You can trust Coach We give honest reviews and recommendations based on in-depth knowledge and real-world experience. Find out more about how we review and recommend products.
Just an hour from central London is Brandshatch Place Hotel and Spa, a Georgian mansion built in 1806 and set in 36 acres of Kent countryside ideal for walking. The hotel has a health club facility spa and outdoor tennis courts and is surrounded by trees, making it easy to forget that Brands Hatch race circuit is just five minutes away.
After arrival we were shown the gym facilities. Treadmills, bikes, some weight machines and a small free-weights space add up to a pretty standard hotel gym – but along the corridor lies something that’s becoming more popular as people start to understand the latest trends in fat loss and muscle building. Brandshatch Place’s Functional Training Zone complete with kettlebells, TRX trainers, core bags and battle ropes among other things.
To be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about trying them – my training revolves around running – but I came prepared with a circuit of five high-intensity moves. My wife and I grabbed kettlebells and headed over to the TRX. Alternating between the two bits of kit, we did 30 seconds each of kettlebell swings, chest presses, sumo deadlifts, reverse flyes and Russian twists.
Round one was fairly easy concentrating on form ensuring we didn’t injure ourselves. After 90 seconds’ rest it was time for round two. Another rest, then round three, which was harder – we needed to really help each other along. The fourth and final round was by far the hardest and we could both really feel the burn. Luckily our massages were scheduled for just 15 minutes later, but this workout opened my eyes a little – there’s more to training than just treadmills.
The full treatment
The spa has seven treatment rooms, one of which is a couples room where we arrived for full-body massages – although a slightly different take for each of us. The therapist explained everything before starting and ensured that we were comfortable and warm before going to town on those aching muscles. The Stress-A-Way massage (£70) and Muscle Melt (£70) both went down well lasting 55 minutes.
The pool is available to both adults and children, although there are specific adults-only times, and there’s is also a small hydro pool, a sauna and steam room. After trying the hydro pool and steam room, we went for a short swim before checking into our room.
Rest and refuel
Our package included the Hotel set menu in the dining room – which has two AA rosettes – but for a small supplement we could upgrade to the a la carte. Both menus showcase the best of local produce and a take on modern British cuisine. The waitresses were friendly and polite but a little inexperienced. The service was a little slow at times for a restaurant of this standard, although this didn’t dampen the atmosphere. The food was of a good quality even if the portions were a little small, and we left satisfied after three courses and coffee.
We stay in an Executive room with traditional décor – which could have done with a little refreshing. However, it ticks the boxes of a four-star hotel: free wireless internet for catching up on emails and a small sofa and chairs. Most importantly the bed was comfortable and allowed a good night’s sleep after our day’s exertions.
The morning after
Brandhatch Place has a new spinning studio so we were keen to try it. The studio is set up for classes but any guest can just pop in and have a spin – workouts last from 30 minutes to an hour. Neither of us had ever done a spinning session and it was harder than we were expecting – we had a lot of fun pushing each other and really felt we’d made the most of this fantastic facility.
A quick swim and shower then we were back for breakfast. A choice of cold buffet followed by a cooked breakfast with a few specials of eggs benedict, kippers and pancakes. We opted for a protein-rich cooked breakfast with a pot of fresh coffee. Overall Brandshatch place is worth a visit for any fitness loving couple.
To make a booking go to www.handpickedhotels.co.uk
Gym membership is available at £65 per single or £116 for joint. Guest passes are available by calling 01474875015. People can take advantage of the special joining fee of £49/£69 that includes a whole host of benefits including free taster treatments, personal training sessions and an overnight stay at the hotel.