5 reasons why I think this East Lothian spa is Scotland's best

Fletcher's Cottage Spa gardenFletcher's Cottage Spa garden
Fletcher's Cottage Spa garden
This luxury destination is perfect for sybaritic days out

It’s 12 years since Fletcher’s Cottage Spa opened at Archerfield Estate.

This East Lothian destination remains our favourite in Scotland, for the below reasons, which include the launch of their new Summer Dreams treatment, available until the end of September. Although we’re fans of the day spa offering, you can also stay over at their Lodges, Cottages, the Pavilion, or other accommodation.

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1 What other spa in Scotland has its very own walled garden? You can wander across the springy lawn in your dressing gown and slippers. Right now, you’ll see foxgloves, hollyhocks, echinacea, verbena, and acres of French lavender, as well as an arch that’s lined with sweet-smelling powder pink roses. Or, just gaze at the flowers from the smaller indoor relaxation log room area, or the sauna, both of which have floor-to-ceiling windows. Gardens are definitely good for the soul. There are also individual bath huts out here, should you want to try one of their thermal experiences and soak until you turn into a prune.

Fletcher's Cottage Spa, Archerfield. Pic: Ashley CoombesFletcher's Cottage Spa, Archerfield. Pic: Ashley Coombes
Fletcher's Cottage Spa, Archerfield. Pic: Ashley Coombes

2 There’s gratis sherry in the relaxation lounge, which also features vast sofas and armchairs, with the focal point of a wood-burning stove. The interior here, and throughout, is the work of interior designer Siân Parry Jones, who is also responsible for the look of destinations including The Palm Island Resort & Spa in the Grenadines and the Kimpton Spa in Mallorca. In the Fletcher’s Cottage lounge, they also provide newspapers and coffee table books, so you can linger in here all day quite happily. Throughout summer, this room spills out into the garden, with al-fresco seating.

3 The individual changing rooms/bathrooms. It makes such a difference to have your own space to get showered and changed in. There’s no need to be embarrassed about your wobbly bits, and you can eat a secret sandwich in private, as I sneakily did before my treatment.

4 The therapists are all amazing. They’re all equally enthusiastic and excellent at their jobs, and will make you feel comfortable whether it’s your first time getting a massage, or if you’re very particular about the pressure used.

5 The treatments from the likes of Bamford and Voya. The spa’s senior therapist, Tonya, was responsible for designing their seasonal Summer Dreams treatment, £130, using a selection of Voya’s seaweed-based products. It’s available until the end of September, and includes use of the spa facilities, a welcome smoothie, a gratis product sample and an hour-long treatment, which involves a brisk all-over dry body brush to exfoliate and stimulate the circulation, then a heavenly back, neck, chest and shoulder massage with oodles of warm oil. The massage moves are flowing, synchronised and sinuous. Any iota of tension will be smoothed away. Afterwards, there's an application of Voya’s Softly Does It, which contains prickly pear oil and other ingredients. You’ll feel peachy afterwards, and will probably want to go have a nap in those gardens.

Fletcher’s Cottage Spa, Archerfield Estate, Dirleton, www.archerfieldhouse.com

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