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Norton House is a five-mintute drive from Edinburgh airport, yet you'd think you were out in the countryside. It's set in acres of beautiful grounds, mostly manicured lawn areas and a contemporary courtyards. The main building is hundreds of years old and was a country retreat belonging to the Ushers brewing family. The original features remain - oak panelling, corniced ceilings, huge wooden ornate staircases etc - but it has the contemporary twists that make it vibrant and comfortable. We stayed in a "classic" room which had a superking bed, balcony, huge plasma screen, DVD player etc. It was very attractive and comfortable.
We spent most of the first day in the spa and ate at the cafe bar there. The spa is quite new, having only been built in 2007. We stayed midweek so it was very quiet. It boasts a heated 18 metre pool with nice loungers all around it and lovely views of the garden area and pond. There is a seperate hydrotherapy pool which is quite large. There is also the lovely "experience shower" with special lighting and fragrance, plus a mosiac tiled steam room with ambient lighting and a large yet cosy sauna. The cafe serves nice meals and snacks, wines etc - we had jacket potatoes and capuccinos with homemade shortbread - yum. There is also a shop selling ESPA products.
In the evening we dined in the Brasserie (gorgeous), then had drinks in the Red Room. The Caesar Salad with anchovies there was the best I'd ever had. We both had salmon with saffron mash for our main which was also great. The atmosphere is Mediterranean and contemporary.
The following morning after a beautiful breakfast (poached haddock and eggs) in the Brasserie, we went for a lovely walk around the grounds before heading to the spa. Louise was the lady assigned to look after us, which she did perfectly. We were given fluffy robes and slippers to wear before being taken to the Amber Room to chill before our Aromatherapy body massages. The atmosphere at the Amber Room was tranquil. There was a range of complimentary fruit juices and herbal teas on offer as well as lots of magazines to read. Our massages were excellent, in an ambiently lit room with tranquil music as you'd expect. After that, we went to the Relax Room for a nice herbal tea before heading to the hydrotherapy room to reflect upon the experience and wish that we could stay longer.
I would recommend this lovely hotel to anyone who likes excellent food, beautiful surroundings, staff who are very friendly and helpful, and peace and quiet.