The Spa at Kimpton Blythswood Square

The lowdown

Combining a hip hotel with a lovely spa, the Kimpton Blythswood Square hotel is a great choice for a spa break in the city. It’s centrally located to make a great base for a Glasgow city break and offers some delightful extras to ensure your stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

As you cross the pillared threshold of the stately stone building that was once the home of The Royal Scottish Automobile Club, you’re struck by the hotel’s grandeur.

Across the shiny monochrome lobby, a grand piano sits beneath a long trailing chandelier opposite the hotel’s bar and restaurant, Iasg (pronounced ‘ee-usk’). Staff are friendly and the hotel has a welcoming, unstuffy atmosphere.

Head down a floor and you’ll reach Blythswood Square’s award-winning spa, a collection of inviting thermal experiences with pools, saunas, steam room and a snow shower, plus nine treatment rooms. The spa experiences will easily keep you entertained for a two-hour session and hotel guests can continue the wellness vibe in their bedrooms, where yoga mats and relaxing soundtracks are provided.

Spavellous for

City spa escape, romantic spa break, dog friendly stay, pescatarians, relaxation seekers, collectors of IHG hotel points

Spa info

The spa is made up of a suite of thermal experiences and nine treatment rooms. It’s smart, professionally run and a good size so it’s clear why spa-goers rate it the best spa in Glasgow.

As you enter the spa’s wood-walled reception area, the pace and light levels are dialled down and plants, natural fabrics and images of nature help to create a sense of intimate relaxation.

I sat here enjoying the calm and completed my health questionnaire before being taken through to the changing area where I was given a locker with flip flops, refillable water bottle and a large, soft spa robe. I was booked in for a two-hour spa session followed by Blythswood Square’s Signature Ishga Sound Therapy treatment.

Robe on, I made my way through the changing rooms to the main spa. The wet spa area is centred around a large marble-tiled vitality pool with underwater benches that spring into bubbly life at regular intervals. The pool area is a gently lit, calming space which has beautiful images of Hebridean seascapes projected onto one wall, adding to the sense of escapism. There’s a moody dark cave at one end, with a fairy-lit ceiling, and realistic crashing waves which come on at regular intervals, causing entertaining jump scares for oblivious cave dwellers.

At the other end of the ‘Flodaigh’ vitality pool there’s a large sauna with a huge picture window that overlooks the water. All the spa experiences are named after Hebridean islands, a reflection of the hotel’s pride in its national identity as well as its nature-loving approach.

Three double cabanas overlook the pool, with the bubbling water creating a relaxing spa-vibed backdrop. There are plenty of hooks to hang towels and robes on if the cabanas are all taken.

Alongside the pool there are various other heat experiences:

A tepidarium, Errid, with five subtly lit mosaic recliners.

The Jura Hydro Pool – a circular mosaiced room with soft blue lighting and circular metal benches with a central feisty-jetted geyser.

The warm Staffa Salt Room with its mottled amber salt rock walls

Soay – large and powerful showers

The cosy Dun sauna, little sister to the glass-fronted Flodaigh

Around the corner you’ll find the Pabay crystal steam room with glossy black marble and an illuminated amethyst in the corner.

There’s also an Alpine snow room further round, where, at the press of a button, a flurry of snowflakes will drift down to put the chill into your chillout. With illuminated images of sunlit trees, it original and fun space that creates a bright snowy escape, with ski holiday vibes but without the cost and resort crowds.

Finally, there’s the Swona ice fountain, another option for anyone looking to boost their circulation with some contrast therapy.

The Spa team has created several guides for wellness journeys within the spa and spa guests can take their pick depending on their wellness goal.

The spa’s open from 7.30am – 8pm, over 16s only.

Residents’ hours are 7.30-9.30am and 5pm-8pm and anyone staying at the hotel is asked to arrive in their swimmers and robes as lockers are reserved for spa day guests and members.

There’s a gym with free weights and cardio equipment and hotel guests are provided with yoga mats in their rooms for use during their stay.

Treatment highlights

The Spa at Blythswood Square offers treatments by two nutrient-rich British spa brands: Oskia and Scottish seaweed brand Ishga. I was booked in for the Ishga Sound Treatment which combines a scrub, massage and a facial using products infused with seaweed nutrients, and a soundtrack created especially for the treatment and featuring sounds of the Hebrides.

