Scarlet Spy tries a Kohler Waters Signature Facial
Take me with you…
Picture a five-star hotel which sits alongside the most famous golf course in the world – The Old Course. Along with 175 bedrooms, including a penthouse suite, the hotel is just a short walk from the stunning West Sands Beach and the North Sea. The cobbled streets and ancient castles of St Andrews are all within walking distance, too, not forgetting the third oldest university in the English-speaking world.
Shall we spa?
The hotel is not just for golfers with Kohler Waters Spa at the Old Course Hotel the first Kohler spa experience found outside the USA. The spa focuses on the therapeutic and healing properties of natural, mineral-rich waters.
Head to the changing rooms to find your fluffy robe, slippers and towel waiting for you in your allocated locker. You’ll find Comfort Zone Tranquillity products dotted throughout (one of our favs). There’s a steam room here, too.
Follow the signs to the 20-metre adults-only spa pool – with a waterfall at one end - perfect for swimming laps, or simply unravel on one of eight pool-side loungers. A door from here leads to the hydrotherapy pool – with its powerful swan neck jet for pummelling stressed-out shoulders. We followed the thermal spa journey map and sauntered between the sauna, steam room and experience showers before cooling with the ice fountain. Feeling pumped, we gingerly climbed down the steps and dunked our shoulders under the icy cold water in the 2.3m plunge pool – emerging 30 seconds later with an invigorated squeal.
Wait for your treatment on one of the comfy purple chairs in the stylish spa lounge; help yourself to coffee or fruit water and thumb one of the many magazines; there’s a big bowl of crisp green apples to devour if you’re feeling peckish, too.
We tried the Kohler Waters Signature Facial (80 minutes, £170).
My therapist, Lisa, collected me from the spa lounge and led me to through a low-lit corridor to one of the 13 treatment rooms. Lisa explained that the treatment uses French brand, Phytomer, who use marine biotechnology; sea water, sea plants and sea weed are the main ingredients - all sourced from Brittany’s coastline.
Lisa then left me to disrobe and lie face down on the bed before returning to start a back exfoliation. Turning on to my front, the facial commenced with three deep inhalations before a double cleanse, tone and exfoliation. Lisa then moved to an arm and hand exfoliation before using a brush to apply heated cream – the sensation of the gentle brushstrokes felt heavenly on my skin, relaxing me instantly.
Lisa then popped my hands into heated mitts and applied a thick and cooling marine samphire setting mask to my face – which felt incredibly soothing – before performing a foot and leg massage. By this time, I was utterly relaxed.
Lisa removed the mitts and massaged my arms with long flowing strokes. She then peeled off the face mask in one go, before using both hot and cold stones as part of a pressure point face massage – paying extra attention to the tender ethmoidal sinuses between my eyes.
Lisa concluded the treatment with a spritz of Phytomer Marine Mist hydration spray: a seaside-scented fragrance that increases happy hormones, beta endorphins; all the therapists here have their own bottle to spritz whenever they need a quick pick-me-up. Lisa handed me a glass of water and led me to the Deep Relaxation room - sumptuously dark, I curled up on one of the comfy loungers under a blanket.
How did it measure up?
The top-to-toe treatment was truly blissful and nurturing; my skin felt deeply nourished. Lisa was confident and knowledgeable so I immediately knew I was in good hands. It was also lovely to try an interesting brand not found in many UK spas.
Spot of lunch?
Stroll to the Spa Café in your robe for a glass of Laurent Perrier Rose and very tasty lunch. We feasted on melt-in-your mouth Balgove pork ramen; my spa partner opted for the chicken Thai noodle salad with lime and sweet chilli dressing, and was equally complimentary. For dessert we shared a seasonal fruit platter - with a very more-ish honey kefir and mint syrup. Soups, sandwiches, salads and Crostini are all on the menu – with gluten/dairy free, vegan and vegetarian options.
Got all day?
Book one of spa’s bathing treatments - after an enthusiastic body brush, submerge yourself in the SŌK overflowing bath by Kohler; the chroma-therapy full-colour spectrum feature allows you to literally bathe in rainbows. What’s not to love?
If you fancy getting in on the golf action (and why wouldn’t you in St. Andrews?) try your hand at The Swing Studio. The Old Course Hotel’s golf simulator is perfect for lessons, warming up or playing any of the 60 famous golf courses across the world. For a more authentic experience head out onto the putting green or driving range for some golf tuition with a PGA-qualified professional.