We celebrated the start of 2019 with a family spa break at Beyond Escapes Devon. Mixing the serenity of a spa with the boundless energy of kids might sound like an odd combination but in fact, for us, it brings the best of both worlds. Always running around between work and school, we cherish our family time and the opportunity to spend time and relax together.
Located in the countryside between Paignton and Totnes, Beyond Escapes Devon is a spa resort offering boutique studios and apartments, as well as luxury lodges. Set on top of rolling hills, the resort has some great views over Torbay and the coastline that you can fully enjoy from both the spa and the restaurant. The accommodations are spread around between the beautiful red brick Mansion House and a series of semi-detached lodges. Depending on your individual circumstances, Beyond Escapes Devon also offers a selection of Accessible Lodges that are perfect for wheelchairs, plus Baby Lodges and Pet-Friendly Lodges.
Our home for the weekend was a beautiful 2-storey luxury lodge, complete with all modern comforts and our own personal hot tub. Very spacious, our accommodation included 3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (1 being en-suite), an open plan kitchen with a dining area, a living area with two sofas and one armchair, as well as a patio with a garden dining table and hot tub.
Our lodge was spotless and decorated with great attention to detail in soothing browns and light green earthy tones. With modern comfort in mind, it was designed with warming underfloor heating throughout, free WiFi and, to the kids delight, 4 flat screen TVs with Sky and Freeview. The kitchen was fitted with induction hob, oven, microwave, extractor fan, dishwasher, fridge freezer as well as a kettle and a toaster.
Upstairs the kids decided to share the twin bedroom. Our master bedroom had a really comfortable bed and a small open faced cupboard with a safe, towels, bathrobes and slippers. While the living area downstairs was fitted with wooden floors, the bedrooms upstairs had carpet throughout. Each room was fitted with its own thermostat to ensure maximum comfort.
After a little rest, we headed for a dip in the hot tub under the moonlight of a cold January evening. Bubbles and the underwater light show left the kids (and us) completely spellbound. The hot tub had a lot of room so we took turns trying out the different jet configurations. There was something really relaxing about being outside on a chilly night enjoying a warm hot tub.
Keen to make the most of our lodge, we decided to stay in for the evening. Feeling relaxed after our hot tub, we ate a quick bowl of pasta and opted to play board games.
Besides high quality home comfort, Beyond Escapes Devon offers the convenience of a Gym and Spa just a couple of minutes away walk from the main accommodations. The Spa & Gym facilities are free of charge for guests of the resort and open to everyone aged 18 and over (or aged 16 if accompanied by an adult).
The Spa includes a sauna, steam room, bubbling foot spa, vitality pool (a large outdoor hot tub), outdoor decking area with lounge chairs as well as a bright and tranquil room with indoor heated loungers. If you crave a pampering treat, there is also a range of spa treatments and packages available, for both men and women, including facials, massages, body wraps, manicures etc…
The Gym is decked with large bay windows overlooking a peaceful countryside view. The equipment includes 2 bikes, 2 treadmills, 2 cross-trainers, a rowing machine and a multi-function trainer, as well as a free weight, bench and mat area.
While everyone was still asleep on Saturday morning, I headed to the Spa & Gym for some much needed me-time! The facilities include a good size changing room with showers and lockers. After a run on the treadmill, I headed for the sauna and then relaxed on the indoor heated loungers.
I was booked for a BE Revitalised package which included a smoothie, back massage and a mini-facial. The treatment rooms are secluded on the upper floor of the Spa & Gym. I completely relaxed while my therapist was working her magic through my knotted shoulders. The mini-facial (with a head massage) was also extremely relaxing and soothing. My skin felt really good and plump afterwards.
Both the massage and facial used Ishga organic seaweed skincare. This is a Scottish brand made from Hebrides seaweed known to contain high amounts of antioxidants. Certified by the Soil Assocation, this is really a lovely range. Crafted with ingredients extracted from the sea, Ishga is also a great fit for Beyond Escapes Devon which is located close to the coast.
My skin is very sensitive and I have a very low tolerance to fragrance in skincare. Ishga skincare, being just very lightly scented, was perfect. After my facial, my skin felt invigorated and rejuvenated. Some of my lines were a little bit less visible!
Having enjoyed all that pampering I went back to the spa afterwards, where I was given a bathrobe and slippers to laze around. After a dip in the vitality pool, I headed back to the heated loungers for a read and a well-earned snooze.
While Beyond Escapes Devon offers self-catering facilities, residents can also enjoy the restaurant and bar on site. We headed there for dinner on Saturday night for a family meal. The restaurant has only 8 tables and with last orders at 9pm it is best to book in advance, especially during busy periods. There is a choice of meat, fish and vegetarian / vegan dishes (available to view online). Being centered on either rice or mushrooms, the meat-free options lacked a bit of excitement, but the food was very tasty and we had a delightful meal.
While the kids opted for a pizza and a burger, I ordered a vegetarian stuffed pepper and mushroom stroganoff. Graham had stuffed mushrooms followed by fish & chips. Dessert was a very moreish vegan chocolate fruit tart.
Having been tempted by the choice of delicious cocktails, we enjoyed a fruity Italian wine recommended by our charming and knowledgeable sommelier / barman / cocktail waiter. A man of many talents indeed. The friendly service really added to the sense of occasion.
Conveniently, if you prefer staying in, but do not feel like cooking, you can order pizzas from the restaurant to be delivered to your accommodation. The delivery service is also available in the morning, so you can even have breakfast brought to you.
There is a lot to see and do in the area around Beyond Escapes Devon but we were a little bit limited by time and a few places to visit were closed, as we were visiting out-of-season. We really loved the fact that there were no crowds and no traffic to speak of, though we still had difficulty finding a table for Saturday lunch in Totnes. Between Dartmoor National Park, rivers and the coast we had plenty to keep ourselves busy. Some places of interest for kids include Paignton Zoo, Torquay’s Dinosaur World, the Donkey Sanctuary and Crealy Adventure Park & Resort, though we didn’t have the opportunity to try these out.
Whatever the season, the outdoors offers a lot of opportunities to explore and with warmer weather we could definitely have been tempted by kayaking, surfing or caving. There are also plenty of National Trust sites and properties such as Greenway (holiday home of Agatha Christie) or Coleton Fishacre (both unfortunately were closed until mid-February).
We spent the rest of the weekend exploring the area, visiting the lovely seaside town of Brixham as well as pretty Totnes. We followed the river Dart, crossed by boat ferry in Dartmouth, took a stroll on the South West Coast Path and had a walk followed by a pub lunch on Dartmoor. It’s hard to believe we packed so much into a weekend!
We had a fantastic weekend at Beyond Escapes Devon and wished we could have stayed longer. Our 8-year old enjoyed herself so much she even put a hot tub on her birthday wish list!
Idyllically set in beautiful Devon, the resort makes a great base to explore the surroundings … or you could just enjoy the Spa! Our lodge was spacious and comfortable, providing the perfect accommodation for a brilliant family time.
Visit Beyond Escapes Devon for more information and booking information.