Mother-to-be day spa package at Ockenden Manor Hotel and Spa

Indoor and outdoor swimming pool

Indoor and outdoor swimming pool - Credit: Archant

Alice Cooke accompanied a friend expecting a baby to Ockenden Manor Hotel and Spa in Cuckfield

Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa

Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa - Credit: Archant

Although not expecting a child myself, I visited the spa at Ockenden Manor with someone who was more than qualified to indulge in a Mother-to-be package. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a pamper as much as the next person, but in this instance the package is geared towards those who would really appreciate and benefit from it. Luckily I had a willing and more-than-qualified volunteer who was happy to step forward. Vicki’s due date was imminent, so she couldn’t have been better suited to the role.

Far from just letting you put your feet up, you are at once soothed, cleansed and indulged by this package, which is a relatively new one to the extensive spa menu at this charming rural spa, which both looks out onto the beautiful Sussex countryside, and boasts all the most fantastic range of treatments.

Having dodged the seasonal British weather, we changed into white fluffy robes and slippers to enjoy a smoothie – and as all those of us with busy lives know, just this chance to sit down, read a magazine and not worry about the world outside for a moment is sheer bliss.

As I surveyed the newspapers, Vicki was whisked off (in the gentlest sense of the word) to her first treatment of the day, a scrub and body massage session designed to bring peace and calm to mother and baby, featuring all-natural healing oils and herbal extracts. To say she returned in a different state of mind would be something of an understatement.

Although not stressed beforehand Vicki was understandably uncomfortable, and although I hadn’t noticed her tension, I certainly noticed that it wasn’t there afterwards. She described the massage as “incredible…amazing, I can’t remember the last time that I was this relaxed.” Quite the recommendation.

A rainforest facial followed, designed to re-energise tired muscles and refresh the skin. This only appeared to enhance the celestial calm that now seemed to be following Vicki around. She said that it left her feeling as though someone had lifted a weight off her shoulders. To me she looked as though she’d been meditating – her voice was very calm and quiet, and her smile looked as though it might never fade.

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The final indulgence was a file and polish on her nails (which can be on either hands or toes). Vicki even said that she felt so relaxed by the whole experience that she felt it might induce labour. It didn’t, needless to say, but less than a week later she gave birth to Harvey Jack Ponsford, who is a picture of health.

The Mother-to-be day spa package costs from £225 per person. Overnight stays are from £199 per night based on two sharing a Standard Room, mid-week, on a B&B basis.

01444 416111;


Closer to home

• Ashdown Park Hotel, Forest Row | Mother-to-be day, £125 | 01342 824988;

• Champneys Day Spa, Chichester | Mama Mio Gorgeous Glow Pregnancy Facial, £65 | 01243 819010;

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