Scotland’s newest luxury spa offerings for 2016

Scotland’s First “Spa on Rails” Debuts on the Belmond Royal Scotsman

With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to change old habits and start new routines…like reducing stress and taking better care of the body and soul with more frequent spa visits. A relaxing spa treatment adds to the restful ambience of a vacation and improves the ability to focus on ‘getting away from it all.’ Those lucky enough to head to Scotland in the new year will find several of Luxury Scotland’s luxury hotel members with new spa offerings, helping to ensure a stress-free visit.

Scotland’s biggest spa news for 2016 is the introduction of country’s first “spa on rails”—a brand new dedicated spa car aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman set to debut in April, 2016. The Haybarn Spa will offer two treatment rooms with an extensive menu of signature treatments including bespoke facials, massages, manicures and pedicures. For this exciting addition to the UK’s only luxury sleeper train, Belmond partnered with British artisanal brand Bamford to create the relaxing sanctuary complete with stunning views of the glens, peaks and lochs that dot the Scottish Highlands.  The spa was designed by Bamford architect, Spencer Fung, using Scottish sustainable wood from Bamford’s Daylesford Estate in the Cotswolds. The cabin-like feel of the treatment rooms will complement the luxurious surroundings of the train and offer the ideal retreat for guests.

Not to be outdone, Lochgreen House Hotel, located in Ayrshire, also plans to open a luxury spa on the scenic country house’s property in 2016. Plans call for a “relax lounge” featuring a wall of windows that overlook the Royal Troon Golf Club and the spectacular Ayrshire coast. Spa treatment rooms will be complete in early 2016, with the pool area in place by late summer.

East meets west with the new Serenity treatment at the award winning Spa by ESPA at Gleneagles. This fusion treatment includes a back massage, craniosacral treatment to the head area, facial cleanse and massage, shoulder and neck massage, Thai foot treatment, and culminates with the gentle, hypnotic experience that is Shirodhara. Shirodhara is a form of Ayurvedic therapy that involves gently pouring liquids—in this case, aromatic sesame oil—over the forehead to create a deep sense of relaxation. A 90-minute Serenity treatment is available for £150 (US $228), and a 2-hour treatment is £200 (US $304).

Therapists at the famous Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews ask guests to choose how good (or bad) they want to be in the new year with their Detox or Retox spa/accommodations packages. The Detox Package includes a revitalizing 25-minute treatment (either “Burst of Radiance” or a Custom Massage) and full use of the spa facilities including the fitness suite and the sauna and steam room to help melt away the pounds. A healthy breakfast at the Road Hole Restaurant and a Kohler Waters Spa pack complete the deal. For those looking to continue the season of indulgence, the Retox Package includes a two-course lunch at the Jigger Inn or Hams Hame Pub & Grill and full use of the spa facilities for chilling by the pool or relaxing in the rooftop hot tub. A chocolate turndown service at night and a full Scottish breakfast in the morning round out the package. Both packages are available from January 2 to March 31 (excluding Jan 10-15 and February 12-14) for £195 (US $296) per room, double.

To learn about some of Scotland’s best spa hotels visit this link.

Festive cocktail recipes from Highland Spring in collaboration with Caorunn gin

Highland Spring released a range of guilt-free festive cocktail and mocktail recipes in collaboration with Caorunn gin


Escape from the cold and darkness of the winter months with Highland Spring’s collection of Sparkling cocktails and mocktails. Offering the perfect guilt-free choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic serves, perfect for a relaxed night in by the fire or together with friends and loved ones. This guilt-free series of sparkling drinks will help all escape to a sparkling moment.


For the ultimate in seasonal merriment we recommend serving these Highland Spring Sparkling cocktails with Caorunn, the small batch Scottish gin. Perfectly clear like Highland Spring water, Caorunn has a sophisticated aromatic taste with fresh citrus and floral notes, making it the perfect companion to a festive highland cocktail.




Gin-gle All the Way


25ml Caorunn Gin

20ml port

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

30ml cranberry juice

3 fresh mint leaves

40ml Highland Spring Sparkling water


Combine all the ingredients above with cubed ice, stir, swizzle and strain into a tumbler. Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!


The Bonnie Blush 


30ml Caorunn Gin

15ml triple sec

45ml pineapple juice

45ml cranberry juice

45ml Highland Spring Sparkling water


Shake and stir all the ingredients above, apart from the Highland Spring Sparkling water. Strain over cubed ice in a highball glass or similar. Add a twist offresh orange and pour in the cool Highland  Spring Sparkling water.



Crisp Winter Apple


80ml Highland Spring Sparkling water

100ml apple juice

1 pinch of ground cinnamon

1 pinch of ground nutmeg



Pour Highland Spring Sparkling water and apple juice into a tall glass over crushed ice, sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Serve with a fresh slice of apple. Enjoy the taste of Christmas.


Highland Sparkling Spritz


100ml orange juice

100ml cranberry juice

5ml elderflower cordial

80ml Highland Spring Sparkling water



Swizzle and stir together the orange and cranberry juice. Slowly pour in the Highland Spring Sparkling, then drizzle in the elderflower cordial. Garnish with a slice of orange.


