Deluxe spa provision has placed the east Midlands firmly on the leisure destination map.
The Spa at Breedon Priory
The Spa at Breedon Priory has been a work in progress since 2017, after the Blunt family acquired land in the village of Wilson, on the border of Leicestershire, Derbyshire, and Nottinghamshire. The newly completed major spa project, fitted out with changing areas by specialists, Crown Sports Lockers, creates an alluring leisure destination with a broad blend of wet and dry facilities that are already bearing fruit.
The family’s journey began when they bought a health club, located on Breedon Priory Golf Course. They subsequently fully refurbished and extended the facilities, and renamed it Breedon Priory Health Club.
How it all Started
“Our daughter became a manager there, and we were offered the chance to purchase the building and a small parcel of land by the owner. As a family, we decided it was a good business prospect to create a members-only health club,” recalls co-owner Graham Blunt, who continues: “After some deliberation, we decided to go ahead and started by completely refurbishing the building and replacing all the fitness equipment with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment. Over a short period of time, the 250 to 300 membership base increased to about 1,000 members, who were also attracted by the 14m indoor pool and spa facilities, our fitness training programmes and extensive range of classes.”
“When the owner of the golf course decided to decommission it, we were given first refusal to purchase the clubhouse. We felt this offered another great opportunity to create something within the site to add to, and enhance the health club. Therefore, we decided to proceed with the purchase in 2017 – including 24 acres of the old course – on the back of the health club’s buoyant business.”
A New Spa Provision
“That prompted us to investigate what other areas of leisure we could develop on the site,” says Graham. “Eventually we decided a day spa would be a good fit, and from our research, the sector was growing by around 8% annually. Initially, we discussed converting the old clubhouse; however, it had been extended two or three times over the years, and had floor levels at various heights. After six months of working with an architect, it was decided to demolish the existing building and design and build a new spa. That was nearly five years ago. The resulting new build is 96% energy efficient, and is insulated to the highest specification. The building and the two outdoor infinity pools are heated by an air source heat pump, working alongside LPG gas boilers. To add to our environmental credentials, we also decided to sink our own borehole, which results in significant saving against the cost of using mains water, and adds to the eco-friendliness of the building.”
“A significant part of the project was designing the changing rooms and treatment rooms, and it was very important we found the right partner company to work with.”
“We researched extensively,” he says, “Visiting nearly 15 sites, including Dormy House, on the Farncombe Estate near Broadway, in the Cotswolds– a quite superb venue, where Crown had fitted changing facilities. “After discussing our project with Crown Lockers, they ticked all the boxes for us.
We had a sole point of contact in Sam Palmer, who was very easy to work with, and also provided useful advice on many aspects of the design.”
“Crown were extremely professional throughout, and their install team was exceptional – quick, and quietly professional. I would recommend the company to anyone.”
“We’re excited and proud to unveil one of our most memorable jobs, with stylish shaker-style locker doors featured throughout the changing areas.”
“The spa offers a wide scope of provision; the wellbeing suite includes four thermal cabins which overlook the landscaped spa garden, and include a herbal steam bath, Himalayan salt and herbal saunas, aroma steam room, three experience showers and an ice fountain that delivers cold therapy ‘in true Finnish style.”
“The jewels in our crown are the outdoor infinity-edge, relaxation and vitality pools,” Graham enthuses. “The vitality pool has a range of underwater hydro-massage jets and three water cannons, whilst the relaxation pool is a far more relaxed design, to allow guests to simply relax and enjoy the views over the surrounding countryside. Meanwhile, the outdoor terrace and tranquillity garden offer covered seating areas – ‘perfect for lounging and taking in the fresh air’ – not to mention the two fire pits, water features and first-floor slumber lounge with relaxation beds.”
After opening in October 2022, the new provision is already hitting projected spa day bookings, with indications proving that the family’s decision to invest in the sector was the right one. “Response has been really good, and we are hoping that with the easing of Covid measures, it will boost uptake as people seek to enjoy experiences around their health and wellbeing again,” Graham says.