*Please note my stay at the Grange City was #gifted by Grange Hotels*
Holidays, weekends away and time off seem like something you should have in abundance once you become a self-employed freelancer. However the reality is getting and taking time off happens much more rarely than it did even when I worked a corporate desk job – as a freelancer you get programmed to think that time is money, and in turn time off is money lost. In my line of work it can also be tricky to keep clients on track in your absence, as well as finding reliable cover for fitness classes.
However, my stay this weekend at the Grange City Hotel made me realise how easy it can be to take a relaxing spa break even in my home city and feel rested and rejuvenated – and yet still able to take the tube home. After we finished work on a Friday night, my husband and I checked into the Grange City and enjoyed everything the hotel has to offer, and all without the hassle of trains or planes, or me having to alter my work schedule. And yet we enjoyed fantastic views, healthy food choices, a well equipped hotel gym and beautiful spa facilities. To be able to put on my bikini and enjoy swimming in a 25m pool (such a rarity to find a pool so big in London!) after a great workout on a Saturday morning before breakfast felt like the ultimate weekend getaway treat.
We were lucky enough to have a room on the 11th floor of the Grange City Hotel and the view from our bedroom took both of our breath away when we checked in. Directly in front of us was Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, and then just a little up the river a perfect view of The Shard. Lucky for us the sun was shining when we opened the curtains on Saturday morning and to have some of London’s most famous landmarks so clearly visible even from our bed was pretty special.
We ate dinner on Friday night in the hotel’s casual bistro Lutetia – plenty of healthy and vegan choices on the menu for me (I opted for Sweet Potato and Chickpea tagine with couscous) – but my husband took the opportunity to treat himself to one of the biggest burgers I’ve seen for a long time! We had breakfast on Saturday morning in Forum restaurant – again plenty of healthy choices as well as the Full English you’d come to expect from a hotel buffet breakfast.
My favourite part of our stay has to be the gym, pool and spa. The Grange City Health Club has some seriously impressive facilities which can also be enjoyed by non-hotel guests. Even just a spa day here would feel like a luxurious London break. The hotel gym is extremely well equipped – I was able to use cardio machines, kettle bells, free weights, bars, a Bosu, stability ball and fixed resistance machines for my workout. So many hotel gyms I’ve used around the world have such basic equipment and it can be a struggle to get a decent workout, but actually the biggest problem at the Grange Health Club was choosing exactly what to do – there was a great selection of every type of equipment! After my session in the gym I popped my bikini on and was able to swim a few lengths of the 25m pool – this actually felt like being properly on holiday – the pool is beautiful and so peaceful, and the jacuzzi and sauna afterwards rounded things off nicely. Next time though I really want to check out the Ajala Spa – the treatment menu had a huge range of facials and massages – a treatment and then using the beautiful spa facilities afterwards would be the ultimate pamper!
If you, like me, struggle to take time out and to find space in your diary for some downtime, then a weekend at the Grange City Hotel is exactly what you need. Stunning views, an insanely comfortable bed, good food and an amazing gym, spa and pool – it’s the ultimate way to look after yourself – mind, body and soul!
Thank you to Grange Hotels for my much needed and very much enjoyed night away – this was a gifted stay, but all views above are my own.