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Issue 26 - Five star spas

Scotland Magazine Issue 26
April 2006


This article is 12 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Five star spas

Natasha Reed investigates the best luxury spas Scotland has to offer

For a total treat that relaxes mind, body and soul, a stay in a luxury spa has to be the only way to go.

Scotland is an ideal country for a pampering stay because of the idyllic setting of many of its spas. Set in rolling hills or vibrant cities, you can make your spa stay whatever you want it to be.

Combined with unique treatments and the welcoming spirit of the Scottish, Scotland is a definite force to be reckoned with in spa destinations.

Located on Edinburgh’s historical North Bridge, The Scotsman Hotel is one of the most stylish hotels in the city. This luxury five star hotel also boasts The Scotsman Leisure Club, which features a health club and Escape Spa. A genuinely stunning 16-metre stainless steel pool set into a slate surround introduces guests to arguably Edinburgh’s finest facility.

Apart from Scotland’s first stainless steel swimming pool, the facilities also include a spa pool, sauna and steam rooms, tropicarium, a 60 station cardiovascular and resistance gymnasium and studio classes.

How to get there: The hotel is located on North Bridge Street, close to the Royal Mile. Waverley train station is less than five minutes walk, and Edinburgh Airport six miles away.

What’s the cost: Spa packages are available from £295, per room, per night. The package is based on two sharing.

What about treatments: The Pampered Cow full body massage (55 minutes) costs £55.00, while the Cowgirl Facial (55 minutes) is £50.00.

What else is there to do: The hotel is ideally situated for exploring the beautiful city of Edinburgh and its surrounding areas.

The Scotsman Hotel,
20 North Bridge,
EH1 1YT.
Tel: +44 (0)131 556 5565.

The Spa at The Gleneagles Hotel is one of the leading spa hotels in Scotland. The hotel is a Five Red Star golf resort set in 850 acres of stunning scenery in Perthshire. Luxurious and impeccable – the Gleneagles Hotel hosted the G8 summit of world leaders in July 2005 – the hotel still has a refreshingly relaxed manner. If you are a golf lover, the Gleneagles golf resort offers the chance to play on the world’s finest golf courses with its three championship golf courses. Alternatively, why not try out the gym, play a game of squash, swim in one of the two pools, or enjoy the jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish bath. And to relax after all that exertion, The Spa offers a host of treatments for both men and women, including massage, natural wraps and aromatherapy.

How to get there: The Gleneagles Hotel is situated in the hills of Perthshire, between Perth and Stirling on the A9. Great North Eastern Railway services stop at Gleneagles Station, which is on the main London to Inverness line.

What’s the cost: Spa breaks start from £397 and include bed, breakfast, dinner (optional) and up to 75 minutes of treatment per person in The Spa. There is access to all the club facilities, including: gym, squash, swimming pools, jacuzzi, sauna, Turkish bath and restaurant / bar.

What about treatments: A regenerating face and eye treatment (25 minutes) costs £35, while a Purva Karma synchronised massage (one hour 50 minutes) is £220.

What else is there to do: As well as golfing and exploring the countryside, there are walks, horse riding, shooting, fishing, falconry, off-road driving, tennis, croquet and mountain biking – all with expert help and tuition.

The Gleneagles Hotel,
PH3 1BR.
Tel: +44 (0)800 389 3737.

Rocco Forte Hotels’ Balmoral is a stylish fivestar property in the very heart of Edinburgh, and for the ultimate in relaxation, The Balmoral Spa is an exclusive retreat in the heart of the city.

Voted the ‘Best UK Urban Day Spa’ in Condé Nast Traveller’s 2005 Readers’ Spa Awards, it offers a sanctuary of personal comfort and total escapism, with the highest levels of service.

The Spa has five treatment rooms with a wide range of ESPA treatments, a 15-metre swimming pool, sauna and steam room, relaxation suite, fully equipped cardiovascular gymnasium and air-conditioned exercise room.

Personal fitness and well-being programmes are tailored exclusively by your personal trainers and lifestyle consultants.

