About Clarice House - Colchester
The Day Spa at the Clarice House Colchester is the brand new flagship addition to the Clarice House group of spas. The beautiful old house has been sensitively restored, which, combined with the contemporary spa facilities provides a perfect haven of peace away from everyday pressures. Set in 20 acres of beautiful parkland grounds this perfect retreat ensures total relaxation and luxurious indulgent pampering.
Clarice House - Colchester
Address & Info
Kingsford Park, Layer Road
Colchester, CO2 0HS
Colchester, CO2 0HS
‘Tis the Season to Relax.
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Menu of Services
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FACILITIES & AMENITIES
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FITNESS & ACTIVITIES
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Eyebrow and Lash Tinting
Hair Styling and Care
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Customer Reviews (18)
August 10, 2011
DONT BOTHER - WASTE OF MONEY
Complete waste of money and more stressed when we left. The treatments were in noisy rooms and we were expected to share treatment rooms, the treatments were also cut short. We had preordered lunch and yet the order was incorrect. Bacon was put on a meal that the guest had requested was not put on as she cannot eat this for a medical reasons and rather than replace the meal, the bacon was scrapped off the plate by the kitchen and therefore not eaten. There was a fly in one of the salads. We had one jug of water between 6 of us as as although ordered repeatedly, this never arrived. We had to wait for our wine to be given to us after out starters had been finished. The pool area was uncomfortably hot and although complaints were being made by alot of guests, we ended up sitting in the lobby area as we could not use the area. All in all a total waste of money and a very STRESSFUL day. Director Stuart King has been made aware and all he feels adequate is a voucher to use the pool area on another day (DON'T THINK I WOULD WASTE MY TIME). Only given a 1 star rating as the site will not allow no rating to be given.
June 13, 2011
SERIOUS LACK OF 'BLISS DAY'
This weekend I experienced the worst Spa day I have ever had. A firend and I arrived at Clarice House Colchester at the suggested time of 9am to find the reception staff too busy with their computers to welcome us, we wasted time filling in a form and were given a very hurried, uninformative and incomplete tour of the facilities , we were given ONE locker between the two of us (apparently something to do with BOGOF offers a member of staff told us). Our treatment time table was poorly scheduled with all treatments in the morning and when we asked if this could be altered, without even looking at her computer this time , the receptionist gave a blunt 'NO we are busy'. Our treatments were all running late with no word of explanation or worse an apology. Throughout the day we found staff to be unapproachable and unhelpful. Also surely a Spa centre should have some quite areas for clients to relax and even snooze clarice House offers neither, just a very cramped annex to the waiting area. The only high point to the day was the meal, first class. It would seem to me that Clarice House is struggling with its identity is it a members club or a day spa? Very disapointing, they need to take a serious look at their customer service
May 24, 2011
Fab Fab Fab Time...
This is the second time I have been to this spa now and can honestly say they are the DOGS!!!! The house is beautiful (and yes it's old in places) the staff are soooooo friendly and the list of treatments goes on and on. Then there's the restuarant, the food is delicious, and wouldn't look out of place on a posh London Table!!!! ALL THOSE COMPLAINERS...JUST STOP!!!!! Ignore the other spas around, this is one of the best and I've tried most in Essex and even a few just over the border in Suffolk so I feel well qualified to say it really is worth the money and with the special offers each and every month definately value for money.
May 24, 2011
Nice facilities, shame about the lacklustre service
On arrival we were shown to the restaurant where, we were told, someone would come and give us a tour. We had facials booked for 9.30am and had arrived in plenty of time at 8.45, but by 9.25, no-one had appeared. We had robes but did not know where to get changed. It was very busy and the staff looked like they were really struggling. Eventually, I went to the front desk, to be informed that my friend's facial was at 10.30. I was given no apology, no explanation and the general attitude was 'c'est la vie' - there was nothing that could be done about it. I was directed upstairs for my facial, where there was no-one to greet me, I had no clue where to go and just wandered up and down for a while with all my bags and robe etc. No fun when you are 7 months pregnant. The therapist was friendly, but my facial was only 20mins long and felt rushed. We eventually got our tour and enjoyed the facilties. Lunch and the restaurant staff were excellent although we got charged for a glass of wine we did not have. Afterwards, I had an express manicure- very express! A little over 10 mins. Our impression was that staff morale is on the floor and this vibe is reflected in their interaction with clients. What a shame, it could be great.
