An Oasis in Ayrshire

A spa day and an overnight away at one of the best spa hotels in Scotland.  It’s the stuff of dreams.  Getting away from it, the day-to-day responsibilities isn’t always that easy and getting AWAY away is even harder.  But what if you could get AWAY away and it would only take you 40 minutes?  I promise you.  Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you The Gailes Hotel and Spa…

By Tracy Mukherjee

When I was little, we had one week away a year for our holidays.  That week was at a caravan between Prestwick and Troon – and we thought we were living the dream.  In myself and my brother’s and sister’s heads the journey was arduous.  So much so we had to stop halfway to stretch our legs.  In fact, it was just over an hour!

But we WERE away.  Gorgeous beaches, the smell of the sea… oh and the chippy in Prestwick.  There’s something about being beside the sea that really does lift you away from the toiles of life.  

Ten minutes from Troon, just outside Irvine, lies The Gailes Hotel and Spa.  The hotel sits on the stretch of Ayrshire coastline which is pretty much the Costa del Golf.  Some of the most world-renowned links courses are here, so to say the hotel is well situated is a little bit of an understatement.  

Best Spa Hotels Scotland

We are here for a lovely little overnight stay but first, we are partaking of some TLC in The Gailes purpose build Si Spa.  Our Summer Spacation package includes use of the thermal suite, the outdoor spa facilities and a spa treatment. Plus, there’s a gorgeous light lunch included. 

And Breathe…

It’s a hard day at the office, but I take one for the Westender team.  First, it’s a relaxing hour in the thermal suite.  Bliss.  Hubby and I, who seems to have muscled in on this particular work trip, have access to the enormous vitality pool/jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and rain shower.  What is so lovely and unique about Si Spa is that from the thermal suite you can wander outside to the terrace.  There you can enjoy the outdoor whirlpool, relax with a smoothie by the firepit or have a snooze on the loungers.

Best Spa Hotels Scotland

Almost too quickly it’s time for our treatments.  The soothing spa area has a calming blue light as you consult with your therapist on the treatment you are about to have.  I plumped for the back, neck and shoulder massage plus facial.  And my goodness, these therapists are experts in their field.

Feeling, it must be said, slightly drunk I’m so relaxed I reconvene with equally dazed hubby and it’s time for an utterly delicious lunch in the sun.  Is there anything The Gailes can’t do?  Because our light lunch is delicious: a gorgeous red wine-soaked pear and blue cheese salad.  We may have added some parmesan fries, but don’t tell anyone.

An utterly delightful time was had by all… 

But wait!  We still have our overnight. And that’s why it feels like being AWAY away. I am already significantly more chilled than 3 hours earlier, having travelled little distance from home and enjoyed some unadulterated me time.  

Bliss Inside and Out

The seascape design noted in Si Spa continues into the interiors of the hotel.  I tip my hat to their designer: the tones of teal, blue and mustard give the hotel’s central areas an aura of the sea, whilst maintaining a warm, welcoming vibe.  The outside area is utterly beautiful too.  Whilst hubby partakes of a beverage on the Coast Restaurant and Bar’s terrace, I take the opportunity to have a wander round the gardens.  There has been a wedding earlier and the peels of joyful conversation lilt from the function room, down to the bandstand pavilion where the happy couple earlier stood, hand in hand.  It’s a beautiful afternoon as I stand on the little jetty between the pavilion and the pond where a lively fountain shoots jets of water into the air.  And I think, why have I never known about this stunning little haven?

Our ‘standard’ room is anything but. Overlooking the gardens and fountain, it has an enormous king size bed plus luxury toiletries, courtesy of the Scottish Fine Soap Company.  Time for a quick cat nap before dinner, but is there anything better on an overnight away than the restaurant LITERALLY being downstairs?

Nom Nom Time

The Coast restaurant is busy.  It’s a Friday night, the weather is glorious; everyone is happy.  The staff at The Gailes are genuinely some of the most pleasant young men and women I’ve encountered in the hospitality industry. Friendly, interested and knowledgeable about the dining and wine options, it’s a pleasure to kick back and enjoy our rather gorgeous meal. 

Best Spa Hotels Scotland

And then it’s time to travel to bed-lington for an absolutely blissful sleep. And no six am wake-up call from child number two. 

With breakfast included in our deal, it’s a slow start as it’s served until 10.30am! And what’s more, although there is a small buffet, breakfast is made to order – so no queue for the cooked breakfast items. I sit back, enjoy my cappuccino and feel thoroughly revitalised…

So how would I sum up our trip to The Gailes Hotel and Spa?

The Gailes is owned by the independent hotel group SimpsInns, a family run business who own several hospitality venues across Ayrshire.  And I say to them, keep doing what you’re doing.  I’ve visited some of the best spa hotels in Scotland and The Gailes is a weighty contender. If this is the standard that independent Scottish hoteliers can achieve, I am completely sold.  The Si Spa can easily compete with the best of the day spas in Scotland and The Gailes Hotel?  A total surprise, a lovely surprise and one that I can’t wait to revisit.    

WIN! For your chance to win a fantastic spa break at The Gailes Hotel and Spa click HERE

Best Spa Hotels Scotland

The Gailes Hotel and Spa
Marine Dr, Irvine KA11 5AE
t:01294 204040

For more of the best spa hotels in Scotland return to Travel and Leisure Articles


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