Atholl Palace

Nestling in Perthshire’s Tum­mel Val­ley, the se­cluded sanc­tu­ary of the four-star ho­tel’s Laven­der Spa is the per­fect week­end get­away

No. 1 Magazine - - SCOTLAND'S NO.1 FOR LIFESTYLE -

When you visit a spa, you want to feel trans­ported to a se­cluded sanc­tu­ary away from it all – and at Atholl Palace Ho­tel you cer­tainly do! Lo­cated in Pit­lochry in the Perthshire coun­try­side, the dom­i­nant tur­reted build­ing peeks out above the trees as you drive to­wards the ho­tel. It’s the ideal spa set­ting as you can­not see any sign of civil­i­sa­tion from the win­dows of most of the ho­tel rooms, which over­look the Tum­mel Val­ley. With pic­turesque sur­round­ings, tra­di­tional dé­cor and a mod­ern, spiky-roofed func­tion suite, it’s easy to see why the four-star Atholl Palace is a pop­u­lar wed­ding venue. But it is also the ul­ti­mate spa break des­ti­na­tion, and its Laven­der Spa was the rea­son for our stay. The night be­fore, we en­joyed a de­li­cious evening meal in the ho­tel’s Ve­ran­dah restaurant – din­ing on Scottish clas­sics like Cullen Skink and melon to start, fol­lowed by sus­tain­ably sourced salmon and fish and chips, and gooey pud­ding. This ‘restaurant with a view’ boasts panoramic as­pects over the Tum­mel Val­ley. After-din­ner drinks in its Stag’s Head Bar fol­lowed, be­fore an overnight stay in a com­fort­able room with win­dow seat.

Next morn­ing I vis­ited the spa to in­dulge in its sig­na­ture treat­ment, the Laven­der Lul­laby. On ar­rival, I was led into a small room where French win­dows opened out on to the grounds. With the sun stream­ing in, and chilled-out spa mu­sic play­ing, I in­stantly felt re­laxed. Be­fore or after a treat­ment, you have the op­tion to un­wind in the Vic­to­rian-in­spired ther­mal suite, pool, sauna and steam room (hot ar­eas not rec­om­mended after some treat­ments). My beauty ther­a­pist Sarah, who re­lo­cated to Perthshire from Es­sex re­cently, walked me along the spa cor­ri­dor. As I looked out, I spot­ted ladies on the lawn in their com­pli­men­tary robes and slip­pers re­lax­ing out­side in the sun­shine. Soon I was ready for my Laven­der Lul­laby, which the brochure de­scribes as a “deep re­lax­ation treat­ment” – who doesn’t crave 90 min­utes of to­tal re­lax­ation on a Sun­day morn­ing? To be­gin, Sarah gen­tly re­moved my make-up and cleansed my tired and dryskinned face be­fore ap­ply­ing an ex­fo­lia­tor, which kicked off the mini-fa­cial part of the sig­na­ture treat­ment. Next, she treated my body to a salt crys­tal ex­fo­li­a­tion by ap­ply­ing an in­vig­o­rat­ing Phy­tomer ton­ing scrub, packed with ma­rine salt crys­tals, to re­move dead skin cells from my legs, arms, and back. All skin­care prod­ucts used in Laven­der Spa are by Phy­tomer which means “plants of the sea” be­cause they con­tain ma­rine in­gre­di­ents, in­clud­ing al­gae and sea­plants. The laven­der in the his­toric palace’s gar­dens in­spired this fra­grant treat­ment. After a full-body ex­fo­li­a­tion, I show­ered off the salt crys­tals to re­veal silky soft skin, softer than my skin has ever been! The sec­ond part of the treat­ment in­cluded a non-set­ting face mask be­ing ap­plied and a glo­ri­ous Thai mas­sage, which in­volved heated laven­der com­press balls be­ing dabbed on to my skin. At first, the herb com­presses feel quite hot, but your body quickly ac­cli­ma­tises to the tem­per­a­ture as the laven­der’s ben­e­fi­cial prop­er­ties pen­e­trate deep into the skin. Arms, legs, back and tummy – vir­tu­ally no part of the body goes un­treated. Next, my face mask is re­moved with a hot towel, be­fore an eye cream and skin co­coon­ing cream are ap­plied. Then the front of my body is treated to a firm pres­sure mas­sage as strength­en­ing mois­turiser is kneaded into my re­ju­ve­nated skin.

Near­ing the end of my ex­pe­ri­ence, I al­most drift off to sleep dur­ing the Laven­der Lul­laby’s back mas­sage but I leave feel­ing re­ju­ve­nated and ready for the scenic jour­ney back to Glas­gow, via Perth and Stir­ling.

Spa Re­view

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