May 3, 2011
A Lovely Day
I visited the spa recently with my sister. I was slightly nervous due to the negative reviews i had read. However, we both had a wonderful day! All of the staff- reception, therapists and catering were friendly and helpful. The treatments were good and the rooms clean and relaxing. The food was good, with a large choice and a nice atmosphere whilst dining. The swimming pool was really lovely. There were not many loungers but many pegs around for towels and robes so it was not a problem. The lockers were more than big enough for 2 pople to share and there were free hair dryers to use in the changing rooms. Overall we had a brilliant day and would recommend it to everyone!
October 15, 2010
Very enjoyable trip to Clarice House
I was a little worried having read the negative reviews but I can honestly say that my day here was perfect. The staff were friendly and polite, the food was delicious and the pool area was clean and spacious. The treatments I had (body polish, facial, eye treatment, manicure & pedicure - all as part of a Lastminute package) were all lovely and excellent value for money. I cannot wait to go again one day.
July 20, 2010
AVOID THIS PLACE LIKE THE PLAGUE
AVOID THIS PLACE LIKE THE PLAGUE. customer service is non existent. I booked a Bliss package for my myself and my mother. I rang to check availability for the only day we could attend and was told there would be no problem booking but I had to wait for the ticket to arrive to reserve slots for our treatments. The tickets never arrived and when I contacted Clarice House they told me it had been sent and when it arrived I could book in but, there were no available spaces on the day we wanted. Since then I have tried contacting them and had no response at all. I am now sending them legal letters to try to get them to refund the money because STILL NO TICKETS HAVE ARRIVED!!! I have since been online to check the reviews - I wish I'd done it before booking. A very frustrating experience for what should have been a much needed day of relaxation. Don't bother.
June 7, 2010
I took my daughter and I to this Spa and was extremely disappointed with all the treatments given. Not only was the therapist lacking in product knowledge but when I complained about the service, I was told to ring the main branch and speak to the Manager who assured me that someone would put things right and hoped that I would return again with my daughters - 3 years on and I'm still waiting for that call. A manager should have put things right not passed the buck. Ultimately, I have no intention of ever returning. The food was cold, the reception staff unorganised, when I voiced my concerns a therapist overheard and tried to ask me which person(s) I was referring to - another sin in my books, the staff should clearly know their place.
May 14, 2010
My friend and I have just returned home from Clarice House after having such a wonderful day together. I have never been to a spa before and what a wonderful first experience I have had. Everybody is so friendly and professional. It was excellent value for money and I will certainly be returning very soon.
May 14, 2010
What a find!
I had not visited Clarice House before, despite it being just round the corner from me. Luckliy my friend bought me a voucher and we visited on Monday - what a find! The place is superb with first class facilities. The therapists are lovely and Val, the manager I think, was so kind and helpful when I ran through my medical history with her. I am so impressed with the place that I have already visited again to use the beauty salon as a regular client and last night I took my husband for dinner. I hope the place continues to live up to the fantastic experience so far;I can see I'm going to get used to my "second home"!
May 11, 2010
Fantastic value for money - great day
I was a little worried about visiting this spa after reading some reviews however I had to review this spa myself as my friend and I have just had the most fantastic time, the best day spa I have ever been to, value for money is amazing but the treatments were so lovely and the food delicious but most of all the staff were so professional and friendly, we can not wait to go again and have already booked the latest offer.
