Home Editors' Pick Nirvana Spa: relaxing at this top Reading day spa

Nirvana Spa: relaxing at this top Reading day spa

This luxury spa is one of the largest stand-alone spas in the country

by Sarah Bridge
Nirvana spa

A visit to Nirvana Spa

You would have to start early and finish late to squeeze in the maximum amount of relaxation possible at Nirvana Spa day spa near Reading, the award-winning spa near London and one of the top day spas in the country.

A day at Nirvana Spa

I spent the whole day there and yet when it was time to leave I realised I still hadn’t fallen asleep on a poolside lounger as I’d planned, nor read the Sunday papers that I’d been lugging around with me all day, or even tried out the futuristic-looking endless swimming pool lanes which let you swim against a current rather than having to turn at every end.  So what on earth had I been doing during my luxury day spa break?

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Roman pool at Nirvana Spa

The 15-metre Roman pool with its columns and palm trees is the central point of the spa

Arriving at Nirvana spa

My friend Lisa and I arrived at Nirvana spa as planned at 11am having driven from London. We could have arrived even earlier and really made a day of it – the spa opening times are 6.45am-10.30pm on weekdays apart from Friday which closes at 11pm, and 8am-11pm at the weekends – the gym opens at 6am weekdays and 8am at weekends.

It is always a good sign when you can start to feel your shoulders unwind just on walking into reception at a day spa and there was indeed a very relaxing air to the place, from the smells and the music to the sight of the large hydrotherapy pool through the glass wall.

Nirvana spa hydrotherapy pool

There are 53 jets in the hydrotherapy pool to knead away those aches and pains

The changing rooms were large and clean, and robes, towels and locker keys were all allocated. A quick change and we were straight off to the Crystal Suite for our treatments.

Treatments at Nirvana Spa

I had my first ever hot stone massage which was extremely relaxing: for some reason I’d always assumed the stones were just plonked on your back and left there, but the sensation of heat trailing up and down my back and legs was really memorable, while Lisa enjoyed her full body massage.

The relaxation continued back in the Crystal Suite afterwards as we supped on fruit tea while lounging on heated ceramic loungers which were surprisingly comfortable to lie on.

Nirvana spa Crystal Suite zone

The Crystal Suite zone was where people could relax before and after treatments

Nirvana Spa signature treatment

After a spot of lunch (see below) it was time for the spa’s signature treatment, the Celestial Flotation, so we gathered with three other women at the side of a beautiful circular pool with Zodiac frescoes along the walls and a spectacular twinkling ceiling showing the night sky. The addition of 60 tonnes of Dead Sea salt in the pool, which was heated to 35 degrees, meant that you could float without swimming or being supported at all (buoyant pillows were provided if you wanted) and a gentle current gently but steadily wafted you around the pool.

Nirvana spa Celestial Floatation experience

The Celestial Flotation experience was incredibly relaxing (and rather surreal)

A magical spa experience

With the lights dimmed we were left to float for half an hour and it was quite a memorable experience: the water was so warm you barely felt you were in motion at all and it was quite a surprise whenever I opened my eyes to see the night sky moving past. The current ensured no-one bumped into each other and the huge salt content means that as well as being very relaxing, the water would help with cuts and other skin ailments too.

Nirvana spa sauna and steam room

The steam room and sauna are back to back in the centre of the room – with an ice-cold plunge pool just outside…

Hydrotherapy pool, steam room and sauna

Time was ticking on and we still hadn’t made it a third of the way round the massive map we’d been given on arrival. It was time to get serious about relaxing. We did the double-whammy of the steam room and the sauna with a heart-stopping dip in the ice-cold plunge pool in between (and later discovered actual ice you could smother all over yourself to give those pores a good workout). Then it was off to be pummelled by some of the 53 jets in the huge and bubbling hydrotherapy pool before a quick sunbathe by the largest and quietest pool (there are three in all), the other side of the complex.

