Where: Carlyon Bay Hotel, Spa and Golf Course, St Austell, Cornwall
Who went: Kimberley Smith & partner
Trip: Couples break by the seaside with made to order treatments
In a nutshell: Carylon Bay combines spa treatments and luxury with outdoor activities, perched on a cliff by the sea. Perfect for couples and families with children.
Best for: Families and couples who want to spent time together but have different interests. Pamper-fans can head to the spa while active types have a range of other options.
Watch out for: The spa and hotel are family friendly and there are often children enjoying the pool, so don’t expect an exclusively grown-up experience. Pack smart clothes for the evening meal.
“Battleship grey and sprawling back from the car park to the cliffs, arriving at the Carlyon Bay Hotel feels a little like arriving at a naval warship. Suitably nautical for its location and oozing old school English country hotel glamour, porters await your bags and indoors palatial interior design makes one feel like a 19th century country lady or gent.
“Carlyon’s spa is tucked up next to the hotel and available to all guests. The spa has two treatment rooms and a range of treatment options from facials and bump-friendly massages to grooming. Smaller than some destination spas I’ve visited, it has a friendly, inclusive feel and it’s nice to see children enjoying the otherwise empty pool.
“The options available include treatments for both mums and dads, deep cleansing or relaxing massages, clearing and soothing facials, eye treatments, foot massages and if you feel the need to depilate or groom yourself on holiday, these options are all on offer too.
“The Spa’s lead therapist, Jill Sparshott, chats knowledgably about amendments she can make to treatments for pregnant ladies and the blends of essential oils and products she has created especially for expectant women. Jill tells me that any treatment can be adapted for pregnancy or new mums and both are encouraged to think about what they’ll be comfortable with and whether they’ll mind their tummy being touched. Guests can easily change even pre-booked treatments if something else tickles their fancy.
“Despite being a facial virgin, I plump for the Luxury Aromatherapy Facial. The therapist gives me a thorough interrogation before we begin to ensure she uses the correct products for my skin type and my concerns. I stress my worries about the fabled post-facial breakout but she allays my fears and promises the products used are blended for each skin type. There are options for sensitive skin and if you want to try a facial out but are concerned how your skin might react, I’d recommend talking to the therapists here as they are really clued up on products and can adapt treatments as you like. As we begin, above the bed is a twinkling sky scene of LED lights and soothing music floats through my ears. I find the facial surprisingly relaxing, the products smell wonderful and it’s not long before I relax into an almost-doze. Afterwards my skin feels moisturised and fresh, but not laden down with products, and glows healthily as if I’d never been sleep-deprived in my life.
“Meanwhile my partner explores the hotel beyond the spa, stumbling on a snooker room replete with a bar and three full size tables. There’s also a putting green, outdoors pool, pitch-and-putt course and the beach is a stone’s throw away, so that keeps dads and children occupied while mums put their feet up on the hot seats in the spa.
“Dinner is available in two different restaurants. The classic hotel restaurant has a dress code and is included in the room price but there is a second, newer eatery called Taste Brasserie. We opt for Taste a more relaxed option. Reportedly the pet project of the head chef, the menu includes plenty of local and seasonal ingredients. There are options to please fussy eaters with favourites such as fish and chips. But healthy appetites won’t be disappointed either, with choices such as a fabulous lobster surf and turf. The hotel credits £20 per meal at Taste and you will need to pay any excess. It’s a great option for families with children or teenagers who don’t want to change out of their jeans!”
Price: From £130 per person per night. Children from £40. This includes accommodation, breakfast, dinner or a £20 allowance towards dinner at Taste Brasserie, and a round of golf as well as full use of the spa facilities. Check the website for special offers and seasonal discounts.
Treatments: Luxury Aromatherapy Facial, £50 for 1hr 15mins. Pre/postnatal Envelopment, £55 for 1hr 15 mins. See brochure for full list.
Telephone: 01726 811006