MT Reviews: Lifehouse spa and hotel - Essex

Feeling stressed at the end of a long working week? The Lifehouse spa in Essex promises to give you the pampering you deserve. MT puts it through its paces.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Jul 2013

If you’re looking to escape the city and indulge in a spot of pampering, you could do far worse than book a stay at the Lifehouse Spa.  

Offering manicures, personalised massages, a detox programme (helpful for those already thinking of their summer holidays), a hydrotherapy pool, salt inhalation room and 35 treatment rooms, Lifehouse has everything needed for a relaxing few days away.

After spending £30m on a re-fit two years ago, the spa has a very modern feel which is created by glass corridors, white walls and large spaces. But at the same time it keeps some of its quaint charm by centring itself at the heart of 12 acres of listed gardens previously visited by the likes of Winston Churchill and Rudyard Kipling.

Lifehouse Spa is off the beaten track in Thorpe-le-Soken, a small town in North Essex close to Frinton-on-Sea. And with access to London not too bad (trains direct from London Liverpool Street take just over an hour), it appeals to Londoners and Essex residents.

Lifehouse has just introduced corporate packages, offering tailored wellbeing days which promise to rejuvenate stressful staff and boost productivity.

Workers attend workshops on improving nutrition, managing stress and breathing exercises, the spa’s in-house nutritional expert Sue Davies says. Companies will also get access to the spa’s swimming pool and all its facilities (that’s if employees don’t mind the thought of jumping into a Jacuzzi with their co-workers…).  

Lifehouse has an indoor swimming pool, a steam room and a salt inhalation room

The spa is often busy. On the weekend I visited in late January, every one of its 89 guest rooms were booked up and the spa remains popular throughout the year, Sue Davies tells me.

So if you’re looking to wind down after a stressful week and escape the hustle and bustle of the Big Smoke, you’d be surprised at what Frinton has to offer.

Best features


The two top attractions for me, (and for many online reviewers, it seems) are the friendliness of the staff and the food.

- The front-of-house staff are very helpful and will go out of their way to sort out any problems or queries you may have. They will also pick you up from Thorpe-le-Soken station and take you back at no extra cost.

- Chef Jamie Murch uses fresh local ingredients to create sumptuous dishes such as locally smoked poached Haddock, a wild mushroom risotto and a popular dish called ‘Suffolk Chicken Supreme.’

The food is cooked by chef Jamie Murch



  - The swimming pool and hydrotherapy pool can be a little too busy, depending on the time of day. The best time to go is early afternoon or late evening.


Facilities and key facts:


Number of rooms: 89

Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 11am

Adults-only: No children under 16 are allowed.

Distance to nearest train station: Thorpe-le-Soken is 5 minutes away by car, or a 20 minute walk.

Facilities: Lifehouse supplies dressing gown, slippers, and the guest rooms have hairdryers. You can also request a DVD player and DVD from reception.

Price per night: From £99 per person


Corporate Wellbeing includes:


- Accommodation for one night (with no single supplement)

- Choice of two 30 minute workshops

- Choice of one 30 minute spa treatment per person

- Healthy cuisine and brainfoods throughout the day, such as energy truffles, fruit skewers, crudités with walnut dip and gluten free dark chocolate brownies

- Use of the boardroom


£285 per person for an overnight stay

£175 for a day visit.

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