Ragdale Hall’s owners celebrate 25 years!

Michael and Gary

Michael Isaacs (left) and Garry Nesbitt (right) just after purchasing the Hall in June 1990

Monday 15th June 2015 marks 25 years since Michael Isaacs and the late Garry Nesbitt purchased Ragdale Hall.

Many of our guests, members and staff have been with us since the beginning and enjoyed watching the Hall grow into the award winning health spa it is today, however for those who are relative new comers, here’s Co-owner Penny Nesbitt explaining how it all began…


Reaching the 25th anniversary of owning Ragdale Hall has made me reflect over the years and remember how my late husband Garry and his business partner Michael’s association with Ragdale began.

I actually visited Ragdale as a guest for the first time in 1985 with a friend who was a great fan. I remember very clearly the combination of boot camp and starvation. Especially the Ragdale breakfast ‘biscuit’, otherwise known as the ‘cardboard brick’. How things have changed!

However, despite all of this, I absolutely loved the experience and returned several times. The magic of walking through those double doors and stress just melting away was a powerful incentive to keep on returning.

When the opportunity arose to buy the Hall, I managed to persuade Garry and Michael, also a very dear friend, to come and see Ragdale. At the time they were interested in a gym in London, associated with Ragdale at the time, with a view to expanding into a chain of clubs. Not a bad idea 25 years ago!

However, they too were seduced by the ‘Ragdale magic’ and miraculously we were able to acquire the Hall.

Over this time, there have been amazing developments and changes, in which I have been able to play a part. It has all been such a joy and I feel proud that Michael and I have a business that makes guests who visit very happy.

I am also extremely proud of all the wonderful staff who make an invaluable contribution to the Ragdale magic.

I know Michael will join me in saying a very big thank you to everyone, guests and staff alike, for a very special 25 years.

Long may it continue.

PENNY NESBITT

Michael Isaacs & Penny Nesbitt

Michael Isaacs & Penny Nesbitt


We have placed a 25th Anniversary display in Main Reception with some further information on, so please take a look next time you’re here.

We’ll also be having a #‎throwbackthursday‬ on Twitter and Facebook for the next few weeks to celebrate, so if you have any old photographs or memoirs we could use, please feel free to post them below or email to marketing@ragdalehall.co.uk.

On Wednesday 17th June, Michael Isaacs, co-owner of Ragdale Hall, added:

I would like to personally thank everyone who has sent good wishes to Penny Nesbitt and myself on the occasion of our 25th anniversary of owning Ragdale Hall. Together with the whole Ragdale Team, of whom we are very proud, we have reflected on the progress achieved in those 25 years. 

We thank you for your loyalty, support and encouragement and assure you we will continue to reinvest in our facilities, improve our service and, most of all, continue to look after our guests to the best of our abilities. 

Here’s to the next 25 years!

27 Comments

  • Joy Townsend says:

    How pleased I am that Garry, Michael and Penny purchased Ragdale all those years ago. Hope the display is still there when I next visit in August. Congratulations and here’s to the next 25!! Hope I’ll still be able to visit then.

  • sandra says:

    Many congratulations, here’s to next 25 years!!!!

  • Rita Michau says:

    Hi Mike
    Have enjoyed my visits to Ragdale over the years.
    Keep going.

    Love Rita

  • Sonia says:

    Congratulations from a very happy ‘relax and revive’ day visitor.xxx

  • Lyssa Phillips says:

    a number of wonderful busts have been thoroughly enjoyed. There is nowhere like Ragdale.

  • Lyssa Phillips says:

    Word should be visits!

  • Diane says:

    My first visit was in 1981. Very relaxing experience then, but so much better now with the indoor pool and spa facilities. Now come every year with my daughter and enjoy the experience immensley.

  • Dimant family says:

    With my two daughters I have been coming to Ragdale for 23 years and have enjoyed every minute of it, also watching it improve each time.

  • Debbie Fisher says:

    I first visited in 1985 and you can imagine the difference to Ragdale now. Love coming every year and cannot fault a single thing. Congratulations

  • Lesley Thomas says:

    Wishing a very Happy Birthday to Ragdale Hall owners and all the very wonderful staff.
    Visits are the highlight of my year, I look forward to them with great anticipation, enjoy every moment and leave feeling refreshed and renewed.
    Enjoy your celebrations, you deserve them.
    Looking forward to returning as soon as I can.
    Lesley

  • Sue Glyn says:

    Have enjoyed every single visit and can’t wait for the next one.

