Guests are drawn to Stobo Castle for a variety of reasons, whether it is to reconnect with nature, celebrate with family and friends, or simply enjoy a restorative break from life’s eternal rush

Located in the countryside of the Borders, Scotland’s only destination spa is just an hour from Edinburgh and 90 minutes from Glasgow, but it feels like a million miles from anywhere, explains marketing director Jenni Watts.

The Scottish Farmer: The have great facilities The have great facilities (Image: web)

For that reason, a Stobo Castle gift voucher makes the perfect Christmas present for hardworking farming people who need some rest and relaxation after a busy year. “Life is crazy busy for most of us, so the chance to avoid trailing around the shops and just click on the website instead makes Christmas shopping much easier,” she says.

“More and more of us enjoy giving ‘experience’ gifts rather than things that will sit in a drawer all year. It’s much more personal, and perhaps something a little special for someone who wouldn’t normally buy it for themselves.

“Many guests tell us that they start to relax as soon as they come up the beautiful, private driveway, taking in the stunning surroundings,” she says. “And many more say they leave, after even just a night or two, feeling like they have had a week abroad. That is very gratifying to hear – to know the space and tranquillity we offer has been so rejuvenating.”

Set on a hill above a loch amid beautiful grounds, the current building’s history dates to the early 1800s, when it was commissioned by the son of a former Lord Advocate, James Montgomery, who inherited the estate following his father’s death.

Since then, it has lived many lives (including a spell in the 1970s as a health farm), effortlessly reinventing itself, most recently as a hotel and spa.

Rooms vary in shape and size, from elegant main castle bedrooms and the luxurious Cashmere Suite (think complimentary Bollinger champagne on ice, Stobo chocolates, private terrace, and exquisitely styled, opulent fittings and furnishings) to the bright and spacious Park Lodge, which can accommodate up to 12 guests.

The state-of-the-art spa offers an unrivalled range of health and beauty treatments, whether you want to detoxify, smooth, tone, relax or revitalise, and they are delivered by a team of in-house experts who research and embrace the very latest trends and technology.

The Scottish Farmer: Stobo Castle Stobo Castle (Image: web)

Outdoors at Stobo, guests can enjoy lochside strolls and woodland walks, or – if you prefer something a little more strenuous – tennis on the recently refurbished courts, or mountain biking on nearby trails. “The Japanese Water Gardens are also very special and a really peaceful place,” says Jenni.

While life stands still for those who visit Stobo, the team works hard to ensure the guest experience is constantly evolving. “It has been a really busy year for us,” adds Jenni. “We installed new outdoor hot tubs, for example, and room refurbishment work is always ongoing. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail in updating the facilities and adding new attractions.

“Many of our guests visit us year after year, so we want to make sure they enjoy enhanced experiences each time they come, and we hope they can see that we are always reinvesting in the business and improving what is on offer.”

The spa hotel market is growing, acknowledges Jenni. “Of course, we want to stay ahead of the competition,” she says. “Where Stobo is different is in the fact we are Scotland’s only destination spa.

“The minimum age is 14 and there are no functions, like weddings or conferences – we are purely a spa, so you can wander around in your bathrobe all day if you like and just relax.”

Stobo Castle’s festive packages are very popular, too, but there are a few New Year places still available, for those wishing to bring in 2024 in style.

The venue’s So Hogmanay two-day package successfully combines Stobo’s trademark relaxation and pampering with a traditional celebratory party.

The cost includes two nights’ accommodation, on December 30 and 31, or December 31 and January 1, all meals from dinner on arrival to lunch on departure, including complimentary wine with a sumptuous Hogmanay Dinner plus music and dancing, courtesy of fabulous six-piece band Cranachan.

“Wellness is a huge focus for us in the new year, with many people looking to take advantage of the fitness facilities we provide, such as the 25m pool, exercise studio, and gym,” adds Jenni, who has worked with the company for more than 26 years.

For more information and bookings, visit or call the reservations team at 01721725300.