Gaia Spa is attached to the historic Boringdon Hall nestled on the edge on Dartmoor in Plymouth. The Spa opened in Summer 2016 with 12 treatment rooms, two infinity pools and indoor and outdoor heat experiences, as well as a gym and a yoga space. The spa offers a range of personalised massages, facials, waxing and beauty treatments, alongside treats for mums to-be, day packages and afternoon tea.
- XXL robes available
- Finnish sauna
- Crystal steam room
- Salt steam room
- Experience Shower
- Herbal sauna
- Balneotherapy suite
- Hydrotherapy pool
- Infinity pools
- Gaia Skincare
- IS Clinical
- Mii Nails
Our Spa Spy review
The Gaia Spa sits five miles outside the city of Plymouth, straddling the edge of Dartmoor. The spa building is a modern addition to a truly ancient establishment, Boringdon Hall, a 16th century, Grade I listed Elizabethan Manor with an illustrious past. Queen Elizabeth I was one of its original guests.
What's on offer?
Head through the main hotel reception and up a flight of stairs – glancing up at the wire sculpture of the earth goddess floating serenely above you - to the light-flooded spa reception area. Check in at the giant tree trunk desk; a wrist band will give you access to the changing rooms, an assigned locker and the spa itself.
Changing rooms are neutral with banks of wooden lockers; inside you’ll find a white robe, towel and cheery lime green Gaia flip-flops. You’ll find four private cubicles and a large round leather pouffe to change; vanity areas are equipped with hairdryers, straighteners and well-lit mirrors. Around the corner, you’ll find the loos and three rainforest head showers stocked with Gaia shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion.
The adult-only spa is modern - all glass and stone walls - with the large infinity edge pool at the centre, next to the indoor/outdoor hydrotherapy pool. Floor-to-ceiling windows at one end flood the area with natural light and views of the landscaped garden beyond. At the other end, a Crystal Salt Steam Room has black tiles and an arc of seats positioned around a giant quartz crystal. You’ll also find a small, toasty Finnish sauna, aromatherapy steam room, Laconium herbal sauna, experience showers and bucket shower to cool off after the heat. Loungers line one wall; download the Boringdon app to order poolside drinks.
There are 12 treatment rooms, including two doubles, and 30 therapists to deliver bespoke Gaia Rituals. Post-treatment, retreat to the Deep Relaxation Room overlooking the wild flower meadow or book the private relaxation room for optimal snoozing.
Up a flight of stairs from spa reception, you’ll find the light and airy Spatisserie on your right and the brand-new airy Wellness Room on your left. Help yourself to complimentary iced tea and get horizontal on one of the two rows of loungers, interspersed with leafy palms. Soothing tunes, large mirrors and ornate back-lit panels set the tone; step out onto the terrace to find three further pairs of rattan loungers and a sunken Jacuzzi with glass panels overlooking the historic house and courtyard below.
Beyond here, along a living wall corridor, you’ll find the brand new super-luxe Spa Suites: Apollo (the God of Healing) and Hypnos (the God of Sleep) complete with private alfresco spa baths. There’s also the Gaia Salon just off the spa reception for manis, pedis and hair styling, while active spa-goers can make a beeline for the fully-equipped gym complete with free weights and Peloton bikes. The Wellness Room converts to a yoga studio for sunrise stretching.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Gaia Crystal Therapy (120 minutes, £205).
My therapist, Megan, met me in the curved pre-treatment waiting room at the back of the Spatisserie and led me down the stairs to ‘Hemera’, one of 12 treatment rooms all named after Greek goddesses.
The treatment began with a foot soak as I sniffed out my chosen sensory potion between Awakening, Balancing and Calming. Awakening got my vote for its delicious notes of lemongrass, tangerine, grapefruit and peppermint. Lying face up on the treatment bed – admiring an ornate wooden carving on the ceiling – Megan commenced the treatment with three calming deep breaths of the oil. The mini facial began using the rose-quartz infused Gaia Crystal Purifying Cleansing Oil and toner.
Megan placed a variety of crystals on chakra points, asking me to note any particular tingling or reactions. Amethyst was placed on the crown chakra to clear my mind, sodalite on the mind’s eye to give focus and calm anxiety, blue lace agate on the throat chakra for encouragement and clear communication, green aventurine on the heart for compassion, citrine on the solar plexus for self-worth and confidence, carnelian on the sacral for motivation and to aid digestion, smokey quartz on the base to protect from negative energy, rose quartz in the palm of my hands for healing and self-love and clear quartz around my body to amplify the other crystals.
Leaving the crystals in place, Megan began a nurturing scalp massage with oil, stretching out my neck on each side, before using jade stone on my face. The massage continued on the right side of my body in a clockwise motion, in rhythm with my chakras. Megan then used long firm strokes on my legs and arms, leaving my mind and body feeling completely blissed out. Turning onto my front, Megan continued the massage before finishing up on my back, working out any lingering tension in my shoulders and neck.
