FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

The Spa by ESPA at The Gleneagles Hotel

by Allison Voigts

Jul 1, 2016

The Gleneagles Hotel exterior © THE GLENEAGLES HOTEL

July 2016

When The Gleneagles Hotel debuted in 1924, the newspapers dubbed the palatial getaway in the Scottish countryside “a Riviera in the Highlands” for its dedication to luxury and leisure pursuits. Built by the former Caledonian Railway Co. as a destination for fashionable Edinburghers and Londoners, what began as a golf resort has since expanded to offer all manner of outdoor activities — shooting, riding and falconry — as well as indoor pleasures at the award-winning Spa by ESPA and Scotland’s only 2-Michelin-starred restaurant, Andrew Fairlie.

Since my hand-eye coordination is passable at best, I opted for the indoor pursuits during my two-night stay with my husband at Gleneagles in early March. In addition to an already expansive fitness club with two indoor swimming pools, outdoor Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, the hotel opened The Spa by ESPA complex in 2008 with its own relaxation rooms, saunas, therapy showers and treatment rooms.

The spa recommends arriving at least an hour before your scheduled treatment to take advantage of the various relaxation areas, which I gladly did after finishing the hotel’s famous breakfast buffet in a soporific state. The spa staff greeted me with a robe and slippers and toured me through the facilities, which feature limestone heated flooring, bubbling fountains and natural light from glass roofs.

After changing into a swimsuit, I passed through the women’s relaxation area to the unisex “vitality pool,” complete with massaging fountains and heated tile loungers. Though the lobby bustled with people, I had the bath area almost entirely to myself as I made the circuit from hot sauna to rain shower to steam room. Just outside the steam room — whose ceiling was lit by moving pinpricks of light as if it were a changing night sky — a constantly replenishing mound of crushed ice offered welcome refreshment.

Prior to entering the courtyard waiting area for my treatment, I opted for the unusual aromatherapy shower, which pipes in the scent of chamomile along with jets of water and LED lighting. Feeling thoroughly relaxed already, I donned my robe and slippers and entered the sunny courtyard, where half a dozen other spa-goers dozed on reclining lounge beds or flipped through magazines.

I lay back and shut my eyes but didn’t need to wait for long — a few moments later, a spa attendant called my name and led me to my private treatment room, dimly lit and decorated in natural hues with hints of burgundy. I had selected ESPA’s signature treatment, simply called “The Source,” which consists of a two-hour combination of foot ritual, body exfoliation, full body massage and scalp massage.

The therapist led me to an armchair in the corner, where she instructed me to have a seat and lowered my feet, one at a time, into a copper bowl of warm water. Using smooth stones, she gently stimulated the reflex points in my feet before exfoliating and wrapping them in warm towels. Next she led me to the massage table, where she proceeded to exfoliate my body with a warm poultice of herbs wrapped in muslin.

Though I’m not usually one to fall asleep during massages, I dozed off almost as soon as the full-body massage began, lulled to sleep by the several hours of relaxation I had already enjoyed. As I transitioned in and out of awareness during the hour-long massage, I felt my muscles melting into an even deeper state of repose. To finish the treatment, the therapist massaged an herbal masque onto my scalp, instructing me to leave it in place for at least half an hour for maximum moisturizing effect.

Following my treatment, I retired to the women’s relaxation lounge to savor my time at the spa just a little longer. A darkened room featuring reclining beds, fuzzy blankets, warm herbal tea and individual servings of dried fruit and nuts, it offered an ideal space to revive myself prior to rejoining the world outside the spa.

In addition to European therapies, ESPA offers a range of Ayurvedic and Oriental-inspired experiences. Along with treatments such as reiki, reflexology and four-handed massage with volcanic stones, spa-goers can use the full schedule of health programs available through the ESPA Life program. The on-site alternative health specialists provide consultations as well as a range of treatments such as acupuncture, craniosacral therapy and colon hydrotherapy.

To top it all off, Gleneagles guests have access to a roster of fitness classes that take place throughout the hotel grounds, from yoga and Pilates to outdoor body conditioning. In my case, the most I exerted myself was in walking back to the buffet for a second helping of breakfast — but The Spa by ESPA proved to be the perfect complement to this regimen as well.

THE SPA BY ESPA THE GLENEAGLES HOTEL

Auchterarder
Perthshire
Scotland PH3 1NF
tel 44 1764 662231
gleneagles.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Aug 11, 2022

The Oberoi Marrakech’s New Wellness Program

The Oberoi, Marrakech introduces its new holistic wellness program, SAHA. Meaning health in Arabic, SAHA aims to help guests reach their full wellbeing potential. The program operates on four key cornerstones: soul & spirit, active body, holistic treatments and a better plate.

8 Reasons to Press the Green Button and Visit Ireland

Start planning that long-awaited trip to the island of Ireland. With all travel restrictions now lifted, there has never been a better time to visit.

Daily
Aug 11, 2022

Museum Hopping in Valencia, Spain

Filled with sunshine and beauty, Valencia, Spain, is also a great destination for diving into culture and art. Named World Design Capital for 2022, Spain’s third-largest city boasts a wealth of museums providing glimpses into history and fine art.

Daily
Aug 11, 2022

Nassau Paradise Island Resorts Offer Foodies a Taste of the Bahamas

Nassau Paradise Island resorts pull out all the stops for foodies this season with new culinary offerings to elevate guests' experiences. The Bahamas is home to chef-driven, award-winning restaurants, authentic meals and delicious drink options. In the next couple of months, the offerings and festivals provide an unforgettable culinary experience for everyone.

Protected: Lose Track of Time in Savannah, Georgia

Sweet tea. Soul food. Y'all. Sound familiar? Though these words and phrases are commonly associated with the South, it's understood in any language. If you're seeking a city abroad that will enchant you, capture your attention from start to finish and welcome everyone as family, we cordially invite you to visit Savannah.

Daily
Aug 10, 2022

Rosewood Vienna Opens

Rosewood Vienna opened Aug. 1, marking Rosewood’s first hotel in the German-speaking market and its fifth European property. The 19th-century hotel, situated at Petersplatz, sits just steps away from many of Vienna’s historical and cultural sites, including St. Stephen Cathedral and Kunsthistorisches Museum. Guests won’t even have to leave the hotel to immerse themselves in the rich history of Vienna, as the hotel encompasses the apartment where Mozart lived and wrote The Abduction from the Seraglio.

eFlyer Deals
Aug 10, 2022

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa Launches New Summer Experiences

Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa’s new summer offers provides guests with unique and memorable ways to explore the region and relax on the property. The Lowcountry Adventure offer, in partnership with Outside Hilton Head, features a custom-designed, five-hour program for up to six people. The offer includes a variety of all-day adventures and activities around Hilton Head, such as boating local waterways, visiting private islands and exploring small towns. Guests wanting to book this experience can book a three-night stay through Oct. 31, with a 21-day advance booking required.

TAP Air Portugal: 77 Years Young

TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.

eFlyer Deals
Aug 10, 2022

American Queen Voyages Announces Free Air for New 15-Day Voyage Through Mexico, Costa Rica

For the first time in American Queen Voyages’ history, the cruise line offers free round-trip air from select gateways for guests booking their entire voyage from either San Diego to Puerto Vallarta or Puerto Vallarta to San Jose, Costa Rica. These new itineraries offer 15-, eight- and nine-day voyages to these destinations beginning Oct. 3.