6 of the best spas in Dorset

The pool at the Harbour Hotel Spa

The pool at the Harbour Hotel Spa - Credit: Archant

Whether it is a gift for someone special or a pampering day out with friends, Alice Cooke reveals Dorset’s best spa treatments to rejuvenate and revive.

Oceana Day Spa, Ocean Beach Hotel & Spa

This Asian-inspired oasis of calm at East Overcliff Drive, Bournemouth offers a selection of relaxing facials, massages and beauty treatments, all based on the oils, methods and traditions of Asia. The cliff-top location is idyllic and the spa offers five treatment rooms, including a Treatment and Relaxation Room which you can share with friends and even add cocktails, bubbly or afternoon tea to the mix. There’s also an outdoor pool, and the Suncliff next door offers spa users free access to its indoor heated pool, gym and sauna.

Treatments include a Gentleman’s Time Out facial, a Mum-to-be Ritual, and Foot Treatment and luxury Anti-Aging Facials. Oceana Signature Massages feature a choice of oil blends: relaxing lavender mint; balancing cashmere wood and energizing lime mandarin. There are also holistic treatments on offer such as reflexology and Indian Head Massage. Swedish massage and the Zoya nail treatments both come highly recommended.

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Summer Lodge Spa, Evershot

The first time I visited this spa I passed a woman on her way out, enthusiastically raving to her husband about what an “oasis of tranquillity” it was. I had high hopes for the spa at this luxurious country house hotel and I can honestly say I left Summer Lodge spa feeling like a princess. The staff really couldn’t do enough for me, and I felt thoroughly spoilt from beginning to end. The spa itself, which has a heated indoor pool, is all glass and arched wood, and offers a wide range of treatments for rejuvenation, as well as facial, body, hand and foot treatments, alongside a great range of massages.

I plumped for a hand and foot treatment, which uses Darphin products - a botanical Parisian skin care line, based on plants and essential oils. I was completely bewitched by the delicious aroma of each new oil and cream that was applied – and my feet have never felt so soft in their hardwearing, outdoorsy lives.

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Experienced therapists offer a range of facials for men and women as well as St Tropez Tanning, and a range of massages that include head, hot stone therapy, reflexology and reiki. They also offer Mamma Mio Pregnancy Massage and Gorgeous Glow Pregnancy Facial. Again the boys don’t miss out as there are pedicures, hand and nail treatments, and a de-stress facial just for men.

Spa packages include half and full day options such as Retreat Day, Lazy Sunday Half Day (with breakfast or Dorset cream tea), and the Twilight Package (minimum of two people) where you can enjoy a treatment with your friends between 6pm- 9pm. The Café Spa menu offers delicious salads and grilled fish, fresh juices and smoothies. And there’s also an indoor heated pool, Jacuzzi and sauna.

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Lush Spa, Poole

Lush is famous for gorgeous handmade cosmetics and even though it is a very successful worldwide brand, its roots and HQ remain firmly in Poole, Dorset. Alongside its many shops, it has half a dozen spas scattered across the country from Chelsea and Liverpool to the High Street in Poole.

Spa treatments follow the Lush ethos of naturally relaxing, alternative and with a sense of fun with titles such as an Hour of Clarity and the Validation Facial.

As they put themselves “it may look traditionally English but there is very little else that is conventional about our spas.” A favoured hang out for those in search of a slower pace of life and wanting to get back to nature, expect a laid back ambience with tall milk jugs filled with fresh wild flowers, mismatched vintage teacups and old hardback books lining reclaimed wood shelves. This slightly hippy backdrop sets the tone for some unique treatments such as the amazing 80 minute Synaesthesic Massage – an holistic full body treatment choreographed to music and the soothing sounds of the Dorset countryside. The Sound Bath is a powerful 60-minute meditative journey into sound with tuning forks, ear candles, singing bowls and a clearing facial massage, For the chaps surely the Good Hour deep-tissue massage treatment inspired by rugged sea shanties, a bespoke soundtrack and a fizzing Big Blue bath bomb will hit the spot!

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Harbour Spa, Christchurch Harbour Hotel

This waterside spa offer a wide range of luxurious treatments along with everyday beauty needs including manicures, pedicures and tanning. They are also constantly updating their spa packages and overnight experiences, so do keep an eye on their website.

Spa therapists tailor each treatment to your individual skin requirements, so if you’re not sure which treatment is best for you, there are people are on hand to recommend the best way forward that is right for you.

Whether you’re visiting Christchurch Harbour Spa for a one-off treatment, an indulgent spa day or spa break, you’re sure to leave relaxed and feeling pampered from head to toe.

There are five treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool, hydrotherapy pool with mood lighting, sauna, salt grotto and crystal steam room. Spa Days range from half days as well to a HarSPA Together including lunch or afternoon tea plus a treatment, there's also an overnight stay and Twilight Evening Spa Experiences available.

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The Pig on the Beach, Studland

The newest pig in the company’s stylish sty is a 23 bedroom mellow country house at Studland Bay. It’s the perfect get-away-from-it-all location, and offers two treatment rooms housed in shepherds’ huts (all very Thomas Hardy!). Though the surroundings are undeniably quirky, therapists offer a great massage using Oskia products. And as you would expect from the Pig everything is beautifully finished in the hotel’s rustic signature style.

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Haven Spa at The Haven Hotel, Sandbanks

Recently redesigned, this gorgeous waterside spa is located on the very tip of the exclusive Sandbanks Peninsula. As this spa is part of The Haven Hotel complex, you can also enjoy direct access to blue flag beaches…so in short, the location is pretty idyllic.

Inside, the light and airy design complements a stylish outdoor poolside lounge with a modern Oriental theme. With its seaside location, the sea and more specifically seaweed is a key theme on the spa’s menu with treatments such as: Organic Seaweed Leaf Wrap where your the body is cocooned in fresh Atlantic leaves to detoxify and moisturise skin; the Deluxe Facial Experience - fresh seaweed leaves are laid over a warm poultice seaweed mask and the Organic Warm Spiced Mud Wrap of ginger and cinnamon, fresh seaweed leaves and peat, which is rich in anti-oxidants and minerals, the perfect detox. Other treats include an Organic Pepper and Seaweed Sugar Glow body scrub and the stimulating Seaweed Body Buff with mineral rich bladder wrack and seaweed oils to give you a healthy tingle.

If the marine thing isn’t your bag try the hot stone therapy where warm basalt stones are applied to the body to harmonise, restore and rejuvenate. Spa clients have access to the sauna, steam room, outdoor hot tub, indoor pool with swim fit spa and three hydrotherapy spas and heated outdoor pool.

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