The Headland Spa has six treatment rooms with two double treatment rooms, comprehensive heat experiences, a mani and pedi room and the spa lounge which overlooks the Atlantic ocean.
|Key Brands:||Elemis, Afyna, OPI, Kerstin Florian|
Treatments: 10am to 7pm everyday; Leisure facilities: 7am to 10pm everyday
There are 96 rooms and suites in the hotel or opt for a five star self-catering Headland Cottage with one, two or three bedrooms.
Choose from casual beach-view dining in The Terrace, fine dining with sea views in The Restaurant or dine alfresco on The Terrace.
A leisure pool, aromatherapy showers, jacuzzi, rasoul, steam room, hydrotherapy suite, gym, tanning suite, mani and pedi room, and seven treatment rooms, as well as a deep relaxation lounge and couples suite. Some of these facilities (the last two, for example) were still under construction at our visit in December 2013.
Excellent. I had their signature treatment, The Dreaming, a comprehensive, 80-minute routine that encompasses light body massage, body scrub, head massage and facial, using a range of organic products from Cornish company Spiezia.
My therapist, Rachel, began by inviting me to change into a pair of long disposable shorts and lie on the bed. She began the treatment with a foot-mitt massage, gently stretching the muscles of my feet down to my toes.
Dividing my body lengthwise with the towel, Rachel then used Spiezia body firming oil to perform a thorough, bottom-to-top massage of each half of me, working the muscles of my legs and on to my sides and chest. This is not a deep-tissue sports massage, but a calming and smoothing treatment, using a rolling, wavelike motion up and down the full length of my body, although there was a little welcome stronger elbow pressure around my perpetually troublesome deltoid muscles.
Having undertaken the preparatory massage, Rachel applied Spiezia's delicious lemongrass-scented body scrub to carry out a gentle exfoliation along the pathways that the massage had taken. I say 'delicious' as the body scrub is in fact edible. (I tried some of it fresh from the jar afterwards. It's a little like grainy cereal seasoned with Thai spices.) Again, each vertical half of my body was treated in turn.
The next stage of the treatment was a head-massage, again using light but firm pressure, with tingling fingers running over my scalp and neck.
At this point, Rachel invited me to turn over on to my back, and she placed a hot towel over my eyes. (The dimmer control on the lights in the treatment rooms was not yet functional, so the folded towel was also important to neutralise the light in the room.) She then performed a further full-body massage to echo the first one, with careful attention to the knotty spots, travelling up my body and then down through my arms and hands, with attention to each individual finger.
Rachel followed this with another exfoliation treatment, until both back and front halves of my body had been covered.
For the facial portion of the treatment, Rachel removed the hot towel and applied an oil cleanser scented with rose and vanilla. After leaving that on for a few minutes, she removed it and applied a skin toner, before covering my eyes once more with another hot towel.
The treatment continued with another hand massage and further foot massage, and it concluded with a final very gentle all-body scrub. Leaving me alone to come to, and wipe myself down with the mitts, Rachel quietly left the room. Clods of exfoliant like heaven-scented wet sand fell from my body as I stood up. I was in such a weightless state that it took me a few minutes to get my balance back.
The whole routine is extraordinarily relaxing, more so than a deep-tissue massage allows you, for example. For the first time ever, I briefly went to sleep on a treatment-table (albeit only for a minute or so), which is very possibly the most relaxed I have ever been. There is a real sense that the therapist, for all her hard work, is also a collaborative part of the massage too. You aren't just having something done to you, it's a fully participatory experience. The sounds played involve plenty of lapping water and the tolling of gentle bells, which makes for a much more hypnotic and involving experience than the usual Enya-type muzak.
I didn't eat in the spa, but there is an area for snacking and light lunches.
The location, location, location. The spa has its own dedicated entrance on the beach-side of an extensively boutiqued Edwardian hotel. Waves gently crash out there, and for the summer they will be doing outdoor treatments. A perfect symbiosis of environment and spa atmosphere. Makes you realise the point of travelling for a spa. The antithesis of coming out of a London spa all rested and relaxed and then getting on the Tube.
We didn't love...
There was nothing we didn't love about the Headland. When it's all complete, it will be stunning.
Discerning spaheads. It's a five-star hotel package with fabulous views over the surfers on Fistral Beach and the ocean. There is already a healthy level of local custom using the gym and pool, and once word gets out about the speciality treatments, the place will be highly successful. If every modern boutique hotel these days needs a spa, the Headland has got it just right.
We gave the Headland Spa an unhesitating Good Spa Guide Rating of Five Bubbles. I'd like to go back when the remaining rooms are finished, but what there already is is extremely impressive. Spa manager Martina Crkoňová has a dedicated and talented team, and the facilities are state-of-the-art. It's a smallish pool compared to some, perhaps, but the ambience and location are perfectly conducive to relaxation.
Headland Spa in December 2013