We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Poor as a Day Spa - Avoid the Buffet!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Lifehouse Hotel & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thorpe le Soken
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We arrived for our Lifehouse day spa and were welcomed but not given any kind of orientation or a map (Bearing in mind that the place is a bit of a maze and it was our first ever visit this was disappointing). Even some of the staff did not know their way around enough to direct me to the nearest toilet later in the day. Once we had worked out where the pool was we had a nice swim and there were plenty of beds to lay on. The pool and hydro pool were very nice and also quiet. We had the morning at leisure. We shared a changing room with other day spa guests which was fine but when we went to get showered we realised that there was only one shower and one toilet in the whole changing area and a queue of 8 people (including the 5 of us) trying to shower before lunch so we ended up having to shower when we all got home.

Lunch was at 1.15 at the buffet area. We arrived promptly to find that no table had been allocated and it took ten minutes before 3 tables were pushed together to seat our party of 5. We were shown to our seat and then realised we just had to help ourselves as no formal instruction was given and we were not offered any drinks apart from the water on the table. I went to get soup. There were no soup bowls or spoons and hardly any soup left, but luckily another party had asked for more soup. The soup was very poor quality. I tasted like it had been very watered down and was just tepid. I was very disappointed as were my friends. The next course was either the salad bar (which was 100% vegetarian and looked like last night's left over roasted veg with some lettuce) and the other choice was 3 plates of hot food. Plate 1 was roasted swede, Plate 2 was a watery looking vegetarian chop suey, and plate 3 was completely empty. I asked the ladies behind the counter if that was it and they assured me that another dish would arrive in 2 minutes. They were sorry but it was “not their fault” and blamed the kitchen, however if they had kept an eye on the buffet it would not have run out. After 10 minutes of chasing the third hot dish finally arrived. As an apology for our long wait a lady offered us a free soft drink each off the menu so we all had a smoothie which was very nice. But when the final hot dish arrived again if looked like last night’s leftovers. It was a tasteless curry all mixed in with rice. It was a very weird selection as apart from the chicken in the curry, the whole buffet was vegetarian and a very poor combination. When we went to grab dinner plates they were all filthy dirty so the staff had to get more clean plates for us. The staff were all very friendly and polite, but lacked common sense and were only reactive not proactive. They were poor at clearing tables and I had to remove the dirty plates from display and put them back to be rewashed as they did not react to our comments. Dessert was nice but as the starter and main were so awful and the service rather dismal it had spoilt everything. It is without a doubt the worst buffet I have ever experienced. I did bump into a lady guest who was staying overnight who said the food in the main restaurant was great, so why was the buffet so awful and resembled leftovers?

The massages after lunch that came with our package were lovely. And we all enjoyed those.
The sleep pods we had to share which I thought was rather silly. And the staff had heated them and as it was a very warm day they were more like sweat pods so we only lasted 10 minutes which was a shame. Again when we got back to the changing rooms, there was a queue for the showers so we were unable to have a shower before heading home. There were over 25 lockers but only a single shower. It was like they were not set up for day spas at all.
So all in all we had a nice day as it was 5 dear friends meeting up for a nice catch up. But the food was beyond appalling and the staff involved should be deeply ashamed of the quality and quantity of the food and the poor service. It may be a great place to stay if you stay in the hotel part as you can shower in your own room and eat in the main restaurant. But as a day spa it is currently an embarrassment. It has the potential to be fabulous as the grounds and rest areas are quite stunning. Management need to rethink this one completely. Do it well or don’t do it at all. I was thinking of bringing a group to stay for a weekend as the place looks lovely but this has totally put me off.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank AMJJ-1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (1,758)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

928 - 934 of 1,758 reviews

Reviewed 30 June 2014

After reading some of the negative reviews on trip advisor I wasn't sure I wanted to give Lifehouse a go. I'm glad I decided to go as Lifehouse is one of the best spas I have been to (I have been to quite a lot).

I can highly recommend the Hidden Sanctury package. It is very relaxing and lovely to spend time with a loved one.

There were a couple of minor issues that we experienced, but nothing that would stop us from returning again, I fact I can't wait to book our next stay.

The one thing that does let it down is SOME of the bar/restaurant staff that you can be ignored and left waiting, but there is also a couple (especially Scott) who really look after you.

All I can say is don't be put off by the negative reviews, make your own mind up as you could end up missing out.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Fairygirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2014