Sparkling Thistle


30ml blackcurrant squash

30ml cranberry juice

120ml Highland Spring Sparkling water




Add each ingredient to a tumbler glass one by one, slowing stirring and adding ice cubes to finish. Optional garnish of fresh lavender or Scottish thistle for decoration.


Highland Spring Sparkling water is available from all major supermarkets, retailers and convenience stores nationwide.

The House of Bruar’s Butchery wins Diamond Award

The House of Bruar wins once again the prestigious Diamond trophy for the best pork sausage in this year’s Q Guild Smithfield Butchery Awards. This especially coveted award is sought by all the Q Guild members – including many of the UK’s top butchers.


The Diamond Award is bestowed on the Category Champion Butcher – selected by the judges as the ultimate best entry from all the national finalists. The winner is their delicious honey roast pork sausages, handmade using the finest free range Scottish pork by the master butcher Paul Higgins and his dedicated team.


The House of Bruar butchery was opened in 2010 and since then has gone from strength to strength and has proven itself to be one of the finest purveyors of local Scottish meats, boasting the best Morayshire lamb, pork and venison and specialising in 28 day matured Aberdeen Angus beef.


The butchers are now at full kilter, preparing geese, duck, guinea fowl and traditional free range Kelly Bronze turkeys as the festive season draws nearer. To order some of their fine meats, go online or prepare an order directly with the Master Butcher on 01796 484 948.
The House of Bruar opened in 1995 and has become Scotland’s most prestigious country store. It is located 11 miles North of Pitlochry on the A9 (the main route through Scotland) and attracts over 1 million visitors each year. It encompasses mens and ladies Country Clothing Halls, Scotlands largest cashmere hall, country living department and present shop, fishing tackle shop, foodhall and delicatessen and restaurant.


Q guild award 1

Crossbasket Castle joins Luxury Scotland

We are delighted to welcome the magnificent Historic property Crossbasket Castle to Luxury Scotland. Crossbasket is a 14th Century castle in High Blantyre on the outskirts of Glasgow, it has been rescued from ruin and is set to open in spring next year as a luxury hotel, restaurant and event venue managed by Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI).

Businessman Steve Timoney and his wife Alison Reid-Timoney bought Crossbasket Castle in 2011, a year after it was listed on Scotland’s Buildings At Risk Register. Over the last five years the couple have invested over £9 million restoring the building to its former glory as one of the area’s most beautiful historic homes.

They have also added a Grand Ballroom to the castle, which overlooks the stunning waterfalls on the River Calder and accommodating up to 250 event guests.

Anticipating huge interest from local people, corporate clients and prospective brides and grooms, ICMI and the Timoneys will open the doors for a one-off ‘sneak peek’ on Monday 21 December from 10am until 6pm. Albert Roux OBE, KFO, is crafting a menu for guests to sample some of the dishes they can expect when the restaurant opens next year.

Alison Reid-Timoney has personally designed the interiors, scouring Scotland to ensure each of the nine unique bedrooms, drawing room, dining room and library are furnished with antique 14th, 15th and 16th century pieces.

She said: “My husband and I have a passion for restoring old buildings and first spotted Crossbasket Castle over a decade ago. When we purchased it vandals had damaged the roof and interiors, it was leaking water and the walls were starting to deteriorate. Since then we have painstakingly restored it with a focus on using craftsmen to reinstate original features. Our aim is to create a sustainable business for our family that also supports the community we live in.

“We are honoured to have partnered with ICMI to reopen Crossbasket Castle as a luxury hotel. ICMI’s group of experts are the best in the luxury hotel sector and have a track record of success, most recently with Andy Murray’s multi award-winning Cromlix Hotel, the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course near Kelso and Fasque Castle near Aberdeen. We look forward to working closely with the team as they prepare to open Crossbasket Castle.”

ICMI already manage 12 other renowned independent properties around Scotland, including Inverlochy Castle, near Fort William, Greywalls Hotel in Gullane and Rocpool Reserve in Inverness. ICMI’s group of industry experts includes Albert Roux OBE, KFO, owner of Le Gavroche in London, the first UK restaurant to be awarded three Michelin stars.

Norbert Lieder, ICMI’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Timoneys on this very exciting project to run Crossbasket Castle, and to be offering our guests a wonderful hotel near Glasgow.

“Alison has done a fantastic job with the restoration – I can honestly say her attention to detail and sympathetic restoration are first class.

“Our team of experts has experience in every aspect of the hospitality industry and specialise in working with independent properties and transforming them into luxurious destinations.

“I am confident that, in partnership with the Timoneys, we can create a very special hotel that is unique in the Glasgow area. While we aim to create a destination that attracts visitors from around the world we are also determined to ensure it remains a venue of choice for local people and becomes one of the premier wedding and event locations in Scotland.”

On the 21st of December there will be an Open Day at the property from 11am to 6pm.


For more information on this truly stunning property visit: