Cornwall LivingIssue #143
It’s usually at this time of year that I find myself sitting back and taking stock of the last 12 months, and while it’s oh so easy to launch into excited plans for the next one, it’s never been more important to take a moment to rest, reconnect with yourself and recharge for the new year. For some of us, this might take the form of a quiet moment immersed in warm bubbling water or a calming massage to ease away any aches and pains, while others might look to reset the mind and body in the icy shock of chilly Cornish sea water or the perfect stillness of meditation. However you might seek to ground yourself after the triumphs and challenges of 2023, all the resources you need are right here in Cornwall – that is, if you know where to look.
For those seeking a space to unwind and let go of those pesky day-to-day stresses, The Headland Hotel (headlandhotel.co.uk) provides a sanctuary perched high above the wild waves of Fistral Beach in Newquay, a perfect setting to restore that sense of balance and wellbeing that can so easily evade us as life gets busier. At this award-winning, no-luxury-spared spa, time slows down in the luxurious low-lit treatment rooms, and the sea views from the spa lounge are there to be enjoyed while you explore the delightful culinary offering, with friendly staff to guide you through your perfect day.
From radiance-boosting facials to couples’ spa experiences and relaxing massages, place yourself in the hands of the experts at The Headland and feel the tension melt away. Alongside a range of treatments crafted to soothe and replenish, it’s the hotel’s partnership with Made For Life Organics that caught my eye especially. Paired with a practice called Touch Therapy, the hotel offers gentle hands to those who may need a little extra healing, with therapists trained to take into account particular pains in a sequence of extremely gentle and slow movements that lull the mind and body into a deeply relaxed state.
The Hand on Heart Signature Treatment seems made for those looking to escape the noise of day-to-day life, pulling you into deep relaxation with the use of slow Tui Na Chinese techniques to rebalance and calm the upper body, while nourishing and reviving the skin with a facial to leave you feeling fully replenished. As well as treatments from the leading product houses, there’s time for soul-boosting breakfasts, sumptuous dining throughout the day, escapes along the coast path and invigorating walks along Fistral Beach.
St Michaels Resort (stmichaelsresort.com) in Falmouth has always held wellness close to its heart, and its award-winning spa facilities are proof of this dedication, offering a range of treatments that cater to both physical and mental wellbeing. Guests can indulge in rejuvenating massages, skin-nourishing facials and a variety of wellness rituals that draw inspiration from both traditional and contemporary practices. The spa’s serene ambiance, coupled with skilled practitioners, creates an oasis of calm where guests can unwind and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Experience total relaxation in one of the spa’s luxury treatment rooms as one of St Michaels’ expert therapists delivers a bespoke pampering experience.
One of the spa’s signature treatments is called Fangotherapy. Aimed at relieving aches and pains, this treatment effectively soothes away sore and aching muscles. Heated parafango mud, which is formulated with paraffin to create a mini-sauna, is applied to the targeted area of the body. The treatment finishes with a body massage using a self-heating balm to soothe muscles and let cares float away. For something more invigorating, you could choose a cleansing salt scrub. Mineral salts are combined with refreshing lime and warming ginger oils, leaving your skin soft, smooth and nourished. For the ultimate in decadence, St Michael’s rhassoul experience is one not be missed. Guests have use of the bespoke, private spa chamber, a steam infusion and exfoliating shower experience, and a soothing rhassoul application. Rhassoul is a traditional Moorish cleaning ritual and the clay has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, all while improving your complexion and giving your skin a healthy glow. If you’re seeking a combination of wellness with the luxury of a stay, then this year sees the return of St Michaels’ hugely popular active Cornish breaks.
When it comes to mindfulness, there’s one place in particular where mind, body and soul are nurtured in equal measure. Through Sunshine Café and Yoga (sunshinecafeandyoga.co), owner and founder Ella Kite has been able to share her knowledge, experience and love for fresh, nourishing flavours with anyone seeking to replenish much more than an empty stomach. Combined with the yoga studio through the adjoining doors, this is a place where body meets mind in more ways than one.
