Spas We Love: The Guerlain Spa, Edinburgh
Much as we'd love to, we can't get to every spa in the UK. So, because we were absolutely itching to find out about Guerlain's first British spa, we dispatched a trusted friend (and former beauty colleague), Rachel Meddowes - mother of a three-year-old, with an Edinburgh-based interior design business of her own (www.rachelmeddowes.com), and therefore someone always deserving of some pampering. Rachel writes:
'Seeking out a spa that combines top line beauty treatments, chic-ness, glamour and class with seriously good pastoral care is not an easy task in Edinburgh - well, that is, until now. The wonderfully stylish people at Guerlain Paris have very kindly decided that the destination for their only UK spa is here at The Caledonian Hotel. They want us to experience beauty their way - and hurray: Frenchwomen have always been so good at enhancing their looks and indulging themselves, and now it is our turn.
Thirty seconds away from the bustle of the West End of Princes Street and through the glass doors you enter a different world of Parisenneness: this is the Guerlain World, one where comfort, nurture and spoiling are key. Oh là là! An elegant reception with a sublime perfume and make-up studio for browsing and playing is more than enough to set the tone. The entire look and feel is one of sophistication. Think: fantastic proportions, generous treatment rooms with every add-on possible; a state of the art manicure and pedicure salon, all with clean lines, crisp white textured walls, touches of dove grey, gold and proper chandeliers.
The low lighting and generous duvet topped loungers in the cosy Relaxation Room, ensure that your pre- and post-treatment ‘rests’ are properly relaxing. Take advantage of the time and help yourself to the bar of juices, herbal teas, fruit and healthy snacks, read glossy magazines or in my case dream of the two and half hours ahead of being turned into a 'Parisiene Chic Lady' in the presence of Head Therapist Joanna, for the signature facial: the Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Prestige Treatment, £250.
To call this a facial is almost absurd; it far exceeds that, starting (as all their treatments do) with a tailor-made fragrance journey and foot bath laced with your chosen Guerlain scent (Insolence). You are then transported to nirvana via cleansing with kabuki brushes, with the softest bristles ever to ensure a super deep clean and a few zzzzz’s . This is followed by either an eye brow wax or lash tint – and with the grooming out of the way, the time had come for full luxe, with two masks (hydrating and radiance), a paraffin wax hand treatment, generous scalp and foot massages, then 25 minutes of blissful facial massage.
The finale is an application of make up, choose your style, colours, the way you like it to be done and voilà! Suffice to say this was all beautifully and professionally executed: Guerlain’s know-how ensures that their therapists are trained within an inch of their lives.
They of course offer a full range of facials, massages, body polishes, waxing, tints, make-up lessons plus hand and foot treatments. I was rather taken by the suitably French sounding, Slim & Firm Silhouette and the Pure and Radiant Back Treatment for next time...
I just wanted my time at the Guerlain Spa to last forever. However, with a spritz of my beloved Jicky, I swanned out of the glass doors at least half a foot taller with a glowing radiant skin and a beautifully yet totally natural looking-made up face.'
Guerlain Spa at The Caledonian, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 2AB/0131-222 8836 www.guerlainspaedinburgh.com