Review: Champagne & Truffles Facial
Muddy road-tests possibly the most decadent facial Devon has to offer at Torquay's fabulous £2million spa at Lincombe Hall Hotel.
Not tried the swanky new spa at Lincombe Hall Hotel, yet? We’re talking topnotch design, high-end materials, attention to detail and cheeky selfies with your fizz by the pool. Let’s dive in, shall we?
From the outside, you’d never imagine this archetypal boutique Georgian villa-hotel could house this city-style spa but just check it out…
Behind that traditional facade, thanks to investment by owners and Torquay locals, Brett and Jo Powis, it’s transitioning from a traditional Torquay holiday destination into a jaw-dropping spa hotel.
So, its bye-bye beige and hello stunning bar and brasserie, plus newly decorated bedrooms and a soon-to-be-refurbed restaurant – all with help from the talented interior team at Ashton House Design in Ashburton.
It’s just ten minutes downhill to the best part of town, Torquay’s harbour, with its Sunseeker-filled marina, bars and nightlife. Turn left towards leafy Wellswood and it’s million-pound houses and a shingly beach at Meadfoot, a locals’ fave for a dip or a spot of paddle-boarding.
Here the emphasis is on indulgence, rather than health and wellbeing, so no surprise, there’s nothing clinical here. It’s lush designer lighting, aqua shades for walls and sofas and cabinets full of tempting looking Temple Spa products.
This is decadent, indulgent spa time where there are zero children (the hotel is adults only), you can call for a poolside drink, and a selfie in the bubbles – with your glass of bubbles – is de rigeur.
Your treatment comes with two hours in the spa where you can take a dip in the lap pool or bubble in the hydropool. The sauna, steam rooms and ice room – with its solid wall of ice – are all open and the Himalayan salt room is an optional extra as a treatment.
I love the changing rooms, with plenty of room, lockers, and gadgets to get you sorted post-pool time.
And it’s up for a bit of fun. The handprint in the glass opposite the changing room door is actually frosted into the glass, but it had me fooled.
I’m here for the Champagne & Truffles Deluxe Facial which I have to say has the best name for a facial in Muddy’s book, ever. It’s using Temple Spa products, a British brand that takes its inspo from the Mediterranean and uses luxury ingredients, including champagne, of course, black summer truffles, pure gold, silk and ooh, diamonds.
There are five treatment rooms, including one for couples. The decor is all shimmery wallpaper, moody blues and mood music, with low lighting adding to the cocooned feel. We’re talking 100% pampering territory.
My treatment room was called ‘Nirvana’, and I’d day that pretty much sums up what happens during the next 90 minutes.
My therapist, Jaydee, is young and petite and tres expert for her age. She’s very solicitous and has that ability to sense when you want to chat and when you want to bliss out.
She kicks off with a hot stones’ back massage, followed by a really thorough facial, which involves two masks, including a glycolic peel, and one which peels off for you to look afterwards, wrinkles, warts and all. Eery. Plus, your arms, hands and scalp all get in on the massage-action.
You’re also treated to rose quartz stone massage therapy, which if you didn’t know is all the rage in celeb circles for reducing puffiness.
It’s bells and whistles, using what feels like a zillion, delicious spicily-scented Temple Spa products from their anti-aging Truffles range. This facial takes its inspo from the scents of the Mediterranean but if Christmas was a facial, this would be it.
And when you think it’s all over, it’s back to the spa reception for – did you guess? – a glass of fizz and chocolate truffles.
Decadent or what? Even better, if you’re off to the spa post-treatment, you get to take it with you poolside, decanted into a plastic glass, of course. And sorry, by now I was so ‘relaxed’ after I forgot to take a pic of my pampered visage but the champers is much prettier anyway.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Heaven-in-a-heated-blanket. Nirvana indeed! I looked super-glowy and smooth afterwards and my make-up slid on like a dream.
Good for: feeling spoilt rotten; ironing out puffy bits and wrinkles; opening up blocked pores; seeing immediate results (the face mask don’t lie!); freeing up tense neck and shoulders; a prep and plumper when you want to look really well before a big event.
Not for: people who get fidgety lying flat for too long; shy types who don’t like getting naked below the neck for the back hot stones (although your front is covered up at all times).
The damage: At £135 for the facial – or £185 with two hours spa time – it’s at definitely the pricier end, but what a treat. Or a gift perhaps? (I’ll send my address, thank you.) Or what not make it a stay? Hotel Guests and Lincombe Spa Members receive 20% off.