This was about my fourth visit to Cedar Falls, I try to visit once a year as s real treat and it really is a treat. I’ve been with my mum a couple of times and last year went with one of my best friends when I was pregnant with my daughter. Last year my friend and I stayed for one night and both said we would do two nights this year as one night wasn’t enough! But we only managed the one night again as it’s not cheap and it’s hard to justify spending so much just on you! I miss my kids like crazy anyhow, so one nights just about bearable! This year I visited with four friends and one of the bonuses of a stay away like this, is that we could all have a good old proper girly catch up!
Cedar Falls is a Hotel with a health Spa and Golf course, just outside of Taunton in Devon. From my house it’s about a one and a half hour trip in the car. You could also get the train to Taunton and taxi it. I would say it’s about 15-20 mins from Taunton Train station. The house it’s self is situated just off the road up a lovely private drive surrounded by lawn and trees. As you come up the drive the house stands proud. It looks absolutely stunning in summer. It’s grand but not too large, there’s only 40 rooms. As soon as you get there you feel a million miles from anywhere. Perfect.
My friend picked me up at 10am and we arrived at Cedar Falls at about 11.30am. When we checked in we collected our robe and towel, treatment schedule and made it straight to the pool area. I couldn’t wait to get in my swimming costume and robe! We filled in our health questionnaires for our treatments, settled down on our loungers and ordered a prosecco! As soon as I arrived I felt relaxed. It was literally an instant feeling of calm and relaxation. It’s a bit serreal, like a different world. A far cry away from my usual days balancing work and the kids. It’s difficult not to feel too guilty, but I really believe it’s important to treat yourself and do something for yourself, when you can and I only do this once a year so it really is a treat. But it feels weird.
I had pre-booked my treatment which had been scheduled for 4.45pm so I had plenty of time to relax. We booked a table for lunch for 1pm, so I started reading the book I had brought with me ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. It only took me a few pages in and I was hooked. I never get a chance to read books at home, by the time I’m in bed I’m too tired to pick up a book. I’m always starting books and nit finishing them, let’s hope I get to finish this one! At 1pm we went up to the restaurant for lunch, in our robes. Yes, I know, it’s pretty weird dining in a bath robe, but it’s the done thing there! In fact, you look even stranger in clothes! Lunch started with a broccoli soup and crusty roll, which was delicious, then we helped ourselves to the salad buffet, which had lots of different dishes to choose from and felt very healthy. For pudding we had a pistachio ice cream, which I’ve not tried before and was really yummy.
After lunch we went back down to the pool area and lay on our loungers with our books. After a while we went for a swim and a juccuzi. I love sitting in the juccuzi! And we just chatted and laughed for ages.
At 4.45pm I went for my treatment. I had ‘The taste of Clarins’ treatment. This was a one hour treatment consisting of a back, shoulder and neck massage and mini facial, using the Clarins products. My therapist was lovely, welcoming and friendly. She made me feel relaxed and she tailored the massage to my needs. This included concentrating on my lower back area, which I suffer with as a result of lugging a 15 month around! Generally on my hip! The massage was lovely, but I think the facial was amazing. My skin felt so rejuvenated and fresh, my face felt amazing!
After my treatment I returned to my lounger for some more reading (I was addicted to my book by this point!) and we enjoyed a pre dinner prosecco by the pool. We booked our dinner table for 8pm so I went up to my room at 7pm for a soak in the bath. It was almost too quiet in my room all by myself. I actually get lonely when I’m not with my family!
My room was tucked away at the back of the hotel. I didn’t have a view of the garden, which was a shame (my friend had the most amazing garden view from her room) but I was really pleased with it and the decor was lovely and modern, but cosy too. Here’s some pictures of my room.
It was quite strange having a bath in complete peace and quiet with no interruptions! I’d brought a dress with me for dinner and I was glad I’d chosen a loose summery style, as it was very warm in the hotel. My skin was still feeling amazing from my facial so I just popped a bit of mascara on for dinner. Dinner was a very civilised affair but dress was casual and the atmosphere was relaxed. There was a three course set meal, with a choice of three dishes per course. I had the salmon mouse for starter, which I think was just smoked salmon mixed with cream cheese. For main, I had chicken wrapped in bacon with new potatoes and green beans. For pudding I chose a shortbread stack with red berries and cream. The portions were just right, not too large, so I felt satisfied and not too full. After dinner we had some post dinner wine in the lounge area (just realised it sounds like we drank a lot of wine!).
The next morning I dressed straight in to my swimming costume and robe and went down to the pool area to get a lounger. My friend was already down there lying on her lounger reading her book. I was glad to see she had already reserved some loungers. There’s not enough loungers for everyone staying to have one and it does get very busy at the weekends, especially Saturday’s with day trippers. We were lucky with the weather when we stayed however, so lots of people sat outside in the sun.
Breakfast was a buffet of cereals, yogurt, fruit and pastries. Coffee and toast was brought to the table. My friend and I had been looking forward to a cooked breakfast as we had one at our last visit, but for some reason they weren’t offering a cooked breakfast this time. It didn’t really matter though as I was quite satisfied with my chocolate croissant and coffee!
After breakfast it was time for some more lounging around, reading my book (it really was a hard life). We had a swim in the pool, sat in the steam room (they have a sauna too) and a long soak in the juccuzi. Instead of lunch we had already decided to have a cream tea instead (and couldn’t justify both). We had looked with envy at all the cream teas the day before, but had already had lunch. Because it was such a lovely sunny, warm day, we had our cream tea outside. Also, we had been told we couldn’t have cream teas poolside, even though the day before people had had them down by the pool. I thought this was s bit strange, but we didn’t mind as it was such a gorgeous day.
I hadn’t been outside since our arrival the previous day, so it was lovely being outside in the sun and Cedar Falls has a really beautiful outside seating area in its grounds. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to walk around the lovely vast grounds (all good intentions and that). I’d even brought my trainers and gym gear but hadn’t quite managed to make it to the gym or exercise class! There’s a small but well equipped gym in the therapy area if your feeling energetic enough! A short induction is required first, so I think you need to be there longer than 24 hours to really make it worth while. Relaxation was the most important part of my visit, so I made sure I was still and quiet for most of it!
Our stay was short but sweet. I can’t believe how quickly the time went by, despite not doing much, apart from relaxing! We left at 3pm on the Sunday and it came around a bit too quick, but I had missed my kids like crazy and couldn’t wait to see them.
The cost of our stay was £119 for bed, dinner and breakfast, for one night, including use of the facilities. When we booked we paid a £75 deposit. On top of this if you have lunch it is an extra £15 and the hire of a robe is £10. Drinks are not included, so I budgeted for this and you pay for any treatments on top. My Clarins treatment was £50, which I thought was good value for a massage and facial combined. A massage and facial treatment separately would be more expensive. You can obviously have as many treatments as you want, but this all adds up and can make a one night stay extremely expensive. I was satisfied with just the one treatment and I had plenty of time to relax and enjoy all the facilities. My friend had the Clarins scalp massage which she highly recommended too. If you had a Clarins treatment, you got some nice little free Clarins samples too which was a bonus!
Cedars Falls is a perfect (not too expensive) health spa hotel, for anyone wanting complete relaxation in a peaceful atmosphere, in a reasonably small hotel setting. There’s a pool and gym if you want to be more active and lovely vast grounds (including a golf course if that’s your cup of tea) to walk around (or run!). Although those staying were predominantly female, there were a few men there too as part of a couple. I actually think my hubby would love it, so I’m thinking of taking him there for our anniversary next year. I felt completely and utterly chilled for my whole trip, it was just what I needed and I’ll definitely be going back!
If you fancy visiting Cedar Falls, visit their website for more info www.cedarfalls.com