Gin Spa Review, Glasgow

After spending the first three weeks of my recent move settling into my new surroundings in Glasgow, my sister Helen visited from Edinburgh for a day of exploring, the main event being a trip to the trendy new Gin Spa in Merchant City.

The Gin Spa was opened in December 2017 by the owners of Gin71, a bar dedicated to all things gin, and claims to be the first botanically inspired day spa in the world. Gin is probably my sister and I's favourite alcohol (although I have been cutting down recently) so of course we had to try it.


Although I have had massages before, this was my first time in a day spa, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. All I knew in advance was we were each booked in for a Mini Facial (£40) which would be followed by a gin and tonic to enjoy at our leisure.



Upon entering the Gin Spa, my first thought was that it was smaller than I had expected. But then again, I'm not sure what I was expecting, so it's probably a very normal sized entrance for a day spa. We were greeted quickly and asked to take a seat, put on some comfy slippers and soon were served ginger and lemon tea in tiny cute cups while we filled out our consultation forms.

After filling out the necessary forms, a therapist guided us through what our treatments included. The first question to begin the consultation is "how would you like to feel?" after your treatment. From your answer, your therapist will recommend two scents from their range and allow you to test which you prefer. These scents form the Gin Spa's signature product line from Scottish brand JustBe Botanicals and fit in with feelings of happy, tranquil, active, pure, energised and detox. I went for energised as I was a tad hungover and thought this would be the best cure out of the six.

What I found interesting is that this scent and feeling is kept in mind throughout the whole of your treatment. This begins with your therapist curating a product selection for any skin concerns you do have (mine were oily/combination skin, redness and mild acne) and follows all the way through to complimentary chocolate and gin after your treatment.



From the scent and feeling you have selected, you are then asked to select three cards from a pack. At first this seemed a little irrelevant, with each card containing self-love affirmations or prompts to be more mindful. However I guess one of the best places and times to be mindful is in a quiet dark room during a spa treatment, so maybe the cards are quite relevant after all. They did put a smile on my face.



Now to the treatment itself. My sister was booked in for 2.30pm and I was booked in for 3pm, although I wasn't actually taken through until about 3.40pm which was a little annoying as it meant my sister finished a lot earlier than I did and had to wait for me. However I was brought more tea and although it could have been organised better, I survived. I wasn't in a rush and recently I've been trying to decide whether situations are worth me stressing out about or not - I decided this wasn't one of those times. The spa is still fairly new so hopefully this is a kink that will be ironed out soon.

Once I was taken through to the treatment room, my therapist introduced herself and described what the next 30 minutes would entail. I felt in very good hands throughout my mini facial, which included a shoulder massage, double cleanse, skin analysis, hydrating serum, radiant treatment oil (I love oils) and an anti-aging facial massage.

The only hiccup that occurred was when my therapist accidentally bumped my nose piercing out of place. I popped it back in without a fuss and she avoided the area after which I appreciated. Having not had a facial before, I don't know if it's good practice for the client to remove piercings beforehand. But in all honesty I have still never taken out my nose stud fully as I am too scared I won't be able to get it back in lol. So that's probably a personal issue.

After my treatment, my therapist asked me to wait for a moment, then returned with a tray. This hosted a square of botanical inspired chocolate based on the energised scent and feeling I had picked previously, a bottle of water to hydrate and a card detailing my treatment, which products she recommended from the JustBe Botanicals range based on my skin consultation and analysis and also the three phrases I chose before from the pack of cards.



And now for what we've all been waiting for of course - the post-treatment gin! I am not totally sure how the gin was matched to my energised treatment, as I was asked to select any of the Eden Mill cocktail mixes. I went for the Basil Smash Hop Gin cocktail which was a beautiful green colour and accompanied by my fave garnish of pink grapefruit. It was lovely as well as the cushioned relaxation area where I met my sister and leisurely drank up before we headed to pay at the front of the spa.

Overall, for my first time at a day spa, I was impressed. Whilst the idea of a gin spa may seem like a novelty or a fad, the therapists and treatments at The Gin Spa were all professional and seemed credible. The spa also provides packages with afternoon tea and cocktails in their private venue space so is the perfect place to organise a birthday, hen party, mother's day treat or just a girls' day out in Glasgow. And although I was taken through later than booked, once I was I had a very energising experience, which is exactly what I asked for.

The Gin Spa is open Wednesday to Sunday and can be found at 2 Virginia Court, Merchant City in Glasgow. For more details, visit www.ginspa.co.uk.

P.S. if you're reading this, you may not know that I have just launched @theheraldfashion Instagram account for my university placement. It would be fantastic if you could follow us for fashion, beauty and interiors content, news and inspiration with a unique Scottish angle!

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