Cornwall’s best spa hotels for beachside relaxation

Carbis Bay - one of the best spa hotels in Cornwall - Kieran Brimson/Kieran Brimson

Carbis Bay – one of the best spa hotels in Cornwall – Kieran Brimson/Kieran Brimson

Sunshine and sea air are undoubtedly two of the best things about Cornwall, and visitors flock to this corner of England to enjoy slices of coastal wellness. Although the cascading coastal towns and villages may look beautiful, they also make themselves felt in the leg muscles of those wandering the steep streets. Perhaps it is for these reasons that spa hotels in Cornwall are in high demand; here, tired or beach-seeking guests can get a soothing facial treatment, a powerful massage, or simply sit back and soak in a cliff-top jacuzzi. From Padstow to Penzance and in and around Newquay, here’s our pick of the best spa hotels in Cornwall (for a weekend or longer).

If it’s a spa resort in Cornwall you’re looking for, you’re probably also looking to stay away from children (yours or others), and The Scarlet is one of a very small circle of upper-class adults only. Hotels in the UK. Comfort and relaxation are at the heart of the hotel’s spaces: in the bedrooms you’ll find underfloor heating, low lighting, lovely satin sheets, deep mattresses and cloud-like bathrobes, and the spa is so sleepy that it’s almost womb-like. Specializing in Ayurvedic ‘journeys’, there are lantern-lit tented treatment rooms, a eucalyptus steam room, a cedar barrel sauna, a natural pool with a reed filter, and a meditation room. The real selling point has to be the swaying hot tubs at the edge of the windswept cliff.

Bedruthen is just a five-minute drive from Newquay airport, so a weekend ‘fly and flop’ spa break here is more than just getting it. And flopping is easy, too, because not only are there three outdoor pools to choose from, but the golden sandy beach is just a pebble away. The open-air spa concept is quite unique: you can take yourself on a sensory journey in the spa garden, defined as the ‘Scandinavian thermal playground’. An evocative mix of ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ experiences await as well – immerse yourself in ice-cold water before retiring to the sauna, then return to the skin-tingling Cornish air and soak in the jacuzzi. Finish it all off by sitting by the fire pit and having a cup of herbal tea.

Mullion Cove offers a bright, comfortable and unpretentious space, ideal for a rejuvenating break, with astonishing views around the headland (facing the Atlantic). This is one of the most relaxing spa hotels in Cornwall for its soothing interiors that use speckled granite and natural wood with copper or bronze accents that warm the palette. The Voyager massage is a definite favourite: a massage that takes in the entire body – including the face and scalp – using (supposedly) deliberately slow, controlled movements to (allegedly) mirror the movement of the waves. Don’t plan anything else for later (except maybe a dip in the outdoor hot tub), because you’ll probably want to fall asleep.

This is one of Cornwall’s largest hotels and well-being is a big part of its values. Hence the reason why the spa is such a big deal stands. It is located at the heart of the hotel and has been designed with pampering in mind: expect a hydro pool, Swedish sauna, Cornish salt steam room and treatments such as radiance-boosting facials, relaxing massages and couples treatments. Heavyweight Elemis is the hero product here, so you know you’re in for a top-notch experience. There is also a gym with Life Fitness equipment such as weights, cardiovascular machines, cross-trainers and treadmills. Regular fitness classes are also available, including yoga and Pilates.

This swanky contemporary adults-only spa hotel offers stunning sea views, an innovative cocktail menu and wonderful fresh seafood caught off the Cornish coast – all the ingredients for a pampering break. Wake up Saturday morning to the sound of breaking waves and (depending on the previous Friday night event) order a homemade smoothie for breakfast or enjoy bottomless bloody Marys before heading to the spa. There are several treatment rooms, including a vitality pool, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and a room for couples. There is also a fitness suite that hosts 20 lessons per week, ranging from yoga to boxercise and beach fit.

The St Moritz was an original 1930 hotel that lasted until the late 1990s before undergoing a major transformation. Now one of the best spa hotels in Cornwall; Think Soho House and 1920s Miami Beach with a family touch. Palm-fringed gardens and whitewashed Art Deco-inspired architecture give way to a relaxed coastal style with stylish interiors. It is particularly special as it is home to the only Cowshed-branded spa (outside the Soho House arena) and is a major attraction for locals and visitors from far away alike. They offer full and half-day packages, but the second (£200) is just as nice as the first and still includes two treatments. You can also add extra treats like a chocolate plate, a quick manicure or pedicure, and a bottle of champagne.

Budock Vean is a somewhat unsung hero when it comes to offering health and well-being, especially when the hotel itself is a bit old-fashioned (charming, cottage-style). It was the first spa in Cornwall (and one of the first partnerships in the UK) to incorporate the groundbreaking use of CBD oil in its treatments to help reduce stress and relieve pain. Alongside its enormous list of treatments (including the nail bar), there is a gorgeous 15-metre swimming pool, outdoor log fire, sauna, and upstairs outdoor hot tub, protected in a giant hexagonal gazebo with a beautiful wooden ceiling. Stylish Scandinavian style raised terrace with grounds view.

The Nare’s spa has no bells or whistles, but that’s not the point – yes, it’s small and unpretentious (with just a simple reception and a few rooms), but its therapists pack an impressive punch. The stars of the show, local people Anne and Sarah, present their signature handicrafts to guests with their long-standing knowledge. Anne has worked there for over 13 years and works wonders with her mix of Thai massage and reflexology techniques to bring her loyal clients back to life while talking locally about Sarah’s facials. Elsewhere, each of the 40 bedrooms is individually decorated, emphasizing the homey feel: antique furniture, printed wallpaper and Persian-style rugs.

Spa’ing is taken very seriously here and it’s all in the little details (for example, not only are the massage beds deliciously heated, but so are the stone sun loungers in the relaxation area). It may not be the most cutting-edge in terms of design (it’s clear they’re big fans of neon blue lighting), but there are over 40 treatments on the extensive menu with special sections for boys and teens (the Elemis facial is popular as it is). OPI manicure or pedicure) so there really is something for everyone. The Private Spa Bar is an impressively large area created specifically for you to put on your bathrobe and relax after indulging, but when you want to go farther, Charlestown’s galleon-lined harbor at Poldark is a beautiful one-mile walk along the Beach. Path.

Standing guard over the pristine St Ives Bay, the state of Carbis Bay immediately invites for a slower pace. Guests are encouraged to close as soon as they walk through the door, and the newly remodeled C Bay spa embodies this relaxed demeanor. It has a modern look (in fact, you can be in an elegant European retreat while swinging in the outdoor infinity pool) but it also has beautiful natural elements: treatment rooms are gently lit by candles, facials use materials such as organic seaweed, and an abundance of wood is used in the design – the outdoor sauna in particular. it is peaceful. You can even request a beachside massage in a private gazebo.

Contributions by Ros Belford, Jade Conroy, Sherelle Jacobs, Richard Mellor and Natalie Millar-Partridge

Frequently Asked Questions

Which luxury spa hotels in Cornwall are romantic?

All the hotels on this list might be considered romantic, but for a truly grown-up couple’s retreat, choose The Scarlet (adults-only).

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