I’ve lived in Tynemouth my whole life (I know, lucky me) and I’ve been a spa-lover since forever. So you can imagine my surprise – and glee – when one of our lovely Luxe columnists (who also happens to live at the coast) tipped me off about a dreamy pamper place on home turf.
Turns out, The Snug Spa has been under my nose for quite some time now, but in a bid to keep things as exclusive and as private as possible, its owner, Dianne, has remained pretty hushed about its idyllic location and kept its stress-busting services on the down-low.
For that, I salute her, so all I’ll say is that it’s tucked away in the heart of the village, a stone’s throw away from the waves.
You’ll have to open a gate and venture down a few steep steps to reach this little slice of spa heaven, but once you do, boy, do serenity and stillness await you.
A big, chunky Georgian-style door leads you into what is, essentially, a single treatment room – the ‘snug’. But it’s as cosy as can be, filled with dreamy, Pinterest-worthy features everywhere.
There are twinkling lanterns on the floor and there’s a heated bed waiting for me, covered in toasty towels and a huge, soft, faux-fur throw.
There’s a beautiful wooden table, standing just a few inches off the floor, at which clients are invited to sit while savouring cups of fresh herbal tea (Dianne likes to make her own tasty infusions).
For privacy when changing, there’s a beautiful panel screen, a statement piece on its own, and there’s a flickering wood-burner nearby, too, ensuring things stay warm and toasty while you enjoy your treatment.
The walls are dark, almost black, and there’s next to no natural light, but that only adds to the cocooning, soothing atmosphere.
What’s on offer >>
Using top-of-the-range Aveda products, Dianne offers a range of body treatments, including full-body massages and hot stone back massages, alongside luxury mani/pedis, Japanese reiki treatments and relaxing facial massage with lovely add-on extras like rose petal face masks.
Rather than focusing on delivering immediate physical results (softer lines and wrinkles, less puffiness, smaller pores), Dianne prefers to lead with a holistic approach; creating a safe space in which clients are free to let go of their troubles, if only for an hour or two.
Sometimes gentle meditation features before the massaging begins, other times she’ll work with clients on their breath to try and calm the nervous system.
Whichever treatment you decide on, it’s very likely your senses will be soothed, your mind will be quietened and your general sense of wellbeing will be boosted. What’s not to love? You’ll still glow – just on the inside, too.
Oh, and if you fancy staying a while, Dianne also offers special package deals, combining a bit of body massage, scalp massage, foot spa and facial pressure point action. After your treatment, wrap yourself up in a blanket and put your feet up with a cuppa.
Pals, mother-daughter duos and couples can even hire out the space for private pamper parties, complete with post-treatment afternoon tea treats, while female clients are invited to special monthly ‘women’s circle’ events, which focus on wellbeing, meditation and bringing people together.
Plans for the near future include a new, deluxe bathroom, featuring a stone shower, and a steam room to make spa treatments extra indulgent.
Our experience >>
I’m handed my own chunky, velvety-soft dressing gown and slippers on arrival, as well as a thoughtful handwritten note from Dianne, welcoming me to The Snug Spa and wishing me a relaxing treatment – a very nice touch indeed.
Once cosy in my furry robe, I’m treated to a hot, bubbly foot soak, then it’s on to the bed for my hour of bliss.
A hot stone back massage is my treat of choice, promising seven times the tension-releasing power of a typical skin-on-skin massage.
Using smooth, heated volcanic stones and only a small amount of oil (a very pleasant surprise – most places leave you feeling greasy for days), Dianne’s ability to melt away every ounce of tension in my upper back and shoulders seems effortless.
Her rhythmic motions do nothing but lull me into a peaceful slumber and I really appreciate her attempts to knead away the stubborn, often painful, knots around my shoulder blades. She knuckles down – quite literally – until I feel release. And it’s wonderful.
Then, to top it off, after removing all traces of oil from my back with warm cloths (I loved this part – no sticky clothes), I’m turned over and treated to a bit of soft facial pressure point action, which feels a lot like forehead stroking – the kind you long for after a hard, taxing day. Talk about comforting. I challenge anyone to stay awake the whole way through.
Once dressed, I put my slippers back on and take to the sofa for a catch up with Dianne, who pours me a cup of tea from a beautiful stone teapot, along with a glass of fruit-infused water. The tea on offer is a blend of liquorice, clove and other herbs and spices. Delish.
I feel slightly hesitant about singing The Snug Spa’s praises. Not because it doesn’t deserve it – it absolutely does – but because I feel like I’d be revealing one of my village’s best-kept secrets. I want it to remain a private, exclusive, hidden gem – that’s all part of its allure, after all.
If you do end up visiting (and I really hope that you do), do me a favour and keep it quiet. Sure, tell your chums and family members and, yes, do return again and again for more (I know I will), but perhaps keep the social media shouting to a minimum. Better still, turn your phone off before you even step through the door and allow yourself to just ‘be’ in the moment.
It’s the perfect place to do that.
Dianne is a dreamy hostess; a calm, gentle and welcoming soul, who makes you feel completely at ease, and at home, as soon as you cross the threshold.
After an hour or so in her company, I feel as though I’ve made a new friend and I can’t help feel a little warmer and fuzzier inside when I (reluctantly) leave her blissful basement.
To book, contact Dianne on 07921 394 225. Appointments are made by text only. For more information and to keep an eye on offers and updates, follow: @thesnugspa