East Coast Spa Escape

Unforgettable pampering

Today’s modern woman or man knows that a spa break is so much more than a day of pampering – it is a chance to step back from the rush of everyday life and recharge to get back to our best selves. All too frequently we reach burnout, which is in fact avoidable when we incorporate a soothing treatment (or two) and some precious quiet time into our routine. 

You might not anticipate finding a haven of tranquillity right in the heart of a city, but the most renowned urban thermal spa experience in the country awaits at One Spa, in the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh. It is surprisingly large for its location, with all the amenities you need to transcend into utter bliss, including 16 treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art fitness studio, a 19-metre infinity pool, an extensive thermal suite with restorative water, salt and heat experiences, and an iconic rooftop Hydropool where you are encouraged to “forget about the world below”. There is also a comprehensive menu of treatments available, from body treatments that soothe physical ailments to Chakra Balancing, Ayurvedic options to stimulate mindfulness.

*Luxury Scotland Tip: We recommend going to One Spa directly from Edinburgh Airport. There is no better way to beat jetlag and start your holiday than with an invigorating visit to reset your inner zen. Little's Chauffeur Service can provide a seamless direct transfer in high style.

The first of its kind outside of the United States, the Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in St Andrews provides a world-class experience. At 2,300sq m (25,000sq ft), the entire facility is in a word: exceptional. It has 13 treatment rooms including a couple’s rooms and two wet rooms if guests want a signature KOHLER bathing treatment. The emphasis throughout is on the healing power of water, with a 20-metre swimming pool, a hydrotherapy pool for therapeutic bathing, experience showers, a steam room, cold plunge pool, refreshing Ice fountain and a sauna. Weather permitting there is also a rooftop garden with a hot tub, to soak up the scenery while you unwind.

About an hour’s drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh is the glorious playground of The Gleneagles Hotel, designated a Luxury Spa Resort by the Leading Hotels of the World group – the only spa in Scotland with this honour. From the moment you arrive, you will be attended to by a team of specialists in health and wellbeing, who offer their expertise in fields such as alternative health and fitness to provide each guest with a personal wellness programme. The treatment menu incorporates the latest scientific advances for their super-active facials and body-specific treatments alongside a range of innovative European therapies and Ayurvedic-inspired holistic massages. A spa break here is bound to yield remarkable outcomes, whether you spend the entire day absorbing the deep calm vibes or if you would prefer enjoying a superfood snack from The Spa Café before a refreshing swim.

Further north, set in wooded grounds just outside of Aberdeen, The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa is a small boutique hotel with a large treatment menu which includes impressive options like hydrotherapeutic Balneotherapy Baths, body scrubs and soothing ritual massages. We recommend their Ultimate Tranquillity Package, a four-hour experience including an exfoliation, customised massage, facial, luxury manicure and pedicure, as well as a Champagne lunch. While it is not as large as our other choices, a visit here will leave you thoroughly revitalised in a location with beautiful natural scenery.

Every hotel in the Luxury Scotland collection is distinctly superior, but these four hotels offer on-site spas that exceed guest expectations. Whether you would prefer to stay in the heart of Edinburgh or perhaps further afield, the East Coast of Scotland has some exceptional choices when it comes to an indulgent, entirely restorative experience.

First published 04 July 2019. Information correct at time of going to press.

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