Spa Day in Falmouth while staying in St Ives

2 hours of Hydrothermal relaxation followed by a 25-minute scrub and a 55-minute massage. What more could a girl ask for on Valentine's Day?

February half-term treat

Kick the new holiday year off again by staying in St Ives for February half term. That’s when the streets of St Ives become busier, there’s more of a bustling vibe of happy holiday-makers as they escape everyday life for the first time since Christmas. All the shops are open and so are the restaurants and cafes. The surf school is busy giving surfing lessons and the beaches are fuller. That in itself is a real treat for the February half-term. So is booking yourself a St Ives cottage with sea views and opening up the window to expansive ocean views.

Parking in St Ives is much easier when staying for the February half-term too, the town is busier but not to the point where queues are forming at car parks or guests are worried about leaving a parking spot for the day. Bonus! The holiday rental prices for this half-term are also very reasonable which means there is more change in your pocket for a special treat!

The special treat I received this Valentine’s was a 2-hour hydrothermal experience at St. Michael’s Resort in Falmouth. On top of that, a super nourishing salt scrub massage followed by a full-body massage. The boy did good!

Let me share my experience with you…

The drive from St Ives to Falmouth takes about 45 minutes and although St. Michael’s Resort doesn’t offer parking to non hotel guests, there is a Cornwall Council car park directly opposite just behind Gyllyngvase Beach. The bonus is the car park is free in February!

Our 2-hour Hydrotherapy session started at 10 am so we got there 10 minutes early to be shown where the changing rooms were, how the lockers worked and what was on offer to us. Ladies, there are treats galore in the changing room alone. Elemis face products, Elemis body wash and shampoo, Elemis body lotion and GHD hairdryers and straighteners. The changing rooms are warm, spacious and make a great start at relaxing you. There are cubicles for privacy or an open area too. There are lockers controlled via a wrist strap which are very easy to use (unlike Bath Thermae Spas!).

We got changed into our bathing suits and wrapped ourselves up in large, soft towelling gowns. Flip flops are provided too but my husband, with size 12 feet, said they didn’t fit him very well! We headed to the hydrotherapy spa area which has a pool with jets coming at you from all angles, a Herbal sauna, a Cornish Sea Salt steam room and a Rainforest steam room. There is an ice-bucket shower (which I avoided) and three other shower areas where you can cool off or warm up depending on how you’re feeling.¬† The pool area has a double bed lounger, recliners and deck chairs with tables. There are also heated ceramic loungers that are part of the experience.

The hydrotherapy pool is the largest in the south west and is heated up to a comforting 35C, so it’s the perfect place to work away stress and tension built up from everyday life.

Hydrothermal pool in St Michael's Resort in Falmouth

Photo Credit: St. Michael’s Resort, Falmouth

Cornish Sea Salt steam room

We started with the Cornish Sea Salt room which is a steam experience. It is pretty hot in there and very humid but it promises to smooth away wrinkles, improve circulation and is great for the immune system. Apparently, 15 minutes is the optimum time to sit in there (if you can take the heat) so we started our watches and sat in for the duration. 15 minutes later, we were melting but both felt strangely invigorated too. After that, we took a cool shower to bring the body temperature back down and headed to the pool.

Hydrothermal pool

We weren’t the only couples there but it certainly didn’t feel busy or weirdly awkward. Some couples were diving deep into the experience and were on the glasses of Prosecco and Martini espressos! At 10.30 am, we weren’t quite ready for alcohol. The pool is pleasantly warm and there are jets pretty much all around the pool walls that are controlled by push button. Imagine one super large hot tub. Extra jets that pummel your shoulders and back are operated using push button too which we both sampled. Don’t use these jets if you want to keep your hair dry… It was very relaxing being in the pool and we moved from being sat in the centre area to the edges where jets massaged our lower backs.

Herbal sauna

The sauna faces the pool and so when we were sat in there, we were able to observe the rest of the activity in and around the pool area. The sauna is a dry heat and herbs are infused to give a sense of well-being and relax. Again, the recommended time for maximum benefits is 15 minutes but we both lasted 6 minutes at most. Either you can do saunas or you can’t!

Rainforest steam room

So, this is described as a thermal paradise, I wouldn’t go as far as that! It felt more like something to be endured as it was hotter and steamier than the Cornish Sea Salt steam room and was pretty uncomfortable to endure the full 15 minutes. We did stay in there for the maximum benefit time but it felt like a mental and physical challenge. In the time we achieved 15 minutes, two couples had come and gone!

After an hour and a half, I got out of the pool area and went to sit in the waiting area for treatments. My treatment was a sea salt scrub massage followed by a full body massage.

Massage bliss

My turn came to be called and I was led down a corridor off which were rooms named after Cornish areas. I was in Bosloe. I had never had a salt scrub before so the therapist very helpfully talked me through the procedure and then left me to get under the towel onto the heated massage bed. With the salt scrub, you’re given paper knickers and after the scrub massage¬† (arms, legs and back area), you shower using Elemis shower products while the therapist leaves the room to get fresh towels and returns to make up the massage bed in readiness for the massage phase of the treatment. The shower was in the room and the lights were down low so it made turning the shower on and working the temperature dials a little awkward but it did protect my modesty when the therapist returned to remove the salty towels and replace with fresh ones. My skin already felt so much smoother and more hydrated after the oil salt scrub massage so I was looking forward to the next step of the treatment.

Once I was back on the massage bed with the fresh towels over me, the therapist returned and for 55 minutes gave a medium pressure full body massage which was divine. I chose Elemis Frangipani body oil so the room was full with a wonderful aroma too. There was just one moment when I thought I had drifted off but mainly I was present and enjoying the whole experience.

Girl enjoying a salt scrub treatment at a spa

Image by Racool_studio on Freepik

At the end of our time at St. Michael’s Resort spa, we felt restored and rested. We opted to grab lunch from Sabzi’s in Falmouth instead of dining in their restaurant but, if we had wanted to, we could have gone up for lunch in our gowns and flip flops (as long as we were dry!).


Article written by Sam Sheppard

I’m the one on the horse if you visit the Meet The Team page on our website.

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