Better than a hoilday abroad!
I am an abroad holiday fanatic, always choosing to spend my money on going to the sun. However, after my amazing experience in Stobo, if someone offered me money to go abroad or go to Stobo it would be a very hard choice! The staff were extremely helpful, the therapists were professional & excellent and the food was limited but amazing (especially the cheesecakes!). We stayed 2 nights but I still didn't have time to do everything I would have liked to. I have rebooked for next year but for 3 nights. I would advise 1 day with no treatments, so you can use the facilities & grounds. We used the pool after dinner too & had the whole place to ourselves as I think people forget it is open until 10.30pm. I would recommend the rooms in the castle & ask to view the cashmere suite - it's fab! I would highly recommend Stobo to anyone - it's not cheap, especially if you buy alot of treatments & products but it's well worth it. Enjoy if you go!
Nearest thing to Heaven!
Having stayed at Stobo Castle many times over the past twenty odd years, I have seen many changes, most of them for the better. I have just returned after a wonderful weekend with my daughter and two daughters in law. All of us thoroughly enjoyed it. Before we left for our stay I was shocked to read some of the comments written about this wonderful Castle. All I can say is that it has always been a haven of delight, the Spa , the treatments, and all the staff have been excellent. The food is very good and very well presented. I would give Stobo Castle 5 stars for everything, so if you are thinking about a real treat in the near future -go for it - and enjoy! I can't think of anywhere more relaxing to be. I spoke to a young lady who had driven from South East England, and she said it beat the Spas south of the border hands down.
Loved Stobo Castle!!!!
Myself and 8 others went for a one night break to stobo for my hen night. From the moment we arrived we were greeted by friendly, professional staff. All the rooms were so lovely and clean and a housekeeper even came and brought a jug of fresh water to each room when checking in. You get given a robe and all you have to do is relax (no foot wear provided so remember and take your own flip flops). There are activities on throughout the day some of the group joined in the aqua fit but we just really made use of the great pool and steam rooms. The treatments were just fab! would definatley recommend the mud wrap. Food was excellent both dinner, breakfast and lunch. We all enjoyed it so much already talking about our return. Plese dont take any notice of any of the negative reviews maybe they were just really unlikely or arent easily pleased because I cant see how anyone could fault or not enjoy themselves here!! So relaxing and great way to spend some time with your friends.
So Stobo? So Fabulous
Arrived at Stobo at 3pm and were greeted by head receptionist who booked us in and showed us around the facilities and then to our room. Our baggage was taken by a lovely young man and delivered direct to our room within 5 minutes. Our room (Dunbar)was clean and certainly big enough for the two of us although the bathroom was claustrophobically small - walk in shower big enough for two though!
The facilities on offer at Stobo which are included in the daily rate are first class. The affinity ozone pool is all one depth and no cloying smell of chlorine. The jacuzzi and steam rooms are brilliant, although some rooms are noisier than others!! Bicycles and tennis available. On Sunday morning a young man was in the car park busy cleaning all the cars with a jet wash. Lovely.
I indulged in a Prestige Facial which also included a back massage, hand massage and foot massage and was deeply enjoyable.
The grounds around the hotel are great to explore - do not miss the Japanese garden which is an oasis of calm and beauty, especially in the sunshine.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the daily rate and there is a big bowl of fresh fruit available should you require anything further. The food is more than adequate, although not Michelin star quality.
One point to note is that a "discretionary" gratuity of 5% is added to your total bill and paid at check out, to a maximum of £25. Although we initially thought this was a little presumptious, the service we received during our stay meant that we happily paid it and it was so much easier than having to carry change around to tip.
Verdict: an extremely pleasurable stay which I will definitely be repeating as soon as possible.
The Cashmere suite is Sweet....
Ok, so the title is a terrible attempt at a pun, and probably not the best way to start a review, but words are like that last bit of ice-cream, sometimes you've just got to go for it.
I'll preface this by saying I paid through the nose for my one day/night stay at Stobo Castle, with their 'So Pampering' package. For the two of us (me and my lovely wife, who's 30th birthday it was in aid of) it cost £660 (plus £25 in tips, and £35 for wine with dinner).
So, you'd hope I got my money's worth.
I got that, and more.
So, think of this review as if you're spending money to stay in the Cashmere suite. I'll mention the spa now, for the back-massage and facilities that came with the package. The treatments were really relaxing, the therapist (is that what they're called?) was really friendly, and the pool/gym/hydrotherapy/steam room/showers (everything you can think of) were top class and out-did most gyms I've ever been to. So as far as the spa is concerned - Stobo is no Hobo. (Man, I gotta stop trying to be funny...) It was great.
Since I'm already teasing you with the info about the cashmere suite, I'll get into the food next. The first meal we had was dinner. As we'd paid so much for the room, they offer a 'dinner in the room' service. This is no eat off your lap situation though. Julie and I came back from a game of Tennis (in the rain, where Julie kept hitting the ball into the sheep field (sheep make particularly poor ball boys by the way)) to find that there was a table for two set up in the main living area of the suite.
