Set on a 520-acre coastal estate, Fairmont St Andrews offers extensive golf, leisure, and spa facilities and is only three miles away from the iconic St Andrews Castle. The Spa can be found on the ground floor of the hotel and offers a range of treatments which include locally-themed massages, facial and relaxation therapies, from spa brands Ishga and ESPA The spa comprises of a 16 metre pool with loungers, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi complete the relaxation facilities. Those who wish to work out during their visit, a fully equipped gymnasium with cardio vascular machines and classes including pilates, spinning and boxercise are available.
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- 16m swimming pool
- Steam room
- Spa pool
- Lifestyle shower
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Luxury hotel group Fairmont has created a destination in its own right in the home of golf, with access to two championship golf courses, breathtaking cliff-top views of the North Sea, delicious dining options and a spa. The coastal road to the hotel runs alongside one of the golf courses; the long driveway leading to an imposing modern building set within the 520-acre estate.
The reception area is grand and impressive, with a gigantic marble hearth; mirrors shine on either side, while huge sofas and armchairs fill the space. Enormous art adorns the walls.
The spa can be found in a huge light-filled atrium on the floor below. Floating over this space is a 60-metre kinetic artwork called Zephyr, with twenty thousand metal discs resembling a cloud that twists and turns as the sun changes throughout the day. Step out of the lift and look left for the green mermaid-tailed spa sign.
What's on offer?
The spa’s own reception is spacious and beautifully laid out. Wall cabinets display an array of spa products from ESPA and ishga; take a pew on the wooden bench or driftwood-backed stools. At the reception desk, friendly staff welcomed us and took us on a tour of the facilities.
Spa goers will walk down a long, wide passageway to reach the changing rooms – these have a distinctively health-club feel to them with banks of wooden L-shaped lockers lining the walls (it’s combination lock so don’t forget your code (like we did)). Inside you’ll find your robe, towel and slippers. The three showers with frosted-glass doors are each stocked with ESPA body wash, shampoo and conditioner. There are banks of soft towels and two private cubicles to change in, too. The Vanity stations have four hairdryers.
There’s lots of space around the 16-metre pool for plenty of loungers; along the length of the outside wall is a set of French doors that open onto the grounds. At one end there’s a hot tub (which was out of service on our visit); the other a separate splash-pool for children.
The aromatherapy steam room and wooden sauna nearby seat four or five people comfortably and were nice and hot on our visit. Cool down between toasting with a bucket shower or cold-water experience shower.
Your therapist will collect you from the low-lit pre-treatment relaxation room - a calm space with green tones, funky prints on the wall and a selection of sofas or chairs. Help yourself to elderflower water, herbal teas and snacks; three small bowls of dried banana, seeds and raisins are ready for munching.
The post treatment relaxation room is comfortable, with four pale blue lounge chairs complete with foot stools and cosy blankets. No screens here, though, so not a lot of privacy – although we had the room to ourselves on our visit. Leaf-shaped wall lights and a glass lamp in the corner illuminate the room. Refreshments and snacks are available here, too.
The gym has a good range of equipment set out in front of full-length windows offering views of the stunning landscape.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried Wild Scottish Swimming (60 mins, £100) followed by an Escape to the Hebrides treatment (90 mins £150).
We began our day with a trip to a local beach for some cold-water wild swimming followed by a warm up in a beach side sauna.
Jane and Jamie of Wild Scottish Sauna met me on beautiful Kingsbarns beach and gently persuaded me into the sea, holding my hand when I needed some support and talking me through some breathing techniques to help me cope (wild water swimming has never really appealed).
Warming up in the beachside sauna afterwards, I realised that I felt quite euphoric – partly because I had done something that I felt anxious about but also the effect of the shock of the cold on the body.
For my Escape to the Hebrides treatment – which combines ishga products created using seaweed from the Hebrides with music based on the natural sounds of the water – Caitilin, my therapist, led me to a treatment room and asked me to de-robe and get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face down. She then put a little of the Invigorating body oil used for the massage onto my hand to transport me to the seaside.
The treatment began with a back exfoliation using a scrub which was removed with a lovely warm cloth. The massage with hot stones that came next was very effective, making me feel warm and relaxed.
Asking me to turn over, Caitlin cleansed my face in preparation for an exfoliating mask – while this worked, she massaged my scalp. A second peel-off mask was applied to my face; while this set, Caitlin massaged my arms and hands.
Mask removed, Caitlin ended the facial with a dollop of ishga’s hero product: the antioxidant Marine Cream, designed to soften and moisturise the skin. This felt wonderfully rich on my skin.
With its seaside ear candy, this treatment reminded me of a long-ago trip to the outer-Hebrides where the beaches are made of finely ground shells which squeak as you walk on them (hence the local name of the ‘singing sands’).
I met up with my partner who had been for a long massage with Jerome. We settled down in the post treatment relaxation room, drank plenty of water and nibbled on dried fruit. A lovely end to our day of sea-based experiences.
The Fairmont Spa offers a range of treatments from ESPA and ishga. The treatment menu includes, results-driven facials, high performance body treatments, immersive massages and signature rituals, including one specifically for golfers and one that uses hot North Sea stones. There’s also a dedicated massage treatment for mums-to-be and new mums as well as finishing treatments including OPI manicures and pedicures.
Most spa days include afternoon tea in the impressive Atrium Lounge with its double-height ceiling. Expect never-ending exquisitely-made cakes and desserts, sandwiches, and freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and homemade Fife strawberry and elderflower jam - all served on beautiful china. Savoury treats include Haggis sausage roll and peppered mackerel pate.
If you’re staying overnight, you have a choice of three restaurants: Squire Restaurant, named after golfing legend Gene ‘The Squire’ Sarazen; St Andrews Bar & Grill, featuring a seafood bar with fresh lobster from St Andrews Bay; or Italian eatery La Cucina.
We retreated to the latter where we ate very tender lamb rump with green beans; our spa partner opted for mushroom risotto with chicken and plenty of freshly-grated parmesan. We paired our dishes with a glass of rosè Sancerre.
We loved / we didn't love
The setting: the modern hotel has been built in a wild and wonderful part of Scotland surrounded by golf course and beaches.
Our wild water swimming experience added a completely different dimension to a spa trip.
The range of unusual treatments on offer.
We didn't love
The pool is shared with families at all times so you may have children having fun while you try to relax.
Having to get dressed to eat lunch or afternoon tea in the main hotel rather breaks up the spa journey.
There is no outside space to relax in - a spa garden area would be a great addition here.
Who do you think would like it?
Treatment junkies wishing to try something new.
Walkers looking to warm up after a day in the elements.
Golf widows and widowers: send your other half out into the wild and windy weather while you enjoy the warm and comfort of the spa.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Fairmont St Andrews a Good Spa Guide Bubble Bubble Rating of 4 Bubbles for its impressive setting, good customer service, comfortable pre- and post treatment rooms and interesting treatments. The pool is shared with hotel guests at all times - including children - which could make swimming lengths difficult.
7:00am – 9:00pm Monday – Sunday