A short trip down memory lane

Last week we received a small and unexpected treat – a reprinted ordinance survey map of Crieff from 1899 (courtesy of the generous folks at Godfrey Maps).

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We know what you’re thinking – “that sounds boring and/or useless” – but you’re wrong. Well, you’re half wrong.

Granted, if you tried navigating your way around Crieff with the map today you’d probably take a wrong turn or two and yes, you’d be a little confused by the missing train station but what it lacks in functionality it more than makes up for in terms of interest…

The map got us thinking about the rich history of the Crieff and Strathearn area that revolves around some of the building’s located on the map.

Strathearn House

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One such building is, of course, Strathearn House (or as we now affectionately refer to it – Crieff Hydro). Back in 1899 Strathearn House would’ve been just over 30 years old and known for its motto of ‘water is best’ – this meant no alcohol consumption and using water in a whole host of ways to cure all manner of Victorian ailments.

However, we already know all about our history and we’re proud of it. From our early days under the guidance of our founder Dr Thomas H Meikle right up to the present day, we love our part in the story of Crieff. But the map holds more treasures than just Strathearn House…

Ferntower House

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Located roughly a mile from Crieff Hydro sits Ferntower House, another building steeped in local history and home, at one stage or another, to some pretty big names.

As this fantastic blog post explains in detail, the Ferntower House had hosted Bonnie Prince Charlie and Queen Victoria, amongst others, before being unceremoniously blown up as part of an army exercise in 1963!

We like reading and knowing about Crieff’s history and heritage but more than that we love being able to share these stories with you, our guests!

Introducing the Clarins Rebalancing Massage

At Crieff Hydro Spa we love being on the cutting edge of all things pampering and relaxation. So, whether that means exploring Germanic thermal spas in pursuit of wellness perfection or introducing the latest range of skin products to keep our guests looking young and vibrant, we want to know about it!

This month it’s been all about the latest signature massage treatment from our friends over at Clarins

Rebalancing Massage with Relax Essential Oils

This deeply relaxing, rhythmic full body massage releases even long-standing knots and tensions within the deeper muscle layers, using a bespoke sequence of slower movements and pressure point techniques. The relaxation is intensified with an essential oil blend rich in deeply soothing Basil, Camomile and Petit Grain.

Rebalancing Massage with Tonic Essential Oils

Using a bespoke sequence of more energizing movements and pressure point techniques, this deep and rhythmic full body massage not only releases muscular knots and tensions but restores vitality and flagging energy levels. The effect is intensified with an essential oil blend rich in invigorating Rosemary, Mint and Rosewood.

As soon as we heard about these treatments we knew we had to introduce them – an 85 minute treatment,  for 70 minutes of which the therapists hands never leave the body! With gently warmed essential oils and constant contact leaving your skin feeling completely and utterly relaxed… what’s not to love?!

So, we invited Clarins guru Siobhan along to Crieff Hydro to teach our Spa team how to deliver the perfect Rebalancing Massage..


Our team loved it and so did our very lucky guinea pigs! Here’s what Amanda thought..

“Having never been for a full body treatment before I was a little apprehensive but from the moment I arrived Tina put me completely at ease. Tina recommended the tonic oils as these would leave my body feeling relaxed while at the same time leaving my brain alert so I could still function at work!. The treatment from start to finish was a perfect mixture of invigorating yet relaxing. I will definitely be going back for a Rebalancing Massage in the near future.”

Want to try one for yourself? The Clarins Rebalancing Massages will be available at Crieff Hydro Spa from the 1st November for the introductory price of just £69!

To book call 01764 651609.

Crieff Hydro Spa on Tour #2

It’s the post you’ve all been waiting for – instalment number two from our Fiona’s German wellness adventure! When we left her she’d been strutting around from showers to scrubs to steam rooms all absolutely starkers…

“After the incredible natural steam came another shower followed by a succession of thermal water stations.


Whirlpools and pools of various temperatures that included a soak in the magnificent central domed pool  – crystal clear water, roman murals on the ceiling and different roman gods looking over you from various marble points – all it needed was someone to hand-feed me grapes and fan me with palm tree leaves and I’d have felt like Caesar!

