Review: Glass House Retreat, Essex

Tucked away in a corner of the Essex countryside and surrounded by open fields, Glass House Retreat offers more than just your usual spa getaway. Whether you’re looking to boost your fitness, eat a more balanced diet, or book some time away for destressing, there’s something at this wellbeing retreat for everyone.

I’m not someone who’s great at setting time aside for myself, which is why spa getaways, while definitely a luxury, are a great way of enforcing me to stop checking my inbox and take destressing seriously. Glass House Retreat operates not just as a spa, but for people looking to lose weight in a healthy way as well.

On arrival

Each guest fills in an assessment form on arrival, stating injuries, health concerns, and what you’d like to achieve during your stay, after which, you’re taken to your room. For me, destressing was what I wanted to focus on, so I said this was my main priority when visiting the retreat.

Modern, plush and with all the amenities you need, the rooms at Glass House Retreat are open and full of light - more so than your average hotel room. In fact, that’s a running theme throughout the building. Natural light fills each room at the retreat, making you feel like you’re not inside at all.

In the afternoon

In the afternoon, I headed downstairs to my consultation. The consultation process was one of my favourite parts of the retreat. I train often, but I don’t have a PT, or any means of assessing how much muscle I’m building in the gym. The consultation process not only measures your muscle percentage, body fat and bone density, but it also gives you your metabolic age range estimate.

Michael, my PT for the consultation, then gave me a few suggestions where I could improve following my assessment. While my muscle percentage was high and my visceral fat levels were good, my metabolic age was quite high, so he suggested intermittent fasting might be a good way to boost it.

During the consultation, your PT will also suggest the best treatment and classes you should book into during your stay, depending on what you stated your visit was for one the assessment sheet. For me, destressing was a priority, so he suggested making the most of the spa’s sauna and swimming pool and advised me to book in some soothing massages.

Dinner is served around 7pm. That night I had a nutritious tomato and basil soup served by the chefs, with a selection of herbal teas on offer to assist your digestion. After dinner, the retreat’s guests often confer in the lounge. The night I stayed, there was a talk on essential oils - a great way to get you out of your room during the evening and chatting with the other guests.

The next day

The following morning, I head down to the spa to receive my Rose Elemis Treatment. Formulated with rose oils, the massage is perfect for people who want a luxurious full body rub to help them destress. In the consultation form, you can pick what massage pressure you prefer before your appointment, so it saves you having to tell your masseuse what you prefer when you get there.

I left Glass House Retreat not only feeling destressed, but like I’d made my health and my body a priority - even if it was just for 24hrs. To book a stay yourself, head over to