Gaia Spa is a luxury spa set within the grounds of Boringdon Hall, Devon; a Grade I listed 16th century country manor on the edge of Dartmoor, Plymouth. Modern, welcoming and expertly designed, the Gaia Spa has it all. The spa makes the most of its setting offering beautiful views to the gardens, field and moorland on the horizon. From the warm welcome at reception, you can indulge in a manicure, pedicure or make-over. However, step through the spa doors to find where the magic really happens. The large pool is perfect for swimming laps and there’s a hydrotherapy pool with lots of massaging jets which leads to a small, but perfectly formed outdoor jacuzzi. Lining the pool are a series of relaxation loungers and two heater loungers. On wet days – this area can get quite busy. But during balmy sunny days from spring to early autumn you can escape outside and really commune with nature.
The thermal suite at Gaia Spa is very well designed, ensuring a seamless spa journey with two saunas, laconium, experience showers and a steam room and crystal steam room. On this level you will find the treatments rooms which feature delightful design touches to evoke the spirit of Gaia.
After your treatment you will be guided to the relaxation lounge which is chic, cosy and has a glass door leading outside. I drifted in and out of a dream like state – post treatment and could have stayed there all day.
Dining delights at Gaia Spa
On the top floor, the Spatisserie at Gaia Spa is elegant, yet designed with simplicity using statement light fittings and light weight curtains to screen the areas to give a feeling of seclusion and privacy. Sofas make the space sociable and its popular with groups of friends on spa days. Looking out across the fields you can dine on excellent, healthy options that are linked to the concept of the brand.
The food was healthy and nutritious (with some treats available too). We tried the Sweet Potato Risotto and Pasta with Courgetti, Pine Nuts and Chicken. Lovely. Health and wellness are well looked after with a great gym, a large selection of fitness and yoga classes.
Weekday spa days including a two-course champagne spa lunch and a 60-minute treatment (and use of facilities) start at £125. Incredible value. Do yourself a favour and book it now.
The Gaia Restorative Treatment begins with a foot cleanse and scrub using Gaia foot scrub. It’s a welcome introduction to this unique therapy. Dry body brushing on the back precedes a series of cleansing phases, interspersed with hot mitts. The use of the Clarisonic Brush to cleanse the skin was a unique touch. This is followed by a body scrub using Gaia’s lovely scrub. Once removed a mud mask with aromatherapy essential oils is applied to cleanse, renew and draw out toxins. This is left on for a whilst you have a hand and arm massage.
Finally, an intense hot stone massage focussing on targeted areas (identified during the consultation) is completed. It worked on my neck, shoulders and glutes. Absolutely perfect and wonderful to feel the warmth and heat of the hot stones. The therapist used Calming Oil – which I chose during a scent test at the beginning. It calmed my senses down and left me floating by the end.
Boringdon Hall – the hotel
The hotel exudes old world charm throughout this historic building. As it was pre-Christmas we were welcomed with a glass of mulled wine and the staff were all open, friendly and welcoming from the front desk to restaurant and the spa. This manor house, which dates back to the 16th century, this Grade 1 listed building retains its sense of history (especially in the Great Hall), but the rooms are modern and feature a combination of country-style contemporary fabrics and furnishings. Rooms are located in the main building and converted stables.
The food and service are excellent and dining in the restaurant was a pleasure. Do book the tasting menu as it was fabulous. Paired with individual wines – even better.
The best bits
The Gaia Restorative Treatment – I really loved the treatment
Lunch in the Spatisserie at Gaia Spa
Relaxing on the loungers by the pool
Morning workout in the gym
Tasting menu in the main restaurant
Room to improve
The layout in the men’s changing room wasn’t great. No space to put your things, if there were more than two people, you had to wait. A different solution for towels needs to be found.
In winter, on busy days the loungers get busy so you may need to retreat to the relax room for a lounger.
The details at Gaia Spa
Gaia Restorative Treatment
£177 – Off-peak (Monday to Friday)
£130 – Peak (Saturday & Sunday)
Nightly room rates at Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa start at £156 in low season, and up to £196 in high season. Based on B&B in a Courtyard Room.
If you are in the South West of the UK why not check out The Scarlett in Cornwall? Read the Spa Man’s review here