Great spa for solos

While I’d taken a friend I think that solo travellers would be totally comfortable in visiting the spa on their own – it’s a very welcoming spa for singles as people are on the move so much that you never know who is with anyone or not and there are so many loungers that you won’t be confronted with couples having reserved them for each other.

We then tried out the jacuzzi and the tepidarium, (we also found the gym but decided we were too relaxed for exercise) and then realised there was only time left for a quick drink and slice of cake back in the restaurant before it was time to shower and reluctantly depart.

Into health and fitness? Why not check out my fitness reviews:

Super-pricey but Equinox gym will get you super-fit

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As we left there was a sudden influx of more customers including a hen party, taking advantage of the evening offers, but while the changing rooms became a little more hectic the spa overall is big enough to cope without becoming crowded. The spa is a membership club as well as for day guests and if I lived nearby it would be an extremely tempting prospect. However you can certainly pack a lot into one day – just make sure you get there early to fit it all in.

Food at Nirvana Spa

At lunchtime it was the first sunny day of the year so in spite of the wind we sat outdoors by the open air pool in our fluffy robes and ate a vast amount of food. We’d been recommended to try the Superfood salad with all sorts of healthy stuff including spiced quinoa, beetroot, chickpeas, broccoli, spinach, avocado, walnuts… it was so packed with ingredients it showed no sign of diminishing even after I’d been eating it for ten minutes.

Nirvana spa outdoor pool

The outdoor pool

superfood salad at Nirvana spa

The ever-lasting Superfood salad…

However we didn’t stop there: we also tried the smoked salmon with brown crab, the pan-fried king scallops and the seared salmon with rice noodles and at that point we were informed we could try out the restaurant buffet, which had a whole load more healthy but tasty food and is available to people on the day package.

Overall the menu was well-designed with a good selection of reasonably-priced food, which leaned towards the nutritious side but which still allowed for indulgence as the many cakes and desserts on offer (including chocolate brownies) showed.

Nirvana spa restaurant

The restaurant at Nirvana Spa, which does breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea and cake

Nirvana Spa information and getting there

Nirvana Spa, Mole Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 5DJ
0118 989 7500 

Nirvana Spa cost

You can either become a member of Nirvana Spa, or book a Spa Day at Nirvana Spa.

Spa Day prices

Simple Relaxation – from £95

  • Access to all facilities
  • A delicious light meal
  • Unlimited soft drinks
  • Robe and towel provided

Serene Relaxation – from £105

  • A Celestial Floatation Treatment
  • Access to all facilities
  • A delicious light meal
  • Unlimited soft drinks
  • Robe and towel provided

Radiant Relaxation – from £150

  • Germaine de Capuccini Personalised Facial (50 minutes)
  • Access to all facilities
  • A delicious light meal
  • Unlimited soft drinks
  • Robe and towel provided

More details

There are three different tiers of membership options at Nirvana Spa (detailed below) but you can also book a Time Out visit (3 hours, including robe and towel, from £60), :

Full Membership

Unlimited access to both Nirvana Spa and Nirvana Fitness any day of the week £175 per month

Spa Club 6

Six evening visits per membership year, any day of the week. You may use the Nirvana Fitness facilities during one of your spa visits. In addition you are welcome to use the Nirvana Fitness facilities at any other time for £6.50 per visit. £25.50 per month

Spa Club 3

Three visits per membership year, any day of the week. You may use the Nirvana Fitness facilities during one of your spa visits.In addition you are welcome to use the Nirvana Fitness facilities at any other time for £6.50 per visit. £19.75 per month

Nirvana Spa location

Nirvana Spa is located in Sindlesham near Wokingham, just outside Reading and is within easy reach of junction 11 of the M4 and the A329M. There is plenty of free on-site parking. The nearest station to Nirvana Spa is Winnersh railway station which is less than a mile away and is on the London Waterloo to Reading line.

Looking for great spa hotels?

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Chewton Glen – luxury from spa to treehouse

And if you just want a hotel with a swimming pool, then here are Best hotels with swimming pools

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