How to get there: The Balmoral is adjacent to Waverley Station, which is served by direct links from all around the country, in addition to the frequent main-line service from London King’s Cross. Edinburgh International Airport is just 25 minutes from the hotel.

What’s the cost: A two-night spa experience break costs from £675.00 per room. It includes accommodation in one of the spa bedrooms with soothing music, plus a healthy in-room spa menu.

You can also enjoy an ESPA Pure Indulgence Pamper Day including lunch and more than two hours of treatments, plus a Bath Butler per person.

What about treatments: The ESPA aromatherapy facial (55 minutes) costs £55, while the ESPA holistic body care with hot stone therapy (one hour, 40 minutes) is £87.00.

What else is there to do: The convenient location of Edinburgh International Airport makes The Balmoral the ideal hotel accommodation in Edinburgh from which to enjoy the many events held in the city, including the Edinburgh Festival.

The Balmoral,
1 Princes Street,
EH2 2EQ.
Tel: +44 (0)131 556 2414.

Dalhousie Castle is a fascinating 13th century fortress set within acres of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the river Esk. The four star hotel has its own Scottish character so that whether you are enjoying one of the library’s extensive collection of books and a drink from the secret bar‚ next to the open fire, dining in the ancient barrel vaulted dungeon or relaxing in your unique castle bedroom, you will always feel as welcome as the Laird. The castle also has the distinction of introducing Scotland’s very first hydro spa. Aqueous Spa combines relaxing spa treatments with rejuvenating hydro facilities. These include features such as a Hydro Pool with multi-massage jet pool, Roman-style sauna, Turkish-style steam bath and Tropical Rain & Cold Fog Shower.

How to get there: Close to Edinburgh city centre and Waverley train station, the hotel is 14 miles from Edinburgh airport and 45 miles from Glasgow airport.

What’s the cost: Prices start from £95 in the Lodge and £130 in the castle, and include full Scottish breakfast. The castle has 29 stylish rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. All rooms in the 100-year old Lodge overlook the South Esk River, and guests have use of a sauna, whirlpool and all the castle facilities.

What about treatments: The black mud facial (one hour, 15 minutes) costs £50, while the inchwrap spa body treatment (two hours) is £65.

What else is there to do: The countryside of Midlothian is some of the loveliest to be found anywhere in the world. Experience Dalhousie Falconry in the castle grounds, or visit Edinburgh, only 20 minutes away.

Rosslyn Chapel, recently featured in the Da Vinci Code as a possible resting place of the Holy Grail, is only five miles away.

Dalhousie Castle,
EH19 3JB.
Tel: +44 (0)1875 820153.

Nestled among Scotland’s beautiful Borders countryside, Stobo Castle offers a deeply personal haven, or an experience for sharing with a partner or friends. Perched on a hill amongst rolling grounds and set around a picturesque loch, Stobo Castle effortlessly sets the scene for an experience less ordinary.

The Health Spa features a Laconium, an Aroma Room, and an unusual Crystal Steam Room with tinkling tiny ice crystals as a musical backdrop. At the Ice Fountain, an invigorating rub with ice crystals wakens the senses and firms the skin. New to Stobo Castle is the Secret Garden treatment room, where The Ritual‚ face and body treatment promises an experience you will never forget.

How to get there: The nearest train station and airport are in Edinburgh, approximately 25 miles from Stobo.

What’s the cost: Spa breaks start from £99 and include all meals, unlimited use of the health suites, use of all the facilities and the extensive exercise programme. Spa breaks including treatments start from £169.

What about treatments: Body exfoliation (25 mins) costs £36.00, and the Stobo Castle luxury mud wrap (55 mins) is £58.00.

What else is there to do: Enjoy the beautiful Peeblesshire countryside or just relax in the beautiful grounds. Take a walk by the side of the loch, stand by the waterfall or amidst the gently burbling Japanese Water Gardens.

Tennis courts and mountain bikes are available, while golf, fishing and horseriding can easily be arranged.

Stobo Castle,
EH45 8N.
Tel: +44 (0)1721 725 300.

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