Launched in September 2018, North Devon’s 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. 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.
Inspired by our natural playground, Source Spa facilities include a marine-inspired thermal suite with a salt inhalation steam room, Finnish aroma sauna, ice fountain, contrast shower and marine vitality pool with a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the Atlantic ocean. For the active, there’s a tennis court and gym with access to personal training; daily exercise classes include yoga, pilates, tai chi, meditation and more. Two large heated pools await, one indoors and another outdoors that looks out over with beach - and that’s just level one!
Level two boasts six large treatment rooms, including a double room with an epic beach vista. There’s an extensive range of sublime spa treatments, promising sheer relaxation and 5-star pampering using our own natural Source Spa Collection as well as Kerstin Florian, Jessica Nails and innovative cosmeceutical skincare brand; iS Clinical.
Level three is all about relaxation. Post-treatment, chill on our rooftop sundeck or in our relaxation room on our plush beds, both with the sensational sight of the ocean, golden sands and beyond.
- Women only days
- Family swim times
- Child care facilities
- Indoor heated pool
- Outdoor heated pool
- Salt inhalation steam room
- Finnish aroma sauna
- Marine vitality pool
- Contrast shower
- Tennis court
Our Spa Spy review
Saunton Sands Hotel is a grand art deco hotel at one end of a three mile stretch of golden sand and UNESCO Biosphere Reserves sand dunes. The view even from the car park is jaw-dropping. The modern Source Spa and Wellness has its own three-story wing at the end of the hotel, its thermal suite, couple’s treatment room and relaxation lounge with to-die-for views. Bubble away in the infinity pool and gaze at the stretch of golden sand, lapping waves and pantone blue skies.
What's on offer?
The new Source Spa and Wellness wing is super-stylish with one or two wow factors. Décor is minimalist, all-white with stone and grey accents, and glass walls flaunting its many ocean views.
The large spa lounge, The Gallery is next to the hotel entrance, with bright comfy chairs, modern art and a bar where day guests can settle and enjoy a welcome smoothie. Head along a corridor from here to the small, unassuming Source Spa reception - a small desk and sofa. Windows look over the deco-style 17-metre indoor pool with swimming lanes and loungers. The hotel also has a heated 17-metre outdoor pool lined with white loungers and palm trees for some Riviera-style bathing with beach views (open May to October): ask the receptionist to lead you there through the hotel.
Changing rooms are compact and modern with stone tiled floors and plenty of large grey wooden lockers, plus two blue leather stools for changing. There are two toilets, two showers stocked with Source own-brand fig and vanilla shampoo/body wash and conditioners, and a private changing cubicle. The vanity area has two mirrors and is stocked with tissues and hairdryers. Moisturiser testers and hairbands are available on request. Robes are a soft, dark grey.
On the ground floor is a well-equipped modern gym, a studio offering a rage of classes (our morning yoga with Meg was a great way to start the day) and nail bar overlooking the pool.
Head up the glass and wood staircase to the Thermal Suite on the first floor, a long, white room with a grey tiled floor. Your eye will be drawn to the glass wall framing an impressive view of ocean, sands and sky. Enter the warm, saltwater Marine Vitality Pool with its infinity edge and float among the drifting clouds above the glinting waves of the Atlantic Ocean below.
If you can drag yourself away from the view – we struggled – try the perfectly hot and clean Finnish aroma sauna and marble seated salt inhalation steam room. Each facility would comfortably seat six people. There is a contrast shower and an ice fountain to cool off, three long wooden benches to rest between experiences, plus a clock in case you lose track of time.
On the third floor – past a striking sunshine wall light – you will find the light, airy relaxation room. Choose from four large wicker shell chairs filled with plump grey and yellow cushions or lie back on one of five comfortable loungers with soft blankets. Help yourself to fruit infused water and magazines – you can also dial 030 to order drinks and snacks. Glass double doors open onto a terrace with rows of loungers, and a glass balcony so you can lie back and gaze at the sea below.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the A Chance to Dream aromatherapy massage (60 mins, £75).
We sat on a comfortable sofa in the Treatment Reception area to fill in a consultation form on a rather temperamental tablet. The spa attendant brought us a fresh beetroot smoothie.
