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Review   ›   Travel Inspiration › Wellbeing Travel  ›  Yorkshire and The Humber

Secret Spa - A day of pampering at The Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey

November 15, 2022


What I loved about it:

I love the fact that you have your very own bell tent to retreat to between using the facilities. A cosy, comfortable area of your own to really feel like you are able to relax and enjoy the space.


Devonshire Arms Country Hotel, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

Suitable for:

Couples, girls day

Value for money (out of 10):



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Why you need to visit the Secret Spa

The Secrete Spa, nestled in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales village of Bolton Abbey, is a proper hidden gem. In a converted barn, tucked behind the traditional Devonshire Arms Country Hotel, sits the Secret Spa. The spa itself is small and simple yet ample. It is understated and traditional with exposed brickwork, beams and lots of natural light. You won’t find all the fandangle, ultra-sleek and modern thermal rooms here. Instead, there are the main facilities you want from a spa session; a pool to swim lengths, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, experience shower as well as treatment rooms. What you do get however, is your very own place to retreat to, away from others, which really adds to the Secret Spa’s appeal.

During covid the Devonshire Arm’s team thought cleverly about how they could continue and opened up the Secret Spa. 6 bell tents were installed on the old tennis courts out back. This meant that each couple had their own special retreat for the day and could navigate the spa on a given timetable without bumping into anyone else. This has proved so popular that they have continued this ethos, although slightly more relaxed with timings now. It really does feel like you have the whole place to yourselves for the ultimate relaxation package.

This is my second visit to the Secret Spa and I can definitely say I will be back again. We were on the ‘Winter One’ which was priced at £195 for 2 and we were in from 9am til 2pm. This not only included access to the facilities and having our very own bell tent to spend the day in, it also included lunch, a glass of fizz AND a treatment. Looking at the prices of other spas in the area I think this is value for money but also fair pricing as it does not have as many facilities as some of the other new ones.

My Spa day was so relaxing. I took along a good friend of mine who you can thank for these great photos! We had the best time chatting, chilling and actually managed to finish every conversation. Now that is worth it’s weight in gold when you are surrounded by kids constantly!

The pool area, jacuzzi and rooms were all clean and tidy. The service was great, we were payed enough attention without it being overpowering and there was always someone about if you needed anything. The bell tents were superb too. You had bean bags with blankets that you could get cosy in around the log burner inside, chair and tables outside to eat on, there were also tea and coffee making facilities, cold drinks, hair dryers, straighteners and also your own robe and onesie to wear around the Spa.

The treatments I must say, for ones that are included in a spa package, are the most varied I’ve ever seen. Some of the treatments I’d never heard of but they all sounded intriguing and exciting and if I could I would have chosen them all. Normally on a spa day you have the choice of a standard back neck shoulder massage, a manicure /pedicure or a facial and if you want anything fancy you have to pay to upgrade. These were all at that next level where I did actually ask if we had to pay a supplement for! You don’t!

I had ’Brush with heaven’. Sounds intriguing doesn’t it. Imagine the sensation of being brushed head-to-toe. “This unique treatment revives, relaxes and drains toxins. Your skin is cocooned in a rich warm body oil, whilst your face gets an equally heavenly treat. The entire treatment is carried out with brushes, whilst you doze.” If you like people brushing your hair then this is the one for you. Ultra relaxing.

Jacq had ‘Get Glowing’ the therapist’s favourite. This treatment was actually thought up by the therapists themselves so is a really popular one.
Get Glowing is an “antiaging power house treatment which leaves your skin visibly lifted, feeling firmer, looking brighter and with a reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While the firming mask works its magic you’ll be treated to an exfoliating foot and leg massage, and an indulgent shoulder, scalp and facial massage, to leave you feeling 10 years younger, from top to toe.”
Although Jacq did not quite look 10 years younger (sorry Jacq!) she was definitely glowing.
The treatments lasted 45 minutes which was about right, but to be fair I could have stayed there all day. The products that were used were Temple Spa which are fab products, not overly extortionately priced and really good quality. My therapist Georgia was amazing, answered all my questions about the products and the experience treatment, chatted where I wanted but then left me to relax and doze off.

Our day was bliss. We used all the facilities and felt like we had enough time to relax and enjoy the bell tent to its full potential. We ate our lunch leisurely, the cream tea had to come home with us as we were stuffed but we did find the space for some toasted marshmallows (extra).
I highly recommend if you are after a day spa, the chance to really relax without breaking the bank.


This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

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November 15, 2022