Thermal water treatments over we’re handed a thick warm sheet and told to dry off for four minutes (German precision at its finest!) then it’s swiftly onwards to get lathered up at the cream and lotions station before being led to the relaxation room…

Now, this is a station that I can picture coming to Crieff!

A big comfortable massage-like table, a huge thick and warm sheet that the therapist lifts up and around, taking care to tuck in your feet, and then… rest.

Just lie down and rest for 30 minutes in this blissful state.

It sounds so simple but how often do we give ourselves permission to lie and do nothing? How often do we give ourselves this treat?

I’m at home with my wellness; cocooned in a blissful state of relaxation, warmth and self-love. Sinking in and out of dreamlike state – pure bliss.

Reluctantly, after half an hour, we managed to get off our warm tables and make it to our final station – the reading room, where we were greeted with tea, books and a final gorgeous mosaic to look at. The sheets wrapped firmly around us this sunshiny room brought us gently back to real life in a soothing fashion.

Garment free treatments over, I leave Germany full of wellness inspiration and excited about shaping the future of Crieff Hydro Spa (don’t worry, it won’t be naked!)”

You can keep an eye on all our latest Spa news via the Facebook page or, if you’ve been inspired by Fiona to treat yourself to a little R&R, you can view everything the Spa has to offer here

Halloween thrills at late night Aloft!

Want a treat that won’t rot your kids’ teeth this Halloween? We have something that’ll do the trick…

Aloft night

Join us for a special spooky late night Aloft! session this Halloweeen.

Climb, swing and zip-line your way through our aerial assault course in the dark of night with nothing more than a head torch and some glow sticks to light the way.

Sounds scary already? Then we probably shouldn’t mention that there’s a few little surprises along the way that aren’t for the feint of heart!

You’ll be strapped on to the course using the latest, state of the art equipment so you’re perfectly safe while you’re in the trees at least…

But if the zombie apocalypse strikes while you’re on the ground then you’re on your own!


Our usual age and height restrictions apply but as long as you’re little ones are 7 years or older and not too little (over 1.25m) then this is an adventure that the whole family can enjoy together!

We’ll be running three late night Aloft! specials on Thursday 30th October, Friday 31st October & Saturday 1st November with sessions starting at 6pm and 6:30pm.

It’s just £15 for kids and £19 for adults but spaces are limited so be sure to book in advance so you don’t miss out!


To book, call us on 01764 655 555 or to book through the website click here

Crieff Hydro Spa on Tour: German Thermals

Today’s post is the first in a special 2-part guest blog from our Spa Manager, Fiona, who has been exploring Germany in search of some Spa-inspiration!

Here’s instalment number one..


“’Wellness’ (or to you late-comers ‘alternative medicine’) comes in multiple forms; whether it is lavender essential oil for soothing a burn or stimulating a pressure point on the hand for headaches. Wellness can be self-administered or professionally delivered. It can be a lovely autumnal walk through the leaves in a park, enjoying all that nature has to give us, or it can be savouring a lovely glass of red wine from a vineyard recently explored.


Wellness is many things – it’s necessary, it’s healing and sometimes (as you’re about to read about) it’s intimidating.


It’s the morning of my 34th birthday, I’m in Germany and my stomach is churning – today I’ll be visiting the world famous Friedrichsbad Spa.


As job perks go, this one wasn’t bad – ‘Go to Germany, experience all that their thermal spas have to offer and report back’. Four days in Baden Baden, seeking out thermal waters, alternative therapies and maybe even managing to sample some of the local beer…  I can handle that!


So why then is my stomach churning? Well, the Friedrichsbad Spa is ‘mixed sex and garment free’. All day, completely naked, in a place where I don’t speak the language – fantastic.


We check-in and are led up a stunning marble staircase to the changing area (or more accurately, the undressing area!) and, after a brief awkward naked shuffle down a hallway, the spa experience is about to begin…


First things first – a communal power shower (the first of 7 showers that day!) then, on to the sauna. Next came a fantastic full body soap and brush scrub, although I’d definitely recommend the soft bristle brush as the hard one could draw blood! The scrubbing ended with a quick, traditional German slap on the bum (so that you know it’s over) then onwards straight into another shower.