Yes, I said main living area. The suite is THAT big.
I had the Salmon for starter, which was incredible. I do like a salmon salad at the best of times, but this one made me want to cry (well, the lemon squirted into my eye, but I'd like to think it was really nice food that made me cry).
The lamb for main course was medium rare, and I've now decided that everything I eat will be medium rare if it tastes that good. Even my cereal in the morning.
And the chocolate mouse, the ice-cream with strawberries and the cheese-board wrapped up a stunning meal for me.
(Julie had the sea-bass for main course, which was the first time she'd had it - and loved it.)
The food aside though, the great part of dinner was the service. Served personally, politely, and friendlily (is that a word?) by a nice French man, he was helpful, complementary, and always professional. All that came together to make the service as special as the meal.
(In case anyone wonders, we didn't sit there in our dressing gowns, we both made an effort, and Julie looked lovely).
Breakfast was fine. Again, nice polite service, but as we had to eat in the dining area, not quite as magical as the night before. The poached eggs were lovely, as were all the other normal breakfast fixings.
Lunch, we were back in the dining room again with all the people in dressing gowns. It could be a bit off putting eating with people in their robes, but as I had a T-shirt on with "Pants" emblazoned across it, I felt the one out of place there. The food was once again lovely, and as this was the last thing we did at Stobo before leaving the castle, it was a great way to leave.
I bet you think I'm about to get to the room? Not yet.
Out of all the friendly people, the service, the food, the spa etc, the most surprising and jaw-dropping part of the stay was when Julie and I were back on the tennis court (still trying to teach the sheep to retrieve the balls we hit over the fence) some guy turned up and washed all the cars parked outside the hotel!! How's THAT for service???
Although, it does make it the most expensive car wash in the world...
So, finally, the room.
This is how the 'other half' live. And I don't mean Julie... I mean the 'rich'. There were four plasma/lcd TV's in the four roomed suite. One in the main living area, one in the bathroom (so I could watch the Simpsons while sipping champagne in the bath) and one at the foot of each of the double beds. (the other room was a dressing room, which got the sound from the TV's, but no TV.)
The room is made of cashmere. Seriously. The walls are lined with Cashmere, the throws on the bed and on the couches are made of cashmere. It's no wonder it's called the Cashmere suite. My cats would have destroyed it in seconds...
The room lights and TV were controlled by touch screen controls (including a portable one you could walk around with), there were subtle, coloured lights in the bathroom to 'glow' light out and not make the bathroom look too harsh, and there were insight lights in the floor and the shower for that soft touch.
The bath is a huge chunk of granite with a person (or two-person) whole cut in it (though watch out, it's a bit slippy, and you may spill your champers during the Simpsons).
Do you remember when the sign of a good tape recorder was how softly the tape door opened? A soft eject was the sign of the best makes. Well, the toilet seat had a 'soft close' on it. Instead of slamming down, it gently came to a close.
If you're excited about the toilet, you know it's a good place.
A private terrace with sun loungers, a library filled with books, expensive bath soaps etc (so Julie tells me) and the cleanest, tidiest feel of a hotel room I've ever had all combine with the other factors I've mentioned to become the most jaw-droppingly opulent, amazing room I've ever been in. It was really hard to leave, and if I ever get rich, I'll find someone who can design a room like that in my mansion... while I'm dreaming, I'd also like a Lamborghini.
I can't speak highly enough of going to Stobo through the So Pampering deal (or the lesser one which doesn't include treatments, and is about £100 cheaper). What the rooms are like for the rest of the 'public' who knows. But if you want to feel special, go Stobo. Go Cashmere.
And remember to take the car, so you can get a free wash.
Can't wait to go back!
I went to Stobo for an overnight escape with two friends. We didn't do any treatments (although there's always next time) because we had limited time and we were way too busy enjoying an action packed two days getting into the classes that are provided (try the early morning chi ball class - amazing!!), enjoying the spa facilities and swimming in the beautiful pool. The hot rooms are great, and the pool and bubble bed in the spa are wonderfully relaxing. Our room was great, and all the rooms are lovely from what I could see, but the Murray and Phillipson (we didn't stay there but got a peep) with their own balconies are unbelievable!! Everything everywhere throughout is squeaky clean.
I loved it. Loved it! Walking around in a robe - excellent!
The thing that amazed us was the food. It was great. I'm not sure what we expected......we didn't expect the lettuce leaf and carrot cliche (although we did bring emergency crisps just in case...), but at the same time we weren't prepared for the sumptous dinner and well chosen wine list either. Both dinner and breakfast were relaxed and lavish affairs, with good vegetarian options. At Stobo, lunch on your leaving day is also included, so we duly attended to find yet another incredible three course feast, with a lovely buffet main course as one of the options.
The staff are friendly yet professional (eg didn't bat an eyelid at me turning up for aerobics in my pyjamas as I'd forgotten my gym stuff), the gym staff are particularly helpful and encouranging, and the entire place has an air of stepping out of the real world just enough to help recharge weary batteries and cajole the tiredest souls.
