Muddy tries: Bedruthan Sensory Spa experience
The Bedruthan Hotel is a personal Muddy favourite – uber cool and totally family friendly, it’s nestled on a cliff top above the magnificent Mawgan Porth Beach between Padstow and Newquay.
When I heard about the new Sensory Spa Garden, designed to invigorate all your senses in a one-hour experience, I was packing quicker than you can say grab your speedos, we’re off to Mawgan Porth. This was a chance to put the kids in the (free to guests) kids club, and take some time out for ourselves (and each other). Its popular with couples and you’ll see why in a minute.
The garden, like the hotel is heavily influenced by Scandinavia, but also ayurvedic principles and has a zen like quality. The focus is on the senses, nature bathing and thermotherapy. The garden is quite Narnia like – spectacular sea views, seclusion from the kids, hotel and grounds and the heavenly natural aromas give it an other-worldly feel.
This is a solitary experience, meaning you control the pace, which only serves to increase your connection with the garden. Staff explained the procedure at the beginning, but are completely unobtrusive. We were only accompanied on our journey with any other guests that might have booked. That said, groups are small (max 6) and there’s no obligation to engage with your companions, even if you came with them!
After an explanation, we moved through the seven stages of the garden, designed to detoxify and renew. and drawing on the sights, sounds, aromas and textures of nature and the refreshing properties of the sea air, blowing off the Atlantic.
The experience starts off with ‘cool’, with a dry salt scrub in the gently heated stone room to exfoliate and prepare our winter bodies. You apply this yourself, or if you’ve managed to persuade your significant other, you can rub down each other. Next was the group rainforest shower to wash off the salt and prepare our bodies for heat, which as I stood there in my swim suit shivering, I was shouting show me the heat – in my head.
Stage 3 was the sea-view cedar wood sauna. There’s a cute little pothole, affording a glimpse of the surf below. The heat (80°!) like any sauna is designed to open pores and slow the mind down, allowing us to sink into a deep relaxation. I’m pretty sure I could hear snoring (might have been mine!) through the steam.
Out of the sauna, stage 4 was ‘optional’ but as your brave Muddy correspondent I toughed out the cold drench under the bucket shower. Actually to ensure I had a ‘good shot for the feature’, I had to do it three times (thanks for that Mr MC grr) . The first time was invigorating. The third time gave me brain freeze, so here’s a Muddy tip – I’d stick to the one ‘ice bucket challenge’ if I were you.
Next came the cold plunge in the small cedar wood tub. After three bucket drenches, the 16° pool was easy! The fresh water did leave me tingling and alive though, and strangely I felt warm inside – like when you rub snow on your hands skiing. There are two more cedar tubs, one around 36°, and another more toasty at 40°. You are free to move between the hot and cold tubs as you desire. I’d recommend finishing with the hot tub so you can enjoy the muscle-relaxing heat and the beautiful surroundings of the scented garden.
At this point we were offered a cool glass of water, which was much needed.
With a final wet-scrub using aromatherapy oil, seaweed, salt seeds and a plethora of herbs I can’t remember the name of, my skin felt deep cleansed soft and nourished. We washed off in the rain shower again, then wrapped up in fluffy robes and blankets, enjoying a herbal tea around the fire pit, complete with copper footbath.
It was a both invigorating and relaxing experience – like I’ve felt when I’ve done a 10K on a cold winter morning then flopped in the shower. Clean, hydrated and tired, I was ready for a nap!
Spa Director Steph Crosby explained how they developed the idea: “I wanted to develop an experience combining the traditional art of spa’ing and the concept of nature bathing. Thermotherapy, contrasting hot and cold temperatures is the therapeutic backbone to this experience, a more sharing communal feel was also important being inspired by the mother land of spas, Scandinavia, where it’s part of a weekly community routine. We have purposely created a space that doesn’t feel like an indoor spa with the roof taken off but a spa within a Cornish botanic garden.
There is therapeutic elements at every corner of the spa garden from the all year round scented flowers, to the laughter created when being brave with the cold water drench.
I can vouch for that. But for ‘laughter’, read: ‘playful shrieks’ though!
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
They seem to have thought of everything in this gorgeous experience, though keen to hear feedback which is so nice. It’s a totally child no go zone (check out the super high door handles !) in possibly Cornwall’s child friendliest hotel. Check out their other spa offerings – including a family spa session every morning – how exciting do you think that is for miss muddies???
Good for: nature bathing, child free relaxation, followers of ayurvedic principles, detoxing and deep cleaning. Alfresco spa experiences. Those looking for new spa adventures. Pregnant mums – since you control the pace and each stage is optional, you can bypass the hot tub and wallow a while longer in the warm.
Not for: The faint hearted. Thermotherapy is based on extremes of temperatures. Those wanting the garden to themselves (you’d have to ask if that could be arranged).
£££: Exceptional value – you’ll not feel this looked after anywhere for this price. To celebrate the opening of their Sensory Spa Garden, the Bedruthan are offering the hour-long experience for just £35 From 11 – 30 April. After April, the Spa Garden will be a part of one of their lovely new Day Spa Packages, starting from £55 (residents £45). One night Spa Garden Break in sea view room from £249 for two people.