Review of the Cowshed Spa, St Moritz Hotel, Cornwall
The luxury hotel St Moritz — which houses a Cowshed Spa — is situated on the north coast of Cornwall, in the village of Trebetherick near Rock, with such attractions as St Endellion, Boscastle and Tintagel to its east, and popular, busy Padstow across the Camel Estuary to its west. The hotel is well laid out: the accommodation is all in one big shallow-V-shaped block, behind which are the gardens and the outdoor pool, whilst the other building houses the reception as well as all the other communal areas: the spa, a coffee lounge, gym, games room, pool area, and the main restaurant and bar.
One is greeted at the spa desk by the friendly and efficient staff and led round to the waiting area, which is screened off from the rest of the reception area by delicate hanging threads. The decor here continues the themes of the welcoming reception / coffee lounge area, with a large, comfortable leather sofa, white tongue-and-groove boarding on the walls topped with a pink linocut-effect border, and warm and relaxing table lamps. Water is offered, and there are treatment menus as well as magazines to browse through.
Treatments on offer range from facials to massages of various types (such as hot stone), including salt scrubs and wraps. All involve Cowshed products –an award-winning line which uses organic, English plant extracts and essential oils to create a luxurious and nourishing body and face range.
After filling in the usual health questionnaire, one is taken along to the treatment room – dimly lit, immaculately clean, smart and contemporary in decor and yet cosy at the same time. Traditional spa-type music (slightly mindless, repetitive nature noises with vaguely Oriental influences) assists one to turn off the day’s thoughts, worries and preoccupations. All extraneous equipment or products are hidden away behind wooden doors, so the room is filled simply with the massage bed, a chair on which to place one’s clothes, and a table containing the relevant products. I had opted for a sixty-minute massage which I was able to tailor to the areas in need of attention (back, neck, shoulders, head, hands and feet), and I was first asked whether I wanted relaxing or energising products. On choosing relaxing, I was then offered a choice between three oil blends. All were delicious, but I went for the frankincense and geranium, a beautiful and soothing scent mixture. As I sank down onto the heated couch under the fluffy, soft towels and the massage commenced, I immediately knew that I was in the hands of a professional – the treatment itself was superb. My masseuse was exemplary: although friendly, she kept conversation to the minimum necessary to determine my requirements and comfort with the heat and pressure. She worked with both efficiency and solicitude, and I emerged feeling unknotted, relaxed and invigorated, all at the same time.
Other spa-related facilities at the hotel include a pool, sauna and steam room area. Regrettably, I did not visit the pool during the child-free times and so found myself disturbed by a group of teenagers and their small inflatable rugby ball while I was trying to get in a few decent lengths. However, the sauna and steam room – both unusually spacious — were peaceful. The pool is large, with a white wooden ceiling and glass windows all around it, and is kept at a very warm temperature. It has different sections for various types of swimmers, and a jacuzzi. I felt the lack of an ice fountain, but cold as well as warm showers were a suitable compromise.
Although the pool area is perhaps best avoided outside child-free times, the Cowshed Spa is most definitely worth a visit for one of the most efficacious and professional treatments that one could possibly expect, in suitable and highly congenial surroundings.--Em Marshall-Luck