Blythswood Square is an imposing townhouse occupying one side of a square. Formerly the HQ of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, it has glitz and glam in abundance. While it doesn’t scream Scottish heritage, lovely touches like Harris Tweed and thistle engravings remind you that you are in the most bonnie of countries. Thermal facilities are dark and dreamy with two pools, five heat rooms and a lovely tepidarium. The inventive spa menu includes ishga treatments using Hebridean seaweed.
- Nine treatment rooms including one double
- Relaxation lounge
- Several relaxation areas
- Steam room
- Indoor pool
- Indoor hot tub
- Seaweed bath
- Ice fountain
- Fitness suite
- Personal Trainer
- Spa cafe
- Conference facilities
- Anne Semonin
Our Spa Spy review
Blythswood Square is an imposing townhouse that takes up one side of a Glasgow city square. The Georgian front of the hotel overlooks the garden in the centre of the square. The hotel was formerly the headquarters of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, so has glitz and glam in abundance. The modern interiors use red, black, grey and chrome as a nod to the building's past.
While the hotel doesn't scream about its Scottish heritage, there are some lovely touches, such as Harris tweed throughout the hotel and spa.
You can access The Spa at Blythswood Square through the hotel or a street entrance to one side.
What's on offer?
The subterranean spa is a dark and calming space with flashes of bright colourful downlights reflecting the red in the hotel. Facilities are split over two levels. On -1 are the reception, lounge/café, mani/pedi area, treatment rooms, and a post-treatment relaxation room. One floor further down are the changing rooms and thermal facilities.
Spa reception is divided by string of pebbles creating a screen. The retail area has lots of skincare products and swimwear. The other side of the reception space has big comfortable sofas and seats, finished in Harris tweed. The dark grey walls are brightened by red and blue lights. You can order drinks, snacks, lunch and afternoon tea here.
The nine treatment rooms are just off to the side. The darkly lit relaxation room, called "Drift Away", has four loungers with cushions and blankets, and more upright seating. Each lounger has fabric curtains, which you can draw for extra privacy. There are magazines, water, teas and a bowl of fruit -- everything you need for post-treatment zen. A pre-treatment waiting room, called "Bide One's Time", has comfortable seating for six and a handful of magazines to flick through.
The changing rooms are modern, clean and continue the calm décor, with Scottish finishing touches: six tweed ottomans sit in front of mirrors, hairdryers and desks with cotton wool and tissues to preen post-treatment. There's just one loo, and four showers stocked with shampoo, conditioner and body wash. The changing area itself is long and thin, with a bank of lockers running along one side. It's very open, so you may want to use one of the three private changing cubicles. Help yourself to the extra towels next to the shower.
The thermal facilities are the star of the spa. For a city-centre hotel, they are extensive with two pools and five heat rooms. The area is dimly lit with black and grey tiles on the walls, ceiling and floors. The experience rooms run in a square, so you can have a natural journey or move through whichever rooms take your fancy.
The first hydro-pool is circular, very bubbly, and completely lined with black mosaic tiles from floor to ceiling. It is large so would comfortably seat 12. The second hydro-pool is almost large enough to swim lengths in; seats with swan pipes or air bubbles line one side. Swim through a doorway and you'll find the "dark pool" lit with colourful spotlights.
There are two cooler experience rooms, the subtly steamy laconium and the glass-fronted aromatherapy saunarium -- a bit like a cooler sauna. Step up the heat with the traditional wooden sauna or crystal steam room. Cool off by rubbing flakes from the ice fountain on your skin or brave the experience showers. We loved the tepidarium; the heated mosaic loungers are set in a black-tiled room. There are even double loungers so you can curl up next to your best beloved.
There's no water in the thermal experience area; you should find a bottle of water in your locker so make sure you take it with you.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Ishga Salt and Oil Scrub (25 minutes, £47) and the Ishga Invigorating Massage (55 minutes, £87).
My therapist, Laura, met me in Bide One's Time and took me through to our treatment room. She explained the elements of the treatment and left the room while I de-robed and settled on the wide and comfortable treatment bed.
Laura used Ishga's Hebridean Sea Salt and Oil Scrub, which had a gentle citrus smell, all over my body. She started with my feet and worked her way up to my shoulders. When my skin was suitably clean, I stepped into the shower and rinsed off. I resettled on the bed and Laura used an invigorating oil to massage my body, focusing on my neck, shoulders and back. She used long, gentle stretching movements and deeper pressures using her elbows and forearms to work into my tense muscles. My skin felt super soft and supple after the treatment, and the knots in my back were much diminished.
The treatment menu at The Spa at Blythwood Square includes a full range of Ishga treatments; the Ishga products use organic seaweed harvested in the Hebrides. Try a seaweed bath or wrap. You can also opt for facials from Ishga, ila or Elemis, massages, body treatments and manicures and pedicures. Try the rasul for a romantic and fun experience, or a treatment for men or mums-to-be.
During your spa day, you can eat in en robe in the lounge next to spa reception. Choose from sandwiches and salads, or burgers, fish and sharing dishes. Indulgent desserts and afternoon tea are on offer, too. We sampled two afternoon teas (one gluten-free) and both were delicious.
If you're staying at Blythswood Square, dinner and breakfast are served in the main restaurant. Large red and black lampshades and a long chrome bar give the room the glitz of the old RSAC days. Expect fine dining with a Scottish twist.
We loved / we didn't love
The little finishing touches that make this spa special. The use of tweed soft furnishings, the thistles carved into the locker doors: Blythswood Square Spa has personality.
Six of the ten spa-day packages include a gift bag. Ours included ila shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and bath salts. It's a great way of having a treat at the end of your spa day, or taking a little of your spa experience home with you.
We didn't love
The thermal facilities are looking a little worn. Blythswood Square Spa has a great offering and nothing is unsafe but you may find a few missing tiles in the hydro pool.
Who do you think would like it?
Couples: The thermal facilities are lovely to explore together. This is the first time we've seen double tepidarium beds so we were impressed.
Men: The treatment options for men are good and the facilities will make him feel like he's found the spa equivalent of the bat cave.
If you're visiting Glasgow, make Blythswood Square your base. Explore Glasgow on foot and then retreat to the spa for the afternoon -- it makes perfect sense.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We gave The Spa at Blythswood Square a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. The facilities are impressive, the treatments are good and we felt very welcomed by the friendly staff. The food is good, too – make sure you experience the afternoon tea!
Relax in the spa lounge and indulge in the signature three tier lunch or choose from our selection of luxury sandwiches, salads and platters, revitalising loose leaf teas and exquisite smoothies, juices and cocktails.
The hotel has 93 luxury rooms, 6 individually appointed suites as well as Glasgow's most luxurious Penthouse. Rates from £120 per room per night for a "Wee Classic" room.
Monday to Friday: 7am - 10pm; Saturday and Sunday: 7am - 9pm