I was led by my therapist along the moss-walled corridors to one of the spacious treatment rooms which had subdued lighting and a cosy, cocooning feel with a comfy wide massage table at the centre. The nature-rich soundtrack had already started, with breaking waves signalling the start of the treatment. It kicked off with an instruction to take three slow inhalation breaths, then the therapist wrapped my feet in hot towels.

Next, she proceeded to scrub my back with Hebridean Salt Scrub which felt pleasantly rough, effective, and invigorating, leaving my skin feeling tingly and awake. Then came a particularly soothing back and shoulder massage where the therapist used her forearms for additional pressure and hot stones to deliver tension-easing warmth directly to my muscles. I could feel the laptop-induced knots slipping away, along with my consciousness which was being led to the Hebrides by the meditative soundtrack.

Before I knew it, it was time for the facial. Once I’d rolled over onto my back and the therapist had made sure of my continued comfort, she started to cleanse my face and apply seaweed nutrient infused facial products, including antioxidant-rich lotions, toner, balms, oil and a serum. The products all smelled fresh and indulgent, and this part of the treatment was as relaxing as the massage and almost meditative.

Once the 90-minute treatment had come to an end, I was led to the relaxation room and given a cup of herbal tea. I felt blissfully zoned-out and was happy to spend a while gradually returning to reality. I was glad I’d used the wet spa facilities before having the treatment as I wouldn’t have wanted to shower off the lovely products.

I would recommend this super-relaxing treatment for anyone looking for a treat for mind, body and skin. It’s a great all-rounder with it including a scrub as well as the thorough back massage and facial.

rooms

The 112 smart bedrooms have benefitted from recent refurbishment and range from entry level Essential rooms to the next-level Penthouse Suite. Bathrooms feature polished marble and come with fluffy robes and slippers to cocoon you on your way down to the spa. Guests can also take advantage of the Hotel’s Plant Pals service and request plants for their room at no extra charge to brighten their mood and stay.

Premium Rooms and above have a free minibar. The Penthouse Suite comes with its own rooftop garden, Ishga shower products, choice of spirit or Champagne bar, a packing and unpacking service, and a Peloton bike. There are also accessible and interconnecting rooms, and some will accommodate an extra bed for children. Under twelves stay free.

Kimpton Blythswood Square is positively dog-welcoming too and offers a PAWfect Stay package for hotel hounds. There’s no extra charge for pets and the hotel can provide everything from dog beds to food bowls, on request. One proud Pug owner we met in reception said Kimpton Blythswood Square was the most dog friendly hotel he’d stayed in in the UK.

wining & dining

The restaurant at Kimpton Blythswood Square is large, light and stylish with a central bar, and serves a good buffet breakfast with à la carte options too. My breakfast tea was served with a pokey ginger shot, giving a nod towards the wellness vibe and Blythswood Square’s guest profile.

At lunch and dinner Iasg, apparently derived from the Gaelic word for fish, transforms itself into a ‘spirited Scottish seafood restaurant’. There’s a focus on sustainability and the seafood’s all sourced from Scottish waters.

We only ate breakfast at the hotel but loved the energy of the place. The décor is clean and contemporary with hints of nature. Tables flanked by olive banquettes, are illuminated by clusters of sea urchinesque pendant lights and the bar is decorated with scalloped aqua coloured tiles.

Like at all Kimpton hotels, you can enjoy a free glass of wine and chat during the Social Hour, held in the lobby every evening from 5-6pm.

why so spavellous?

The Kimpton Blyswood Square hits the spot for us as a great all-rounder. It’s hip but unpretentious and pulls off the historic-building-with-contemporary-interior positioning perfectly. Staff are friendly and helpful, and the spa offers a great multisensory experience with top-notch treatments. An appreciation for nature and wellbeing permeates throughout, from the in-room yoga mats to the natural elements in the spa and cool borrow-a-plant service. We found watching the waves lapping the creamy Hebridean beaches particularly relaxing.

spavellous tips

If you’re planning on combining a trip to the spa with a treatment, we recommend using the wet spa facilities first so that you don’t have to wash off the lovely lotions and potions.

spa-goers say

‘I came here for my birthday and loved the variety in the spa’.

‘My favourite bit was the blue jacuzzi pool room – I could have stayed in there for hours!’

‘The best spa I’ve been to in Scotland.’

WEBSITE

aDDRESS

The Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, 11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4AD

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G2 4AD
Photo: Spavellous
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