Solent Hotel and Spa in Whiteley, where mums go to relax – review
Business editor Kimberley Barber headed to the Solent Hotel & Spa in Whiteley for some R&R. Here’s what she thought….
It’s tough being a mum of a toddler.
Even tougher being a mum of a toddler and a baby, like my friend Hannah.
Or in my case, a pregnant mum of a toddler.
Tantrums, escape attempts, dalliances with death, nighttime disturbances, messy accidents or just general noisiness – let me tell you it’s pretty full on.
Throw in some hyperemesis gravidarum – severe morning sickness for those not in the know and trust me, it does not just happen in the morning – and the pressure of holding down an actual job, where people expect you to do things and not make mistakes, plus act with some kind of responsibility and enthusiasm when inside your mind is racing through a million other things while battling the lack of caffeine pregnancy now requires, it’s a winning combination for soaring stress.
That’s why my friend and I jumped at the chance to leave the kids in Daddy Day Care – and escape off to the Solent Hotel & Spa for the day.
Any mum reading this will also know the accompanying feeling of ‘Mum Guilt’. It’s a strange mix of really needing some time away from your most loved people for your own sanity, and also feeling like their world might collapse if you are not there.
On this occasion the anxiety is slightly calmed by the fact that the Solent Hotel & Spa is only in Whiteley, just a 20 minute drive away from Portsmouth along the M27.
If their world does end, I can be back there within the hour. Phew. Now time to relax.
From the outside, the hotel looks just like your run of the mill business park hotel. Red brick with a slightly built-in-the-90s vibe.
A major plus point of being on a business park though is the large car park, so we are swiftly inside and pleasantly surprised that internally it's elegant and tastefully decorated.
We slip through to the spa, and wait with a coffee for a friendly staff member to show us through.
The gym looks swish, new equipment and well air conditioned, perhaps in another lifetime I will be back in there making full use of the treadmill or bike.
We are shown the changing rooms, which come with all the mod cons and are spacious, where we slip into our swimsuits and through to the pool.
The hotel has a large indoor pool and Jacuzzi. There’s also a sauna and steam room.
There are plenty of loungers to rest on – perfect.
After a dip, we go to the bar, which has a tasteful seaside theme, for our healthy two-course lunch – chicken club sandwiches followed by sorbet. It’s a great way to catch up.
We then are off for massages – my friend has a full back massage while I get a cranial massage (back massages, just like coffee and wine, are off the cards due to pregnancy).
It’s wonderful and all cares slip away. The 30 minutes of peace is enough to make your whole body - and mind – relax.
After some more relaxing in the quiet room, and reading of magazines (I genuinely can’t remember the last time I completed a magazine in peace), we are fully recharged and ready to face the world and our precious little darlings once again.
Another plus point to the hotel is that it’s a short walk away from Whiteley Shopping Centre, so a quick pitstop there helps calm the Mum Guilt even more as we stock up on gifts, and head back into battle.
Thanks Solent Hotel for allowing two frazzled mums the chance to hide for the day. We will be seeing you soon. I’m already thumbing through my diary, frantically searching for a free date…
For more go to solenthotel.co.uk