Best known for its golf, Gleneagles in Perthshire has more than its share of indoor attractions, too
Gleneagles is one of the grandest golf resorts on the planet, dotted with three famous courses (including the PGA Centenary Course, which will host the Ryder Cup in 2014) — and now it comes with one of the most glamorous spas in the British Isles.
To one side of the hotel, the tired, neglected, over-stressed and under-pampered will find hedonistic heaven in the ESPA Spa. Not only is it outrageously opulent, it’s also enormous, although you’re never aware of its size: twenty treatment rooms, a large thermal area complete with vitality pools and experience showers (rainforest or rainfall!), an amethyst sauna and a crystal steam room. Add to that an original spa restaurant, which serves delicious and healthy food in bento boxes — so that you don’t notice that portions, as well as calories, are controlled. Better still, it’s one of those sensible spas where you can also have a glass of wine.
The spa’s relaxation areas are filled with velvet chaises longues and deep sofas all in shades of bronze, aubergine and dark chocolate. One is flooded with daylight while the other is dark and dramatic, with glowing fires and faux fur throws. Guests can savour the treatment menu before deciding which of the 60-plus therapies to opt for. There are facials, wraps, scrubs, massages of all varieties alongside a plethora of beauty treatments and a concise menu for men — called Mankind, of course, and guaranteed to address all aching parts.
A recent addition to the menu is that of ESPA Life, a wellness menu which provides naturopathy, physiotherapy, fitness assessment, nutrition and acupuncture to deal with problems at a deeper level. And should you want to spoil yourself or your nearest and dearest, there are day packages for hours of pleasure and pampering.
Weekenders, short-break devotees, bride-and-mother away-days, postnatal pampering for new mothers, golf widows, with a smattering of corporates taking a break from the firm’s golf tournament, plus families at weekends.
It’s Scotland, so winter may be the time to get the best deals, especially with the new ESPA Life wellness menus.
The Purva Karma four-handed massage — four hands and two hours of bliss.
Apart from the golf and the spa, there’s an equestrian centre, a falconry school and a fishing and shooting school. Guests can practise off-road driving or learn at the country’s first gundog school. Otherwise head for the club, with its gym and two swimming pools, and should you be feeling energetic you can take a bike or jog around the estate.
The choice of activities, the food (especially at Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant) and the Purva Karma.
gleneagles.com; 01764 662231
Treatments from £90; rooms from £215