After a weekend of relaxation, walking and wellness, Top Santé writer Angela Kennedy shares her review of Wave Garden Spa in the Snowdonia National Park region of Wales…
Set in the scenic Snowdonia National Park region of Wales, the Wave Garden Spa is not short on panoramic views. I arrived on beautifully sunny day to find a modern-build spa hotel beside a sparkling inland lagoon, nestled beneath tree-studded, soaring hills. A real mind-soothing balm if you’re feeling bit stressed out.
The hotel is part of the Hilton chain and the building has a rather generic appearance but the sublime natural surroundings more than make up for the somewhat grey exterior. A stroll around the lagoon revealed glamping tents and charming wooden cabins perfect for friends or family holidays.
Surf’s up at Adventure Parc Snowdonia
If you’re the sporty type, you’ll be in heaven. The activity centre attached to the hotel, Adventure Parc Snowdonia, offers surf lessons, paddleboarding, indoor climbs, indoor caving, mountain biking, open water swimming and more. So, you’ll be able to leave the rat race far behind as you dive into some adrenaline highs.
I witnessed thrill-seekers hurtling along the zipwire, which runs over the lagoon. Most impressive were the surfers riding the huge (up to 1.9 metre-high) waves pumped out into the rainwater lagoon. I also discovered when walking around the lagoon you shouldn’t get too close to the edge unless you want to experience the excitement of the waves first-hand with a bit of an accidental drenching!
Modern rooms at the Wave Garden Spa hotel
Inside the hotel’s communal areas is where the modern design aesthetic comes into its own with huge glass windows lining the lobby, sitting room and restaurant area. The hotel has 160 bedrooms. The one I stayed in was very modern and immaculately clean, again with huge floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the space with light and a great view over the lagoon.
The room was compact, with the basin a bit oddly in the bedroom rather than in the bathroom. It definitely had the feeling of a chain hotel, with only one set of toiletries suppled for two guests. The Smeg fridge and kettle were nice touches.
Relax in the spa
If you’re in need of relaxation, the highlight of the hotel is definitely the spa. I was offered a glass of fizz to kickstart proceedings, then entered into a little haven of calm inside the large indoor infinity Whirlpool with huge windows so you can meditate on the beautiful natural surrounds while soaking your cares away. The sauna was another favourite as it had a whole wall made of Himalayan rock salt which felt as if it was easing my breathing with every inwards breath.
Outside was a sweet, little log cabin sauna where I reclined on a surprisingly comfortable wooden pillow. The outdoor infinity pool was the biggest draw for spa guests. Easy to see why as the sun was shining with a gentle breeze and those great views again. The pool was a fair size and didn’t feel crowded even on a Saturday, when I visited. Spa is definitely recommended, just lacks a swimming pool – which seemed strange as the grounds have plenty of space for one.
Wave Garden Spa treatments
The best bit of my spa visit was my treatment with Michaella. I opted for a bespoke massage using sweet orange essential oil to uplift and relax. It was an outstanding massage with gentle but firm flowing movements on my back and shoulders. The atmosphere was just right and although this was a wellness massage rather than a deep tissue massage, I certainly felt holistically treated by the end. I felt so deeply relaxed and rejuvenated. But you’ll need to book before your visit as slots are rarely available on the day. And I can see why!
Dining at Wave Garden Spa
The restaurant is a welcoming, cool-looking place with an emphasis on being relaxed and unpretentious. The waiting staff and kitchen staff were all brilliant, attentive and fast to respond. I did feel the menu could have offered some healthier options, especially at lunchtime when I couldn’t find anything non-stodgy. A couple of salads or healthier sandwiches would have been nice.
The quality of ingredients could be improved – oven chips and a miniscule portion of greens served with a very good steak was a shame. One indulgent delicious highlight was the red velvet vegan chocolate cake with beetroot sorbet – I had it both nights and I’m not vegan!
Walking routes in Snowdonia National Park
If your fitness regime is more walking than water-sports, then this place has you covered on that score too, which was lucky for me as I’m a keen hiker. I was provided with an extremely informative description of enticing-sounding walks just minutes from the hotel.
I chose the old Roman Road walk which took me up high but without scaling a mountain, passing by streams, ancient standing stones, beautiful rugged hillsides and several adorable tribes of wild hill ponies. Eventually, the sea came roaring into view with wonderful vistas of Ynys Môn (Anglesey Island). Just perfect!
For more information, visit wavegardenspa.com.