From mindfulness and meditation to pampering spa weekends with hot tubs included, coast shares some favourite retreats to inspire you. Words: Anna Turns
LUXURY LODGE – Ocean Lodges, Cornwall
Eight exclusive new beach lodges have been launched at Carbis Bay, each with three or four bedrooms plus views across to St Ives and Godrevy lighthouse. Each contemporary and timber-clad cottage has its own private garden complete with hot tub, within just a pebble’s throw of the beach and the spa facilities. Set within the 125 acres Carbis Bay Hotel estate, the award-winning C Bay spa overlooks the Blue Flag beach. There’s an outdoor sauna pod, heated outdoor swimming pool and hydrotherapy pool, plus a romantic couple’s treatment room too. Back in your lodge, at the touch of an iPad you can arrange a trip on the hotel’s Sunseeker motor yacht, a helicopter ride along the coast, golf buggy concierge service or a barbecue cooked by a private chef on your own patch of golden sand. The C Bay Spa signature treatment ‘serenity by the sea’ is a two-hour head to toe experience including a lava shell back massage and Ayurvedic scalp massage (£130).
From £1200 per night. Ocean Lodges, Carbis Bay Estate, near St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 2NP. 01736 795311. oceanlodgesstives.co.uk
FITNESS AND WELLBEING – Sandy Acres, Cornwall
Experienced yoga teacher and clinical health psychologist, Alicia Ray, is running two new wellness breaks in conjunction with Cornish Gems (18-20 January or 25-28 January 2019). Enjoy a three-night luxury yoga and wellbeing break at one of the seven luxury Scandinavian lodges (each with a private hot tub) at Sandy Acres by the beach in Hayle. The break includes eight yoga and meditation sessions, deliciously healthy meals and two mindfulness and wellbeing workshops. Guided walks, beach yoga and surf lessons are also an option.
Three nights half-board from £390pp (each lodge sleeps up to six people). cornishgems.com 01872 241241.
JURASSIC RESTORATION – The Water Tower, Dorset
Right on the Devon/Dorset border, The Water Tower has a 12m-long indoor heated swimming pool, a large open plan living space plus five double bedrooms. Located within the private 350-acre Rousdon Estate, there’s access (albeit steep) to a remote private estate beach at Charton Bay or it’s just a few minutes’ drive to the beach at Lyme Regis, an ideal starting point to explore the Jurassic coast and try some fossil hunting. The original tower dates back to the late 19th century and this property is wonderfully secluded, perfect for a peaceful getaway.
The Water Tower is available to rent via perfectstays.co.uk. 01208 895570.
RELAX TO INFINITY – St Brides Spa Hotel, Wales
The jewel in the crown at The Marine Spa at this award-winning hotel is the infinity hydrotherapy pool which looks out over the bay. Thee pool is heated to body temperature and filled with sustainably sourced, sun-dried sea salt water which makes the water ‘softer’. The cliff edge spa also includes a thermal suite with a salt infusion room, aroma steam room, rock sauna, sensation shower and ice fountain. The French windows of the cliff edge dual treatment room means allows couples to experience the sounds and smells of the fresh sea air while being pampered. The marine spa uses natural product brands including antioxidant-rich Caudalie and seaweed-based Voya to complete the experience.
St Brides Spa Hotel, St Brides Hill, Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, SA69 9NH. 01834 812 304. stbridesspahotel.com
BUDDHIST RETREAT – Holy Isle, Scotland
Take a short boat trip from the Isle of Arran to the wild and rugged Holy Isle where there’s no phone reception, and it feels a million miles away from clock time. This tiny Hebridean island has a rich spiritual heritage and it is a dedicated Buddhist Centre for World Peace and Health, with simple accommodation, delicious nutritious vegetarian food, and stunning natural surroundings with Eriskay ponies, Saanen goats and rare Soay sheep roaming free. It’s an ideal place to unplug and switch off – there’s a one-week long New Year retreat entitled ‘awakening an attitude of gratitude’. Other residential courses include mindfulness, yoga and meditation or Chinese Qigong for a healthy heart.
Holy Isle, Lamlash Bay, KA27 8GB. 01770 601100. holyisle.org
COASTAL YOGA – Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Reconnect with nature by combining hiking along to the wild and windy Hag’s Head with nourishing vinyasa yoga in the glass-fronted studio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for a weekend retreat at Cliffs of Moher (4-6 January, 1-3 February). Food experience retreats (22-24 February) focus on teaching a holistic appreciation of food – taking you from the garden, to the kitchen to the dining table, with cookery demonstrations, tips on how to develop your wholefood pantry at home, foraging walks and a guided eating meditation. Plus, there’s always plenty of time factored in for hot tubs and stargazing, and it’s a one-mile walk down to the beach.
Cliffs of Moher Retreat, Moher Lodge, Kinielty, Liscannor, Co. Clare, Ireland. 00353 86 8517710. cliffsofmoherretreat.com
HOLISTIC ESCAPE – Gaia Spa, Devon
Set within the grounds of the 16th century Boringdon Hall Hotel near Plymouth, Gaia Spa have created their own range of products. The two-hour Gaia Rituals (£195) include the raindrop therapy, crystal therapy and total holistic ritual. Spa facilities include a crystal salt steam room with a huge quartz centre piece, Finnish sauna and Laconium herbal sauna plus a hydrotherapy pool with an outdoor swim through. Once you’ve torn yourself away from the deep relaxation room, even the menu at the Spatisserie lists nourishing dishes that awaken, balance or calm your mood.
Gaia Spa, Boringdon Hall, Plymouth, Devon PL7 4DP. 01752 344455. gaiaboringdon.co.uk
GOLD STAR TREATMENTS – Holm House, Wales
For a small clifftop hotel with just a dozen seaside-themed rooms (many with indulgent rolltop baths), Holm House has a surprisingly well-equipped spa set within a beautifully-manicured garden, with a balcony overlooking the coast. The spa facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, steam room, a tidal current machine and relaxation area for use after pampering treatments. Holm House is the first spa in Wales to use the Moroccan-inspired La Sultane de Saba products. The Holm House Mermaid signature journey is a 55-minute treatment that literally covers you in gold. Starting with a back, neck and shoulder massage and then finishing with an express 23-carat gold anti-ageing facial (from £89 includes a glass of house Champagne and lunch).
Holm House, Marine Parade, Penarth, CF64 3BG. 02920 706029. holmhousehotel.com