Ragdale Hall Spa celebrates its 30th anniversary

Oct 27, 2020
Posted in: Featured, Ragdale Hall News   Posted by: Ragdale Hall Spa

This year is an incredibly special year for Ragdale Hall as we’re celebrating 30 years of private ownership. Where has the time gone?!

The next generation: Tristan Nesbitt and Lucy Isaacs pictured alongside their parents Penny Nesbitt and Michael Isaacs

Ragdale Hall was purchased by the Nesbitts and Isaacs families in 1990, and now the next generation of both families are involved. Over the past three decades, Ragdale Hall has grown in the hearts of many people near and far, offering a blissful escape to press pause, relax and recharge; and is now one of the UK’s leading spa resorts with six pools (including a state-of-the-art Rooftop Infinity Pool), multi-million-pound heat and water experiences in the Thermal Spa, and industry-leading fitness and treatments.

We’ve also watched as the ‘Ragdale Family’ has also grown. As one of the largest family-owned independent businesses in Leicestershire, Ragdale Hall employs over 500 staff. This year, we’ve celebrated a whole host of milestone work anniversaries, including more than a hundred members of staff who have been at Ragdale for more than fifteen years, and six members of the ‘Ragdale family’ who have worked at Ragdale for thirty years- totalling a remarkable 360 years of service between them! Wow!

Carol Bowes is one of Ragdale Hall’s longest-serving employees and recently celebrated her 45th work anniversary. Carol started at Ragdale as a chambermaid when she was nineteen and for most of her time has worked in the Laundry and Housekeeping teams. Carol comments, “It is a great place to work. The Hall itself is a lovely building and I love meeting the variety of guests we get at the Hall – I feel lucky to be a part of it all.”

David Hamdorff, Ragdale Hall’s Chairman, also celebrated 30 years at Ragdale this year. Before embarking on his Ragdale journey, David was part of a London-based team advising prospective owners Garry Nesbitt (Penny’s late husband) and Michael Isaacs on the purchase of Ragdale in 1990. After seeing the potential of Ragdale, David made the move to Leicestershire to join the partnership in the venture. The Hall itself, under David’s expert guidance, has seen tremendous developments since then.

HR and Commercial Director, Allison Garner also joined Ragdale Hall in 1990, alongside Managing Director, Hugh Wilson. Hugh comments: “Traditional family values sit well with me, and it’s lovely to see how so many staff have developed over the years and that we’re now seeing the next generation of staff members join the 530 strong Ragdale family. And of course, the same can be said for our guests, many of whom now bring younger family members to share in their wonderful Ragdale experience.”

Health and Fitness consultant, Dean Hodgkin, also reached the landmark of 30 years as a member of Ragdale Hall team. Also celebrating 30 years’ service are Andrew Nicholson, (Head Gardener), Anne Williams (Housekeeping) and Nicola Watchorn (Dining Room).

From long-serving and dedicated staff members, to the welcoming and relaxed manner of the Hall itself, Ragdale Hall Spa continues to uphold family values, keeping them at the core of everything we do, and together we’re proud to celebrate 30 years of family.


7 responses to “Ragdale Hall Spa celebrates its 30th anniversary”

  1. Raheema Caratella says:

    So yesterday as everyone was trying to do their last meal out, last visit to the pub etc, we went on a spa evening to Ragdale Hall to get our last treat before we went back into lockdown. The spa was pretty much empy. As we were leaving we saw staff coming together to say goodbye, an older woman was retiring so staff had done a collection for her and sending her off with good wishes, later we went to settle our bill and the hotel manager said we are his historic last customers! 😢 we could feel how emotive he got and was like…hey you will open up again in 4 weeks. He mentioned how it was a struggle to just get going again and now they had been affected by lockdown 2.0 at their most busiest time of the year. We were really moved and expressed our gratitude about how fabulous the staff had actually been, how relaxing our treatment was, how accommodating the kitchen staff were to dietary requirements. Told him for these few hours we forgot we had three young children at home. I guess a couple of things came out of this experience one having non essential is essential to mind, body and spirit 💆🏽‍♀️💅🏼🧠 The hotel & spa is not owned by a massive chain, its family owned and the vibe I got from the manager Michael and wife Penny was that they actually cared about the staff and customers so the second thing i took away is to support local & independents where possible. I never normally review places like this as my friends can vouch I normally have the worst experiences going out for meals, like literally something will go wrong with my order! If it turns up at all somehow this fussy vegetarian finds out the hard way 🙄 anyway back to my review I’m so glad we choose Ragdale Hall, it was perfect evening 💓 If you can support them post lock down they would be really grateful for your custom and that you will have a bloody amazing time! We did 😉

