Queen of Retreats founder and leading wellness travel journalist Caroline Sylger Jones explores spas of all kinds around the globe. This week she casts her eagle eye over Bedruthan Hotel & Spa, Cornwall
This is a great hotel if you’re a parent looking for spa time as well as genuinely engaging stuff to do for your children. It’s set in an unpretty 1960s building reached across a car park, but once inside that doesn’t matter, for you get sweeping views of Mawgan Porth Beach and the ocean from huge windows just about everywhere, and the interior design is colourful and uplifting.
When you’re tired, pop them in the kids club (every guest gets two hours free per day) or play swapsies with your friend or partner and use the indoor hydro spa (which, rather happily, kids get access to for 30 minutes each morning). The highlight of the spa is a large hydrotherapy pool with views out to the sea (above). There’s also a sauna, steam room and caldarium, two showers (though only one which offers privacy) and, for relaxing after, a square of comfortable cushioned seats to sit on and read, a few comfy loungers and a balcony for sunny days. Oodles of treatments are on offer – including some super treatments by the organic brand Ila (kids get their own 30-minute Ila facial) and the hotel’s own locally made and natural products called Oula (which is Cornish for owl).
I particularly enjoyed the outdoor Sensory Spa Garden (which you pay to use for an hour), an outdoor circuit you can do in all weathers in a separate place to the spa surrounded by willow fencing and graced by pots of plants and herbs. Bring a friend, as it’s more of a social than solitary activity that starts with a DIY oat-based body scrub in a dry stone walled yurt, and carries on to a sauna (with a sea view), a rejuvenating cold drench (go on, you’re worth it), a lengthy session in a hot tub and a wet scrub with a warm shower before ending with (the best bit) a herbal tea to sip around a marvellous fire pit while your feet have a soak in a copper pot filled with warm water. Be warned there’s no changing room, but I popped into one of the stone yurts at the end of the circuit to remove my wet swimming costume so I could sit around the fire without feeling damp and chilly.
Meanwhile, kids also get outdoor children’s play areas, tennis courts, a zip wire with a fantastic sea view, an indoor soft play area and access to an impressive daily timetable of fun activities from craft sessions to camp fires, family yoga, circus skills and kite flying. There are also two outdoor pools (for summer swimming only, as they’re solar heated), a decent-sized indoor pool open for adult-only lengths at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.—and, of course, the fabulous beach for swimming, beachcombing, surfing and sandcastle building.
Staff are friendly and efficient; bedrooms are comfortable and colourful—be sure to book a room with a sea view. The Lanai Lounge is worth a visit for its turmeric and honey milk (very tasty) and locally made energy balls if you’re flagging.
From £199 for a family of four (children aged 2 and 5) in a sea view double, B&B, which includes two hours of free childcare for each child, bedruthan.com.
For more wellness travel ideas check out Caroline’s brilliant site Queen of Retreats at queenofretreats.com.
Caroline Sylger Jones is an author and freelance journalist who travels the world checking out spas, retreats and healthy holidays for international newspapers, glossy magazines and websites. She is the founder and director of wellness travel site Queen of Retreats.