As part of my health and well-being routine, every month I book a spa day with my best friend. We book at least a one-hour massage, bask in the sauna and relax around the pool. Even when we’re super busy or money is a little tight, we always make time to dedicate one day to pure relaxation – there’s simply no better way to catch up with my favourite girl.

In case you haven’t heard… Gaia Spa is a luxury spa set within the grounds of Boringdon Hall, on the edge of Dartmoor. Drawing inspiration from Gaia – also known as Mother Nature – the spa’s interior and exterior encompass natural materials including wood, stone, and glass for natural light in order to bring the outdoors in.

We indulged ourselves with the Balancing Spa break because we were desperate for a two-hour massage.

Our package included:

  • One night accommodation in a courtyard room*
  • Spa breakfast in the Gaia Spatisserie each morning
  • Full use of the facilities during your stay
  • A la carte dinner in the Gallery Restaurant
  • 120 minute Gaia Ritual each – choose from the below

Facilities

The facilities are OUTSTANDING! There is a giant infinity pool, next to a hydrotherapy pool with a door to an outdoor swim through, which is incredibly relaxing. No expense is spared, and all your spa needs are catered for, thanks to the Finnish sauna, crystal salt steam room, aromatherapy steam room, laconium, a herbal sauna.

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There is also shower experiences and a deep relaxation room, which is a bit different to your usual spa.

Boringdon has a state-of-the-art gym by Pulse Fitness, beauty salon with Champagne services, and outdoor areas for relaxation, yoga and meditation, as well as 12 dedicated treatment rooms – including two double rooms.

Gaia Spa promotes your personal natural wellbeing in an environment designed to transcend the stresses of the modern day routine. Creating spaces where you find yourself naturally relaxed, facilities and therapies will provide the opportunity to nourish mind, body and spirit, resulting in a balance between the individual and the wider world we live in.

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Treatments

Roxanne had a total holistic therapy treatment; a deeply therapeutic ritual to release tension and stress bringing the mind and body into harmonious balance. Using advanced Balinese and Lomi Lomi techniques, originating from Hawaii, the body is exfoliated followed by an application of our nourishing Gaia mud.

Once showered, a Gaia blend of your choice is poured warmly onto the body for a muscle-easing massage. The Gaia rejuvenating face treatment will complete this ritual leaving a natural feeling of wellbeing, whilst skin is left smooth and replenished.

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I opted for the raindrop therapy treatment and it was by far the best massage I’ve ever had.  The Raindrop therapy is a healing technique using pure essential oils. It combines aromatherapy oils and moist heat to bring total balance, harmony, and body wellness mentally, physically and emotionally.

Etiquette

As well as getting asked about spa etiquette, so many people quiz me on what expect if it is their first going to a spa hotel or having a massage, so I’ve decided to put together a few bullet points:

  • Aside from checking whether the restaurant requires a dress code, a spa day is about being relaxed; so wear something comfortable, take a swimming costume and a pair of flip-flops; and find out whether the spa provides robes, towels and slippers before you go!
  • Depending on your treatment, you’ll likely need to strip down to your underwear or roll your swimsuit down. A therapist will usually tell you what to keep on or take off, but if you are not comfortable or are unsure – speak up!
  • Shower beforehand. A masseur at a luxury hotel in Manhattan reveals that one of his biggest pet peeves is clients who are running late and skip the shower so they won’t lose a moment of their massage. “It’s hugely inconsiderate,” he says. “Just walking around makes feet smell.”
  • Hit the steam or sauna before a massage or body treatments, advises ISPA—it aids in relaxation and circulation and eases exfoliation.
  • It’s okay if you’d rather not have a male therapist, but speak up in advance. No one will be offended.
  • If you have your phone on you, keep it on silent and even on airplane mode when in a treatment room to avoid interference.
  • During your massage, the therapist should ask how the pressure is, be honest. If they don’t ask, don’t hesitate to tell them if you’d like it firmer or lighter.
  • Falling asleep, snoring, dribbling, they’re all really common. It’s the biggest compliment to your therapist – it means you are truly relaxed
  • Don’t drink alcohol right before or after treatments — it’s dehydrating and they won’t massage you if you’re under the influence.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewellery. Most treatments require you to remove all jewellery, and you may be too spacey afterward to remember to collect it.
  • Use breath mints before treatments, especially facials—otherwise, you’re breathing lunch right into your aesthetician’s face.

*the offer has since changed and the Balancing Spa Break is now a package for two nights, however, there are one night options with a shorter massage.