Gleneagles Townhouse, The Strong Rooms, review: we hang out with the beautiful people at this luxury destination

It’s usually just open to members and hotel guests
Pilates Reformer at The Strong RoomsPilates Reformer at The Strong Rooms
Pilates Reformer at The Strong Rooms

Gleneagles Townhouse is where the gorgeous people go.

Sadly, I am not usually in that gang, except for one afternoon only. I feel like Cinderella, as I trot along to St Andrew Square clutching my most boujee swimwear and fitness gear.

The five-star destination is giving me a taste of basement-level former bank vault, The Strong Rooms, usually only open to hotel residents and members. They’ve created a wellness package, as this is something they regularly offer clients, who have included A-list celebrities (I’m keeping schtum).

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Massage Room at The Strong RoomsMassage Room at The Strong Rooms
Massage Room at The Strong Rooms

I begin by baking myself in the Infrared Sauna in the chic changing facilities.

They offer over 40 classes at The Strong Rooms, and I hear a couple of members chatting, post-class, and saying that even their toes were burning, after a tough session. Gulp. It’s time for my one-to-one Pilates Reformer class with wellness manager, Emma Fraser.

These take place on a sort of padded machine, which features various pulleys and gadgets.

It looks torture-device-ish, but is super fun, and targets often underused muscles. At one point, I push a sliding panel back with one leg, and lift the other, while my foot is looped onto a bungee cord, and it feels like flying. Very effective.

Reception at The Strong Rooms, Gleneagles TownhouseReception at The Strong Rooms, Gleneagles Townhouse
Reception at The Strong Rooms, Gleneagles Townhouse

I won’t be feeling the burn on the next stop - a three-minute Cryotherapy experience, where benefits can include immunity boosting. I’m into the icy chamber, wearing my bikini teamed with thermal gloves, socks and a hat, where temperatures drop to -110 degrees celsius.

Post-freeze, I head through for my 50-minute Be in the Movement massage. The treatment rooms are gorgeous, with a Twenties railway carriage feel, and I have a full body rub down using detox oil. There’s lots of stretching, and the therapist drapes my arms over the sides of the bed to get into the knots. She uses oodles of oil, and sweeping motions. I’m so relaxed that I’m practically drooling.

The day is concluded with dinner in The Spence, where their spring menu includes seaweed-cured Shetland salmon, and lamb rump with wild garlic.

Now I can count my pennies and see if a membership is really beyond my means. I think I NEED one.

Membership from £1400 a year. Gleneagles Townhouse, 39 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh (0800 917 4655, Massage £95.



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