THE spa experience can be a varied one. Depending on whether you’re a lunchtime urbanite preening against the clock or a country manor and towelling robe type who likes their spa time to be luxurious, it’s a tricky thing to present as bespoke.
Take one fluffy-slippered step into Fletcher’s Cottage Spa at Archerfield House, however, and any memories of paper-knicker nightmares are quickly dispelled. Opened earlier this year, and the creative baby of international spa guru Sian Parry Jones (formerly of Urban Spa, Harrods), Fletcher’s Cottage outclasses every Scottish spa experience I’ve had.
With 12 treatment rooms centred around a lounge which is kitted out with sofas, sheepskin rugs, and a whisky snug area where you can sip champagne or order afternoon tea, the cottage has the feel of a private spa space, regardless of how many people are using the facilities. Accessed through the large French doors, there is a beautiful walled garden to stroll around in your robe, where a very special treat awaits in the form of personal bath huts to allow you complete privacy as you indulge in a dip.
Sian Parry Jones has travelled the world to source materials for Fletcher’s Cottage, from the Himalayas for the salt brick treatment room walls to East Lothian for the tattie boxes which add a local twist to the treatment corridor.
Once you’ve had your fill of lounging and soaking up the decor, however, there is plenty on the treatments list to get you interested in winding down a few more gears, with ranges such as South Africa’s Frazer Parfum, Ireland’s Voya and Spezia products from Cornwall used in the various massages on offer.
I tried the uplifting Spezia Head in Heaven massage which began with a foot soak and deep-breathing exercises, followed by a full-body and head massage using Spezia’s 100 per cent organic products. As with all aromatherapy, the selection of oils were specific to my mood, with rose oil used for nourishing the skin as well as emotional balance, athough I defy anyone to feel stressed in an environment such as this. The treatment room overlooks the garden, which gives a lovely sense of being immersed in nature, but don’t worry about your modesty, the view is softened by blinds and lighting.
Post-massage you’re free to use the excellent marine steam room with its alleviating respiratory powers, the aroma sauna, rasul mud cure, the lounge and aforementioned gardens depending on how upright you choose to be.
Once visited, Fletcher’s Cottage will live long in your memory, and is a unique new star on Scotland’s spa map.
• Fletcher’s Cottage Spa, Archerfield, Dirleton, East Lothian (01620 897 580, www.archerfieldhouse.com).
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