The steam room was a real highlight and a completely surreal experience. Friedrichsbad Spa is home to the last naturally occurring steam room in the world, where the whole room is heated by the water coming straight out of the depths of the earth. It was heaven; natural wellness that we were lucky to experience.”


… Find out more about Fiona’s German spa adventure next week and what could be in store for the Crieff Hydro Spa!

Festive fun with our festive breaks

All the festivities. All the excitement. All at Crieff Hydro.


The festive season is fast approaching and at Crieff Hydro that means only one thing – festive fun!

For many families, Crieff Hydro simply is the festive season. In fact, around 70% of our Christmas guests come back year-after-year for another Christmas getaway Crieff Hydro style.

We like to do Christmas with all the trimmings. You’ll be greeted with festive cheer and a festive ‘cheers!’ at our welcome drinks reception to help get you in the Christmas spirit.

We have beautifully decorated traditional trees towering from floor to ceiling bringing the outdoor winter wonderland in. Speaking of which, our 900 acre estate looks simply magical under a blanket of snow – think Narnia without a scary Tilda Swinton!


There’s traditional festive entertainment – like our lively ceilidhs and some Christmas classics being shown in our in-house cinema.

And some not so traditional entertainment – like roller skating, survival skills and lots more surprises!

All this and we’ll still be offering everything that you’ve come to know and love about staying with us…

Over 60 on-site activities with plenty to keep the whole family entertained, free childcare for 2-12 year olds for when you need a break from the little ones and, of course, a great night’s sleep!

We’ve thought of everything for your festive family getaway:

  • Three nights’ accommodation in Crieff Hydro Hotel
  • All your meals – each served with festive flair
  • Entertainment – ceilidhs, tasting session, survival skills, roller skating and lots more…
  • Leisure – over 60 activities, all right here
  • Free childcare for 2-12 year olds
  • Welcome drinks reception – to get you in the festive spirit

For more information and details on how to book, click here.

The Icelandic Blue Vodka Tonic

This is the story of a cocktail that was three months, 1700 round-trip miles and hundreds of Icelandic blueberries in the making.

It’s mid-June and our Bars Manager, Fran de Vega, has learned of a Summer Solstice competition that is being ran by Icelandic drinks brand Reyka Vodka. He rallies the Hydro troops.

Less than a week later, on a beautiful summer’s day, our guests are out on the Brasserie lawn enjoying an Icelandic-themed Summer Solstice bar complete with wooden sun dial.


Behind the scenes, our social media team are making sure everyone’s efforts aren’t going unnoticed – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – the word is out and Reyka have taken notice!


A couple of weeks later and it’s official – Crieff Hydro have been selected as one of eight competition winners. Skol to that!

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The prize? We get to send one of our team to Reyka HQ in Iceland for a bartending experience like no other – our intrepid explorer Fran is selected to represent Team Hydro.

It’s now August and Fran’s survival pack arrives courtesy of our friends at Reyka – knitwear, a swiss army knife, books on foraging – Fran is already far too excited and making everyone else very jealous.

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Early September and he’s off on his Icelandic adventure – volcanoes, blue lagoons, eating rotten shark… it had it all.


Fran returned bearing gifts (mainly because we would have been very upset if he hadn’t). Hundreds of handpicked Icelandic blueberries which he infused into a bottle of Reyka before, a week later, mixing up this beautiful vodka tonic garnished with a fresh grapefruit wedge!

Blueberry Reyka

Festive Party Nights at Crieff Hydro

Get your groove on with Crieff Hydro Party Nights!


You know the drill – it’s the festive season, spirits are high, spirits are also flowing and the office joker is about to start their annual break dancing routine in the middle of the dance floor. It’s inevitable really so you might as well embrace it.

At least with our Party Nights package you can be sure that they’ll be rolling around on the floor to some fantastic music in a room decorated to the nines!

Our Party Nights can hold up to 390 people so there’s no need to decide which departments aren’t going to make the cut (you’re welcome IT and Finance!)

Check in from the early afternoon and take the day to get yourself ready for a party. You could take an afternoon dip followed by a quick steam and sauna or you could visit our hair and beauty salon and let the girls give you the full treatment – we’re talking massages, mani-pedis, waxes, make-up and hair! It’s not just for the ladies either gentlemen, we have treatments specifically designed for you fellas – you can take a look at our full spa brochure here.


