At DOSE, we know what makes you feel good. From wine, workouts and fries to yoga and holistic highs. A philosophy we like to call “healthy hedonism”. It’s about balance, right? So when it comes to choosing a spa hotel, we look for ones that speak to our passion for wellness and love of food. The bon vivant in us who appreciates the finer things, but also likes to get lost in an active adventure. From a luxury spa on the outskirts of Dartmoor, to clifftop retreats overlooking the UK’s best surfing beaches – family friendly, adults only and canine compatible. We’ve done our research on the best spa hotels in Devon and Cornwall for healthy hedonists in search of a balanced getaway…
SAUNTON SANDS HOTEL IN DEVON
Family & dog friendly hotel with spa & surf lessons
Why we love it: What makes this hotel so special is its jaw dropping clifftop location overlooking a 3.5 mile stretch of golden sands. It’s the sort of view that never fails to take your breath away. Loved by surfers and longboarders for the clean consistent waves and families for beachy fun, Saunton Sands is also dog-friendly all year long.
Spa: A sea-view spa overlooking the beach. What more could you want? Source spa days and sessions include a twilight spa evening (an after hours spa experience with prosecco), full-day luxury spa days including pregnancy spa days and spa days for men.
Fitness: Book a surf lesson with Surf Saunton or Walking on Waves and go for a run around the epic Braunton Burrows – a vast expanse of wild, wonderful dunes. At Saunton Sands Hotel you’ll find fitness and wellbeing classes including yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, full-body workouts and meditation sessions. Or put on your hiking boots and hike the South West Coast Path.
Food & Drink: Make a reservation at the Beachside Grill for a Spiced Cauliflower “Steak” or Chargrilled Peri Peri Chicken. We’re also a fan of the Mussels doused in Devon red cider, shallots, apple and cream served with a crusty organic bloomer. Washed down with a glass of wine on the balcony overlooking the beach. This area is open to dogs, so you can enjoy a well-earned break after you’ve walked them.
Every healthy hedonist loves an afternoon tea. Enjoy the breathtaking views over Saunton Sands while tucking into a quintessentially British afternoon tea: comprising of finger sandwiches, jaw-dropping scones and a scrumptious selection of fine pastries – pure decadence. Available from September 2021.
WATERGATE BAY HOTEL IN CORNWALL
Family & dog friendly hotel with surf lessons & wellness retreats
Why we love it: A firm favourite in our list of the best spa hotels in Devon and Cornwall. The vibe at Watergate Bay Hotel is about being active, getting amongst the elements, eating and drinking well, chilling out and getting cosy. Healthy hedonism in a nutshell. It has a beautiful location on the doorstep of a two-mile spectacular surfing beach on the north Cornwall coast and is the ideal destination for a beach holiday. It’s like our home away from home. They love dogs too.
We can’t wait to stay in their new beach lofts launching later this year with ‘surf in, surf out’ access for a ski chalet inspired experience on the beach and panoramic views of Watergate Bay.
Spa: The hotel’s Swim Club connects to the outside elements with views of the Atlantic Ocean and a boardwalk straight to the beach. Treat yourself to a massage, facial, manicure or cliff-top hot tub and sauna to release those oh so good endorphins. Swim in the 25-metre ocean-view swimming pool with floor-to-ceiling glass on two sides.
Fitness: Watergate Bay is ahead of the pack in terms of its wellness offerings. Their Active Breaks calendar is packed full of experiences for the healthy hedonist including a Re-balance Pilates retreat with Marina Huxley, a qualified body control Pilates teacher in June and September 2021. There’s also a Coastal Fitness weekend in September, where you’ll be encouraged to swap a treadmill for the ocean, walk the coast path and get the heart pumping with circuits on the beach. This one is hosted by Personal trainers, Lottie and Emma from Mountain Beach Fitness Retreats.
For yogi’s there’s the Watergate Bay yoga break – a two-day break led by Oceanlight Yoga instructor Julia Poole to help you to reset, rebalance and refocus in May, September and October. For those who want to improve their swimming, there’s a two-night Swim Clinic retreat in November.
Food & Drink: Dine at Zacry’s for the best quality meat and fish served with an imaginative twist, to a full plant-based menu. For a more relaxed vibe head to The Beach Hut – Watergate Bay’s original beach hangout that blends local ingredients with international cuisine from Mexico, Asia, Italy and more to create contemporary seaside food in a relaxed but lively setting. Be sure to visit The Living Space for a sun-downder cocktail.
The pièce de résistance this year is Chef Emily Scott’s pop up that will be going permanent this spring with a seafood and plant-based menu, including the likes of roasted scallops with truffle butter, and buffalo mozzarella panna cotta with basil and tomatoes.
BORINGDON HALL, SPA HOTEL IN DEVON
For friends/couples seeking spa days and afternoon tea
Why we love it: What’s not to love about a grand Devonshire manor. This stately pile is situated on the outskirts of the hauntingly beautiful Dartmoor, famed or its wildlife and walks. Think: fire-lit lounges, enchanting nooks and manicured grounds – the perfect retreat for a girl’s getaway or couples break. But what we love most about this place is the spa… why it’s a firm favourite on our list of spa hotels in Devon and Cornwall.
