Sue Bradbury takes time out to re-charge the batteries at the brand-new spa and wellness centre at the luxurious Saunton Sands Hotel in North Devon. Launched in September 2018, as the newest and finest coastal spa has arrived to take your breath away, establishing a new benchmark in soulful and physical wellbeing in the West Country.
Nowhere else is there a place quite like Source…Set atop the cliffs on the North Devon coast, Source Spa and Wellness at Saunton Sands Hotel overlooks the breathtaking Saunton Sands beach and World Heritage Braunton Burrows.
Life for many of us is a frenzied, stressed-out rush. Which is why taking time to stop, escape and indulge in pure, unadulterated me-time is something to be treasured.
Spanning three floors, Source has been specifically designed to make the most of the magnificent, unrivalled views of the vast expanse of beach and sea below. It’s a breath-taking experience and one which undoubtedly sets the spa apart.
“People are living longer but often in poorer health thanks to all the stresses and strains most of us confront on a daily basis,” said Director Peter Brend Jnr. “Our aim was therefore to create an experience that blends our incredible location with the very best treatments available. It’s a calm, beautiful space that reflects our magnificent surroundings.”
Staff trainer in the spa Debra Sampson has worked as a therapist in the hotel for the last twenty years and couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the new facilities.
“Source is simply extraordinary,” she said. “I don’t think any of us imagined it would be quite as amazing as it is.”
The ground floor comprises a lounge where clients first ease themselves into relaxation with a drink from the well-stocked bar (trying one of the four very healthy smoothie shots comes well recommended), an indoor heated pool (good-sized, with plenty of natural light), a gym (full of state-of-the-art equipment to help keep you fit), and a thermal suite that comes complete with a salt inhalation steam room, a Finnish aroma sauna, a contrast shower and a marine vitality pool that you’ll probably never want to get out of. Why? Because it’s positioned right next to a huge window overlooking Saunton Sands beach. The bubbles automatically turn on as you step in – requiring only the effort of lying back whilst the warm water, gentle pummelling and fabulous seascape perform their therapeutic magic.
When you do emerge there’s an ice fountain available. If that seems counter-intuitive when you’re feeling all mellow and toasty, it’s because the sudden contrast between heat and cold is said to help you live longer. Debra suggests a small amount applied to both wrists and the back of the neck is sufficient, but there’s plenty available for anyone who wants a more intense temperature shock.
There are six large treatment rooms on level two of the spa, the biggest being a double that enjoys another epic vista.
“When we finish a therapy, we gently elevate the bed, give our client a drink and stay with them until they’re ready to move on,” said Debra. “When someone is properly relaxed, they should have the time and attention they need to get themselves together, without feeling hurried or abandoned. It’s an important part of our spa ritual.”
There are a variety of products to choose from, including Source’s own natural brand, IS Clinical, Kerstin Florian and, for mums-to-be, basq NYC – an award-winning pregnancy skincare range popular with celebrities.
“All our clients are invited to choose the fragrance they’d like for their treatment before it’s applied,” said Debra. “As with perfume, we’re all different when it comes to selecting what’s right for us.”
The relaxation room on the top floor of Source is the perfect way to end a spa journey. Comfortably plush beds in the lounge or on the sun deck face the ever-changing ocean, offering more mindful, tranquil moments of serenity. It’s the perfect spot for soaking up the sun, watching one of the north coast’s incredible sunsets or, on winter nights, enjoying candle-lit reverie.
“Source is a true sanctuary, with so many thoughtful details to make the whole experience extra special,” said Debra. “Everyone who visits, loves it. Just being here makes you feel better.”
She’s right. I’m off to book another session now.