Norton House Hotel and Spa, Ingliston, Edinburgh

In the lead up to their fabulous win of “Best Hotel Health Club Facility 2013” at the National Fitness Awards, I was delighted to be a guest at the beautiful Norton House Hotel and Spa.

Within expansive and mature grounds at Ingliston, on Edinburgh’s western fringes, Norton House, although well hidden from the road, rises majestically from her surrounding 55 acres of wood and parkland, a short drive from the city and Edinburgh Airport.

Norton House dates from the mid 19th century, built as a country retreat; distant enough from the city to offer perfect seclusion yet near enough to access the abundant amenities of any Capital city.

The country home ambience has been retained amidst sympathetic additions and the feel is not that of an 83 bedroom hotel but of a private home, where guests are invited to revel in the homely yet luxurious comforts associated with that tag.

A well-established feel pervades Norton, where traditional values and contemporary touches mix to offer perfection in the realms of accommodation and hosting.

Modernity, where required is evident; particularly in the bathrooms, where great consideration of modern day life’s little luxuries takes precedent to present an expansive and indulgent addition to the plush bedrooms.

An impressive and sweeping oak staircase and original fireplaces; evidence of Norton’s history as a family home; retained, maintained and fabulous original features.

I was fortunate enough to also visit with Christmas preparations in full swing, fully decked Christmas trees abundant in their size and traditional decor – a reminder of Christmas past and another glimpse into history.

Guest areas are plentiful at Norton, each welcoming, comfortable and adaptable, whether for eating, relaxing or enjoying the splendid number of views over the grounds and countryside beyond.

By complete contrast, a modern building, cleverly built into the walled garden of old and a short stroll from the main hotel is the award-winning Spa.

Complete with its own garden brasserie and bar, the focus at Norton’s Spa is firmly on health, fitness, relaxation and wellbeing with many treatments remedial and restorative, focusing on points of concern and working to alleviate.

Traditional beauty treatments are also available each day, in dedicated treatment rooms within a building which doesn’t merely accommodate a Spa area but has been designed and built for that sole purpose.

A heated swimming pool allows for exercise as much as leisure, with plentiful relaxation areas and a powerful aroma shower, which offered a unique and pleasant touch as well as an exhilarating experience. The hydrotherapy pool massages tired muscles with powerful jets and is fitted with underwater beds, affording comfort and additionally a sauna and steam room are poolside for added relaxation areas.

Greeted with blackcurrant tea and a waiting robe and slippers, there is no requirement to rush any of the process in Norton’s Spa – guests are invited to return to the lounge at any point during the visit to read, chat and enjoy the refreshments on offer.

Choosing between treatments is possibly the most energetic of activities, apart from the super-equipped gym facility, where lying back and reveling in the Spa atmosphere is a must.

A remedial facial was an indulgent delight, as coupled with a foot and head and shoulder massage, presented the ultimate alleviation of stresses and instilled a revitalized aura of wellbeing.

The vibe throughout the hotel and spa is very much that of laid-back country house style and an essential part of a spa visit no matter how short. The added bonus of being close to the city offers a unique aspect to Norton and most definitely the best of both worlds.