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Staycationers treated to whale of a time at newly expanded W Club

By Lauren Heath-Jones    16 Dec 2019
Crown Sports Lockers fitted out the new female changing rooms at the Whalesborough Cottages and Spa in Bude, Cornwall

Holiday complex Whalesborough Cottages and Spa in Bude, North Cornwall, has enhanced its visitor experience by expanding its leisure facilities.

Owned by the Proudfoor family, which established a dairy farm on the 500-acre estate more than 50 years, this is the first time the site has expandedinto leisure, under the management of James Proudfoot, site owner and thrid generation member of the Proudfoot family. He says: "My grandfather established the dairy farm in 1963, but by 2004 we had run our course with it and decided to move into holiday cottages. On reflection, 15 years later, I can say that it was certainly the right decision.”

Whalesborough attracts staycationers from across Britain - from as far afield as Scotland, as well as Bath and Bristo l- to its 21, 5-star luxury cottages.

“Our USP is that we are very dog friendly, in contrast to many holiday destinations like ours,” James added. “Guests love roaming across the coastal countryside and can stroll right down to the beach at Widemouth Bay. It’s a delightful setting.”

A family affair, several members of the Proudfoot family help run the Bude operation. “My cousin Fraser is the other half of the business and manages the café and bistro, my wife Sharran is office manager, while sons Jake and Tom work here too. Tom has just completed a degree in film and media, so is planning to promote us on the digital platforms," said James.

Leisure provision is becoming an increasingly important aspect of Whalesborough’s offering, with James reflecting on how these trends have transformed the scale and scope of facilities in the sector. “We built our first cottages in 2009, with more following in 2013 and 2014 in the off season. All are five-star and feature leading-edge interior design, sustainable construction standards, solar panels and wood-pellet boilers.

“At the time, the spa was almost an afterthought, with just two treatment rooms on the second floor.” But regularly rising guest numbers forced a rethink. “Our changing areas were cramped, no longer fit for purpose and couldn’t cope with throughput – typically up to 15 ladies are staying here for spa breaks at any one time - while the gym had become congested,” said James.

Having established the W Club as an attractive element of Whalesborough’s accommodation, the Proudfoots knew their next step was to scale up to cater for the huge popularity of spa breaks.

Under a two-phase expansion, the former gym has been converted into a larger female changing area, fitted out by specialists Crown Sports Lockers.

The gym is housed in a two-storey purpose-built extension


A purpose-built two-storey extension houses the fitness provision, offering double the floorspace of the original gym, and fitted out with high-end Technogym equipment and augmented spa facilities.

Another addition is the new function room, which hosts studio classes for yoga and other disciplines, and complements Whalesborough’s outdoor sports provision and infinity swimming pool.

The Proudfoots chose carefully when selecting a supplier to fit out the changing areas. “We were seeking an upmarket manufacturer and had viewed Saunton Sands Hotel, where Crown had recently installed changing rooms,” James explained. “They seemed a friendly, family firm, attentive with an eye for detail.”

Throughout the build, Crown project manager Sam Palmer worked closely with James and the family to create bespoke designs for the female changing area and spa fitout.

“Collaborating around the kitchen table was a really relaxing way to talk through the client’s requirements and come up with solutions tailored to guest needs and numbers,” said Palmer.

Crown fitted out three treatment rooms with furniture finished in Egger truffle brown and Denver oak


Crown fitted out three large new treatment rooms, including a double treatment room, located on the first floor, each featuring furniture finished in Egger truffle brown and Denver oak with crisp white Corian worktops. On the ground floor, Crown fitted a small bank of matching holdall and clothes lockers with DCL keypad locks.

The expansion allows the W Club to further widen its guest offering. “Our cocoon indulgence is already a firm favourite, as are the ever-popular lava shells, hot stones and reflexology," said James.

Fitting out the newly created female changing room in the former gym saw Crown install 36 clothes lockers with DCL keypad locks, three private change cubicles, towel drop unit, wet and dry vanity stations.

The Made-in-Britain manufacturer also fitted out the wet area to include flush compact laminate door systems for the WC and shower cubicles. Two upholstered island stools, finished in a revitalising teal, medium blue-green, fabric to match Whalesborough’s corporate colour, completed the install.

“Our female guests now enjoy a far more spacious, luxurious and private changing environment,” said James.

Despite the explosion in spa days and breaks, the W Club can claim the North Cornish market for itself, it seems.

“There isn’t another spa facility within 20 or 30 miles of us, with planning permission for another 24 holiday cottages, our long-term future is secure," James added.

For more information please go to www.crownsportslockers.co.uk or get in touch via phone, +44 (0)1803 555885 or email [email protected]

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