Spa and Health Club at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh, Scotland
Julie Register visited this Hotel Spa in May 2002
One Spa Facility
Spa at the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh is simply in a class of its own. Completed
in September 2001 for ~$20 million, this 35,0000 square-foot, three-story, high-tech,
highly enjoyable spa has just about everything a spa-lover could ask for. The
spa occupies floors 4-6 of a separate building connected to the Sheraton Grand
by way of a glass overpass. It is the largest spa in the UK.
Terry Farrel and designer The Syntax Group, have not just built a spa with many,
many nice features and top-of-the-line equipment to enable you to "be
at one with yourself,"
they thought out the
smallest details to delight
spa guests: access with
a wave of a wristband, an incredibly complete thermal suite, aroma showers, individual
whirlpools you can program with various scents, a huge rooftop hydropool with
jets to stand under to massage neck and shoulders, changing colored
lights in treatment rooms, a projected clock on the reception area floor, projected
waves on the spa waiting
floor, very comfortable chairs, and bold blue stripes that decorate the windows
of the spa to create privacy. These are just a few of the features that I loved
about this spa. I could, and did, spend the better part of a day here. I envy
those that live close enough to have a local membership. Here is a mini-tour of
One Spa. Be sure to click on the photos at the right. Seeing is believing...
the first floor is the reception area, fitness center, and spa cafe. At
the Spa Reception desk, you
are given a Swatch wristband*. It
is programmed to allow you access only to the areas of
the spa appropriate for your visit. For
example,if you are only
going to work out in
the gym, the wristband
would be programmed to allow you to enter the locker room and fitness area. If
you were a hotel guest not having spa services, you would be allowed to enter
the locker room, fitness and pool areas, unless you paid an additional fee for
access to the Thermal Suite and Hydropool. A spa guest would have access to all
areas including the Thermal Suite and Hydropool.
one side of the reception desk is the Fitness Center with true state-of-the-art
weight machines that you or your trainer program. Insert the programmed key and
the machine adjusts the seat and weight, indicates
and counts the number of reps and sets, etc.. The
same goes for the Techno gym cardio machines with TV. If you use a trainer, he/she
can follow your progress,
adjust the machine settings, and set goals for you. The only thing that One
Spa does not have is a fitness studio for yoga, aerobics, etc.
the other side of the reception desk is the Spa Cafe. Food for the Spa Cafe was
provided by Santini restaurant on floor 3 of the building (garage car park is
on 1 and 2). At the time of my visit, there were healthy options, but they are
looking into changing to spa cuisine.
a flight up from the spa reception is the locker room. Pass your Swatch wristband
over a keypad and the door to the locker room opens. Just inside the door is another
pad under a screen. Pass the wristband over the pad and a floor plan of the locker
room pops up highlighting the number and location of the locker you are to use.
Go over to the locker, pass the Swatch over the "lock" and the locker
opens, close the locker, pass the Swatch again and it locks.
Stairs from Reception Area to Locker Rooms, Entrance to Women's Locker Room, Vanity
Keypad for Locker Assignment, Lockers
walk through the locker room takes you down a long corridor and up a flight of
stairs alongside a stainless steel step waterfall of overflow from the watsu pool.
On the second floor is the 19 meter ozone-friendly swimming pool with overflowing
sides and a bridge at one end. Tucked
in a corner are two individual hydrotherapy tubs you can program to fill with
water and your choice of eucalyptus, jasmine, lavender or chamomile scents. The
pool is lined with lots of comfy lounge chairs.
Locker Area to Pool Area, Infinity Edge 19m Pool and Hydrotherapy Tubs
a flight up from the main pool is the a 4 foot deep pool kept at 35deg C that
can be used for watsu. It has water jets set at different heights. Get in the
pool, slip through the opening and you find yourself out in the fresh air in the
rooftop hydropool with overhead spouts to massage your neck and shoulders and
lots of bubble jets to soothe your tired muscles. More comfy lounge chairs line
the gallery overlooking outdoor whirlpool.
Watsu Pool, Rooftop Whirlpool and Lounge Chairs Overlooking the Whirlpool
you tire of the whirlpool, wave your Swatch over the pad to the Thermal Suite.