We have just returned home from another lovely spa break at Lifehouse hotel and spa. Our room was lovely with a beautiful view of the grounds, we felt instantly relaxed. The spa facilities are amongst the best we have experienced. I love the big jacuzzi there is plenty of room for a few people to sit and enjoy unlike some of the places we have visited where you don't get a look in as other hog it! We treated ourselves to the hidden sanctuary it was superb and lovely to relax on your own, the treatments were brilliant too. We had a lovely meal in the evening service was a little laid back but OK. Not too bad a nights sleep but the room was a little hot and no air conditioning. Breakfast was very disappointing very little choice and what we did have was cold, I could perhaps understand if we arrived late but this was 08:30 in the morning. We did think that the spa break was good value compared to others in the area. Would definitely return.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank crystal425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Have just returned from an overnight stay at Lifehouse with a group of six ladies.
Check in and reception very swift and polite, I suppose it depends on luck when you turn up as I have seen reports of long waits.
We had three rooms in the Mulberry block, I had room 86, lovely room and a great layout of the two over large single beds which meant you felt you had your own private space as opposed to having to lay next to the person you are sharing with.
The only thing missing from the room and something rather simple was a soap dish in the bathroom, other than that a very simple to use safe drawer, good hair dryer and kettle with normal tea and coffee etc.
loved being able to put on my comfy robe and feel at ease walking around the whole place, only required to dress for dinner.
The spa was well appointed but was busy when we first got there but our friends returned an hour later and it had emptied out, again a case of luck and timing. The relaxation area was lovely and I could have stayed there all day! The only thing lacking was a proper water dispenser in the spa area, it was just a water fountain so if you wanted a plastic cup full you had to go out of the spa and upstairs!
Between the six of us we had 5 different treatments which we all enjoyed, we had upgraded from the 25 min treatment included in the package and I'm glad I did.
2 course dinner was included which was lovely but portion sizes are a little small but enough for me, I have seen people complain about not being able to get a table until 9.30pm, may I advise that you pre book like we did when we made our original booking.
Some of party tried the juice bar and seemed to enjoy them up not my sort if thing, breakfast was an excellent selection and they would do you a poached egg if you didn't want the scrambled on offer!
Drinks were a little over priced but I expected them to be much more.
One big tip is to ensure that you leave plenty of time to explore the beautiful grounds, I would return just to walk around them again!
Check out was smooth and not busy and if you ask for a locker once you've checked out of your room you can actually fit a good size wheel along weekend case in the locker.
Hoping to return sooner rather than later.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
1  Thank Julie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2014

This spa/hotel is a very informal relaxing place. I have been there five times and have never been disappointed. The rooms are large and very comfortable.The gardens are pretty and spacious. I do feel there could be a larger choice of menu but what is on offer is very good. Spa treatments are a bit expensive.

Room Tip: A garden room has its own small patio which is lovely on a nice sunny day
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank estepona2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2014

Myself and my boyfriend have just returned from an overnight stay at Lifehouse spa. The location and spa itself is lovely and very relaxing.
I found the service to be quite poor. We booked a superior room and when we arrived at our room someone else was in it! And then we were told that the staff had made a mistake and in fact that was the last superior room so we were downgraded to a standard room with the promise of free drinks and deserts and something extra along with a free upgrade on our next stay. On checking out we received a bill with just the room deduction and nothing else so I had to reiterate the situation which lead to only a few of the promises being agreed, this left a sour taste in our mouths.
Small things like ordering drinks and them not turning up, our room numbers muddled the whole stay due to the room error and ordering olives as a pre dinner nibble and them turning up after we'd finished our starters etc are a few examples of the poor service.
The spa is lovely, can get crowded and the steam room ends up with little steam but in the evening when there are less people around its lovely!
Grounds are beautiful, overall it was an average stay.

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Bell_197
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We stayed for a 2night break and had a lovely time although there were a few things that would of made using facilities easier. On arrival it would benefit customers if they explained more about facilities, where things were. There are bikes you can use but only know as overheard a conversation. My Husband had ordered champagne, flowers & chocolates to be in room but what we got was a bottle of prosecco. When queried she said that's what was on computer although our email states order clearly so ruined surprise. The facilities are nice better than other spas we've been to. Dinner was only available at 9:30 even when we tried to book at 1pm so book ASAP when arrive. Food & service was good the 1st night but 2nd night was poor. Poor food, poor service. On departure we were asked to fill in details to pay express bill & there was a £10 tip added that we didn't put on as service etc was poor. It was removed after she checked bill from restaurant but I would suggest you check bill before paying

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tpollen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Thorpe le Soken
9.4 mi away
Wivenhoe House
Wivenhoe House
#1 of 1 in Wivenhoe
725 reviews
18.6 mi away
Prested Hall Hotel
Prested Hall Hotel
#1 of 3 in Feering
564 reviews
10.8 mi away
Maison Talbooth
Maison Talbooth
#1 of 3 in Dedham
314 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.7 mi away
The Kingscliff Hotel
The Kingscliff Hotel
#1 of 1 in Holland-on-Sea
595 reviews
4.5 mi away
Chudleigh
Chudleigh
#1 of 17 in Clacton-on-Sea
412 reviews
13.9 mi away
Salthouse Harbour Hotel
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Lifehouse Hotel & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Lifehouse Hotel & Spa

Address: Frinton Road, Thorpe le Soken CO16 0JD, England
Phone Number:
Region: United Kingdom > England > Essex > Thorpe le Soken
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thorpe le Soken
Price Range: £122 - £212 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lifehouse Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 89
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lifehouse Spa & Hotel, located in Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex, is a contemporary lifestyle spa. Only 80 minutes from London by train and set in 130 acres of grounds, Lifehouse Spa & Hotel will help you revitalise and relax in beautiful surroundings. With a selection of day and residential packages to choose from, guests can indulge in a day of pampering, or truly get away from it all with an overnight stay. With 89 bedrooms, 35 treatment rooms, a gym, exercise studio, swimming pool, sauna & steam room, thermal spa area with salt-inhalation room, relaxation area, manicure and pedicure stations,and 12 acres of listed gardens, you can do as much or as little as you like! ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, LateRooms, Evoline ltd, Ebookers, HotelsClick and Cancelon so you can book your Lifehouse Hotel & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Lifehouse Country Hotel Thorpe Le Soken
Lifehouse Hotel & Spa Thorpe Le Soken, Essex

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing