Holm House is a small but perfectly formed 12-room boutique hotel by the sea in Penarth (just outside Cardiff). The owner, Sue, used to work in fashion marketing and you can tell - it’s super stylish but has lots of quirky, bohemian touches.
I’ve now deemed it the perfect place for a weekend “staycation”. Why? My room was so amazing I didn’t want to leave - think fashiony touches like Yamamoto-style throws on the beds (the bedlinen is Frette), a huge bath (or “bath deck”) built into a limestone ledge right beside my bed and an abundance of complimentary Jo Malone and White Company products. Then there’s the sea views from my window - with a love seat for me to sit in while I’m gazing.
As for entertainment – who needs to go out when there’s the chic-but-cosy bar downstairs (inspired by a 1920s drinking den) and the award-winning Neale's restaurant (all Osborne and Little flocked wallpaper, chairs covered in patterned silks; and covetable Wedgewood china)?
Then there’s the spa. In keeping with the intimate vibe of the hotel, it only has two treatment rooms. So it’s just like walking into my own private Idaho. Thank God – because there’s nothing I hate more than slopping around in my dressing gown with my post-treatment greasy face in full view of loads of other spa guests.
I’ve opted for the Yothai Regenerative Organic Facial (£80) and prepare myself for one hour and 30 minutes of heaven. The products used for this facial are all by a luscious, organic Thai brand called Ytsara.
My therapist, Anna, first tells me to dip my feet in a foot spa – which has drops of lemongrass and essential oils in it to remove negative energy.
Then we go into the subtly lit treatment room – Anna starts with a three-step cleanse (using a product made with pink hibiscus and sweet orange milk), followed by a pressure point massage using a rosewood facial oil (she concentrates on my chin, cheeks and around the eyes to aid lymphatic drainage). Next comes a mask (the main ingredient is bamboo, which is a traditional Asian ingredient to aid elasticity). While the mask is on, Anna massages my feet, calves, hands, wrists and scalp. I’ve now gone from bliss to euphoria.
To finish off, there’s a Jasmine facial toner to soothe and then Anna applies a divinely scented moisturiser containing jasmine, geranium and green tea. Ninety minutes later I float upstairs to my wonderful boudoir - my skin glows, my sense of well being is restored and am totally and blissfully de-stressed.
For further info on Holm House spa treatments or room rates go to www.holmhouse.co.uk
By Danielle Hine