We visit Hand Picked’s Scottish country house hotel and meet the woman behind its stunning spa and health club facilities to find out how it can help guests to relax and unwind.

Getting a good night’s sleep is the backbone to a happy, healthy life, and September is the official month for celebrating all things sleep. We shine the spotlight on Spa Manager Carla Inglis to get some tips on how to have the most relaxing day but also how to avoid a sleepless night.

First off, please tell us how you got into the spa industry? 

After I qualified as a beauty therapist in 2004, I decided to work in spas. I much preferred carrying out relaxation and holistic type treatments, and the atmosphere and serenity of spas.

So when did you join Norton House and what is your favourite aspect of the job? 

I joined Norton House Hotel & Spa as an advanced therapist carrying out various holistic treatments in November 2007 and I was part of the health club and spa pre-opening team, which was very exciting. I progressed through the ranks and in 2010, I became spa manager. I love helping my team of therapists to develop their knowledge and experience within the industry. I like to assist them in getting to their career goals, and turn any challenges they have into successes. I am very proud of them and relish watching their confidence grow when they receive positive feedback and nice comments from guests.  Personally, I particularly enjoy carrying out relaxation treatments such as hot stone therapy, more than maintenance treatments. 

What is your favourite thing about working in Scotland? 

Definitely not the weather – we can have all four seasons in one day! Fortunately, for our guests our spa is cut into one side of a hill so we can help them escape the weather, although it is so light and bright you forget that you are underground, as well as the daily stresses. When we do have sunny spells, there are some fabulous places to visit in Scotland from the cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling and Aberdeen, to the more chilled areas like Loch Lomond and Aviemore, and the Fairy Pools of Isle of Skye. 

What is so unique about the spa at Norton House? 

Its relaxation areas – we have our Amber Lounge, which is a great place to sit back and have a quiet gossip with your fellow spa goer or relax with a good book and a complimentary herbal tea. We also have a specific relaxation room, which is our quiet dark room where guests can lie back and take a much-deserved snooze after their treatment.

As well as the relaxation rooms, what else can guests expect when they come to Norton House for a spa day or spa break?

At Norton House, we aim to create a sense of warmth and peaceful relaxation.
Our spa is perfect for feeling truly pampered and our therapists will ensure an individual journey for each guest to optimise their experience. We aim to have a range of therapies and treatments, which when combined, help our guests optimise their sense of physical health and wellbeing. Our guests can also wear their robes all day in the spa, even in the café bar while indulging in a traditional afternoon tea or sipping on one of our spa prosecco cocktails.

The music that you play at your spa is very relaxing – what is it? 

We play songs from the Therapy Room series including Tranquil Healing, Calm Reflection and Relaxation. 

This month marks Sleeptember, is there one treatment that you would recommend to aid a good night’s sleep?

It would have to be our ELEMIS Garden of England Rose Restore Massage. The combination of rose balm and a bespoke massage helps to switch off your mind and ease away any tension. The most relaxing part of this treatment is the micro-wrap when we cocoon the guest in a thin waffle blanket allowing their muscles to stay warm and the balm to absorb deeper into their skin while they receive a neck and scalp massage.

Is there an ELEMIS product guests could buy that can help with good sleep, too? 

ELEMIS LIFE ELIZERS Sleep range – the key claim of these products are that the Patchouli, Elemi and Palmarosa oils help you to leave your day behind, unwind and sooth your mind to encourage a peaceful night’s sleep. The range includes a bath and shower gel, perfume oil and a candle.

Can going in the spa pool, sauna or steam room help to aid sleep? 

Yes, I believe all three can benefit – the heat in the sauna and steam room will facilitate muscles to relax and put the mind at ease in a nice relaxing chilled environment, while the spa hydro pool helps to release tension, which will elevate any aches or pains that may disturb your sleep. 

Do you have any other tips that may help guests to get a good night’s sleep?

Power down before bedtime, so turn off the TV, switch off the phone and take half an hour to wind down. Find out what helps you to clear your mind and switch off. 

This September in partnership with the Sleep Council book our 'More Sleep this Autumn' offer and be in with a chance to win a Hypnos Lansdowne Cashmere bed.