April 5, 2010
Very poor customer service
I took my mum to Clarice House for the Bliss Spa Day. I received our treatment appointment times in good advance and saw that they had been scheduled all together only 45 minutes after our lunch. I knew we'd never be able to eat a 3 course meal in half an hour and didn't want to have to rush through our meal anyway so I phoned to reschedule one of the treatments to earlier in the morning. On the day they still had us scheduled for that treatment at the original time and could only fit us in in the latest slot. The girls on reception didn't apologise or agree that 45 minutes was too short a time to eat a 3 course meal and pretty much acted like sullen teenagers because we were taking up their time and being awkward. We were told to sit down and wait for someone to show us around and this didn't happen, despite us returning to reception to remind them. We enjoyed using the facilities in the spa and then went for our facials. The beautician was still training and had been told by the manager to only touch my skin very gently because of my previous history of cancer despite me bringing a consultant's letter stating that it was perfectly safe for me to have the therapies. The facial was still pleasant but I definitely felt a bit short-changed. We then had lunch where we were seated in front of the windows. It was a gorgeous sunny day but it meant that we could barely look at each other in the glare of the light where we were seated and were roasting hot. We asked our waiter to move tables as it was so uncomfortable squinting and unbelievably hot. He got the restaurant manager to come over and tell us that it wasn't possible despite the restaurant nearly being empty. Our second treatment was a manicure. My mum's therapist was running late and she had to wait 45 minutes for her appointment sat in reception. Nobody made any effort to even tell her that her appointment was running late or make an apology. The spa had closed by the time she'd finished so we were rushed out meaning that her nails had no time to dry and were ruined when she got dressed. Mum wrote a letter to Clarice House telling them about all these incidents and she received a letter back with a voucher to use the spa facilities within a month. The letter thanked her for bringing these issues to light but again didn't actually apologise for the poor service. I definitely wouldn't advice anyone to go there. The therapists seem very inexperienced and the management makes you feel like they are doing you a favour by letting you step foot on the premises. Such a shame really because if we'd had a nicer time i'd be a regular customer there.
March 16, 2010
Don't waste your money
I booked the offer "New Year, New You" in January and came on Saturday 13th March with my mum. The whole day was very dis-satisfying, as such I would like to write a review about the experience. Spa days are supposed to be about a relaxing environment, but this is where we felt badly let down. When we arrived, we headed to the changing rooms and were surprised to find that we had to share a locker, a small locker, between us. Given that people at a spa get fully changed out of their clothes, the locker space was inadequate. I'm not sure sure if this was a special feature of the 2 for 1 deal, but frankly it's ridiculous. Both of the towels which were provided were very old , one was fraying very badly and I was able to get this changed quite easily, but I was then informed that if we wanted any more towels we would have to pay for them, we would have been better off bringing our own. We headed to the swimming pool and managed to get a bed but as the loungers do not have cushions we were lucky that we had a treatment early otherwise the painful slat marks would have been much deeper. Our first appointment was for the body massage; my treatment was not great, particularly because I could clearly hear the conversation taking place in the room next door, not good. My mum had not even been so lucky, her room was cold, the oils were cold, the girl doing the treatment had left her for 10 minutes to get ready before returning which cut her treatment time to 15 minutes instead of the 25 minutes it was supposed to be; she was very unhappy. Next treatment was a facial, another bad experience. On meeting the therapists my mum and I were told we would be in a room together, I was not entirely happy with this as my experience of regular facials are of being totally relaxed in a calm, quiet environment and not hearing 2 therapists moving around or doing consultations. Sadly there was no consultation given to either of us. The room in which the 'facial' took place was near the stairs lots of coming and going with talking and laughter, it very noisy indeed which was not conducive to a relaxing facial, very disappointing indeed. I had booked us in for a ESPA mature facial, not to sure on some the products that were used but we both