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Indulge Yourself with a Trip to One of Edinburgh's Best Spas



Mankind has long believed in the curative power of mineral waters. Arguably the first spa in Edinburgh was the tranquil and beautiful St Bernard’s Well in Stockbridge where Victorian gentry would take in the fresh air and drink deep draughts of the cool, clear water under the watchful gaze of Hygieia, the Greek goddess of health.

Since these relatively humble beginnings spas have grown in both number and in scope to become a very lucrative business. Many of Edinburgh’s best spas are connected to Edinburgh’s best hotels. The chic and contemporary One Spa at the Sheraton combines treatments which hark back to the classical era with state of the art facilities.

Other spas have started out as beauty salons and then increased their scope to offer treatments for the whole body. Zen Lifestyle offers patrons everything from relaxing massage and facials to tanning and cosmetic medical treatments, while Lush Spa offers multi sensory treatments based around their delicious hand made and ethically sourced products.

Modern life can be hectic and stress can play havoc with your health and your personal relationships. All of us occasionally have to take the foot off the gas and take a little time for ourselves. Whether you need a regular dose of exercise and detoxification or are simply looking for a little treat or the chance to pamper yourself or your loved ones, one of Edinburgh’s ten best spas may have just the tonic you are looking for.


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PureSpa is a day spa located on the top floor of the Ocean Terminal Shopping Center. On arrival guests are provided with comfortable robes and slippers to don before heading to one of the dedicated treatment rooms. A variety of treatments are available, from facials exclusively using Elamis products, to the award-winning infra-red saunua and rasul mud therapies. They also offer a wide range of massage treatments and body wraps and have both nail and pedicure bars. Once your treatment is completed you can unwind with a complementary fruit juice in the relaxation area. If you yearn for further indulgence, you can purchase a day package which includes a number of treatments and a two course lunch at one of the partner restaurants.

Recommended for Spas because: With a wide range of treatments and highly qualified therapists PureSpa is a great urban day spa.

Simon's expert tip: You'll find great value pamper parties and bridal packages which can also make great gifts!

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Sanctuary at the Suites is a luxury day spa hidden within the apartments of Princes Street Suites. It offers an impressively wide range of treatments in a stylish and comfortable environment guaranteed to help you escape the pressures of modern life. As well as aromatherapy massage and hot stone massage you'll find thermal touch treatments and an excellent full body massage. There's also a good range of facials, waxing, manicures and pedicures, along with specific treatments for eyes and eyebrows. The shrinking violet wrap can help you drop one dress size – assuming you don't over indulge in chocolate and champagne while at the spa!

Recommended for Spas because: Sanctuary at the Suites is very central and offers great facilities.

Simon's expert tip: The luxury spa days combine a variety of treatments in the comfort of one of their sumptuous apartments with stunning views of the city.

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The Scotsman Spa is located in the basement of the iconic Scotsman Building on Market Street above Waverly Station. It features Scotland's first stainless steel swimming pool, a large Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. It also has both tropical and artic showers and a wonderful Tropicarium (which blends therapeutic steam with soothing essence of eucalyptus to promote deep breathing and increase circulation). A variety of treatments are available in the seven well equipped treatment rooms. Patrons can also make use of the extensive gym featuring sixty workout stations and a wide variety of fitness classes (including pilates, yoga, boxing and kettleball) and highly trained personal trainers.

Recommended for Spas because: The Scotsman Spa combines a well -equipped gym with great spa facilities in a handy city center location.

Simon's expert tip: Look out for the Thalgo Facial & Body Products which harness the therapeutic qualities of sea water and marine algae.

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The Balmoral Spa combines a traditional elegance with contemporary techniques to create a relaxing and professional ambience. The spa offers clients a wide range of spa treatments created by the luxury ESPA brand (a world leader in natural skincare). Enjoy an aromatherapy massage tailored to your skin type and your present needs (de-tox, de-stress, immune booster and many more) or opt for a manicure, pedicure, or facial. The spa also features a beautiful fifteen meter pool with a chic poolside café (which provides complementary herbal tea to guests), Turkish steam room, dry Finnish sauna, fully-equipped cardiovascular gym and an air-conditioned exercise room.

Recommended for Spas because: Refined and relaxing, the Balmoral Spa is small, but perfectly formed.

Simon's expert tip: Who can resist the chance to try out Brazilian toe therapy which works on the body's six energy meridians to tackle insomnia and headaches?

