The UK was battered by snow, wind and bad weather with temperatures plummeting below freezing in most parts of the country; I was dreaming off hotter temperatures. With knee deep in winter I was feeling a little de-energised and experiencing winter blues, but luckily I received an email with the invitation to a group press trip to stay at Old Course Hotel and experience the newly renovated Kohler Waters Spa. As soon as I saw the email, I RSVPed immediately as nothing could top beating winter blues more than warming spa treatments and uplifting scents.
We headed to Kohler Water Spa at Old Course Hotel on a fast virgin east coast train as that felt like the most comfortable option over flying. The journey from London Kings Cross to Leuchars (which is the nearest station ) was around 5 1/2 hours. However, I didn’t realise how time flew as my mind was bust admiring the beauty of the landscape from lush fields, forests to the cinematic beauty of the coastline; the country never looked more beautiful from the train window.
Once we arrived at Leuchars station, our taxi was waiting for us, and we were whisked away to the hotel. On arrival, our luggage soon disappeared into the hands of the eager staff that carried it to our room. The spa director and the hotel manager soon came in to welcome us. We were offered a glass of bubbly which set me off a good mood. After the check-in process Kirsty, the spa director escorted us to our rooms. I knew from the itinerary that we were going to be given the old course suite however once I went in it was a treat to my eyes.
The décor of the old course suite was a beautiful mix of classic and contemporary, using inspiration from Scottish traditions highlighted with luxurious details providing personality. The suite had floor to ceiling glass doors that opened to a private balcony with panoramic views of the Old Course and the sea beyond. Luxury, comfort and relaxation were at the heart of this room; deep comfortable mattresses, indulgent fine bedlinen, low lighting, spacious lounge area, luxurious bathroom with chromotherapy bath, rain shower, extra toilet, silk curtains, silk wallpapers and luxury robes.
After settling in, we went for a walk to the beach which was just on the edge of the lush green golf course. Although it was very windy and cold, we enjoyed the sun go-down and felt so relaxed in this pristine setting.
After the walk when I reached my room a lovely glass of champagne and canapés were sent over. I enjoyed the glass of champagne and canapés while admiring the panoramic views from the suite.
I quickly changed and got ready for pre-dinner drinks at the Road Hole Bar with the group. The Road Hole bar which overlooks the old course is known for its wide selection of whiskies and cocktails. We bonded over a glass of cocktail and got to know more about Kohler Waters Spa from Kirsty. Shortly after we headed to the Road Hole Restaurant for dinner.
The glamorous and elegant Road Hole restaurant had two well-deserved Rosettes and looked like the perfect place to enjoy a fine dining experience. The food was brilliant I had the perfectly cooked scallops for starters, for the main course I chose the Grey Sole fillet with crab and crushed potatoes. Kirsty ordered some oysters and chateaubriand which we tasted and honestly I don’t think I have eaten better oysters anywhere else.
For dessert, I chose the Lingonberry parfait and the complimentary dessert wine. It was a perfect ending to our delicious 3-course meal.
I had requested for a quick tour of the spa after dinner which Kirsty kindly accepted, following her lead, we walked through each part of the spa. She was generous with her time and attention, taking us through each area in the spa while describing how everything was conceived keeping the customer in mind and providing utmost comfort and luxury.
I decided to call an early night as I was looking forward to the next day of spa treatments and relaxation in the spa.
In the morning soon after some amazing buffet of hot Scottish breakfast in the top floor Road Hole Restaurant, I went down to the spa. The receptionist welcomed me, and I was given a form to fill up, she also quickly showed me around the spa facilities and changing rooms. I filled in the form and made my way to the changing room. The changing room was bright and airy big enough with key card lockers which I learned Kohler Waters Spa is the first to implement in the U.K. The locker is packed with soft luxury robes, slippers and a towel for your use at the spa.
There were plenty of showers with full-size body products, and the vanity area had hair dryers, straighteners and a great selection of beauty products. I quickly changed into my spa attire and waited for my therapist in the beautiful waiting area while sipping some herbal tea.
My therapist soon arrived and took me to the treatment room. The treatment room had a moody ambience with relaxing scents. It had heated beds that could be adjusted for optimal comfort. It also had triangle pillows and comfortable linen. I remembered Kirsty had mentioned that she wanted guests to feel at home and it definitely felt like that. The room temperature was perfect, and the music was appropriate to relax the mind and body.
