Scotland’s Self-care Havens

Scotland’s majestic landscape creates an ideal wellness setting, here are our top picks on where to escape for some well-deserved self-care.

The pursuit of wellness is a travel trend that transcends boundaries: almost everyone, regardless of age and social background, is actively seeking ways to reconnect with themselves, with their loved ones and with the world around them. Whether by way of immersion in nature, a digital detox or rejuvenating practices and treatments, there’s an increasing desire among travelers to return from a holiday having achieved some form of personal betterment.

With locations scattered throughout Scotland’s wild and untamed landscape, an escape to one of Luxury Scotland’s hotels offers guests the opportunity to experience a deep sense of wellbeing without any compromise on comfort, indulgence and standards of service.

It is widely accepted that time in nature and being part of something bigger than yourself is a grounding experience, allowing the individual to refocus. Scotland, with its vast open spaces and dramatic extremes, provides an accessible setting in which to achieve this. It is also, of course, the home of ‘coorie’, a uniquely Scottish concept of wellness encompassing embracing the outdoors with the likes of wild loch swimming and invigorating highland walks – with, of course, the promise of an extravagantly warm welcome on return to their chosen hotel.

Kinloch Lodge 

In a location as wild and beautiful as the Isle of Skye, the impulse to snap and share may be understandable – however during a digital detox stay at Kinloch Lodge, guests hand over their phones and devices on arrival, exchanging them for a bag of gifts aimed at providing a focus for their inspiration. A watercolour set becomes the means with which to capture visual impressions; meanwhile thoughts and descriptions can be recorded in a Kinloch notebook, rather than in a tweet or Instagram caption. Pampering and relaxation come by way of generous bedrooms stocked with indulgent L’Occitane products, as well as a specially created Botanical Back Massage, designed to ease tight neck and shoulders muscles, a byproduct of hunching over screens. With the distraction of phones removed, guests will find their senses heightened, all the better to enjoy a seven-course tasting menu, or the simple pleasure of the sound and scent of roaring fire.

Fonab Castle Hotel & Spa 

The five-star Fonab Castle is an elegant Scottish baronial style property, lovingly restored and overlooking Loch Faskally. A wealth of hiking and biking trails await active wellness seekers, while within the hotel itself, the spa comprises a pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and four treatment rooms, where guests can unwind under the expert ministrations of a therapist. Off-site activities can be arranged for additional ways to connect with the majesty of the Highlands setting; white water rafting is sure to get the blood pounding, while the contemplative activity of fishing provides a soothing way to calm the mind and train one’s focus.

Marcliffe Hotel & Spa

In densely wooded grounds just outside of Aberdeen, The Marcliffe Hotel and Spa offers access to some of Scotland’s most magnificent coastal walks and beaches – as well as the islands of Orkney and Shetland, for those wishing to explore further afield. Invigorated by sea air, wild winds and spectacular scenery, guests will discover a sense of serenity, which they may consolidate with a session at the hotel’s expansive spa. Here, treatments ranging from hydrotherapeutic Balneotherapy Baths to body scrubs and soothing ritual massages will ease away any remaining tension before an evening meal at the hotel’s Conservatory Restaurants, where the emphasis is on locally sourced and seasonal produce.

Knockinaam Lodge

Tucked into a private cove with breathtaking views across the Irish Sea, the boutique Knockinaam Lodge in Dumfries and Galloway offers seclusion in 30 acres of landscaped grounds.  This historic lodge has created a wellness weekend of discovery for fitness, mindfulness and new experiences for guests of all levels. Morning yoga is enjoyed outside with stimulating views overlooking the beach to encourage mental clarity. A hearty Scottish breakfast will fuel guests for their day, which may include an induction to open water swimming in the refreshing sea, Pilates and mindfulness sessions with qualified instructors and coaches.

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Caoilfhionn Rose

Caoilfhionn is a freelance travel writer who enjoys slow travel and avoiding landmarks in favour of diving into a destination's culture. Instagram: @CaoilfhionnRose

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