Last year we visited a lot of hotels, spas and clinics in the South West to start our first South West Awards. As we are based in Devon, it made sense that we’d stay close to home to celebrate the wonderful facilities on offer on our doorstep.
Every year we also conduct our London Hotel Awards, along with our London Spa and Clinic Awards. We were absolutely overwhelmed with the quality we’d been missing so close to the office in the South West that was on par with the best London Hotel and Clinics we’ve witnessed.
In 2016 we were very proud to deliver some great news to the winners of our South West Awards 2016. Each entrant has an independent review on site, where you can delve into more detail, see prices, location and get to know the hosts.
These are the ones we absolutely adored, ones that blew us away, places we couldn’t get enough of, places we’ll definitely visit again.
South West Hotel Awards Winner
The winner of our South West Hotel Awards for 2016 is Tewkesbury Park. This hotel won by a SouthWest country mile. It’s decadent and luxurious and the customer service is second to none. The restaurant served a unique menu and the spa was just pipped to the post as our South West Spa winner. The facilities are incredible, with a sprawling manicured golf course, a swimming pool and space to run, unwind and play. The rooms, named after royalty offered all the modern comforts but also that little extra.
Here are a few of the extras Tewkesbury Park offered that made it stand out from the hotel crowd and be crowned our favourite South West Hotel of 2016.
- Hypnos beds – Every time we review a hotel we always focus on the comfort of the beds. The place could be amazing, and dripping in gold, but if we can’t enjoy a good nights sleep we will end up grumpy. The guys here completely understand the importance of a comfortable mattress.
- Luxury toiletries- usually, when staying in a hotel, we stay away from the toiletries, as they’re usually manufactured by a brand we’ve never heard of, and are sure to turn skin dry and itchy. Occasionally, like at SACO Apartments in London Bridge we will be rewarded with L’Occitaine but it’s a rare occurrence. The toiletries here are Neal’s Yard. You rarely see better than that.
- A great bathing experience – After the comfort of the bed, we usually look to see what the bathroom is like. A good sized bath with lots of space is always a bonus. The baths in Tewkesbury Park are all roll top. They offer plenty of space for two and some even have a TV over head. Of course, there is an obligatory ice bucket in the bathroom for the bottle of champagne you’ll inevitably drink to celebrate.
- Fresh Milk – It’s a little thing, but few people enjoy arriving at their destination only to find they have to endure a coffee with longlife milk. There’s never enough, and it starts the holiday off on a bad note, as if we’re being punished for choosing a home from home. The milk here is plentiful and fresh, just another way these guys prove they’ve thought of every detail.
A clear winner for us, we’re sure it will be for you too. We look forward to visiting in 2017 to see how the hotel has coped with its new winner status and award!
South West Spa Award Winner
Nestled down a country lane, is a spa that ticks all the boxes. A spa that’s a little different, the perfect place to relax, even if you’re on a budget. After a winding path, you’re greeted with floor to ceiling windows, which highlights the impeccable taste of the owner of the Sanctuary Spa near Okehampton. Amanda has used the natural light to make the most of her environment, giving guests 180 views across the rolling Devon countryside. The placement of the lounges makes you believe you’re enjoying a sojourn on the French Riveria, while the hot tub outside is the ultimate experience for any who appreciate state of the art technology. It’s the best hot tub we’ve ever tried, and possibly will again.
Not a penny has been spared in creating the ultimate haven for guests but regardless of this Amanda has kept her costs to a minimum. She charges just £10 for the use of the hot tub and facilities all day, while her professional treatments are extra, and she does give the best head to toe massage.
If you’d like to extend your stay, there’s a cottage on site, that has enjoyed the same upgrades and attention to detail as the SPA. We didn’t test the cottage but it does look great. We are very confident that you’ll adore the SPA. Whether you live in Devon or are visiting for the weekend, this is one retreat you need to visit.
South West Clinic Award Winner
From a dimly lit carpark underground, we walked into a sprawling, airport like area through heavy glass doors. Like a city beneath a city, the Radiance Medispa was in a place all of it’s own. We later learned that the designers were non other than those who designed the Urban Retreat space in Harrods. As we’ve been fortunate to work with Urban retreat on many occasions, it all fit into place as soon as this information was made available.
Little did we know that just a stone’s throw away was this professional clinic hiding underground. We were impressed.
A note from Martina, “I was invited to try the cool sculpting treatment, as I’d always complained of a double chin. Katy was fantastic. She had warmth, and integrity. She dealt with my fears effortlessly and had the right amount of friendliness to make me feel at ease, while nevr once considering her to be unprofessional. She deserves an award for her service to clients as lots could learn from her approach, she really was a diamond. The treatment itself pinched a bit, but that’s what I expected. Despite the discomfort I was able to relax and feel safe in Katy’s hands.”
This is the reason Radiance win our clinic award for 2016. The Cool Sculpting treatment, and Katie’s excellent customer service.
The place is also spotless and designed to a very high standard. There are treatments for all occasions from nails to aesthetic treatments and Botox. Unfortunately the clinic didn’t quite meet our expectations for line relaxing injections and nails in 2017 but it did blow us away with the care and attention during the cool sculpting. We’re pleased to offer this award to Radiance MediSpa in Exeter, and hope to see Katy again on a return visit.