I was excited about the Kohler Waters Spa signature wrap that I chose. The wrap started with the gentle exfoliation using a marine sponge, and my body was drenched in warm oil. I was enjoying the therapist rubbing the hot oil on my body, I had severe body ache, and this started to loosen my muscles. After I was completely drenched in oil, fresh lavender petals were scattered over my body which completely relaxed every muscle in my body. The hot oil left the skin feeling very soft, and the lavender petal had a calming effect on the mind. I felt relaxed but energised at the same time.
While I was wrapped in oil and lavender and cocooned in warmth, the facial began with Phytomer gentle cleansing milk followed by sprayed on toner. She then began to massage my face using cold stones; I cannot describe in words how relaxing it felt being massaged by stones on the forehead, nose and cheeks. I had never experienced facial using this amazing technique. The facial continued with pore heating mask, and it felt nice and warm. While the mask was drying, the therapist massaged my head, and it was so good that I almost dozed off.I was extremely pleased with the results. Not only did my skin feel very soft and hydrated, any unevenness disappeared, and I was glowing.
The treatment went on for 75 mins and was quite a head to toe experience. After the wrap session, I was taken to the relaxation lounge which had moody décor, plush carpets, single beds with plump cushion and curtains where one can relax after treatment and have some light refreshments. The best part was that you could also connect your phone via Bluetooth to personalise the music. It was a little sanctuary which helped to ease me in a complete state of relaxation.
My therapist soon came to pick me up for my next treatment which was the Kohler signature massage. During the previous wrap treatment, the therapist recognised I had muscle pain in my back and shoulders and customised the massage to focus on those areas. Before the massage began, the therapist told me to take three deep inhalations of the Kohler signature scent. Breathing the scent helped to infuse the nose and lungs with the chosen scent and stimulated the system. Then came lovely a foot massage to stimulate pressure points followed by a deep body massage. The deep massage started with slower stroked and pressure was applied more strongly, concentrated on my problem areas. The massage stimulated blood flow, bringing oxygen to help with cell growth and repair. At certain points during the massage, I experienced some discomfort which my therapist already mentioned is expected when the pressure is deep and direct on the painful areas. She asked me to take a deep breath when I felt discomfort as knots were being released. She also added some more oil to relax the muscles. The therapist was without a doubt well trained and passionate as she was successful in finding all my knots and completely eased my body stiffness. I never felt so pain-free after a massage, and it felt like I got a new Lease of Life. I loved the signature scent oil used for the massage which balanced and invigorated all my senses.
Soon after the spa session, I went to the Spa Café for lunch with the group. I was practically ravenous. I shared a chicken soup for starters, and for the main course, I ordered Fish Crostini. Three selection of fish accompanied the Crostini; it tasted so good that I practically left my plate spotless.
Rest of the afternoon I used the extensive thermal suite which had experience showers, hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and plunge pool and ice fountain. Although I spent most time at the hydrotherapy pool and the scented steam room, which provided deep muscular relaxation and detoxification.
After a relaxing day at the spa, I got ready for pre-dinner drinks at the famous Jigger Inn. I bonded with the everyone as we discussed our travels, life and work, over a drink.
Dinner was arranged at the Sands restaurant for us that night. The menu at Sands was innovative and enlivened. It took me on a gastronomic journey blending finest cuisine with fresh locally sourced produced through west coast mussels with white wine and herb cream, Seabass with lemon crushed potato, samphire, mussel and chorizo sauce before finishing with delicious tiramisu.
It wasn’t just relaxing spa treatments and delicious food; we also got to invited to after dinner whisky tasting in the Tasting Room on the fourth floor. The Whisky Sommelier gave us a background on the whiskey, explained us the production process and provided an in-depth tasting experience of three pre-selected whiskies. I had never tasted whiskey before this session, and I was pleasantly surprised how a drop of water could alter the taste.
The evening ended on a high note and we got back to our rooms. The next morning, I woke up more alert, relaxed and energised even after the so many drinks. I feel it’s because the property is near the sea and sea air is said to be charged with healthy negative ions that accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen and balance our mood.
It was the last morning already, and the trip was coming to an end so made sure I enjoyed all the delights of Kohler Waters Spa before checking out. I said farewell to my excellent room, our amicable and friendly hosts, and the whole peace and calm I had become used to during my stay. Before going back to London we headed to St Andrews with the group for fish and chips and gelato.
Kohler Waters Spa at Old Course Hotel is the place where you can relax and unwind in luxury, the spa retreat is a haven where you can slow down, lounge around in your robe, experience delicious yet healthy cuisines and enjoy the state of the art spa facilities. Spending two night at Kohler Waters Spa at Old Course Hotel was incredibly rejuvenating.