Wednesday 3 February 2021

Spa Day at Bannatyne Hastings During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Review of a half spa day at Bannatyne Hastings during December 2020 and the time of the coronavirus pandemic

I've been to the Bannatyne Spa in Hastings a few times now and always really enjoyed myself. It's not the most glossy or exclusive spa I've ever been to and realistically the cafe can be quite hit and miss, but seeing as I only ever go when I can book a good deal, either directly or through a site like Wowcher I'm generally happy.

Here are some of the deals I've bagged in the last couple of years via Wowcher:

  • £29.99 for day spa access and 25-minute treatment
  • £69 for day access for 2 people and 3 mini treatments each
  • £49 for day spa access and 3 treatments
  • £95 for day access for 2 people and 4 mini treatments each
Then the latest trip I took was for a half-day entry to the spa (9am - 1pm although they didn't seem to care what time I was there as the receptionist was trying to book me brunch for 1pm), 2 treatments (45 minutes) and brunch for £59.50 (booked directly and the offer is still available now), which was probably my most expensive trip but the brunch really made it a special treat.

I shared my thoughts on a day spa visit that my husband and I took in January 2019 and this is now an updated review on how a half-day spa went for me in December 2020 between the two lockdowns in the UK. This was my early Christmas present from my parents and I went alone. After doing lots of spa days with friends and my husband I actually think I enjoy the days I go alone the best, as I only have myself to suit and I do love to relax and read.

Bannatyne Hastings

The centre itself feels more like a gym/ sports centre than a traditional spa, so make sure you have the right expectations when you book for here. If you want the kind of experience you'd get at Champneys then I'd say don't bother. On the last two or three visits, the reception staff have seemed pretty new and not very clued up. I've even had a couple of rude ones and certainly, it appears, some like to chat with each other more than help you, but I take it with a pinch of salt as the actual spa and the treatments I've received on every occasion have been exceptional.

How is it different with covid-19 precautions?

  • You have your temperature taken as you enter the building
  • The normal spa bag with slippers, robes etc is unavailable to hire at the moment
  • You have to wear a face-covering all the time you are in the centre (with the exception of in the pool area)
  • You complete your spa health questionnaire online prior to your visit
  • Reduced spa appointments to keep the number of people in the spa down and to allow for greater sanitisation of the rooms between customers
  • You can't use the gym or take part in exercise classes currently
  • The swimming pool, spa pool, sauna and steam room are available subject to capacity and on a first-come, first-use basis
  • I was sent over to the hotel restaurant to have my brunch
  • In the changing room some lockers and showers etc are out of use to maintain social distancing. They also have reminder signage for distancing and directional arrows in the carpets!
  • Bannatyne have increased their cleaning regime and there are cleaning stations for you to use in the changing rooms and relaxation room too
  • The cafe tables and chairs are spaced for social distancing and purchases all now need to be by card. 
  • They ask you to bring your own water currently if you do not wish to buy it. This seems a real shame.

Review of a half spa day at Bannatyne Hastings during December 2020 and the time of the coronavirus pandemic

The Spa Area and Treatments

In the Hastings Bannatyne, you enter into the coffee lounge and then turn right for the pools, exercise areas and changing rooms and right for the spa area, so it is cut-off from the other facilities and it can feel as if you are 'on show' to other customers if you wander about or have a coffee in your robe. Within the spa area, there is a waiting area with spaced out seats currently, multiple treatment rooms and a relaxation room. 

The treatment time that you get quoted includes collection from the waiting area, undress time and any time to talk to the therapist prior to them starting the treatment, so what starts as a 55-minute treatment, will probably end up being 45 minutes hands-on time. I think it is useful to be aware of this or you may be disappointed as other spas quote their treatment time differently. 

This last time I went I had a full body scrub and an Elemis facial. I was asked to wash my hands with soap prior to undressing and then get comfortable under a blanket on the treatment bed. I had to wear my mask whilst I had the scrub but my therapist made sure I was comfortable and she was super friendly. 

I then had a facial and I was able to remove my mask for this. Every time I go I have an Elemis facial as it is my favourite way to relax and the products really suit my skin. My therapist was very good at finding out what products I use and what I wanted to get out of my facial. She wore a mask and visor during my treatments to keep us both safe. 

Review of a half spa day at Bannatyne Hastings during December 2020 and the time of the coronavirus pandemic

I really love the relaxation room with hot stone beds but there are only about seven beds in the room so normally it fills up fast, but during this Covid time, there was no more than three of us in the room at any one time which was very pleasant. Again you need to be wearing your mask whilst you relax in here. It appeared that the responsibility for sanitising your bed laid with you, as staff were not monitoring/ cleaning as people came and went. 

The Pool Area

There are signs with restrictions for the number of people in the spa pool, sauna and steam room at this time, which is reassuring. I did have a swim but it got close to an aqua aerobics class time and I have to say the pool filled up too much for my liking. If everyone had kept a distance it would have seemed fine but friends all got close and chatted, so I was glad not to be in there with them. 

I didn't use the outside hot tubs on this occasion, but there were signs to say only one person at a time currently. There were still outside chairs you could use but the normal lounging furniture by the pool had been removed. 

Brunch in the Restaurant

As the cafe is operating a reduced menu, they sent me over to the hotel restaurant for brunch. Apparently, I should have been advised of this in advance, I wasn't but I was quite happy as the hotel is much more luxurious than the health club. It would have been good if the person on reception knew about the protocol for me going over, if I had to book etc, but they were clueless. 

I opted for the full English breakfast and a pot of tea and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was able to choose from the full breakfast menu and could have opted for something like eggs Benedict or an omelette of my choice too. There was only a couple of other customers and I enjoyed the time there. The staff were very pleasant and attentive as well. 

Review of a half spa day at Bannatyne Hastings during December 2020 and the time of the coronavirus pandemic


Once the spa is open and covid rates are lower in our area I'll be booking for another spa day as I do really enjoy them and they are the way I treat myself.  I think the rate I paid of £59.50 is reasonable as the scrub is normally £42.50 (25 minutes) and the facial £35 (25 minutes) and that's more than I paid in total, so I feel as if I got the meal, pot of tea, relaxation time and use of the pool facilities thrown in for free. 

As I mentioned at the beginning as long as you go along to a Bannatynes Spa day or half-day knowing that it is not a pure luxury experience and more a chance to have great treatments for an excellent price with the use of the facilities thrown in then I'm sure you should be happy. 

Why not pin this post for later?

Review of a half spa day at Bannatyne Hastings during December 2020 and the time of the coronavirus pandemic

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