Sometimes I like to pretend I’m a lady of luxury and there’s no better place to do that than Blythswood Square Spa & Hotel in Glasgow.

Many of my friends were surprised that I hadn’t visited the Blythswood already, so I made a point of booking in for a birthday treat. Another year older, another life goal ticked off the list!

The 5 star hotel exudes elegance, with an impressive exterior and grand reception area that puts me in mind of a David Lynch boudoir. In a good way, I promise – if sparkling chandeliers, monochrome flooring and red velvet is your thing, you’ll love it. 

I wasn’t staying overnight in the hotel on this occasion, so I headed downstairs to the spa, eager to treat myself to some much-needed pamper time.

Upon arrival I was asked to fill out a consultation card and offered a glass of prosecco, which was part of my package and went down a treat. 

Afternoon Tea at the Blythswood 

The relaxation area at the spa reception looks glamorous and comfortable, but I’ve decided the chairs are deceptively uncomfortable. The backs of the chairs recline at an angle that’s neither lie-back-and-relax-pre-massage or sit-upright-and-sip-prosecco. So you end up perched in an awkward in-between position, glugging your prosecco so you can move on to comfier surroundings.

This is also an issue when the afternoon tea is served, as I found I was digesting fruit scones and cream cakes at an alarming rate, due to my uncomfortable seat.

On the plus side, unlike many afternoon tea offerings, you do get one of those fancy tiered trays of treats all to yourself. And dietary requirements, or fussy eater requests, are catered for without any issues. 

Blythswood Square Spa Review

Several scones, cakes, meringues and cups of tea later, I was taken through to the chilled out treatment rooms. I only waited a few minutes in the treatment reception area before being taken to a private room by my therapist, who I want to call Natalie so I will. 

Once Natalie had an understanding of my many aches and pains, she got started on the back, neck and shoulder massage I had requested. Her perfect pressure and precision when targeting my pain points left me feeling very relaxed and soothed some of the tension I had arrived with. One of the best massages I’ve had the pleasure of receiving, using gorgeous-smelling Ishga products. 

Post-massage, I took a wander round the thermal suite to see what it had to offer. Not being a massive fan of saunas (the lack of air is suffocating and I have an irrational fear of being locked in), I opted to spend most of my time floating between the hydrotherapy pool, the solarium and the crystal steam room. 

The hydrotherapy pool was probably my favourite, a large jacuzzi situated in the centre of the spa. Plenty of bubbles and high ceilings made this a relaxing experience that I returned to a few times on my visit. 

The crystal steam room is unique and you’ll either love it or hate it. I could only cope with it when the door was slightly ajar (see previous comment on irrational door locking fear), but it was a calming wet room filled with menthol steam that did its best to clear my congested system of toxins and the previous night’s vodka.

The spa itself feels like the crystal maze, with its various rooms and themes, so it’s fitting that this steam room does have a red crystal centrepiece, from which the scented steam emanates. Strangely hypnotic and relaxing at the same time, with the door open of course…

My one gripe is that the main pool, complete with waterfall and jet features, isn’t larger. When I go to a spa I like a swim, but the size of the Blythswood’s pool is only fit for a doggy paddle. There also doesn’t appear to be a need for the strange ‘hidden’ room located towards the back of the pool. Other than the water that shoots out from the corner, it seems like a bit of a waste of space that could be put to better use.

Given the small size of the pool, there are only a few loungers located next to it for relaxing on but the spa wasn’t busy enough when I visited for this to be an issue. 

Overall, I enjoyed my time at the Blythswood and was pleasantly surprised that it lived up to the hype. Not sure I would pay the list price to visit the thermal suite, but worth a visit if you can get a deal on a voucher code site. 

Auchrannie Resort handbook and coffee

It always feels like the longest month of the year, so this January I decided to break it up a bit by crossing the water and visiting the Auchrannie Resort in Arran.

With it being only an hour on the ferry from Ardrossan, I’ve visited the island many times but never had the Auchrannie experience.

View of Arran from Auchrannie

View of Arran from Auchrannie

I didn’t quite know what to expect but the package I’d opted for (The Island Escape) promised a luxury overnight stay including breakfast, a prosecco lunch and two spa treatments.

