Looking for luxury with a side of wellness in the South West? Look no further!
If you’re a history buff or an architect admirer, you’ll feel right at home here. The history of Boringdon Hall stretches right back to the Domesday Book and over the years the grade II listed manor house has hosted many colourful characters, from Sir Walter Raleigh to Queen Elizabeth.
Despite inevitable updates over the years, Boringdon Hall has retained a strong sense of character. There are historic nods at every turn – from stone archways and flagstone floors to beautiful tapestries and ornate ceilings. As such, Boringdon Hall manages to feel both impressive and charming.
The manor house now houses 40 rooms and suites, a well-stocked bar and two dining choices – fine dining at the Gallery Restaurant or afternoon tea and light snacks in the Great Hall. It also firmly in the 21st century and offers complimentary Wi-Fi throughout. The addition of the new Gaia Spa and Spatisserie is a huge draw for many guests and one which we will discuss in-depth further in the review.
Check in and welcome
Upon arrival we were greeted by a friendly receptionist who arranged for our bags to be collected from our car and delivered to our room. We enjoyed a tour of the property and then headed straight to our lunch booking. All in all check in was very slick.
Inside the main building you can choose from two different suites or a selection of four poster rooms. For more modern décor, opt for a courtyard room all of which are located in the newest wing at Boringdon Hall.
We stayed in a Four Poster Room, which, as the name suggests, featured a rather ornate four poster bed! Also vying for attention was a gorgeous freestanding bath placed next to a gorgeous stone fireplace.
There were plenty of smaller thoughtful touches throughout too, such as a selection of truffles, complimentary robes and luxurious ESPA toiletries. The Nespresso machine was also very useful the following morning, although you can arrange for coffee and tea to be delivered if preferred.
Spa and gym
The crowning jewel at Boringdon Hall for me was the Gaia spa. This £5 million destination spa only opened this summer, but it’s already making a name for itself. And it’s hardly surprising – this is a wellness fanatics dream and there is truly nothing else like it nearby. Facilities include an indoor pool, hydrotherapy pool and a host of separate steam and sauna experiences. There is also a spatisserie, well-equipped gym, beauty salon and relaxation room.
We started off in the spatisserie, which serves a mixture of nourishing light lunches and champagne afternoon teas. We opted for the grazing menu which allows you to select two smaller tapas style plates. I sampled the beetroot and lentil salad with hazelnuts and ginger dressing along with the creamy sweet potato risotto with chamomile marinated red peppers. The latter managed the unfathomable feat of tasting like the most comforting food in the world without being remotely heavy.
As promised, the lunch was light and we left without that typical post-lunch overstuffed feeling ready for our treatments. I booked a hot stone massage on the basis it was a signature treatment and something I’d not tried before. It was, in a word, incredible. My back (tense from an unintelligent combination of running and never stretching) seemed to melt under the gentle, hot pressure of the stones. My wonderful masseuse Natalie managed to expertly unknot a few tight spots which felt instantly relieved. I couldn’t recommend this treatment enough.
After a brief stint in the decadent relaxation room sipping water and flicking through their well-stocked magazine selection, we wondered through to the main spa area where we tried out all the facilities at least twice. Everything well thought out and expertly executed, though the highlight for me was the outdoor hydrotherapy pool. We returned later that evening (the spa is open until 10pm) and watched the dusk disappear to reveal a perfectly starry sky, all from the warmth of 37 degrees – a wonderful way to while away a December evening! If you’re remotely interested in spas, you need to check out Gaia Spa – Boringdon Hall guests have access but you can also book a day spa package.
We were booked into dinner at the Gallery Restaurant, which is an intimate dining area overlooking The Great Hall. The award-winning Scott Paton is the head chef here and he’s all about imaginative fine dining, suffice to say I was very much looking forward to our meal.
I started with the Vulscombe goats cheese terrine with pickled beetroots, elderflower and gingerbread. It was a beautiful riot of colours and textures and I’m pleased to say this interesting combination tasted as good as it looked!
For the main course I ordered the artichoke risotto which although hearty was a little on the bland side. However dessert was incredible – I had the dulcey chocolate tart, salted peanut and sour cherry and it was utterly perfect. I’ve been frantically googling recipes, but I doubt mine would remotely compare. A good excuse to return.
In the morning we returned to the Gallery Restaurant where guests can choose from a selection of hot breakfasts including a full English, American style pancakes and poached smoked haddock. There was also a breakfast buffet area with options including pastries, dried fruits and a selection of juices.
I ordered the vegetarian full English swapping the egg for an extra hash brown – it was a great start to the day, as was the accompanying coffee!
If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind in South West I would recommend Boringdon Hall. And if you’re a fan of history or a wellness geek? Get your bags packed and book pronto! The highlight for me was definitely the Gaia Spa, I left feeling nourished and restored and my back hasn’t felt this grand in months. Oh, and whatever you do, order that chocolate tart.
Finances and details
Prices for a Courtyard room start at £183 per night and Four Poster room rates start at £283, both on a bed and breakfast basis.
Address: Boringdon Hall Hotel and Spa, Colebrook, Plympton, Plymouth, Devon, PL7 4DP
Tel: 01752 344455
This review was carried out by Abby Driver a luxury travel expert.