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Issue 30 - Relaxation Nation

Scotland Magazine Issue 30
December 2006


This article is 11 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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Relaxation Nation

In association with

Mar Hall near Glasgow
Tel: +44 (0)141 812 9999

Mar Hall is a historic property on the rural banks of the River Clyde and yet it’s handy for both Glasgow International Airport and the city itself. Rated five stars by VisitScotland, the hotel is also a finalist for Scottish Luxury Hotel of the Year, 2006.

Mar Hall’s Aveda Concept Spa is the only one of its kind in the United Kingdom. It features 11 treatment rooms and is designed using elements of ayurvedic traditions (ayurveda is a form of alternative medicine in use primarily in the Indian subcontinent). It offers a Rasul mud chamber, couples’ room, heat and water experiences and the necessary relaxation area. The fitness centre, with award-winning staff, has a 20-metre pool, fully equipped fitness studio, saunas, steam rooms and an organic café.

Favoured by celebrities and stars when they’re in town, Mar Hall is popular mainly for the spacious and luxurious designer rooms, elegantly grand public spaces and the slightly secluded setting offering privacy. Chef Jim Kerr’s cuisine, served in the Cristal restaurant, is also an established draw.

How about a Himalayan Rejuvenation Treatment? This purifying yet nurturing treatment uses a series of innovative exfoliation and massage techniques to relax the body, calm the mind and relieve tension. Or choose from an array of massage and therapy treatments including reiki.

Old Course Hotel St. Andrews
Tel: +44 (0)1334 474 371

The reigning Scottish Hotel Spa of the Year 2006 is in St. Andrews at the celebrated and now much restyled Old Course Hotel.

A visit to Kohler Waters Spa at the hotel is a commitment to your overall well-being and plans can be made safe in the knowledge that owning company Kohler has much experience in this watery arena.

The serene spa offers a 20-metre swimming pool with waterfall, crystal steam rooms, thermal suite with hydro pool, light therapy sauna, Japanese salt inhalation steam room, cold plunge pool and monsoon showers releasing fragrance and lighting offering a range of different types of simulation from tropical downpours to ‘fine Scotch mist.’ What about a Citrus Sugar Scrub? Awarm citrus aromatherapy gel is applied on the body followed by a warm mist of rain for a complete cleansing before a citrus sugar exfoliation. An eight-jet Vichy shower removes the exfoliation scrub, then a special moisturiser application leaves your skin soft, smooth and completely hydrated.

Golfers are not left out: special treatments and indulgences await after a game on the Old Course itself. The hotel, which sits beside the West Sands bay made famous in the film Chariots of Fire, has seen almost all rooms substantially upgraded and many feature stunning bathrooms designed by Kohler, arguably offering the finest hotel bathing experiences available in Scotland.

Boath House near Nairn
Tel: +44 (0)1667 454 896

Boath House’s spa is an ideal environment for those who are already serious about their health, and for those who would like to experience a gentle, but comprehensive introduction to total beauty and wellbeing.

The hotel’s beauty salon pampers, rejuvenates and relaxes with a myriad of treatments ranging from massage therapies to facials and pure light treatments.

Afull range of natural products from Aveda are utilised: completely natural and manufactured from plant oils, they are eco-friendly and resemble the skin’s natural oils. All the products used in the treatments come from organically grown plants sourced from some 50 countries around the world.

In addition to the selection of high quality delicacies from the menu, gourmet and healthy option dishes are offered in the Orangery. Food is big news at Boath House as the hotel has just been awarded its fourth AArosette. has recognised this with a number of awards including both the Médaille d’Or for dinner service and the Scottish Hotel Breakfast of the Year awards in 2006.

The ‘feel good factor’ at Boath is heightened by the delightful architecture of the manor house, the rural setting, and the superb array of original art on exhibition throughout.

The hotel, which is about 30 minutes drive east of Inverness, is a model of quality and creativity.

3 more ideas for you
Airth Castle Hotel near Falkirk, Stirlingshire Tel: +44 (0)1324 831 411
Airth Castle dates back to the 14th century and is located about 40 minutes drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Much on-the-up under owner Stephen McLeod, the hotel’s new Cloud Nine Spa has more than a sweet name. Treatments include massage, aromatherapy, holistic and men’s programmes plus CACI nonsurgical face enhancements.

Apex City Quay Hotel Dundee, Angus Tel: +44 (0)1382 202 404
Dundee’s contemporary Apex hotel is a comfortable four-star, renowned for good food and leisure facilities.

Yu Spa has a refreshing and chlorinefree ‘ozone’ swimming pool, big Japanese-style wooden hot tubs, modern gym, steam room and sauna plus tranquil treatment rooms offering a range of therapies.

The Balmoral Edinburgh Tel: +44 (0)131 556 2414
The five-star Balmoral Hotel’s delightful spa offers an ultimate urban spa experience. A retreat in the heart of the city, the spa offers a sanctuary of personal comfort and total escapism, with the highest levels of personalised service.

Trained ESPA therapists will take you on a journey, awakening your senses as you revive your body.

Some others worth considering...

The Westin Resort in Ayrshire has played host to US Presidents but we don’t know if they used the resort’s top-notch Turnberry Spa; the pool looks over the horizon of the Irish Sea.

The AA named the Marcliffe at Pitfodels, Aberdeen, its Hotel of the Year for Scotland 2006 and The Marcliffe Spa is one of the best in the north.

In Glasgow, Langs Hotel offers an urban refuge at Oshi where quality treatments and lovely staff will revive and refresh the body.

An Lochan, formerly The Royal at Tighnabruaich, offers a range of treatments in lovely Argyll.

Gleneagles and Stobo also offer famous spas. But do remember that key spa tip: always, always book ahead.