The floods that devastated Carlisle and neighbouring parts in 2015 could have spelt the end for Rickerby Retreat Spa but they have transformed their prospects to return more committed than ever to deliver their vision of leisure luxury.
The Retreat offers a full range of ESPA treatments and claims to be the only such spa in Carlisle offering the spectrum of these advanced methods.
Opened on 5 December, complete with 15m x 7m pool, steam and sauna and four treatment rooms, Rickerby Retreat was dealt a body blow when floodwater swamped the site two years ago.
Owners Dan and Rachel Ferguson dreamed of creating a year-round leisure destination for both overnight and day guests.
Under the £1m project, Dan first sourced and contacted bespoke furniture manufacturers and installers Crown Sports Lockers at the end of 2014, inviting them to tender for the design and supply of changing and treatment room facilities for their new venture.
Crown won the work after project manager Sam Palmer visited the site before submitting fitout options and agreeing final designs with Dan.
Like every Crown project, this was a made-to-measure undertaking designed to optimise space and match provision with Rickerby Retreat’s demographic.
Working closely with Dan as their dedicated project manager, Sam partnered the spa throughout every stage of the project from first site meeting to sign-off.
Crown fitted each of the four treatment rooms with a wall of built-in furniture, including Corian worktop and sink, concealed therapist trolley, towel storage and product display in each.
The luxurious grey-decored male and female locker rooms included storage for clothes and valuables, with integrated seating, digital keypad locking, washroom cubicles and vanities – Crown also fitting lockers and seating in the staff room. Rachel was heavily involved throughout the entire project, co-ordinating finishes from the Farrow & Ball colour scheme, upholstery fabrics and treatment room designs.
Then the floodwater struck a year later, forcing the business to close overnight and Dan and Rachel to return to square one but with unshaking resolve they have brought Rickerby Retreat back to life.
It’s `once bitten, twice shy` for the owners though. “I decided to fit all services in the ceiling rather than at floor level,” reports Dan, “to reduce risk of them being affected if the site became flooded again.”
A wise decision to shift thinking on such vital though vulnerable lifelines but his mindset on changing and treatment room provision remained steadfast, returning to Crown for an essentially `copycat` fitout.
“They did such a great job first time round that I turned to them again as a matter of course,” comments Dan.