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W Edinburgh’s Away Spa is an oasis of relaxation in the city

I’d been to the W Edinburgh on a couple of occasions, mainly to enjoy the cocktails and take in the views from its impressive rooftop terrace and bar. But despite considering myself as a bit of a regular I hadn’t noticed that the hotel has its own spa.

The Away spa opened along with the hotel late last year and it appears to be one of the capital’s best kept secrets.

Reception smells amazing and I’m warmly welcomed by the spa manager on arrival. The treatment rooms are themed around the elements – fire, earth, water and air.

The Away Spa is also one of the only spas in the UK to have a sand bed. Inspired by the age-old tradition of sand bathing, relaxing on this bed is thought to provide anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.

But I’ll need to wait to have my Lawrence of Arabia moment, because today I’m having a 30-minute targeted back, neck and shoulder massage. I’m led along an almost impossibly bright, white corridor before entering the impressive and spacious treatment room. I’m in the fire -themed room and it feels like a warm sanctuary.

My therapist Nuha talks me through the treatment and any areas of concern that I might have. Thankfully I’m in for a penny when it comes to a foot scrub, badly needed after a winter of hiding away in woolly socks. And I’d never say no to incorporating some hot stones into my treatment. The massage table is supremely comfortable and Nuha is a skilled masseuse.

The Comfort range of products provides waves of pleasing aromas that waft around me as I try not to drool into the incredibly soft and fluffy towel I’m lying on. I’m only on the table for 30 minutes, but I feel looser and the sense of relaxation is increasing exponentially. But the massage is only the beginning of this precious little bit of me time that I’ve somehow managed to carve out.

Swaddled in a robe and slippers, Nuha leads me back into the almost-ultraviolet corridor and further into the belly of the spa. Here, behind an innocuous looking door she reveals a blissful private haven that is to be all for me for the next hour.

The private spa suite features such delights as a hot tub, sauna and one of those wonderful spa showers that everyone would love to have at home. The ones that fall like warm rain and you can steam yourself while the ambient lighting alters to match the jets. There’s even a sumptuous Ishga salt scrub that left my skin feeling soft and smooth.

So, after a suitably long soak in the tub and an invigorating sauna I’m ready to spruce up before heading back into the real world.

Helped along by the Dyson hairdryer and straighteners provided, I leave with my skin feeling better than it has in a very long time, but more importantly I’m relaxed and refreshed and ready to return to grown-up duties with a spring in my step.

The private suite is possibly designed more with couples in mind, but if you are in need of some time for yourself, I’d heartily recommend this as a treat.

The 30 minutes targeted treatment massage costs £60 and you can have private use of the spa suite for £55 per person for an hour.

W Edinburgh, 1 St James Square, Edinburgh EH1 3AX. 0131 388 8000


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