  2. Anne Maskell says:

    It’s frightening, but I’ve been coming to Ragdale since 1990. Have found that every time I come back something else has been tweaked (in the nicest possible way) to make you want to come back again and again. The staff are always welcoming and friendly.

    The one thing I miss is Raggles, so much so that I bought one of your teddies and I called him Raggles.

    Ragdale is my happy place, as long as you keep open I will keep on coming.

  3. Zelda Hall says:

    Congratulations on your 30th anniversary. Long may you continue.

    I am so grateful for Ragdale, its ‘family’ and the peace I find each time I come (more than 25 years now) even when I bring my daughter with me!! You can be sure that, when allowed, we will be back to wallow in the tranquillity, good food, thermal spa and relaxing treatments.

  4. Sabrina Nugara says:

    We recently stayed at Ragdale Hall for our very first time. I work in a school and have worked non-stop throughout lockdown without the usual holiday breaks, and so has my husband, so this break was to be a light at the end of what has been – for us – a very long tunnel.

    We cannot say enough about the incredible team who collectively make Ragdale a heaven-on-earth. From the expertise of the therapists (Georgie, Katie, Laura, Rebecca), restaurant team (Imogen, Lynn, Ben, Juliet, Elizabeth), Twilight bar (Alfred – and shout out to the mixologists behind the bar for the excellent gin & tonic combinations), fitness instructors (Harvey, Georgia), Jessica at Reception and the many other delightful angels we had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with throughout our stay – even if you didn’t know it, every thing you did made a real difference to our stay. We could see everyone was truly happy to be back, someone we spoke to described it as having the family all back under one roof again. Nothing had been left to chance and staff were visibly working hard to maintain standards and sanitise handles and touch points many times throughout the day. We felt just as safe as if we were in our own home.

    On our last day we had an opportunity to see Mr Isaacs chatting with all the restaurant team over lunch, before congratulating a guest on her special occasion. It’s this personal connection that makes all the difference to the experience Ragdale Hall offers, something you rarely get to see.

    Having arrived in a state of anxiety and stress, we left ready to face anything – little did we know the next lockdown was to be announced soon after. We only hope the team stays positive, and we look forward to being back again in December for another much needed break (!). Thank you all so much.

  5. Susan Swindlehurst says:

    Congratulations on achieving 30 year as a family owned enterprise and with so many long serving employees.
    My first visit was in 2001 and regular visits have helped through some stressful times of my life.
    During my visits it has been very heartening to recognise so many of the staff and see their progression through the ‘ranks’.
    I feel like its coming home as I am given the impression that I am recognised and that staff are pleased to see me back for another stay.

  6. SUE HYAMS says:

    My first visit to Ragdale was 1980, so I myself am celebrating my 40th year of coming to Ragdale. Since Garry and Michael took over in 1990 I have watched the place grow from strength to strength and mature like a fine wine !!!!!!!!! However, despite the growth, the family feeling has never waned, and attention to every possible detail always maintained.

    I have also made some amazing friends along the way and have known many longstanding staff members for many years. Here’s to many more happy and successful years. I cant wait until my belated anniversary trip in January !!!

  7. Nina Barbara Wing says:

    Amazing 30 years . An amazing place… gets better and better and don’t I know it. My daughter Lesley worked at the Hall as a therapist in Beauty from 1978-81. As mum Nina … I have been visiting since then and my parents stayed making us 3 generations of clients. I celebrated my 80th this year and had hoped to visit with my daughter but the pandemic intervened.
    Lovely to see the names of those who are still on the staff …..well done. Hope to see you all again soon . Stay safe… Good business .. and above all Be well. Nina

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