left with a head of hair full of thick greasy oil and red faces . After lunch (when we were very deliberately told to pick two courses and then had to pay for the 'additional course') and a quick dip in the pool we both decided to get dressed so we could have our manicure and pedicures done without smudging when getting dressed as there seemed no point in staying once these were done. The facilities in the changing rooms left much to be desired for a 'SPA' : no shampoo, no conditioner, no cleanser, no moisturiser, infact nothing that you would expect to find when going to a 'SPA'. On waiting for our mini pedicure we looked for a colour, the selection was very limited as most of them appeared to be missing from the stand . In the end we had to settle for a colour which was not what we wanted - again, just as with the towel, shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, etc, we should of brought our own. The mini pedicure actually turned out to be a quick file and paint in half the allotted time (15 mins instead of 30 mins ). There was no foot spa, no cuticle work, no scrub, no moisturiser (basics for any such treatment and basics on the NVQ beauty course for this treatment) - just a file and paint. The manicure wasn't any better, exactly the same but with the added bonus of the polish bubbling when dry: it seems that the colours that are there are quite old. Finally, it has also chipped within in 2 days for both of us !! I hope you can sense my deep dissatisfaction with both the facilities and the treatments on offer. I appreciate that things can and do go wrong, but this was amateurish at best. The facilities were disappointing from the threadbare towels to the mini-locker and noisy rooms. The treatments were poorly executed, missing basic elements, and none of them were for the full allotted time. Not sure whether this is just part of the experience at Clarice House or if this was and exceptional day but I will not be returning and I would advise you not to go.
March 15, 2010
Mother's Day ruined
I booked into this spa for Mother's Day as a treat for my Mum. I did it on the New Year, New You package in January. When we arrived it was extremely busy and we were shown to the main dining room where we had to register. We were both given a clipboard with various pieces of promotional literature. My mum had been given new one's but within mine were competition slips that had already been filled out with someones private details written on them. Whilst filling these in, we were informed that they had moved my pedicure to 5.00pm. I explained that this was too late as I was travelling back to London and so they took our itinery and said that they would see what they would do. We were then given a tour, which was with another couple as there were so many people. It felt very rushed. We then went down to use the facilities which were very good. When we turned up for our first appointment at 10:30am they said that they had moved my pedicure to 11.00am which would have meant that me and my mum would have been seperated during this time. We explained to them that the point of Mother's day was spending time together which is why we had originally booked all the treatments at the same time. They said there was nothing they could do as they were fully booked and some therapists had phoned in sick so I would have to miss the appointment all together. They said I would not be able to have a refund and that I would be given a voucher. After this, we had lunch which was very good and the food could not be faulted. They did however add a £1 to our bill which we did not contest as by this point we could not be bothered. After lunch we had a facial, which again was very enjoyable. Followed by this was the manicures and pedicures. My Mum went to have her appointment at 2:30pm and I sat in the waiting room because my appointment had been cancelled. A therapist then came through and called my Mum's name. I explained that she had already gone for her appointment and she came back and said that meant I could have both my pedicure and manicure as planned. When I returned from my treatments I found my Mum sitting in the waiting room. She explained that she had gone to check in for her 3.30pm appointment and had been told that there was no one to do it. So, I ended up having all my treatements and my Mum, on Mother's Day, did not! At the end, we were offered by the Manager a voucher entitling us to a full manicure and use of the wet facilities. Overall I found her to be very unappolagetic though. There were other people complaining throughout the day and although there were some aspects that were very good, I felt like I needed a spa day to get over the stress of sorting out our treatment appointments! Although I got this day on a deal, I still spent a lot of money and I feel that what was meant to be a special day turned out to be a disastourous one because of Clairce House and they way it is managed.