Then when you’ve been pampered to perfection, sit down to a festive three course dinner served by our famously friendly staff before putting on your dancing shoes and enjoying the music!

We’ve taken care of everything you’ll need to have an amazing night:

  • Glass on fizz on arrival
  • Access to pool, sauna, gym and cinema
  • Three course festive dinner
  • Wine (half bottle per person)
  • Live music (you can check out a video of our house band below)
  • DJ
  • Floor entertainers
  • Full Scottish breakfast (for the morning after)

Groove Culture Crieff Hydro Christmas Parties from Gordon on Vimeo.

For more information and to book, click here.

September Self Catering Special

Summer is over. It’s sad, but true. However, it’s not all bad news…


At Crieff Hydro we have just the thing to get rid of your September blues – special offers!

You can save up to 25% when staying with us this September in our 5* self catering units.

Our luxury 5* cottages have plenty of space for you and the family to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the Perthshire countryside. They also provide the perfect base from which to explore our resort and offer all the comforts of home after a day jam packed with all our amazing activities available on-site.

And as an added little treat, all our self catering units now come with a complimentary mini-hamper! It’s full of goodies from sweeties and jams to that all important hamper essential – teabags. All handpicked to make your stay with us that little bit easier (and a lot more mouth watering!).

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There’s something for everyone here at Crieff Hydro so why not bring the whole family along for the journey? There’s Action Glen for the more adventurous ones among you offering everything from archery to quad biking. Or, for those who just want to sit back and relax, there’s our Victorian Spa and beauty salon where you can get pampered til your heart’s content.

Stay with us from just £17.90 per person, per night for four midweek nights throughout September and give the whole family an autumn getaway at an incredible price.

There’s free daily entertainment, you’ll get free access to our pool, gym and on-site cinema and we even provide up to six hours of free childcare so the grown-ups can enjoy themselves too!

To find out more or to book click here.

‘Malteser Moments’ at Crieff Hydro Riding Centre

This week we have a special guest post from one our Riding Centre regulars, Lesley Simpson, who is dying to spread the word about the joys of riding…


“As a portly 50-something woman, I thought that our Riding Centre manager, Liz Simpson, was joking when she kept asking me when I’d be calling over to the Riding Centre for a lesson. Maybe it was the shock of realising that Liz was being perfectly serious that gave me the impetus to try.

That was about 18 months ago and I’ve now fallen in love with riding; hook, line and sinker. More specifically, I’ve fallen for Donald – a 7 year old coloured Cob who stands at an impressive 16 hands.

Donald and I started off slowly, building mutual trust whilst covering all the basics; mounting, dismounting, correct use of the reins, safety, steering and the like, before progressing to walk, trot and even canter. Throughout all of this, Liz displayed the patience of a saint. If she thought I was hopeless then it never showed and her enviable ability to remain calm at all times really inspired my self-confidence.

Initially we stayed close to home; completing circuits of the indoor and outdoor arenas and very short hacks close to the hotel. Before long we were venturing further afield, where the scenery is just breath-taking. It was during one such foray, when we were at the top of the Knock when I first described the experience as a ‘Malteser Moment’. For me, that’s one of those really special times in life when you feel absolutely exhilarated as if you’re full of bubbles and about to explode.


There have been many such moments since then; notably the first time we crossed a ford, the time we climbed steps on horseback and one memorable ride when we zigzagged our way downhill through a wonderful but steep woodland trail – what an adrenaline rush!

Much to the amusement of the Riding Centre team I talk to Donald throughout each session, always have carrots for him as a reward at the end of the lesson and even treat him to his favourite Stout at Christmas!

It always feels such a privilege to ride this magnificent horse and I’d urge everyone to give it a try. I can think of no better way to relax after a stressful day and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be driving home afterwards singing along to your favourite CD at the very top of your voice. Happy days.”

Want to experience a ‘malteser moment’ for yourself? Visit our website or give us a call on 01764 651 830 to find out more about learning to ride with us

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For news and events in Crieff, Perthshire.

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