Two weeks ago, my darling P and I decided that we needed some time together with no appointments, no visitors, no home improvements and no interruptions; thankfully that all coincided with a prebooked weekend away for a meditation retreat.
We’ve been going to Meditation and Mindfulness classes for a good while now and we’ve found that it’s really helped us (when I say ‘us’, obviously that’s the ‘royal’ us – meaning it really helps me and poor old P dutifully tootles along, but secretly, he enjoys it too!)
We’d been looking forward to it for a long time but I wasn’t sure whether I could do it; being a wheelchair user makes life better for me pain management wise, but is often exhausting, even given the fact that it’s an electric power chair, it’s still really tiring getting out and about. But without the chair, life is very difficult so it’s always a balancing act but we desperately needed some ‘us’ time so we decided to go.
One of the reasons we decided to give it a go was the choice of hotel. The Cliff Hotel and Spa in Gwbert, West Wales is beautiful family run hotel built right on the cliff edge of Cardigan Bay overlooking Poppit Sands and whilst not an obvious choice for a wheelchair user, it’s such a lovely welcoming place, it really is worth the visit.
Two weeks before we were due to arrive, we were on our holiday in the Caribbean and practically out of reach with little or no WiFi or phone signal. In one of the ports (near a bar surprisingly 😉) I had an email from the agents saying the adapted room wasn’t available as it was upstairs and the lift had broken down. But there was no alarm as the hotel had found us another room, “a bigger room with a walk in shower so was that ok with us?” Before the signal disappeared, I quickly replied a hopeful ‘yes‘ and crossed my fingers all the way back to the ship.
Now, then anyone who knows me, knows how totally controlling I am over things like hotel rooms or any other kind of accessibility issue; I think the Caribbean sunshine must have got to my head as for a change, I really didn’t think too much about it until the day itself when all of a sudden, I was stressing over shower seats, whether the room would be big enough and a thousand other things but my darling P persuaded me to just get in the car and see what would happen.
We arrived at the hotel, found a very handy disabled parking space close to the front and also the ramp down into the hotel. The check in area was large, very cosy with possibly the biggest log fire I’ve ever seen and a lowered wheelchair friendly check in desk. The staff were so friendly and very helpful and gave us the key to room 10 and a piece of paper explaining the ‘rules for the hot tub‘?? 🤔🤔🤔
With an exceptionally confused look on our faces, we went down the corridor to room 10, opened the door and stepped/wheeled inside………
The sight that awaited us was the biggest room/suite I have ever seen! It had two king sized beds, a sitting area with a huge tv and the biggest shower room ever (maybe because this shower room also had a huge roll top bath in it as well?)
It didn’t have any grab rails or a shower seat but we borrowed the seat from the spa which was a great help and lucky old P had to help with the rest…..
But to top it all, there was a huge wrap-around patio are with a (guess what) HOT TUB in the corner!! Plus the view was of the whole of Poppit Sands and the rugged Cardigan Bay coastline!!!
Our faces must’ve been a picture! We just said ‘WOW!’ a lot as we went through all the different areas of the room – now when the hotel had promised a ‘bigger room‘, we didn’t expect what was in front of us, an amazing suite with incredible views!
After calming down and unpacking, we explored the hotel to see if a wheelchair user could access any of it. It was great to find that it was flat throughout on the ground floor, meaning I could access all the restaurants, bars, meeting rooms etc. which was brilliant as I could be independent throughout the weekend. (There was even a large disabled toilet on the ground floor too!)
We then ventured into the spa to see how far I could go……
They had an exceptionally good accessible changing room with all the grab rails you’d need, a shower seat and (for me, the best bit) a Dyson hairdryer!
The spa itself is accessible with heated beds and the usual sauna, jacuzzi and swimming pool, unfortunately there was no hoist into the pool or jacuzzi but there were sloping steps into the pool and by using my crutches and some help, I managed to get in. Wow, what a feeling! To be immersed in water was something else and to a woman who can’t get into the bath, being surrounded by warm water was simply blissful 💕
(Stock photos used for obvious reasons!)
The weekend was a huge success and not only because of the fabulous room and spa, the hot tub and the magnificent food – the meditation side was wonderfully relaxing too. Kelly and Samira, the hosts of the weekend from Breathe Meditation, showed us many new ways to be mindful and meditate and as we left after the 4th session, we were given a little goody bag filled with relaxation ideas, candles, bath soaks and many tips on how to continue our meditation journey.
What an amazing weekend! I enjoyed every second, the relaxation was wonderful, the food amazing, the spa fabulous, the view incredible, the hot tub a total surprise but most of all, it was an opportunity to just spend sometime being ‘us‘, being together and reconnecting – now that was worth the world…….💕