A lot of people do go to bed early (ie pre 9.30pm) but we found a couple of others willing to share a late night bottle of rioja.....it is quite sociable at mealtimes (if you want it to be) and would be a great place to go on your own.
The Japanese gardens are beautiful, and we enjoyed a walk around them just before returning to reality.
I would recommend Stobo for a trip either alone (either gender), for mother/daughter or a group of friends, or for couples who are happy to engage with the whole 'wearing robes, laid back' experience.
I intend to revisit before Christmas for pre-season training......
We are saving to go back!
I went with a group of girlfriends for a two night stay at Stobo Castle in August 2006. We had a wonderful time.
Only two of our group had any treatments, the rest of us decided to use the facilities available and found that there was plenty to keep us occupied.
We were staying at Castle Lodge which is just a few minutes' walk from the Castle. The weather was beautiful when we were there so we didn't have to worry about getting wet walking between the Castle and the Lodge. The only thing I would criticise is that there could be better lighting leaving the spa going towards Park Lodge - it was very dark.
Our rooms were modern, well decorated and spotlessly clean with maid service. The food was excellent - far more than we expected!! We certainly didn't feel any need to snack between meals although the coffee shop looked very inviting.
The staff are very friendly and professional and did not even try to hurry us from the lounge at 11.55 p.m. when everyone else had gone to bed! They waited patiently on us leaving when we were ready before closing up for the night.
We took the Aqua Fit classes and would certainly recommend them for keeping fit whilst having a lot of fun. We also went for a light walk through the beautiful Japanese Gardens - which I would recommend. We then decided to take the Tums, Bums and Thighs class which quickly indicated to us just how unfit we were!! Back to the pool to relieve our aching muscles!!!
We loved being able to lounge in our dressing gowns for the majority of the time - apart from when out walking and we also respected the request to "dress" for dinner - albeit casually.
I could certainly recommend a few days at Stobo for mothers & daughters or a group of friends just wanting a few days relaxation and fun together. There were a few couples there but the majority were women either on their own or with friends.
It was a laid back experience and we will certainly go back again and are saving already - maybe next time we will have a treatment while we are there.
What is going on at Stobo?
Since 2002 myself and four friends have visited Stobo on a once yearly package.In the process between us we have spent approximately £7500 at the place in accomodation and treatments.
We are all hard working mothers of young children and used to look forward with great anticipation to our yearly "girlie weekend" putting away money every month to save for it.
Over the years I have viewed Stobo go downhill with alarming speed.
When we first went I was bowled over by how luxurious the place was.Molton Brown products in the washrooms,table service at breafast.Even sharing a table with complete strangers I have overlooked.How things have changed.
From rooms not being ready at check in to the drabbest single room I have ever seen; to no working shower in my room; to being late for dinner due to having to walk through the place for shower at friends room; to beds being made up at 1000 hours on departure date ;to the gratuities sneaked on the bill; to the senior receptionist looking at me as if I had crawled out from under a stone when I was complaing for the umpteenth time.I could go on and on and on.Oh and on top of all this I was paying £130 a night for the priviledge.I have had better service at the local travel lodge.I was offered another room eventually in the Park Lodge at the far end of where my friends rooms were. This to me was unacceptable.
On the plus side the trainee receptionist on duty couldnt have been any nicer,the waiting staff as ever were lovely.On the minus side I have yet to see any of the beauty therapists crack a smile or be in any way welcoming or pleasant.
Needlees to say I and my friends will never be back at Stobo and I could never recommend it honestly to anyone.
I eventually gave up and came home after one night as I couldn't
stand the place a moment longer.THEN I had to go back and pick up my understanding friends the following day as I was their driver!
I am now preparing a letter for the owner to let him know of my concerns.
not as special as b4
This is the 2nd time i have been to stobo. The first was about 2 years ago: I had just started working, and had never been anywhere so luxurious and special. All the extra touches were fantastic... they even washed your car for you!
Maybe it's partly becaue I've been to a few more high end places since then, but this time the shine had really disappeared from stobo.
It's MUCH busier now, even mdweek when we went, and it feels that way in the health suite; crowded. They have built on a big extension of rooms, that are more basic. But I paid alot more to get a room that was no way near as nice as the one I stayed in last time; it was pretty cramped ( a standard castle room), and the shower pressure was rubbish. They have also stopped putting bottled mineral water or biscuits in the rooms. Little extras like that seem to have gone by the wayside (except, perhaps, if you are paying for the super premium cashmere suite).
The therapists were all very pleasant, if a little bored and tired, and it doesn't take too much small talk with them to find out that they are worked very hard for peanuts; stobbo looks good on their cvs, but it doesn't pay well. This is especially jarring since u can expect to pay over £100 for a facial and full body massage; obviously very little of this cash finds its way to the therapists.
On the plus side... the food is still great, the setting is amazing. I just felt that for spending 280 pounds for an overnight stay with 2 treatments and a bottle of wine, I should be left wanting to go back. I don't and I will not be wasting my money again on stobo.
We have visited Stobo many times and have never been disappointed, a truly wonderful experience, for all busy mums. we should be given vouchers with our family allowance