March 8, 2010
Total waste of money
As a group of 6, we booked a special "New year, New You" Spa day for a friends 30th Birthday. We booked this experience in January 2010 and attended in March. All the treatment times and lunch was booked in January. I have attended Clarice House in 2008 on a Bliss package and had a fantastic time. I recommended this spa for my friends 30th on this basis. However it appears that the current levels of service have fallen short of required expectations. On arrival, the spa reception was hectic; we were taken upstairs for the first treatment of the day. During this treatment, two of us, received a handwritten note under the treatment door informing us, that our other treatments had been cancelled. Another of our party was then informed that our 1pm lunch was now pushed back to 2.30pm. We then had to visit reception to talk to Val, the Spa Manager about the rest of the day. She was unapologetic about cancelling the treatments and informed us we were 'lucky' to have any treatments at all, as some of the therapists were off sick. We accepted that this was unfortunate, but then requested a refund for the two girls affected - as two of the girls were not having a manicure or pedicure. Val refused to provide any refund, telling us that refunds weren't given. After a long, drawn out discussion, she offered the girls a nail varnish each. I was appalled at the lack of empathy for this situation. Offering a nail varnish, so the girls missing out on treatments, could paint their own nails? This in no-way compensated for the missing treatments. This was just the start of a very bad day. We then had a discussion about moving the lunch. Considering the restaurant had our booking from January, it was completely unclear why they could not keep this booking. The restaurant manager was more approachable and at least apologised for this mistake. We had not eaten that morning, as we knew we had an early lunch for 1pm. Now putting that back to 2.30pm meant we were hungry. We asked for anything to eat in between and were informed by Val that they were too busy to accommodate us. Our other treatments were booked for 4pm. Now only 4 of us had treatments, one of our party decided she might aswell go home, rather than hang around for us. When it came to our afternoon time slot, the therapist informed us, that she could no longer provide both the manicure and pedicure, she could only do one. Again, no apology, it was matter of fact. To summarise, we paid a spa day for 6 people costing over £300 for a special birthday. We received only 50% of the treatments, the lunch booking was completely changed and then our food was served late at 2.45pm! Very disappointing.
March 4, 2010
Cheap and Miserable
I have been to C. H a number times hence why I went back. We arrived to find our times changed and one treatment cancelled. ! 1 1/2 it took to sort out and by the we were quite stressed after dealing with the rude unapologetic "manager". We head for the swimming pool - (a tour was not offered!) and find that we have to share a locker as that is what you do when you come on a 2 for 1. The pool area is packed, with water aerobics going on. We succumb to the sauna for a bit of piece of quite before we rush off for our first moved appointment.........pedicure..........which turned out to be a quick file and paint in half the time (15 mins). No bubbling foot spa as they won't plug it in, any cuticle removal, no scrub, no moisturiser, just a file and paint - the manicure was a better - exactly the same. It is not the staffs fault, they have been told to do the minimum. The facial - cleanse tone and moisturise - no mask, no scrub, no discussion and a quick massage. My hairdresser told me of her experience of a back massage there, where she was left to get ready and the beautician never returned! The lunch was ok, but the place is going to rack and ruin. It needs a good Hoover, clean and some TLC. Packed out with members and spa goers, it really is a case of packing the numbers in, doing everything on the cheap whilst adding supplements left right and centre. A further £50 it cost on top of the day for drink and supplements for dishes on the menu. It is a shame that the manager was so rude and unhelpful, the treatments basic and on the cheap, it was blatantly obvious. I don't write reviews normally but when days spas are supposed be a special relaxing day, I really suggest you don't book Clarice House, because it is a huge disappointment and waste of money.
January 21, 2010
My day Clarice House was exselrating and very relaxed i enjoyed my day very much and would love to visit again
October 26, 2009
not up to standard
I visited this spa with my daughter last week. The changing areas were quite cold and we had to share a locker due to shortage, there is also no spin machine so had to put a wet swimsuist back on to use the pool again. The offer was 2 for 1 and supposed to be 5 treatments but the 'eye treatment' took place in with the facial and seemed no more than a usual facial. The 'body polish' consisted of a quick brush with a body brush and then an exfoliater put on and taken off dry -- no concentration on areas such as elbows and knees and no moisuriser or oil applied after, the whole treatment lasted 15 mins and was inferior to other body polishes I've had at other spas. The lunch was very good and the best part of the day, and the therapists friendly. The final manicure was poor, with the varnish 'bubbling' when dried,it also chipped within 2 days! -- good value but 2 for 1 offers seem to mean less quality.
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