After a fairly drawn out, dark winter hibernating indoors, we’ve been craving the feeling of soaking up the sun from the comfort of a spa-like sanctuary that takes us beyond the bathroom and the garden.
As the spring/summer season blossoms and the world begins to gently wake up again, we’ve had our sights set on places to retreat, recharge and revel in a treatment or two.
Cue the Devonshire Spa’s indulgent new Secret Spa experience – the perfect rural retreat for two, bundling up everything needed to truly enjoy the relaxing day we all deserve.
The idea is to take the spa experience we all know and love and put a personalised, socially-distanced twist on it, without compromising on the luxuries we associate with a day in paradise.
A sunny Sunday cruise through the Dales brings us to the Devonshire Arms, set within 30,000 acres of glorious countryside. The perfect tonic for a bit of good-for-the- soul R&R.
Once a humble traveller’s inn sitting on the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales, the Devonshire Arms is now home to some of the finest, locally-grown and sourced produce in the county, beautifully designed rooms and communal areas, and a relaxing spa in the most idyllic location.
This charming country house hotel is a real escape to the country, and a place we’re lucky enough to find ourselves in as we start to work our way around our beautiful region as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
The hidden village of sheltered spa sanctuaries are scattered across the grounds, meaning you can enjoy the ultimate private spa experience, with first-class facilities and treatments at your fingertips. It has a campsite feel with an incredibly luxe charm.
The Secret Spa is the wellness experience we’ve all been waiting for. Greeted with a big, behind-the-mask smile and reassurance that we’re in a safe space, we’re guided to our base for the day – our beautiful bell tent in the gorgeous Devonshire grounds.
Just a stone’s throw from all that the Devonshire Spa has to offer, our bell tent hideaway is a place to switch off, soak up the spring sunshine and really let the surroundings do the talking.
Snowdrop, our private bell tent, is ours for the day. It’s the perfect rural retreat for two, boasting breathtaking views across the rolling countryside that the estate sits within.
The outside space is as inviting as the cosy interior. Think endless green fields, the tranquillity of the stream flowing below us, and lambs leaping through the fields in the distance. The perfect image of spring; so incredibly apt for what we feel is a new way of life. A moment in time to treasure.
Inside, you’ll find everything from fluffy robes and slippers, to beanbags surrounding a log burner, a tea and coffee station and DIY beauty products for self-pampering between treatments. Complete with hairdryer, hair straighteners and a mirror for changing, plus board games, face mask treatment menus and drinks menus for those marking the occasion with a tipple or two, the team has covered everything to ensure you have a relaxing and truly indulgent day in paradise.
We kick things off with a cup of Yorkshire tea and fresh-out-the-oven pastries, enjoyed al fresco as we sink into our loungers, preparing for a morning of drifting and dozing in the spring sunshine.
You are very much left to your devices at the Devonshire Spa, but rest assured, the hard work is done for you.
Hosts are on hand to help create a bespoke itinerary to ensure a visit is as socially-distanced and as stress-free as possible.
First up, it’s a dip in the jacuzzi inside the spa building. There’s simply no better way to start a Sunday… bubbling away the worries of the week gone by.
We retreat back to our bell tent base for a little bit of R&R before we are called for our treatments. We’ve opted for the 45 Minute Signature Massage – a personalised treatment with a focus on the back, neck and shoulders.
The therapist takes time to chat through the treatment and any problem areas to ensure the massage leaves us feeling refreshed and invigorated.
A gentle yet nourishing treatment that welcomes us back to the massage table with ease. Using dreamy Temple Spa products, we leave feeling like a better version of ourselves. Post-treatment, we return to our blissful hideaway to enjoy a refreshment or two, take in the scenery and the subtle sounds of nature that surround us.
After an afternoon sipping and smiling in the sunshine, our afternoon tea hamper arrives – a stunning selection of sweet and savoury treats in an adorable picnic-style wicker basket, complete with a refreshing G&T.
Expect everything from ham hock, sourdough and piccalilli, to cured salmon profiteroles, fruit scones and carrot cake. The indulgent afternoon tea experience can be swapped in for a brunch or champagne special, so whatever the occasion, there’s a Secret Spa day for you.
Our spa day comes to a close with a final bit of sunlounger sipping following our quintessential, al fresco feast.
The Secret Spa really is the answer to all of our prayers when it comes to getting back to the spa, without having to worry about socially-distancing. Think of it as a dreamy den to rest up and retreat in style, with your significant other.
We couldn’t recommend it enough, and can’t wait to return for more summer days in the hands of the smiling faces at the Secret Spa.