If you want a relaxing day at a spa, then Scotland has this pastime sewn up! From the luxurious thermal suite and outdoor hydropool at the Sheraton and the underground spa at the Blythswood Hotel to the classically romantic Stobo castle, there really is a spa to suit all tastes.
At TLE we have tried and tested many; here we’ve wrapped up our pick of the six best spas in Scotland that every spa lover should experience.
Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel
Located in the home of golf – St Andrews, the famous Old Course Hotel has the first Kohler Water Spa outside the USA. The Kohler principal is based on the fact that are bodies are made up mainly of water and the therapeutic processes that take place in the spa can help replenish and restore our body. Along with a wide range of treatments including – bathing treatments, hydrotherapy treatments, massages and facials there is also a thermal suite which includes a whirlpool and hydrotherapy pool, Japanese steamroom and sauna with light therapy to help remove toxins in your body.
One Spa at the Sheraton Edinburgh
The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh is one of the city’s best hotels. Overlooking the castle it is well-known for its One Square gin bar, friendly staff and its luxurious One spa health complex. The spa facility is designated for health, fitness and total relaxation, and its location and surrounding are unbeatable thanks to a spot at the top of the hotel where you can overlook Edinburgh’s financial district. The spa has a 19 metre infinity pool and gym, but the real reason to go is to relax in the thermal suite. With 11 different relaxation ‘steps’ including a laconium, rock sauna and hammam steam room and ending up in the spas outdoor rooftop hydropool, this really is something unique.
ESPA Life at Gleneagles
The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire has been classed as a luxury spa resort by Luxury Hotels of the World thanks to its ESPA Life Spa. The ESPA Life spa has one aim for their guests; make you feel good inside and out. To achieve this there are many options, you can, of course, stick with traditional spa treatments like wraps, facials and massages, however you may also like to try out the more holistic services on offer like their ayurvedic inspired treatments for people with stressful routines. Prior to any treatment guests have access to the spa’s heat experiences where you can unwind in the crystal steam room, hot sauna and vitality pool. Along with feeling pampered, you can also receive advice on how to live a healthier, more relaxed life everyday. Nutrition counselling, alternative medicine practitioners, fitness courses and even cooking classes are all available at ESPA, which allows you to bring some of the magic home with you after your stay.
Stobo Castle Health Spa
As if a trip to the spa wasn’t enough, Stobo happens to also be a castle too! Stobo Castle Health Spa and Hotel is located in Peebleshire approximately 1 hours drive from Edinburgh and 1 hour 20 from Glasgow. The best options for visiting Stobo are to take one of their spa day packages; full day and half day options. Full day packages include 2 treatments, access to the pool/spa (which is one of Scotland’s most advanced hydrospas) and lunch. You can also opt for individual treatments too if you are limited on time. Alternatively if you want an overnight experience they have a number of rooms and suites in the castle too.
Blythswood Square Spa at Blythswood Square Hotel
While many of Scotland’s best spas are found in the country, Blythswood Square Spa delivers treatments right in the heart of Glasgow. Having stayed in the Blythswood hotel, the spa is one of my absolute favourites. Consisting of 9 treatment rooms a thermal suite and two relaxation pools, it is 100% pampering. Hotel guest have complimentary access to the spa Monday to Friday, 7am – 10pm and Saturday and Sunday, 7am – 9pm and there are options for spa day guests too.
40 miles from Glasgow (certainly as the crow flies) is Portavadie Marina, a resort surrounded by rolling West coast hills and on the banks of Loch Fyne. The hotel itself is a modern and glass fronted building overlooking the marina full of yachts and boats. The village itself is compact with not much more than a few cottages, but the resort more than makes up for that with its luxury spa and wellbeing facilities. After a £10 million development, the contemporary spa facility offers a 16-metre pool, fully equipped gym, sauna (with a picture window offering incredible views), Jacuzzi, and a plethora of spa treatments using ishga products developed in the Outer Hebrides using the pures Scottish seaweed. The star of the show here however is the heated outdoor infinity pool (the biggest in Scotland) which feels like you are swimming in the loch but without the freezing temperatures!
Isle of Eriska
Located on its own private island in the west of the country, is Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa. Not far from Oban, the island enjoys stunning surrounding landscapes with views over Loch Linnhe and the dramatic Morvern mountains. The hotel is set amongst 300 acres of beautiful grounds where Highland cattle graze. The hotel combines traditional Scottish style with contemporary décor giving it a modern hunting lodge appeal. The Stables Spa at the resort uses natural products from ishga and ESPA to create refreshing treatments for total relaxation and serenity. Set in the former stables building and accessed through tranquil gardens, the spa has five treatment rooms each of which is inspired by the natural woodland surroundings or the cleansing sea nearby. The hotel also boasts a leisure centre with indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi plus a gym. Everything you could need for that perfect luxury spa getaway!
Read our article about Scotland’s best luxury weekend breaks