By Jade Braham
From its perched position over Carmarthen Bay, it’s hard to find a better base in Pembrokeshire than St Brides Spa Hotel.
This multi-award winning establishment comes complete with heated outdoor infinity pool, but it’s ocean-inspired rooms and calming interiors make you feel as if you’ve touched down in a private beach house.
The best bit about St Brides Spa Hotel is its enviable position. Harbour views of Saundersfoot and the beach are on the doorstep.
Endless coastal walks await at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, regularly voted one of the top coastlines in the world. The candy-coloured seaside town of Tenby is also nearby, as is the must-visit Barfundle Bay – one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain.
We checked into St Brides Spa Hotel and found one of the best rooms with a view we’ve ever stayed in.
As we drove past the centre of Saundersfoot and up a steep hill – typical of the Welsh countryside – the impressive St Brides Spa Hotel towered into sight.
We heard the familiar seaside sound of seagulls circling above. Even before we left the car, the hotel felt distinctly separate from the rest of the town.
The stunning ocean views are in a class of their own, and the thought of getting into that infinity pool made us immediately switch into relaxation mode.
STYLE AND INTERIORS
The entire concept of the hotel revolves around its striking marine view. The first thing you’ll notice is a blue and white palette throughout, from sky to cobalt blue and a display of soft pinewood. It’s as if the beach and ocean are reflected back at you.
There are floor-to-ceiling windows and open plan spaces, while the revolving assortment of local artwork presents creative interpretations of coastal life.
Vases brimming with seashells and driftwood sculptures guide guests in all directions. From the Gallery Bar – which has a dramatic sea view terrace – and the hotel’s main Cliff Restaurant, to the award-winning Marine Spa and beach-inspired bedrooms.
St Brides Spa Hotel has 34 contemporary bedrooms. Choose from a Good, Better or Best room. There are also six luxury two-bed apartments, which are great for families or larger groups as they each sleep four.
All continue the seaside theme with light pale wall colourings, striped white and blue furnishings and light and airy bathrooms. The handmade furniture and locally-crafted bed throws add a boutique twist. Most come with partial or full sea view balconies. It’s worth paying extra to upgrade if you can.
We stayed in a luxurious twin bedroom on the second floor, one of the Best rooms. The spacious bedroom looked out onto the rolling hills surrounding Saundersfoot, and there was an additional seating area in the window nook with super cosy armchairs. Perfect for cosying up with a good book.
The bathroom had a shower and enormous bath that looked like it could swallow you up whole. The complimentary robes, slippers and VOYA bathroom products made the room feel like our own personal spa. The seaweed soap and lime and mandarin lotion were particular favourites, adding an exotic tropical beach aroma.
Other room facilities included tea and coffee and a fridge with complimentary water and milk. Attentive staff even provided soya milk, having remembered our booking mentioned a dairy allergy.
FOOD AND DRINK
Before dinner we toured the Gallery Bar, a wonderfully informal area with low sitting sofas and dim lighting perfect for an aperitif.
We then headed to the Cliff Restaurant to eat. Since it has 180-degree glass walls we got to enjoy our evening meal to the backdrop of a beautiful sunset, which was pretty special.
The menu is regional serving the finest Pembrokeshire produce and locally-caught fish, and changes regularly. To our delight we were told everything could be made dairy-free.
For starters we tried the Seasonal Soup (£8), which was Butternut Squash topped with crunch sunflower seeds when we visited. This was followed by the herby Butternut Squash Tagine with Wild Rice (£25). Other menu highlights included the Pork Belly with Pearl Barley and Celeriac Puree (£24) and Cod Loin with Shellfish Bisque and Mussels (£28).
We opted out of pudding as we were so pleasantly full, but would have ordered the Chocolate Tart with Bitter Orange Sorbet or the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Earl Grey soaked raisins (both £9.50). If you prefer desserts, skip the starter.
The Cliff Restaurant is also where breakfast is served, accompanied by soothing instrumental music. There was lots of choice, from a Continental selection with freshly-baked pastries and fruit juice to a hot breakfast, which is cooked to order rather than self serve. We loved the Smashed Avocado with Poached Eggs. Those who like a fuller meal in the morning should order the Full St Brides Breakfast.
If you’d like a walk into the village, the hotel has a more casual marina restaurant serving traditional fish and chips, open from 12pm to 7pm (7.30pm on Fridays and Saturdays).
On booking a stay at St Brides Spa Hotel, each guest gets a complimentary 90-minute session in the Marine Spa, frequently voted one of the best spas in Wales. Be sure to book your time slot in advance to avoid disappointment on the day. Non-guests can visit for £40pp.
The facilities are plentiful, from a hydrotherapy infinity pool with harbour views to the Thermal Suite featuring a Herbal Rock Sauna, Aroma Steam Room, Sensation Shower and Salt Infusion Room. On top of this, there is a Quiet Room and Relaxation Lounge where guests can indulge in a complimentary drink.
Treatments range from 25-minute massages and facials (£45) to a St Brides Full Body and Scalp Massage or Radiance Facial (£85 for 55 minutes).
The spa uses products from seaweed-based brand VOYA and Caudalie, which focuses on vinotherapy – formulations from grape and vine. Those wanting a more private spa session can opt for a massage in their sea-view treatment rooms.
St Brides Spa Hotel is a stylish take on a seaside resort with some of the most breathtaking views we’ve ever seen in the UK. This coupled with attentive staff and exquisite facilities, like the spa and restaurant, make it easy to never want to leave.
Rooms start from £200 a night
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