If the idea of a spa break by the coast with fine dining in a historic manor house makes you sigh with pleasure then you simply must check out Boringdon Hall & Gaia Spa in Plymouth, Devon on the South Coast of England. We were lucky enough to stay there recently and can highly recommend it for a revitalising break away.
The hotel is located just outside the buzzing marine city of Plymouth in Devon and enjoys views across Dartmoor. You are right on the edge of Dartmoor National Park in a prime location to explore the moors.
Style & Character
The hotel is known as ‘the enchanted place on the hill’ which goes some way to capturing the magical feel of the place. The Grade I listed 16th century Boringdon Hall has itself been beautifully restored, retaining the wonderful, gothic architecture and adding a new wing for the stunning spa and several of the guest rooms. Inside, the original rooms are luxurious and filled with antique furniture and artwork, the newer sections are contemporary and very stylish. The exquisite spa particularly is such a gorgeous environment that you feel instantly calmer just by walking in!
Service & Facilities
The three-storey, ultra-luxe, multi award-winning Gaia Spa is not just a beautiful space, it contains everything that you need to nourish mind, body and spirit. There is a spacious state-of-the-art gym, a large indoor swimming pool heated to 30°c, as well as a Hydrotherapy pool with an outdoor section arranged so you can drift in and out; it’s totally heavenly. There are loungers set up by the indoor pool as well as on the large patio where you’ll also find two hot tubs; sitting out on a warm English day you could be forgiven for thinking you’re in the South of France, this is definitely how to staycation in style! Inside there is a Finnish sauna, a Laconium herbal sauna, a traditional steam room, a Crystal Salt steam room and experience showers. When you’ve finished indulging your body in these, take a treatment with one of their experienced therapists followed by a visit to the gorgeous Deep Relaxation Room. I adored the results-focused Fire and Ice Facial (known as the A-list celebrity fave!) and couldn’t recommend it enough; a combination of two masks and three lights rapidly resurfaced my skin, reducing fine lines and leaving me looking fresher and feeling great with baby-soft skin to touch! I then relaxed totally for an Indian Head massage, releasing any remaining tension and leaving my body feeling as light as a feather. They also have their own range of luxury, natural spa and wellness products; I’m already hooked on the Body Oil which feels simply luscious on my skin and smells divine.
The service was exceptional throughout the hotel, spa, bar and restaurant. The young staff were very professional, friendly and helpful. We were made to feel most welcome.
The 40 guest rooms and suites are stylish and refined. There’s something for every budget and taste. If you prefer the more contemporary, then stay in the Courtyard Rooms and if budget is an issue, the smaller Stable Rooms are also charming modern spaces. We stayed in one of the delightful Four Poster Rooms; the history and romance was tangible with gorgeous antique furnishings and a magnificent stone fireplace in front of which stands a huge freestanding bath right in the room itself. If you’re in the mood to indulge then the suites are a must. The contemporary Executive Suites include a separate lounge and a private terrace with heated Jacuzzi or the ultimate and very lavish Royal Suite includes a lounge, private dining area, secluded terrace with a heated Jacuzzi with a view – you may not want to leave!
Food & Drink
Boringdon Hall is a real foodie’s hotel. You realise this when you see it’s been awarded 3 AA Rosettes but you really feel it when you sit in the intimate Gallery Restaurant, so called because it overlooks the stunning Great Hall, being served delectable fine dining dishes each as pretty as a picture. The cuisine is absolutely delicious, the service friendly and attentive and your surroundings add a real sense of occasion. I can strongly recommend the tasting menu, only improved by adding the wine pairings to accompany each course; it’s a very sociable and enjoyable way to dine and they give a little background and detail where relevant. You can also dine at the brasserie style Wembury Restaurant or at the achingly-chic Spatisserie where they’ll even serve you in your spa robes.
The absolute highlight of the dining and drinking locations though simply had to be the secret bar, accessed via a bookcase in one of the many nooks and crannies! They give invitations on weekends or special nights and you follow the clues to enter a surprisingly large and comfortable bar that feels like an exclusive gentleman’s club and then prepare for a cocktail experience like no other; quite extraordinary yet somehow very at home here!
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