We caught up with the team at the Alchemist Spa at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel - read on for a sneak peek into life at this stunning spa on the beautiful Devon coast with Joanna Robb, Sally Lancaster and Clare Palfreeman.
FOR STARTERS, HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR TEA?
Weak, black, with 26 granules of sugar (just kidding, half a spoon!)
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND - WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE SPA INDUSTRY?
Our position on the beautiful Atlantic coast couldn’t be a more therapeutic location for a North Devon spa. The soul-stirring views have a soothing power, while the sea air invigorates. We’re passionate about wellness and shared experiences, and we thought what better way to harness downtime and provide a few mindful moments than with our uniquely styled spa.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION BEHIND THE NEW SPA CONCEPT? WE LOVE THE AESTHETICS YOU’VE CHOSEN…
We wanted to create an atmosphere that felt like home, with lovely tactile finishes and a real sense of luxury.
WHAT WILL MAKE THE ALCHEMIST SPA STAND OUT?
Amazing people. They always make the difference and that’s what makes us unique. Our care, quality and passion really shines through each member of our team.
WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR TIME OFF?
Without a doubt, explore our local surroundings. The whole of the North Devon coast is breathtaking - one moment you can have your toes in the sand on a three-mile stretch of beach, and 20 minutes further inland you’re in an enchanted woodland. We’re all dog lovers here, so of course our four-legged companions join us on the adventures.
WHAT BEAUTY OR SKINCARE SECRET DO YOU LIVE BY?
It’s no secret by any means but…water! Whether that’s absorbing it through the skin’s surface in a steam room/rasul experience or drinking enough to replenish the water that our bodies are made up of. Staying hydrated not only improves the condition of your skin, but also promotes healthy digestion, improves focus and helps to lift fatigue.
FROM YOUR TREATMENT LIST, WHICH EXPERIENCE MUST WE BOOK?
The process of crafting our new treatment menu completely from scratch for this year has been so rewarding. We’ve been able to imprint the heart and soul of our entire ethos onto each experience and hand pick the perfect NSF products to go with each - so this question is a tough one! But our favourite has to be our Japanese Bathing Ritual that takes place in our large private copper tub - inspired by Yuzuyu, a Japanese custom of hot bathing that celebrates tōji - the winter solstice…
“In Japan, bathing is about so much more than just getting clean, encouraging an almost meditative appreciation of one’s body with benefits both for your physical and mental well-being. Whether you’re a bath fan or not - we could all learn a thing or two from the country’s unique approach.
With this copper tub ritual, bask in natural oils to help boost the mind and clear mental fog. Relieve feelings of anxiety, unwind and cocoon skin in hydration and antioxidants. With gotu kola, mint, organic fennel and lavender in the tub for your arrival. Finish with an intensely aromatic burst of skin conditioning yuzu oil, with sparkling grapefruit, mandarin, marjoram lathered from head to toe…”
FINALLY, WHAT'S THE NATURAL SPA FACTORY PRODUCT THAT YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT - AND WHY?
The Illuminate range in its entirety smells so comforting with the scent of Vanilla and White Flower, but our absolute favourite has to be the Illuminate Cream Mask. It’s decadent and nourishing, just like giving your skin a big hug when you need it most!