Weekend spa breaks in Scotland

Where to stay to thoroughly relax and treat yourself

If you’re seeking a moment to relax and reset, a weekend spa break in Scotland could be just the ticket. Ensconce yourself in a dreamy hotel with a delightful interior, a luxurious spa and a delicious restaurant too, in either Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness or Aberdeen.

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Glasgow
  3. Inverness
  4. Aberdeen

The best thing is that you’re never too far from Scotland’s breath-taking countryside, where the landscape will recharge your soul and relax your mind. Curate a weekend of culture, calming spa activities, and blowing away the cobwebs in the Scottish hills. Pack your eye mask and book your me-time break.

1. Edinburgh

Combining a spa weekend in Edinburgh with some of the foodie delights the city has to offer – and a dash of culture thrown in – is the ideal way to switch off and reset. You’re spoilt for places to stay too. The Waldorf Astoria, in The Caledonian, is a romantic destination in a grand former train station, with a dreamy view of Edinburgh Castle. Spend your afternoon in the spa indulging in a massage, facial or mani-pedi, slipping between the pool, steam room and sauna until you feel utterly relaxed. Then treat yourself to the seven-course tasting menu by Dean Banks at The Pompadour before sinking into a queen-sized bed and admiring the castle vista. The Balmoral Hotel has an equally opulent façade with a view of the Scott Monument. The interior is unrivalled in its elegance, and the spa no less so, with a spacious pool, Turkish sauna and Finnish steam room. It offers massages, full-body rituals, facials and beauty treatments. In the spirit of relaxation, why leave the hotel for dinner? Choose from contemporary with a Scottish twist, French cuisine, or perhaps an afternoon tea at the decadent Palm Court. For a serene end to the trip, visit one of Edinburgh’s many galleries, wander the Botanic Gardens or soak up some evening sun in Princes Street Gardens. Alternatively, enjoy an invigorating walk up to Arthur’s Seat to get a new perspective on the city. And there you have it: the perfect weekend spa break in Scotland.

Day packages: Champagne afternoon spa day £180 (The Balmoral)

Luxurious room: Junior Suite Castle View (The Caledonian)

2. Glasgow

Although just a 25-minute drive from Glasgow centre, Mar Hall Golf & Spa Resort in Bishopton feels worlds away from the bustling city. The gorgeous mansion is nestled in a 240-acre ancient woodland estate, with a verdant view from every window and the River Clyde nearby – a tranquil location for a spa weekend in Glasgow. If you don’t spend your days on the golf course, you can make the half-hour drive to Loch Lomond and enjoy the peace, bracing air and inspiring scenery. With your mind fully relaxed, it’s time to take care of your body in the spa, with a pool, thermal suite and relaxation rooms. Treat yourself to massages, aromatherapy, reflexology or hot stone treatments, and perhaps find time for an afternoon tea too. Speaking of nourishing your body, don’t head to bed without dining in the ornate Cristal Restaurant, serving seasonal Scottish produce, or tuck into hearty delights at the No. 19 Bar and Grill. If you head back into Glasgow to round off your spa weekend in Scotland, spend some time soaking up the culture in the trendy Argyle Street district, where you’ll find the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum sitting proudly in the glorious Kelvingrove Park. Alternatively, head to the Botanical Gardens and peruse the stunning architecture (and food) in the surrounding streets.

Day packages: Time Out Spa Day £115

Luxurious room: Luxury Lodges or Grand Suites

3. Inverness

With the highlands and a stunning coastline within touching distance, charming and remote-feeling Inverness is the perfect destination for your weekend spa break in Scotland. In this vibrant yet petite city, you’ll feel like you’ve truly escaped your everyday and found a place that’s at one with nature. In a palatial building on the banks of the glorious Ness River, you’ll find the Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa. The interior of this 4-star establishment was designed with relaxation in mind: it’s peaceful and elegant, with calming views, and it’s home to the Inverness Palace Leisure Club. You can unwind in the steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and pool, or lounge at the poolside enjoying the almost-tropical temperatures (perfect if you’re stepping in from the brisk Inverness autumn or winter). Indulge in facials, full-body rituals, and almost every kind of massage you can imagine, from an Indian head massage to aromatherapy and reflexology. There are great pregnancy massage options too – ideal for a rejuvenating babymoon. When you’re not cocooned in the spa, wander along the stunning riverside to the pretty Ness Islands, or peruse Inverness’ culinary scene and quirky shops. You could drive further afield for a reinvigorating walk, perhaps along the beautiful beach at Nairn or around Loch Ness, or even nip to the nearby Cairngorms to drink in the rich colours of nature.

Day packages: Time Together Package £185, Holistic Escape £100

Luxurious room: Luxury River View Double

4. Aberdeen

When you think of spa breaks in Scotland, your mind may not immediately jump to Aberdeen, the country’s under-the-radar east coast gem. However, drive for just an hour and you’ll find yourself ensconced in the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms, with plenty of walking around Balmoral and the Spittal of Glen Muick to recharge your soul with fresh air. You may prefer a jaunt around South Donmouth Beach or Newburgh Seal Beach, or why not explore the fairytale backdrop of Dunnottar and its castle? For the ultimate relaxing break, you can unwind and recharge in a 19th-century baronial mansion when you stay at Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, just outside of Aberdeen. The beautiful, castle-esque building lies in acres of lush grounds, setting the scene for a rejuvenating stay. If drinks on the sunny terrace, strolls in the gardens and a dip in your roll-top, freestanding bathtub aren’t indulgent enough, you can also visit the spa. It boasts a heated pool, sauna and steam room, as well as numerous treatments such as deep tissue massages, facials, oil and salt scrubs and energising body peels. On site, you’ll also find one of Aberdeen’s most talked-about restaurants, Blairs, serving three courses of haute cuisine featuring locally sourced ingredients. You can also enjoy a more casual meal in front of a crackling fire at Soapies Brasserie.

Day packages: Ardoe Delight Spa Day £109

Luxurious room: The suite

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