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Norton House Hotel is a distinguished Victorian mansion set in fifty-five acres of grounds on the outskirts of Edinburgh, close to Edinburgh Airport. Primarily a boutique hotel, Norton House also plays host to one of Edinburgh's most luxurious and well equipped spas. The spa and health club features an eighteen meter swimming pool with beautiful fountains, a fully equipped gym (with a state of the art TechnoGym and Power Plate equipment) and a series of treatment rooms (including manicure and pedicure stations and a Rasul Mud Treatment Room. Guests can also enjoy the hydro pool, crystal steam room, sauna, and relaxation room.

Recommended for Spas because: Norton House Hotel features a state of the art gym and excellent spa facilities in a luxurious and peaceful setting.

Simon's expert tip: Check out the "Spa Days" for some great deals.

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The G & V in Edinburgh (located on George IV Bridge just off the Royal Mile) was built by the Missoni fashion house. As you would expect, the spa features the bold colors and iconic design so closely associated with the Missoni brand. Although the spa is small, it is perfectly formed and has exclusive use of products by Eve Lom (an award winning brand associated with deep cleansing and facial massage) and Natura Bisse (at the cutting edge of skin care technology for over thirty years). It recently added a range of treatments courtesy of Aromatherapy Associates – world leaders in therapeutic aromatherapy products.

Recommended for Spas because: G & V Hotel Spa is the only place in Scotland where you can get treatments using the prestigious Eve Lom and Natura Bisse brands.

Simon's expert tip: Check out the seasonal special offers, just the tonic at any time of the year

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The Guerlain Spa is part of the elegant and historic Caledonian Hotel located at the end of Princes Street. This ultra --luxurious spa was the first in the UK to showcase the products of the famous French brand and the facilities were custom built to the high standards of L'Institut de Beauté in Paris. They offer a range of facial treatments, specifically tailored to your skin type, and a wide range of massage and sublimation treatments. Also on offer are waxing, tinting, manicure and pedicures and a good choice of treatments for men. As well as a host of spa treatments, guests have access to the swimming pool, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and a state-of-the-art gym.

Recommended for Spas because: Exclusive access to high quality treatments by Guerlain of Paris makes this small but perfectly formed spa worth a look.

Simon's expert tip: The "transforming" treatments are great if you want to pull out all of the stops; they come with a complimentary glass of champagne and full access to the facilities.

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Lush have made a name for themselves with unique, handmade, ethically sourced health and beauty products. Now they have taken the next step an offer spa treatments from their Edinburgh store. Like their products, the treatments are unconventional and fresh and more specifically tailored to the individual than is the norm. Their signature "Synaesthesia" is a good example. Inspired by the neurological condition where one or more senses is linked, the treatment is a multi -sensory massage utilizing aromatherapy, music and poetry to evoke the feeling or emotion chosen by the client at the beginning of the session. Other treatments are inspired by the Beatles, the Dorset countryside and a love of chocolate!

Recommended for Spas because: Lush Spa has created a unique range of treatments from their wonderful hand made and ethically sourced products.

Simon's expert tip: "The Planets" treatment includes a palm reading as well as a facial and massage, but for a more down to earth experience opt for "The Comforter" featuring a hot chocolate body scrub and rose scented massage.

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Zen Lifestyle began with a small salon in Bruntsfield, and now operates from three locations in the city including the flagship salon in Hanover Street. Twice awarded the UK Salon of the Year at the British Beauty and Spa Awards this prodigious salon offers over one hundred treatments for men and women. Zen Lifestyle is one of Scotland's most advanced cosmetic medical clinics and has a full range of beauty treatments such as waxing, manicures and pedicures. They also have a wide range of relaxing spa treatments such as massage, facials, and procedures for problem skin, anti-ageing treatments and corrective treatments.

Recommended for Spas because: Zen Lifestyle has an impressively extensive list of treatments and a well-deserved reputation for excellence.

Simon's expert tip: It is worth taking the time to enjoy some of their "mini rituals" which only take ten minutes after completing your main treatment.

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One Spa is part of the luxurious Sheraton Grand Hotel located just off Lothian Road in the center of Edinburgh. As well as a delightful rooftop hydro pool, nineteen meter infinity swimming pool, rainforest showers, and rock and bio saunas, the Spa includes a unique thermal suite which features treatments inspired by the ancient Celts and Romans – such as the Laconium (dry heat treatment room) and Tepidarium (warm room) and the deliciously scented Aroma Grotto. They have a well-equipped gym with a selection of classes including Yoga, Zumba, Boxing, LiveStrong Cycling and high intensity circuit training. Add to all of this a wide range of ayurvedic spa treatments and you have everything you need to re-energise body and soul.

Recommended for Spas because: One Spa has great facilities including a series of unique and indulgent thermal treatments.

Simon's expert tip: Why not invite a group of friends or treat your family to a Group Spa day?

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Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

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