Megan gently brought me to and handed me a mango elixir to hydrate me and a crystal prescription to take away with me.
Post-treatment, I hunkered down in the Deep Relaxation Room with a cup of calming camomile tea, reclining on a bed with drop lighting, huge pillows and soft teal throws. I felt genuinely calm and soothed; Megan was a lovely and in-tune therapist and the crystal therapy treatment intrigued me.
Gaia Spa offers a wide range of facials, massages and holistic Gaia Rituals alongside pre- and post-natal treatments.
On the top floor is the rather cool Spatisserie an airy space with a huge outside terrace; floor-to-ceiling glass show off far-reaching views over Plymouth and Dartmoor. We feasted – in our robes - on a decadent Afternoon Tea: a delicious selection of finger sandwiches (cucumber and cream cheese, beef and horse radish and egg and chive), freshly baked fruit and plain scones with clotted cream before jam (the Devon way), and delectable selection of cakes; the Chocolate Tart and Pear Macaron looked too good to eat. A pot of loose-leaf Jing Sencha tea and a glass of Champagne proved to be the perfect accompaniment.
If you are staying overnight, you have a choice of two restaurants in Boringdon Hall. For fine dining, book into Michelin star and 4 AA Rosette restaurant Àclèaf; elevated above the Great Hall - this intimate setting acts as a great vantage point for people-watching. Head Chef, Scott Paton, is the mastermind behind the menu with dishes such as: Highland Wagyu and Turbot with yuzu and green chill.
We made our way to bar in the Great Hall and sipped pre-dinner cocktails on Chesterfield-style sofa beside the enormous stone fireplace, the coat of arms of King James I above, before heading to the Mayflower Brasserie. This all-day dining space uses fresh, seasonal cuisine in a more casual brasserie setting.
Making the most of our ocean city locale, we feasted on a light and delicious starter of Brixham crab salad with apple avocado puree and spring onion. For mains, we tucked into market fish of the day (seabass) served with saffron veloute, roasted fennel, samphire and mussels. Our spa partner opted for Devon crab and crayfish fettuccine with whipped sea salt and lemon butter. We both devoured every last morsel.
Despite the temptation of peanut parfait and sticky treacle tart with salted caramel ice cream, we decided to head back to our spa suite to finish our bottle of white Rioja in the private outdoor spa bath (why wouldn’t you?).
We loved / we didn't love
Our treatment: forget your run-of-the-mill treatments, our Gaia Crystal Therapy was as intriguing as it was soothing; our prescription crystal (sodalite) now has pride of place inside my bra (no really).
Our new Wellness Suite: sinking into our private outdoor spa bath, under a sky full of stars – glass of wine in hand - was a real ‘pinch me’ moment.
Afternoon tea in the Spatisserie: super-friendly and attentive staff, (almost) too-pretty-to-eat cakes and views out across Dartmoor and Plymouth – what’s not to love?
We didn’t love:
The locker doors in the changing rooms are a bit slam-y, particularly when you’re in post-treatment zen mode.
Spa check-in was a little busy on our Sunday morning visit; opt for mid-week for more serene spa-ing.
Who do you think would like it?
Holistic treatment lovers: from Crystal Therapy to Gaiyoga Lifting Facial, The Gaia Rituals nourish mind, body and spirit, and are performed by highly-skilled therapists with passion and care.
Couples will love the brand new, ultra-luxurious, Wellness Suites: Apollo (the God of Healing) or Hypnos (the God of Sleep). Statement fireplaces, sleek four poster beds and freestanding baths come as standard; you won’t want to leave.
History buffs: Boringdon Hall is a 16th century, Grade I listed Elizabethan Manor with an illustrious past. Queen Elizabeth I was one of its original guests.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of 5 Bubbles. The nature-inspired Gaia Spa offers contemporary design, holistic treatments from highly skilled therapists, delicious food and super-luxurious accommodation in the new Wellness Suites.
Food and drink is at the epicentre of Boringdon Hall who offer an insanely delicious experience. Enjoy nutritious dining in the Spatisserie overlooking views out to Dartmoor or in the Michelin star and AA 4 Rosette Restaurant Àclèaf.
42 individually designed rooms from a courtyard room to the Royal Suite.
Spa Opening Times
Monday to Sunday: 06.00-22.00 (Members & Guests)
Day Spa Guests
Monday to Sunday: 10.00-18.00
Spa Treatment Times
Monday to Sunday: 09.00-20.00
Travel and Parking
Free parking on site
Train station 20 mins away.
All spa areas are accessible with the exception of the relaxation room and outdoor patio
-accessible changing area with a shower and toilet.
-accessible treatment rooms