The best spas in Scotland, from Gleneagles to Fletcher's Cottage Spa
If you’re feeling tightly wound, forget the walking holiday. Instead, pack your swimming costume, a good book and organise a spa break. There’s no need to cross the border or look out your passport, as Scotland has plenty of excellent choices, when it comes to spa hotels and city spas. Here’s our selection.
This five-star Perthshire hotel has continually upped its spa game in recent years. They’ve got plenty to offer residents or those who want the day spa experience, with exclusive packages and treatments available. As well as the Health Club, with pool, gym and classes, there’s also the intimate and low lit Spa at Gleneagles area, where you’ll find a steam room, sauna, plant-filled atrium, relaxation rooms and Jacuzzi with swan neck shower. Treatments showcase their own products as well as those from upmarket brands Tata Harper and Dr Barbara Sturm. If you want a makeover, for bouncy blow dries, pedicures and manicures, you’ll find Bob & Cloche in a former gate lodge, just outside the hotel.
Auchterarder, Perthshire (01764 662231, www.gleneagles.com)
STOBO CASTLE HEALTH SPA
There’s something quite old-school about the 44-year-old Stobo, and that’s why we like it. As the whole resort is dedicated to spa-ing, you won’t run out of things to do. You can get into a gown after checking in and not take it off until you leave. Treatments are from the likes of Phytomer, and there’s a pool, where you can practise Aqua Aerobics, as well as a restaurant that serves healthy (or not) grub. If you’re staying over, The Cashmere Suite is still the ultimate des-res.
Peebles (01721725 300, www.stobocastle.co.uk)
KIMPTON BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE SPA
There’s no exact date yet for the reopening of this Glasgow spa, but they’re hinting that it should be this summer. We’re most excited about the new snowfall feature, even though we’ve had quite enough of the real stuff this winter. They’re also promising a new wellness area and other improvements to the basement level venue, which already had a small pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and was great even before this major refurbishment. Until the big launch, guests can use their temporary outdoor winter spa garden, THAW, and they continue to offer their menu of treatments using Hebridean seaweed-infused products by Ishga.
11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow (0141 248 8888, www.kimptonblythswoodsquare.com)
Many therapists will advise you to drink lots of water, no booze, after a treatment. They’re not so bothered about that rule at this newly refurbished and expanded venue, which has had £300k spent on improvements. Each of their therapy rooms is designed in tribute to a gin brand, from Isle of Harris to Edinburgh Gin and Caorunn, and they’ll mix you up a perfect serve on demand after your treatment and give you a square of JustBe’s aromatherapy chocolate. Although it’s a novelty concept, the excellent treatments are not an afterthought. Try the Gin To Your Tonic package, which includes an hour of spa treatments each, Prosecco afternoon tea and a G&T.
2 Virginia Court, Glasgow (0141 471 0419, www.ginspa.co.uk)
CAMERON SPA AT CAMERON HOUSE
If you’re a fan of thermal experiences, this venue has an assortment, from a rooftop infinity pool that has views over Ben Lomond and Loch Lomond to a hammam and Roman-style caldarium. They’ll iron out your knots with treatments including ESPA facials and organic ones from Made for Life. There’s also a Cafe Spa, where they serve smoothies and healthy options.
Loch Lomond, West Dunbartonshire (01389 312 210, www.cameronhouse.co.uk)
KOHLER WATERS SPA AT THE OLD COURSE HOTEL
After you’ve done your Chariots of Fire run along the beach, played golf and scoffed a Fisher & Donaldson fudge doughnut, do St Andrews’ next best thing with a visit here. Their Kohler Waters Spa features a pool and various hydrotherapy experiences, but also a few rather more unusual treatments. These include the Riverbath experience - a bath with lights and jets - followed by a Vichy scrub and massage.
Old Station Road, St Andrews (01334 468 050, www.oldcoursehotel.co.uk)
You can’t mention the Old Course Hotel’s spa, without also referencing this place, just along the road. They also have a pool and hydrotherapy experiences, though they use products by ESPA and Scottish brand Ishga. Their signature treatment is the Beside the Sea Ritual, with breathing exercises, a body and scalp massage and foot ritual. Just try to stay awake.
St Andrews (01334 837 045, www.fairmont.com)
ONE SPAThere was a fire at this venue a couple of years ago, and their re-opening has been gradual. They seem to be operating as normal now though, with guests invited to book any of their fancy ESPA treatments, the spa cafe or time at their Escape at One facilities. These were extended a few years ago and include a dry salt room, tepidarium, pool and various other offerings. You will be a prune by the time you leave.
Sheraton, 8 Conference Square, Edinburgh (0131 221 7777, www.onespa.com)
FLETCHER'S COTTAGE SPA
If you’re frazzled, this is the destination for you. Instead of an anodyne space, this venue is chic but homely. There are individual changing pods, so you don’t have to jostle for the hairdryers, and the treatment rooms have views out to the gorgeous walled garden, where lavender and echinacea grow. There’s no pool, but they do have a steam room, sauna, bath huts and various relaxation spaces. The treatments are exceptional and they use products from local brand Beatitude, as well as Voya, Sisley and Bamford. It might be worth making a night of it and staying in one of Archerfield Estate’s lodges, so you can take advantage of the spa’s wellness experiences, which include yoga and meditation sessions.
Archerfield, Dirleton (01620 897 580, www.archerfieldhouse.com)