“Sunshine is a place to come to reset, find balance and recharge,” Ella explains. “I really want people to make this a part of their daily or weekly routines, to weave it into their lifestyle, become a part of our community and just watch how it benefits their life! It’s a great opportunity to meet new, like-minded people and have inspiring chats with someone over a coffee that was practising next to you in your morning yoga class. We just want to help show you ways to live your life in a healthier, more thoughtful and nourishing way.” By serving healthy and well-considered food and drinks, Sunshine supports your practice of yoga whilst looking after your body,
with a belief that the two work together to create a nourishment for your whole being – mind, body and soul.
With a range of yoga classes on offer, from more energising Vinyasa classes, which are good to start your morning or for a boost later on in the day, to slower Restorative and Yin classes that help to ground your body and calm your nervous system, allowing you deep rest and release; these slower practices are great to balance out our busy lives. Sunshine is also a space where people can get an insight into meditation and how this is such an integral part of a yoga practice, with free sessions held every Sunday.
For those looking to go a step further, Sunshine holds regular events that explore yoga in slightly deeper ways, allowing explorers to delve into a specific practice for two to three hours and really learn, while other wellness style events, like Sound Baths, Energy Healing, Women’s Circles, Movement Workshops and Kirtans, bring people together in a way that encourages real connections and a true sense of community.
One way to reconnect with yourself and the natural world is to reset the brain and the body, and contrast therapy is a wonderful way to achieve this. The St Moritz Wild Spa (stmoritzhotel.co.uk) is an exciting collaboration with Cornwall-based Water and Stone – the leading experts in hot and cold contrast therapy in the South West. Together, the team has designed an original Nordic outdoor spa, all within the beautifully landscaped gardens at the hotel.
The luxury inside/outside elemental spa, set in Trebetherick, between Rock and Polzeath, provides the invigorating, energising benefits of cold-water exposure alongside the restorative, warming effects of heat therapy. Nestled into the secluded north Cornwall cliffside, with fire pits and a full rejuvenation programme, hotel and day guests alike will find there’s no better way to embrace the elements this winter.
A full experience programme of special events and workshops, with leading experts and additional wellness elements, will run throughout the winter and spring. A key part of those options will be a Lithuanian style of sauna – a ‘Pirtis’ – an option that has rarely been available in the UK. Filling the sauna with scents of the forest through ‘whisking’, this Lithuanian sauna tradition is all about creating a connection with nature. A ‘Pirtis’ involves guests entering the sauna and steam mixed environment and being massaged with a mild whisking technique, using fresh birch and oak leaves bound together to create a tool. Breathwork, alongside intention setting, ensures the guests begin to feel aligned as they drift towards a state of tranquillity.
Ross Eliot, founder of Wild and Stone Spa, says, “We’re delighted to be bringing this creative new mix of global therapies to the north Cornish coast with the St Moritz Wild Spa. We’re providing not just the experiences themselves, but the opportunity for people to learn about, and embrace, the proven, invigorating, boosting mental and physical effects that controlled exposure to alternate hot and cold conditions can have. We can absolutely assure guests to the St Moritz Wild Spa that they will have a ‘high’ experience like no other and we’re looking forward to opening the lodge and the tanks in early December.” Before, throughout and after Wild Spa experiences, guests are invited to retreat to the cosy cocoon of the St Moritz’s Wild Spa tipi where designated relaxation spaces, open fires and cosy corners mean that rest and recovery are sorted.
Cornwall is one of those wonderful places where those who are lucky enough to live locally can easily find quiet spaces to wander and reflect, whether that be a sandy stretch of coastline misted with sea spray or a sheltered woodland away from the noise of crowded streets. Whichever way you might seek to ground yourself this year, you’ll be rested and ready to face new challenges for 2024.
If a trip to the spa sounds like just the thing to help wipe away the stresses of the year gone by, take a look at some of our favourites:
Bedruthan Hotel & Spa
The Headland Hotel
St Michaels Resort
Mullion Cove Hotel
Carbis Bay Hotel
Fistral Beach Hotel & Spa
Harbour Hotel St Ives
St Moritz Hotel