Fiber optic lighting - ice blue, raspberry, lime green, white - changes colors
in the suite's rooms. The Thermal Suite contains:
- slightly humid and not as hot as a regular sauna scented with orange essence
Sauna - Finnish Sauna 20 deg C hotter than the Biosauna with a dry heat
lifestyle showers curled around like a snail - one rainforest (larger drips) scented
with passion flower scent, the other with a mint mist
- cooler but still warm, tiled seats, cool water in center, cool water hose for
ankles if you get too hot
room - steam room with aroma of the day (jasmine on the day of my visit)
- Tepidarium - reclining
plinths with warm water circulated under the tiles
BioSauna and Rock Sauna
Laconium and Hammam
Tepidarium and Ice Drench
a flight down from the spa reception, wave your wristband over the keypad and
you enter the spa with 11 treatment rooms, each with private showers and heated,
motorized massage tables. There is also a hydrobath room, a room with marble plinth
heated with warm water underneath (for salt and oil scrubs), a serail mud room
(like razul) with muds from Canada, an oriental massage room with floor mat, and
a manicure, pedicure, and makeup studio.
Serail Mud Room, Thai Massage Room, Hydrobath Room
spa carries E'SPA products and treatments. A unique offering of E'SPA is the ability
to book time instead of a specific treatment. You meet with your therapist to
discuss your current state of being and decide on a course of spa treatments to
fill your allotted time. The therapist is qualified to do everything from a facial
I had relaxed in the Thermal Suite, I checked in at the spa desk, since it was
almost time for my treatment. I was shown to the spa lounge and brought a cool
wasn't there long before my therapist, Joanne, came to escort me to my treatment
room. I started my treatment time with a consultation with Joanne. She gave me
a footbath and foot massage while I drank tea and discussed my goals for the session.
Joanne chose the Marma Ayurvedic Treatment for me. She asked me to select oils
for face and body and mist by choosing the aroma I preferred. I got on the table
and closed my eyes. Joanne started the treatment with softly ringing chimes. She
then gave me a whole-body salt and oil scrub to exfoliate my skin. When I turned
on my stomach, I noticed a beautiful flower floating in a bowl beneath the headrest.
When the scrub was done, I rinsed off in the in-room shower and Joanne changed
the sheets. I got back on the table and Joanne gave me a facial and massaged my
face. She ran warm oil in my hair and massaged my head and scalp. Then the Marma
Massage began. Joanne poured warm oil in my naval and massaged my body. She gently
massaged tiny circles up my legs. I turned over and she used hot stones on my
back as she finished the massage. The last part was a stretch. Joanne ended the
treatment as she had begun it - with softly ringing chimes. It was the most profoundly
relaxing treatment I have ever had. I left definitely "at one with myself."
Grand in Edinburgh
interior of the Sheraton Grand in Edinburgh was recently refurbished with rich
cherry wood and new soft ware (carpets, upholstery, etc.). The location is wonderful
for walking about Edinburgh - close to the Edinburgh Castle and shopping.
stayed in a Grand Room which offered a view of Edinburgh Castle. Amenities included
a thick terry robe, ironing board, iron, and air conditioning. All rooms have
a desk with electrical converters built in which I found to be extremely convenient.
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh is a member of Connoisseurs
Scotland, an elite collection of Scotland's finest properties and travel experiences.
Featuring a small number of luxury hotels, each with a quality and character of
its own, set in unique locations throughout Scotland. In addition to the hotels
there is the Royal Scotsman, an exclusive train which revives the romance and
elegance of times past. There is also a ship, The Hebridean Princess, that can
transport guests to a hidden Scotland in total luxury.
copyright 2002, Julie Register
unless marked * which are courtesy of the designers,
The Syntax Group
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
Farm to Treatment Table Lavender Experience
This package is available Saturdays only, May 12 – July 14 (excluding June 8), must be booked one week in advance and requires 48 hours notice for cancellation.
Hill Country Lavender Farm tour,
a bottle of organic lavender massage oil made at the farm,
lunch at Replenish Spa Café with items featuring lavender, and a lavender-based spa treatment featuring the organic lavender massage oil from the Hill Country Lavender farm.
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I'm a believer.
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