Are saunas a winter only sport? I don’t think so as the benefits can be felt throughout the year but they are definitely more alluring when it’s cold!
That’s how I ended up at the spa in The Scotsman Hotel in Edinburgh in February 2015. I didn’t have a strong desire to go to that particular sauna but when I Googled ‘sauna’ and ‘Edinburgh’ it was the only non dodgy sauna that came up! I later read that the police have recently clamped down on Edinburgh’s sex workers and raided many of the city’s ‘saunas’.
Most 5 star hotels have some sort of spa attached to them and some of them make a real feature of them. Not all of them have saunas though, the Hilton on Park Lane, for example, surprisingly doesn’t. Fortunately the Scotsman does make a feature of their spa and it has a sauna.
The spa is housed in the old Scotsman Newspaper’s grand printing press so has a cool industrial feel to the place. And…wait for it….it has Scotland’s first stainless steel swimming pool – oooh!
On site is a smallish but good and clean sauna, steam room, and spa pool. The wraparound ‘Arctic shower’ is an interesting design although it takes a few seconds for the water to come through so it doesn’t quite provide you with that instant shock of cold.
What really makes this place though is the design – a spacious, sleek, and modern area that pays a nod to its heritage. The dim lighting, tranquillity and atmosphere makes this somewhere you can enjoy and relax in for hours.
Like the best of Edinburgh this places meshes the old and the new really well to create somewhere special.
Oh – and apparently the Penthouse suite at the Scotsman Hotel has an in-room sauna – nice touch!
Overall sauna experience: Cold, Warm, Hot, Top Sauna!
Facilities: Basic, Standard, Excellent
Summary: a cool venue to warm up and relax in.