January weather is ideal for hibernating in a spa resort, but not so ideal for travelling to it. Luckily, our sailing was relatively calm and we had a transfer from the ferry terminal to the hotel included in our package. A very welcome touch since I’ve learned that only one taxi serves the island. My suitcase and I are not made for the local bus service I’m afraid!

I’m sure it’s walkable without the luggage but the five minute transfer took us right to the door, where we were able to check in at reception with minimal fuss. Our room was ready and we got ourselves settled in before heading down for a pre-booked lunch in the spa.

Twin room at Auchrannie Resort

Twin room at Auchrannie Spa Resort

The room itself was on the third floor and my only complaint was that the wifi didn’t appear to function up there. It was fine in other parts of the spa hotel and the main house hotel, so at least we weren’t completely cut off from civilisation, aka social media.

The spa hotel is modern with plush grey decor in the corridors and purple interiors in the rooms. We had a twin room, which was very spacious, with a sofa/seating area in addition to the beds and a fridge to store vodka water. There was ample wardrobe space and a modern bathroom with miniature complimentary toiletries courtesy of Arran Aromatics.

Arran Aromatics miniature toiletries at Auchrannie

Arran Aromatics miniature toiletries at Auchrannie

We checked into the ASPA for lunch and were shown around the facilities while our food and drinks were prepared. The seating area in the spa itself is very luxurious and an ideal setting for lunch, though it would’ve been nice to have the menu to peruse at a table, rather than the spa reception desk. Talk about being under pressure to choose!

ASPA reception area

ASPA reception area

The lunch menu itself was what you would expect from a spa, full of light, healthy(ish) options and a delicious start to the afternoon, accompanied by a glass of sparkling prosecco.

We had a few hours to spare after lunch before our spa treatments, so decided to check out the rest of the spa facilities. There was a large swimming pool, shallow pool, solarium, steam room and foot baths, so plenty of places to relax before or after your pampering session. My one disappointment was that there was no jacuzzi, as I love some bubbles on a spa day!

Auchrannie Spa relaxation room

Auchrannie Spa relaxation room

Complimentary robes and slippers are provided when you check in to the spa so we headed back to the relaxation room to wait on our treatments. With low lighting, beaded curtains, chaise longues and secluded pods, this is the perfect place to chill out with a glass of chilled water. 

I opted for the mini facial and back massage using my favourite Espa products. My therapist was very knowledgable about the products and expertly carried out my facial to treat the condition of my skin at the time (dry and dull). I’ve had better back massages but it was relaxing if nothing else. After our treatments we headed back to the relaxation room for a raspberry sorbet and glass of lemon water, pure bliss!

ASPA relaxation area

ASPA relaxation area

It was a struggle not to go for an afternoon nap at this point, but we had booked dinner in the Brambles restaurant at 7pm, so powered through to get ourselves dressed and across the carpark to the main house hotel. We couldn’t fault the traditional surroundings or the service in the restaurant but had to ask to move twice, which wasn’t ideal.

The first time it was due to overheating in front of an open fireplace and the second time it was due to being surrounded by a family of ten with unruly kids. Understand the resort is family friendly but there should be an area where adults can escape if they don’t fancy listening to mummy tell little Ben/Jen to please sit down for the millionth time. Or at least a curfew on when said families can enter. Rant over. 

Dinner itself was top notch, I went for the fillet steak with blue cheese sauce followed by white chocolate and Arran Gold cheesecake, which I have to say is one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had. After the food feast we retired to our comfy beds for a Grey Goose nightcap, totally pampered and relaxed for a good night’s sleep. 

Auchrannie Hotel breakfast

Pastries for breakfast

Breakfast was included in our package and again it didn’t disappoint. Pretty much all you can eat continental and cooked breakfast, with too many options to list. I had some spiced Arran sausages with grilled mushrooms on toast, then managed to squeeze in a couple of mini fruit pastries alongside my tea. 

It felt really sad to be checking out and heading home, but there was still some time left to enjoy a cosmopolitan in Cruz bar before our transfer taxi arrived to take us back for the ferry home. I’ll definitely be back to the resort, but now I know what to expect I’ll be planing a few more spa treatments and maybe even an extended stay.

I visited Auchrannie Resort on the Island Escape package, courtesy of itison.com. Standard price for this package starts at £119 per person per night.
Scottish fashion blogger. Always having a blonde moment.