This impressive red-bricked hotel with stunning views of Fistral Bay was the star of the film The Witches. The spa is below the first-floor reception, spilling out onto the pretty café lined with silver birch trees which is virtually on the beach. There is an attractive thermal space with a heated pool, hot tub, spacious sauna and steam room with striped deckchairs for relaxing. You can enjoy Elemis, Natura Bissé, Thalgo and Natural Spa Factory treatments after a day by the seaside, or get muddy in the lovely rasul.
- Family swim times
- Six treatment rooms (two double)
- Experience showers
- Private Jacuzzi suite
- Indoor hot tub
- Indoor swimming pool
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Steam room
- Spa cafe
- VIP suite
- Brow bar
- Make up stand
- Natura Bisse
- Natural Spa Factory
Our Spa Spy review
The Headland is a handsome, red-brick property set high on a cliff top overlooking Fistral Bay. The hotel was star of cult movie Witches and continues to welcome locals and holidaymakers to its elegant rooms, 2 AA rosette restaurant, tennis courts and spa.
Park right outside the hotel and walk into the elegant reception with its chandeliers and plush carpets. A roaring fire in the corner took the edge of a rather soggy journey.
The spa is a modern contrast to the rest of the property and is downstairs via a sweeping staircase.
What's on offer?
In the spa reception area (affectionately called The Robe Lounge) we took a seat on a stylish sofa to fill out a consultation form using an iPad. This space doubles as a pre-treatment area and place to have lunch, and is light and airy with white furniture and large pieces of tree bark bringing nature in. Shelves of Elemis products, a nail bar and a reception desk that wouldn't look out of place in a night club complete this room.
If the sun is shining, head out onto the terrace. There are deckchairs for catching the rays and fantastic views of the wide stretch of beach below.
There are two changing rooms. If you are having a treatment, use the rooms along the treatment corridor which are small and beautiful, with tall, lilac-hued wooden lockers operated by keypads, and private shower cubicles containing Elemis amenities (including conditioner).
We loved the separate vanity room with its hot-pink bar and stool, hairdryer, straighteners, cotton wool and Natural Spa Factory cleanser, toner and moisturiser (both body and facial).
The Headland Spa has a smart 12-metre indoor pool decked in turquoise mosaic tiles. At the far end is a bubble seat in each corner; push the button near the central swan-pipe and let a powerful gush of water pummel away at your back and shoulders.
At the other end of the pool are two contemporary showers behind a glass screen, with an attractive grey pebble backdrop. Step into the sunken circular Jacuzzi seating six; a spa butler will come and take your drink order. We spent a good amount of time in the Cornish Salt Steam Room with its grey pebble curve bench seating six and curious wall of compacted white squares.
For a spa of this size, the sauna is impressively spacious, with two tiers of wooden benches accommodating 12, and a feature wall of thin circular tree stumps. The temperature was perfect on our visit.
Cool down between heat experiences in one of two experience showers: the first with red lights; the second with alternating blue and green. Each has three settings: Caribbean storm, cold rain or tropical rain.
The Headland Spa also has a 15-metre heated outdoor pool surrounded by loungers and offering beach views. If you want to work out, you can use the outdoor tennis court, the fitness studio or the indoor gym.
Help yourself to tea, water, nuts, dried fruit and a good selection of magazines in the relaxation room, which is the definition of cosy. Distressed wood panels flow along a curved wall, while five winged chairs and eight lie-back loungers make up the perimeter. Grab a fluffy pillow and a cream fluffy blanket and snuggle up.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed a Headland Marine Ritual (90 minutes; £129), a toe-to-top treatment encompassing a foot massage, body scrub, body massage and a facial.
My therapist, Zoe, led me to a clean and design-led treatment room, with distressed wood walls, cream cupboards and a private shower with large square shower head. The Headland Spa also has a couples' treatment room with private bubbly bath.
Zoe invited me to sit and place my feet in a bowl of warm water while she washed them in a gold Champagne foot scrub -- not a bad way to begin. Once dried, I lay face down on the bed so that Zoe could cover my back and legs in a Peppermint Salt Body Scrub from Natural Spa Factory; this smelled fresh and invigorating.
Zoe switched on the shower so that I could wash off the scrub; my skin immediately felt soft.
Zoe began a thoroughly relaxing full body massage using a fresh and floral moisturising oil from British brand AromaWorks; it contains May Chang and sandalwood. Zoe checked, and adjusted, the pressure throughout the massage to ensure it was perfect.
For the facial, Zoe cleansed and toned my skin using a Gold Gel Cleanse and Facial Tonic in preparation for a coal mask. The black mask has cut-out eyes, nose and mouth. While it tingled away (and boy, did it), Zoe ran some Organic Raw Coconut Oil through my hair and performed a gentle scalp massage.
The mask peeled off in one go and Zoe treated my face to a day cream containing pomegranate and grape-seed oil. On being roused and handed ice-cold water, my entire body felt soft and supple, while -- on inspection -- my face appeared brighter and fully hydrated.
Other signature treatments at The Headland Spa include Thalgo marine experiences such as the Polynesian Body ritual, which involves a coconut and vanilla body scrub and lomi-lomi massage. You can also try a range of massages from head (Indian head massage) to foot (reflexology), as well as Elemis and Natura Bissé facials and body treatments. The spa menu includes treatments specifically for men and mums-to-be, alongside finishing touches such as OPI manicures and pedicures, delilah make-up and a brow bar.
You can pre-order lunch before your arrival from a menu of fresh salads, sandwiches and desserts, as well as burgers, sharing boards and afternoon tea.
Happy in our robe, we munched on an open Cornish crab sandwich with slices of avocado, peppery rocket and root-veg crisps. This went perfectly with a glass of Prosecco.
That evening we dined at Samphire restaurant with its two AA rosettes. Our starter of chicken and avocado Caesar salad was far prettier (and more accomplished) than the menu led us to believe, while our main of crispy duck breast was classic British cooking at its best. For dessert, a lemon and sesame meringue tart was suck-your-cheeks in fantastic.
We loved / we didn't love
The decor: The whole spa is stylish with plenty of nods to nature.
Our treatment: Our Headland Marine Ritual was toe-to-top bliss.
We didn't love
The lack of hooks near the thermal facilities: When it's busy, robes and towels often end up abandoned on the floor.
Who do you think would like it?
Who do you think would like it?
Groups of friends: The Headland Spa is a sociable spa where catching up is encouraged.
Tourists: The Headland is a great introduction to Cornwall, with its wonderful vistas, 2 AA rosette restaurant and comprehensive spa.
Couples: The Headland Spa is simply made for romance, particularly if the weather is kind enough for an early evening dip in the outdoor pool.
Choose from casual beach-view dining in The Terrace, fine dining with sea views in The Restaurant or dine alfresco on The Terrace.
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.
See the hotels entry on Pride of Britain Hotels.
Treatments: 10am to 7pm everyday; Leisure facilities: 7am to 10pm everyday