Great Places to Stay
- "One" Spa and Health Club at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh


"One" Spa and Health Club

"Europe's most advanced urban spa"

Designed by Sir Terry Farrell One Spa is a fabulous translucent six storey coloured glass building, with direct access along a glass passageway from the Sheraton. The luxurious interior furnishings by Syntax are created in soft woods and cool mosaic walls and floors, promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being, and designed to counteract the stress of modern city life.

At its centre is a beautiful blue 19 metre swimming pool, surrounded by loungers for relaxing after exercise. Here there are also individual aromatic bath, with your choice of herbal scent in which to wash away stress, aches and pains. For the ultimate cleansing experience is a hydrotherapy pool which can be enjoyed both inside and outside - you can relax in the swirling mineral heated waters on the roof terrace. This is an extraordinary experience where you can pamper and soothe your mind and body, rebalance the properties of your skin while at the same time breathing fresh cooling natural air. We ventured into the pool early one Sunday morning before breakfast, with few bathers around. It even began snowing. This was the Edinburgh equivalent of the famous Blue Lagoon in Iceland - which I have also experienced one freezing January day.

Spa For those preferring more active exercise and a good work-out, ONE spa has a state-of-the-art fitness studio with the latest Technogym cario and resistance equipment. The Fitness centre is very popular and currently has 700 members with a waiting list. Hotel guests of course may visit the Spa and fitness centre as a day member.

The Spa is extremely spacious and even on a busy time of day, there is always a quiet space, pool, or steam room to relax. On a separate floor from the pool is the Thermal Suite with a fabulous range of hot and cooling therapies to purify, detoxify and soothe the body. The floors and mosaic walls are carefully designed with gentle colours and textures. This has a very special calm and luxurious atmosphere, like a Moroccan temple. Guests dressed in toweling robes or swim suits and non-slip shoes, wander around slowly as if in a dream, quietly experiencing the different saunas and steam rooms. All around are attractive shower areas, complete with subtle changing colour lighting, to cool you down again.

Spa The suite of specialist heat treatments include Hammam steam room, enveloping you with a choice of gentle scents. Next door is the magically named Aroma Grotto where you can sit within an aromatherapy sanctuary and inhale purifying herbal extracts. And of course there is also a classic Finnish sauna with a temperature of 80-100.c to invigorate the whole body with a blast of intense heat followed by the essential cold shower.

The Thermal Suite has a row of the most ingenious heated ceramic "loungers", for the ultimate in complete relaxation and body rest after the exertions of the heat and water therapy.

ONE spa Treatments
Spa The concept behind ONE is based on ancient Eastern philosophies of holistic healing and well-being. The specially designed ESPA treatments and techniques are devised from a cultural blend of traditional therapies from India, Bali, Thailand, China and Europe. A team of highly professionally trained therapists will ensure that you treatment will be selected for you on an individual basis to alleviate stress, soothe muscular pain, or relax the body and mind.

I experienced a three hour ESPA Holistic Ayurvedic body treatment and an aromatherapy facial which was simply out of this world. I was completely "rejuvenated", de-stressed, and quite literally pampered from head to toe, or to be accurate, toe to head.

After changing into a comfortable cotton robe and slippers, I was led down the corridor to the peace and tranquil luxury of the treatment room. I was seated and with great ritual style presented with a pot of herbal tea to be served in a delicate tiny cup. The therapist then began to prepare a foot bath. My feet were placed individually into a round bowl of warmed mineral-rich water with floating flower petals, as well as polished stones to stimulate the skin. Everything is conducted at a slow, gentle pace for complete relaxation.

After my feet were cleansed and massaged, I was invited to lie down on the extremely comfortable treatment bed and covered with soft, warmed towels. In the background soft melodic whale-song type music was playing to soothe the mind.

The Ayurveda Holistic treatments are based on the traditional body massage using herbs and oils from the Kerala region of India in the south west coast which has been practiced since around 600 BC. This method of preventative health care is followed across India and today it's a unique and indispensable branch of modern medicine. The Ayurveda approach believes in the treatment of not just a particular ailment, but the whole individual. The curative and restorative programmes and treatments make it the natural way to perfect health and harmony of life.

SpaBefore the full body massage began I was invited, with my eyes closed, to smell a selection of oils and moisturising creams so that my preference of herbal scent suited me. Carefully only revealing small sections of my back, one leg, or arm, the therapist worked her way around my body, pummeling the muscles and glands, feeling for knots and tension spots in my shoulders and lower back. Like the foot bath, the whole programme is prepared like a sacred ritual. The central part of the "ceremony" was the application of roasting hot, beautifully polished stones, which were rubbed with oils up and down my back. The stones are placed on energy points to leave the skin revitalised and the body and mind relaxed.

This was utter bliss and I really thought I was dreaming, so intense was very sensual hand-to-skin personal touch. This is luxurious pampering of the body and is extremely soothing. Once the stones were used on one section of the body, each was placed in my palm and between my toes.

Without rushing the treatment - and I had no idea how long I had been lying there. Time was now meaningless - she moved on to prepare me for an aromatherapy facial. My face was cleansed, gently massaged, and purified with a careful combination of oils and creams with the aim to rebalance the natural minerals of the skin. The nourishing herbal ingredients naturally rejuvenate and refresh leaving the face toned and stimulated.

The treatment was not yet complete. This was a Toe to Head programme and we had now reached my head. Using some kind of herbal mud concoction, my therapist began to rub and massage my scalp as well paying attention to tired neck muscles and shoulders.

The treatment was almost over but after all that physical activity, it was now time to relax. I was left to rest on the bed for five minutes rather than move too quickly. I was then taken to the lounging area to lie out with a glass of fruit juice or water. You are welcome to read a magazine, or have a snooze.

Three and a half hours later my ESPA Holistic body treatment was complete. I was a new woman. I can't wait to go back to experience it all over again.

I would recommend this, or any of the treatments at ONE whatever may suit you, and give your body, mind and spirit a much needed M.O.T. You will truly feel the benefit. There is a wide range of massage, facial, health and beauty treatments for men and women. The Sheraton offers special residential Spa packages for a very special short break in Edinburgh.

It may be part of a global `chain`, but the stunning design of the `new look` Sheraton Grand, Edinburgh, featuring the fabulous ONE spa, has created a very special and unique city-centre hotel. This illustrates the dynamic and contemporary ideas required for a 21st century hotel and the needs of the traveller and guest today. The Sheraton Grand combines the best of tradition, service and comfort, Scottish hospitality, with the innovation and luxury of a modern international company.

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