Spa: We love tapping into our inner goddess at the Gaia spa – the ancient goddess of nature “Mother Earth” synonymous with rebirth and healing. Whether you’re a mum to be on a pregnancy journey or in need of some R&R to offset the stresses of modern life, it’s a go-to sanctuary in Devon. Try the Gaia Crystal Therapy treatment that uses crystals to discover which chakras are blocked and includes meditation, full body massage and a nurturing scalp massage.
Fitness: Boringdon is more of a place for spa seekers and foodies. But that shouldn’t stop you from unleashing yourself onto Dartmoor’s vast moorland where ponies roam its craggy landscape, defined by forests, rivers, wetlands and granite tors created about 280 million years ago. Hiking is a 2021 fitness trend after all.
Food & Drink: The cosy Mayflower Brasserie is open everyday for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner and serves a delicious Sunday Lunch. Their themed Afternoon Tea is a real event and caters to to those seeking a traditional, champagne fuelled or dairy/gluten free version. Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Raspberry and Pistachio Tart and Laurent-Perrier Champagne? Yes please.
Foodies can book the Àclèaf Dining Package which includes accommodation, in-room continental hamper breakfast or full breakfast in Mayflower or Spatisserie, a four-course meal at Àclèaf each evening, complimentary access to Gaia Spa facilities and 10% off any spa treatments pre-booked.
CARBIS BAY HOTEL IN CORNWALL
Family friendly hotel with fine food, spa and private beach
Why we love it: Carbis Bay is a luxurious coastal retreat with a privately owned 25-acre beach, top notch service, fine food, a new spa (launching this Autumn) and breathtaking views across one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
Spa: The multi-award-winning C Bay Spa, although part of the Main House, has a secluded location with its well-loved facilities and relaxation zones. Above the year-round heated pools stands the Pavilion, uniquely positioned for treatments or an intimate wedding ceremony. From there, various verandas and terraces float down through subtropical gardens towards the private beach – and the South West Coast Path passes by on its way to St Ives.
Fitness: Carbis Bay’s Beach has Blue Flag and Seaside Award accreditation – they are the only UK hotel to boast this – and offers almost a mile of soft, golden sand and sheltered waters. Halfway along, you’ll find the Ocean Sports Centre, offering tuition and hire of paddleboards and kayaks. Look for the Beach Club Restaurant with its informal “Mediterranean” appeal and open-air hot tub above the sands, backed by another Spa treatment suite.
Food & Drink: Restaurant 1894 is one of Cornwall’s leading waterside restaurants offering Cornish fine dining at its best. Order the King Scallops. The Hungry Gannet is a cosy, boutique-style restaurant where log fires and local ales are all on offer with a touch of traditional Cornish hospitality.
Treat yourself to a luxurious afternoon tea in the majestic Main House overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters of St Ives Bay. The Beach Club restaurant is an al fresco option with sun-soaked Mediterranean-style. Try the Cornish crab, fresh fish sourced locally from St Ives day boats, steaks, and handmade pizzas.
THE SCARLET HOTEL IN CORNWALL
Adults only hotel with spa, fine food & clifftop hot tubs
Why we love it: Another favourite in our edit of best spa hotels in Devon and Cornwall. The Scarlet is a luxury eco hotel just for grown ups. Imagine views of cliff, sea and sky at every moment, and airy spaces designed to connect you to the outdoors. A honeymooner’s paradise. Find your space to unwind, from meadow gardens to cliff top hot tubs, an Ayurvedic inspired spa, relaxation lounges, fireside or poolside.
Spa: If you’re looking to spend quality time with a loved one, book their “Spend Time Together” package. A Scarlet Spa Day option for two. Try either a shared hammam or rhassoul heat treatment — each involves applying mineral-rich mud. Relax around the Scarlet Spa, before stepping into your own clifftop hot tub session together. Finish off with a Spa lunch at the Scarlet Restaurant
Fitness: Book a three night yoga break, adapted to you, whatever your skill level – and whatever your aims may be. It includes a three night stay for two. Two privately-tutored, 90-minute yoga sessions. Guided meditation session. Four-hour, individually-tailored Solo Journey – the spa’s signature treatment. Use of the Scarlet Spa facilities: indoor pool, outdoor natural reed pool, clifftop sauna and steam room. Access to the Scarlet’s complimentary programme of daily group yoga and wellbeing sessions.
Food & Drink: At The Scarlet, lunch is fresh seafood and crisp salads, dinner, slow-aged steaks. Afternoon Tea combines delicately-prepared finger sandwiches, scones served with rich jam and Cornish clotted cream, playful basil and coconut macaroons and peach verrine with a champagne jelly. They also offer a full vegan Sunday Lunch menu.
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