My therapist Rosie took me to the couple’s treatment suite, which has pale stone coloured walls, gentle music and a magnificent view through its glass wall of the ocean. Rosie asked my areas of concern and let me choose a relaxing rose infused oil through a scent test. The curtains were drawn, then Rosie left me to slip off my robe and step into a disposable thong. I slid between towels and lay face down on the treatment bed.
Rosie began the treatment by washing my feet, then worked on my back with swift, long, vigorous movements, stretching and rolling with her forearms, paying attention to my knotty shoulders. I was fast-tracked to a realm of blissful relaxation. She worked the stretching strokes into the back of my neck and down along my spine. After I turned over, she massaged the fronts of my legs before working up to my arms and décolletage. She ended the lovely treatment by wrapping me in towels, raising the bed and opening the curtains.
Rosie brought me a water and a Prosecco, then left me to enjoy the view and get ready in my own time. After ten heavenly minutes watching surfers and dogwalkers, she led me up to the relaxation lounge. An impeccable spa attendant appeared with a fresh, fruity raspberry tea. I felt wonderful – relaxed and uplifted –my skin glowingly smooth.
Treatments at Source Spa and Wellness include massages and targeted facials using Source own brand and Kirsten Florian products. There are treatments for mum’s to be, men, and facials for those with or in recovery from cancer, as well as manicures, pedicures and beauty treatments.
Spa guests can pre-order a light lunch or Afternoon Tea in The Gallery or the hotel’s Terrace Lounge with its sea views. You can wear robes in both, though not the Terrace Lounge in Winter. The lite bites menu includes salads, sandwiches and hot and cold meals, with steaks and burgers alongside locally caught fish and tasty vegetarian options. If you have allergies talk to a member of staff. We had a tasty heritage tomato salad and fresh juice on the sunny outdoor terrace.
If staying at the hotel, there’s a choice of The Dining Room Restaurant with its two AA Rosettes run by Head Chef Mathias Oberg from The Shard; or kick back and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the more informal Beachside Grill down on the sands.
We loved / we didn't love
The location: And the fact the spa and hotel embrace the wonder of Saunton Sands and the Atlantic Ocean at every opportunity.
Our treatment: Our therapist delivered a heavenly, relaxing massage and we felt went above and beyond in making sure we were comfortable.
Source Spa and Wellness Design: Modern, stylish and light, bringing the glorious outdoors in.
The staff: from the doorman, to the lovely receptionists and throughout the spa, staff were welcoming and super helpful.
We didn’t love
Unlike the understatedly chic spa, the hotel décor (and some of its fancy food) goes a little overboard.
The path to the beach is a tad steep on the way down.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: Enjoy a treatment with views, then walk hand in hand along the golden sands.
Local ladies who lunch: A classy spa break for Devonshire spa-istas.
Beach Babies: Combine your stay with some surf lessons – the surf school is next door and offers lessons to all capabilities. After a day in the spa, we kicked off our shoes and enjoyed the feel of the soft sand between our toes as we watched the sun set. The sea here is safe for swimmers.
Families: There are family swim times, babysitting services, plus two hours of free childcare, so you can sneak off to the spa.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We gave Source Spa at Saunton Sands Hotel five bubbles for its stylish design, warm and attentive customer service and blissful treatments – never mind its glorious locale and those stunning beach views. Well worth the pilgrimage to North Devon.
There is a Spa Cafe/Restaurant called The Gallery.
Afternoon tea is also served in The Gallery.
Both of these Menus can also be served in the Terrace Lounge if guests prefer to dine with a sea view.
The Dining Room is also available with Twilight packages. The menu changes daily:
During the day guests can dine in their robes in all areas. In the evenings guests are asked to be dressed if they would like to dine in the Terrace Lounge or Dining Room. Alternatively they can dine in The Gallery in their robe in the evening and during the winter.
The Hotel has 76 Rooms with 12 family suite rooms, 11 Apartments and 2 Luxury Living Suites available. The types of room’s available range from deluxe sea facing, standard sea facing, spacious inland, cosy inland single sea facing and single inland.
Open every day between 6:30am-10pm.
Travel and Parking
There are public buses throughout the day as well as a car park onsite of the hotel.
We have a lift throughout our facilities, as well as hand rails to support in use of our pools and thermal area. Our staff are always on hand to support those who need support with mobility.