A tropical hidden gem in one of Cornwall's prime locations. With excellent dining, an exceptional hydrotherapy spa and pool, and private lodges that offer sublime views, it's a destination that leaves a lasting impression. And going to the beach in your bathrobe.
On the next leg of our Range Rover Evoque tour, we venture down to Falmouth, where we have the pleasure of staying at the charming St. Michael's Resort, a delightful coastal hotel with an inviting hydrotherapy spa.
Nestled behind narrow Cornish streets and enveloped by lush tropical trees and foliage, St. Michael's Resort is artfully concealed behind a terrace and gardens that overlook the beautiful Gyllyngvase Beach. This golden shoreline is just a stone's throw away, separated only by a quaint coastal road.
After parking the Range Rover in the free parking, we step into the entrance hall, delighted by its warm and inviting atmosphere. A single welcome desk stands to the right, facing soft, comfortable sofas and armchairs surrounding a large hearth. Beyond, the Brasserie on the Bay beckons, but we turn outside to explore further. Our destination is the Spa Garden Lodge, one of four exclusive wooden beach chalets located right next to the spa, offering stunning views of the tropical gardens and beachfront. Through the foliage, we catch glimpses of the colourful townhouses.
To reach the private lodge, we follow a charmingly higgledy-piggledy paved path that meanders past the spa. The lodge has an outdoor shower for rinsing sand off after a day at the beach and an outside terrace equipped with a copper freestanding bath and twin wooden chairs, perfect for admiring the view. The lush tropical trees surrounding the lodge evoke images of the Caribbean or the south of France. Here, you can relax in privacy, sheltered from prying eyes while observing the beach life below.
The Spa Garden Treth Lodge is impressive and comes with complimentary spa access. The decor features subtle coastal hues that echo the local area, with white panelled walls, beechwood floors, light wood furniture, and colourful nautical prints. The bathroom boasts captivating piscine wallpaper, and its amenities include a generously sized shower and a single-stone sink. What catches our attention is the thoughtful addition of an automatic floor light that greets us as we enter the bathroom, providing gentle illumination to guide our way at night without disrupting our sleep. Additionally, a hidden light in the cupboard offers a seamless return to bed.
After changing into our evening attire and waiting for our son Ben to join us, we head to the bar. We settle into one of the comfortable and luxurious leather sofas and order a local St. Austell Cornish Stout, a Liskeard Cornish Orchard Cider, and a glass of bubbly.
The service we experience is nothing short of exceptional—warm, friendly, and attentive. In the bar lounge, we enjoy table service on the plush leather sofas. A kind waitress guides us to our table, and we are captivated by the ambience. Sparkling lights festoon the rope-entwined pillars, while dark green walls feature prints showcasing local fishermen, fish, and Cornish craftsmen at work. The white wood slatted ceiling complements the large terrace doors, which open to reveal breathtaking views of the gardens and the sea. Many leather benches and armchairs add to the inviting atmosphere, and sailing ropes drape elegantly from the ceiling. A maritime theme runs throughout the venue, with lobster images and yachting photographs adorning the walls.
Our meal is a gastronomic delight, featuring cider mussels and the catch of the day, Monkfish. The cider mussels leave a lasting impression with their delectably creamy sweet sauce, while the Monkfish is fresh, tender, and bursting with flavour. For dessert, we can't resist indulging in homemade Cornish ice cream, so delicious that we entirely forget to take a photo. Flavours include white chocolate and raspberry, salted caramel, and vanilla.
The hydrotherapy spa is another highlight of our visit. It boasts a massive hydro pool with various jets designed for massaging and relaxation. The spa's decor emphasises natural woods and soothing azure blues, creating a tranquil atmosphere. Inside the spa, guests can also unwind in a sauna, steam room, or on hot stone beds, offering the ultimate in pampering. The spa experience extends outdoors, where we discover a large Jacuzzi, a Swedish barrel sauna, an invigorating ice-cold plunge pool, and numerous double and single beds—all providing the perfect vantage point to admire the stunning sea view.
Located opposite the spa is the Beach House Hotel, which offers additional accommodations and a delightful pool for both laps and family leisure. Guests can conveniently access the pool area by simply strolling across and tapping their Spa bracelets for entry. For sea enthusiasts like ourselves, the beach is a mere ten meters away, inviting us to take a refreshing swim in the waves.
The following morning, after my hydrotherapy session, I venture down to the beach, walking past the Gylly Beach Cafe in my white bathrobe and spa sandals. With elegant ease, I slip off my robe and gracefully enter the somewhat bracing waters of the Cornish sea for an invigorating half-hour swim.
Movement is essential to stay warm, and as time passes, my fingers begin to turn a joyful shade of purple. It is thrilling, leaving me feeling rejuvenated and invigorated. I feel like Wim Hof, The Iceman—renewed, refashioned, and ten years younger, albeit a bit chilly. Remarkably, I feel fantastic all day after the cold swim. If I lived in this splendid coastal town, I would undoubtedly be a regular swimmer, both in the summer and winter. The beach is abuzz with people of all ages, frolicking happily in the sea from sunrise to sunset.
The charming Gylly Beach Cafe complements the beach, offering stunning sea views. It is impossible not to notice the locals, of all ages, brimming with health and vitality as they fearlessly dive into the somewhat brisk waters. Their youthful and healthy appearance is nothing short of envy-inducing.
One of the remarkable features of the Spa Garden Lodge is the convenience of having your own private space and the flexibility to visit the hydrotherapy spa, the hotel restaurant, the Beach Hotel pool and wellness area, or the beach at your leisure. After a fulfilling day, we relax on the private terrace, overlooking the town and beach, hidden by tropical fronds and palm trees. It is, in every sense, sheer bliss.
St Michael's Resort offers not only lodges and hotel rooms but also a selection of one to four-bedroom apartments in The Liner. Resembling a Superyacht, this building sits right on the beach and houses a range of luxury shops on the ground floor. It's the ideal venue for a self-catered holiday, providing access to the Bar & Lounge, Garden Kitchen, and Brasserie on the Bay Restaurants, as well as delightful options like Cornish Cream Tea or Sparkling Afternoon Tea. And let's not forget the pool, fully-equipped gymnasium, and Hydrotherapy Spa.
Falmouth itself boasts numerous attractions and activities, in addition to its attractive beach and water sports. Consider visiting the Glendurgan Garden, open daily from 10:30 to 17:00, for a relaxing nature experience. Explore the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, open daily from 10:00 to 17:00, to immerse yourself in maritime history. Join a historical walking tour of Falmouth, or head to Pendennis Castle for panoramic views and a glimpse into the past. Don't miss the opportunity to climb Jacob's Ladder for stunning town vistas or wander around the captivating Trebah Gardens. A boat trip along the coast offers a different perspective and a breath of fresh sea air.
By now, it's clear that St Michael's Resort is truly special—a tropical hidden gem in one of Cornwall's prime locations. With excellent dining, an exceptional hydrotherapy spa and pool, and private lodges that offer sublime views, it's a destination that leaves a lasting impression.
For more information and activities in Falmouth, including events such as the Falmouth triathlon, oyster festival, art festival, and book festival, as well as winter and Christmas events, please visit their website. Keep in mind that bookings fill up quickly, so plan your visit for an unforgettable experience.