Spa at Charlotte Square

The lowdown

Kimpton Charlotte Square is up there with swanky new Gleneagles Townhouse and the trendy new W Hotel Edinburgh as one of the hottest hotels on the block.

Despite Charlotte Square’s decorative nod to travel of yesteryear, it’s very much a contemporary hotel, appealing to young and young at heart audiences. With its #stayoung neon instruction in the gym, Gen Zers can be found working out before catching up with colleagues over a coffee at the The Garden.

The 199 rooms and suites at Kimpton Charlotte Square are spread across a sweep of seven properties. All refurbished in a contemporary classic style, dotted with richly coloured velvets and leather, and peppered with playful clusters of eclectic artworks. Decorative references to travel add to the feeling of escapism. And, there’s a swimming pool, gym, treatment rooms and unique Sound Therapy room to keep you toned, honed and chilled during your stay. Plus, two top-notch restaurants, Baba and The Garden, which are destinations in their own right.

Spavellous for

Urban wellness seekers, foodies, sound therapy fans, hip hotel fans.

Spa info

The spa at Kimpton Charlotte Square features an ambiently-lit 12m pool with a poolside sauna and steam room, three treatment rooms and a unique Sound Therapy room.

It isn’t the largest spa in town – you can head to One Spa for that – but Charlotte Square offers a stylish and luxurious boutique spa experience, with a menu of ‘carefully curated activities and therapies’.

There’s a gym with Technogym cardio and strength equipment and a small fitness studio, offering Pilates, HIIT and yoga classes. It also takes wellness beyond the spa and gym with yoga mats in the bedrooms and a Plant Pals scheme where you can request live foliage for your room.

Treatment highlights

Kimpton Charlotte Square has a luxurious treatment menu with something for everyone from award winning British spa brands Ishga and Oskia. The spa has a close link with Hebrides-based Ishga, whose products contain nutrients derived from seaweed which it harvests from the Scottish Isles.

The Sound Wellness room was created by Charlotte Square and Ishga, and was born from a mutual love of, and respect for nature. The pair teamed up with Scottish DJ Brian D’Souza who created an original nature-oriented soundscape to promote deep relaxation.

The experience is a touch-free therapy (there’s no therapist involved) which has been designed to use sound to coax brain and body into a deeply relaxed state. Combining natural recordings from the Hebrides, with dual-frequency beats, the soundtrack effectively takes you on a 40-minute sound journey to deep relaxation.

We were invited by Kimpton Charlotte Square hotel to try this innovative therapy for ourselves.

Firstly, the Ishga/Swell sound experience is unlike anything I’ve tried before. I’ve enjoyed many a sound bath, and am a believer in the restorative powers of a 20-minute guided power nap, but this was new to me. And I’ll be honest, as I lay back on the chair with my mind a flurry of thoughts on everything from my work ‘to do’ list and travel plans, to remembering my locker code, I was sceptical about whether this treatment was going to work for me.

I was shown to the small and cocooning room by the friendly Spa Manager who made sure the candlelit space with as comfortable as possible for me: Recliner temperature optimum? Check. Head support the right height? Yep. Blanket secure. Also yep. Headphones adjusted and sound playing at a comfortable volume? Affirmative. We were ready for take-off – or at least drift off. I was left in privacy to enjoy the treatment in my own secure space, away from any interruptions.

As soon as I lay back and started to think about…not thinking about anything, I began to wonder if my brain was cut out for this experience, and contemplated whether I was going to be able to give this a fair shot. I was probably overthinking it I realised, but it was mid-morning after all, and I wasn’t feeling particularly sleep deprived.

As the sound of breaking waves started to resonate around my ear canal, I began to ease into the experience, and decided that it didn’t really matter whether the treatment ‘worked’ or not. I was enjoying listening to the soothing soundtrack. I must have lain there for about five to ten minutes, breathing slowly and just listening. And here ends my review really. Because, the next thing I knew, I had a sensation of being ‘back in the room’ and that the aural journey was reaching its destination. I felt slightly disoriented, in a pleasant way, realising that the treatment had ‘worked’ and that the bed and sounds had taken me to a place of deep relaxation. In fact, I had very possibly fallen asleep, though happily there was no-one in the room to witness any snoring.

The Spa Manager returned to the room and left me for a couple of minutes to reacclimatise before showing me to the Relaxation Room for a drink.

rooms

Kimpton Charlotte Square has 184 rooms and 15 suites in total spread across the run of stylish Georgian townhouses.

We didn’t stay on this occasion but had a peek at the impressive Town Suite with its large and lovely separate lounge and boujee bathroom. The hotel even has its own self-contained ‘hotel within a hotel’ at no. 33 if you’re after the privacy of your own place but with the luxury and convenience of a 5-star hotel.

For maximum wellness vibes, the Swell Suite allows you to continue the spa vibes and self-care in your own space, with Ishga shower scrubs and body oil supplied and complimentary vitamin-filled mocktails and CBD-rich chocolate in the mini bar.

Accessible rooms are available.

wining & dining

Kimpton Charlotte square has two popular restaurants: Baba and Aizle.

Both restaurants have a great reputation but with a different vibe. Baba’s the go-to for Middle Eastern meets Mediterranean cuisine with a great grill. It’s a lively, colourful and flavoursome dining experience with cocktails to match.

The second restaurant, Aizle, takes over the The Garden space to deliver an imaginative and seasonal fine dining experience with a seven-course tasting menu. Aizle, sister restaurant to Edinburgh’s popular Noto, is open in the evening, Wednesday to Sunday, and prides itself on sourcing the very best produce. It also makes everything it can itself, from the live ferment for its Sourdough, to the kombucha for its cocktails. We like their wine list concept too, offering a ‘globetrotting wine list that shines a light on smaller producers’.

why so spavellous?

Kimpton Charlotte Square has the best of pretty much everything. It’s a stylish hotel in a great location with two top-notch dining options, lovely lounges and a relaxing boutique spa space with a cool pool and luxurious treatments. The sound wellness space is an original and enjoyable concept and adds another level to the hotel’s wellness experience.

spavellous tips

Check out the Swell Suite for a wellness-oriented stay.

spa-goers say

‘I try to come to the hotel for a swim most days – it feels like a real treat if I can make it at lunchtime.’

‘I haven’t tried the Sound Wellness rooms yet, but it sounds cool.’

‘I just had an Oskia Radiance Renewal Facial and my skin’s glowing.’

WEBSITE

aDDRESS

38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, EH2 4HQ

sAT NAV

EH2 4HQ
Photo: Spavellous
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