  • Pam Murray says:

    I have been coming to Ragdale Hall for over 30 years now and have seen incredible changes all for the better. A very happy 25th anniversary.

  • belinda james says:

    Congratulations Ragdale. I have been visiting Ragdale for 16 years now and wouldn’t dream of going to any other spa. I love it! As do all my friends I have introduced to Ragdale over the years. Your staff are wonderful and genuinely want us visitors to have a great time, and the way you have evolved is inspiring and exemplary! Thank YOU!

  • Debbie says:

    Congratulations & carry on what you’re doing. I’ve been going every year for last 12 with girlfriends we all so look forward to visiting. Only 6 months left to go and counting!

  • Barbara Blakemore says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary. I think you do a superb job as do all your staff. I’ve been coming here for the last 19 years and thoroughly enjoy everything about it. The training you must give them including the importance of pokiteness and friendliness and the atmosphere you must create behind the scenes results in a wonderful family atmosphere.

  • Loraine says:

    I have so many many happy memories of total chill out days at the hall,m you must have thousands……. Thank you for sharing it xxxx

    Be there soon

  • ritacampbell says:

    congratulations x always made to feel special looking forward to another visit must be 24 years I have been visiting the fabulous place xxxx

  • Maureen Read says:

    My daughter Alison Read was the restaurant supervisor after completing her studies at Henley College, Coventry. My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at Ragdale Hall eighteen years ago! A fabulous weekend with many extra special treats provided by the staff. I hope to celebrate our Golden Anniversay at Ragdale Hall in seven years time!!!

  • John vickers says:

    Congratulations from John Vickers ex head of dining, and best wishes for the future.

  • Rachael Wood says:

    I have been coming regularly for 10 years. I have had peritoneal cancer for 1 and half years. When I have chemo or am feeling low I think of Ragdale and am uplifted

  • Jane wolff says:

    Have been a regular visitor to wonderful Ragdale, from the moment I make my reservation I can’t wait to walk through the main doors to such a friendly welcome and the feeling of instant calm and relaxation. All the staff are so helpful and want to make your time at Ragdale a stress free experience. The wonderful food, pool areas and mustn’t forget the silent room, pure bliss. Can’t wait to come
    again in October :):) congratulations on 25 years.

  • Sue Holmes says:

    Ragdale is pure relaxation and luxury from the moment you walk through the door. I love it. My enjoyment starts from the moment I get in my car for the 2 to 3 hour drive there. I visit twice a year and will be there on 3rd July with my daughter. I can’t wait!
    Congratulations on your 25th anniversary

  • Carol Ashworth says:

    My first visit to Ragdale Hall was in 1986 and I have been visiting every year since then ( sometimes 2 or 3 times a year). I cannot think of any changes to make Ragdale a better place to visit, but somehow the changes that are made keep enhancing the whole experience. Ragdale Hall just gets better and better. Congratulations on your 25 years and here’s to the next 25…

  • mrs gibson says:

    Congratulations looking forward to my visit with friends in August for the 4th time.

  • Ann Dixey says:

    Many congratulations! I just love coming to Ragdale Hall and hope to visit again soon.
    It’s my Birthday on the 15th also.
    Congratulations again.

  • Linda Day says:

    Wow where do the years go I first visited Ragdale Hall 23years ago with my daughter Samantha who was studying at Loughborough Uni
    and it was a way we could spend a few days together 23 years later we have never missed a year there is no where like Ragdale we have such happy memories and we look forward to making many more Congratulations on 25yrs

  • Joni Appleton says:

    A message from Michael Isaacs, Co-owner, Ragdale Hall:

    I would like to personally thank everyone who has sent good wishes to Penny Nesbitt and myself on the occasion of our 25th anniversary of owning Ragdale Hall.

    Together with the whole Ragdale Team, of whom we are very proud, we have reflected on the progress achieved in those 25 years.

    We thank you for your loyalty, support and encouragement and assure you we will continue to reinvest in our facilities, improve our service and, most of all, continue to look after our guests to the best of our abilities.

    Here’s to the next 25 years!

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