead of walking through it?
That feeling of happy contentment when all is well with the world and all your troubles have just floated away?
As I laid pool-side on the cushioned sun-lounger, the weak winter sun filtered through the grey clouds and the picture windows of the Spa to light up my face. With a cappuccino by my side and the prospect of an excellent lunch to come, all was indeed well with the world.
I had started the morning with a friendly welcome at the Spa reception desk where I was supplied with a big fluffy towel and shown the facilities. In the modern, well equipped changing rooms I was soon in my gym gear and entered the gym area.
Sweating bodies were soon joined by my own as I tried out the brand new, state of the art, Percor cardio-vascular machines.
Being more used to older machines at my local gym, they were a revelation with their touch-screen operating systems. After an hour, my friend and I showered and changed to take a plunge in the 13 metre pool and then enjoyed several sessions in the steam room, interspersed with cold showers. The bubbling spa bath then topped off the morning.
As I laid on the sun-lounger, that was when the feeling of contentment crept up on me and we dozed off.
A rumbling stomach reminded us it was time to eat and so, refreshed and fragrant from the rainfall gym shower, we presented ourselves at the AA rosette standard restaurant.
Loose leaf tea (don’t you just love the difference from tea-bags?) provided well earned liquid refreshment.
A light lunch was all that was required after our exertions. This came in the form of a light and delicate mushroom soup, accompanied by beautifully moist prawn sandwiches and garnishes.
The evening meals are beautifully presented too and make the most of local produce, with meat from Ilkley,whilst pastries and breads are from local French producer DuMouchel’s at nearby Garforth. We had a laugh with the friendly waiter, typical of the staff we encountered throughout this and on other visits.
So where is this nirvana, I hear you say?
Well, just off junction 46 of the M1 motorway at Colton on the outskirts of Leeds is my answer.
Thorpe Park Hotel is it’s name.
This four star, low-rise hotel is made from light coloured stone and has award winning gardens and sun-terrace. It is stylishly beautiful and contemporary inside with none of the anonymous feeling of some other chain hotels.
It has boutique style rooms with walk in showers and comes with all the stylish benefits one would expect, from fluffy bathrobes to free Wi-Fi throughout.
It has become a popular favourite with local people and caters for business travellers and conferences as well as functions, weddings and music nights.
It is part of the Shire Hotels group and is only six miles from Leeds City Centre, yet it has countryside walks almost from the doorstep.
All guests are invited to sample the facilities on offer at the Spa and gym, and that I can recommend highly.
Now, can I sneak back onto that sun-lounger?
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