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A Classic Martini

Wine and Spirits

A Classic Martini

A drink from New York City’s Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel

The Perfect Cup

Food and Drink

The Perfect Cup

Terra Kaffe’s espresso machine elevates your morning ritual with the press of a...

Tonga Room, San Francisco.

Wine and Spirits

The Sweet Escape

On the enduring allure of the tiki bar.

It's hard to imagine that Skibo Castle, already a favorite old pile of ours in the United Kingdom, could find room for improvement. Now the hideaway in the Scottish Highlands—a private club that admits guests for one-time visits only and was once the former summer home of Andrew Carnegie—has added a spa. The $2.4 million project is, in fact, just part of a larger makeover (room redecoration, a restaurant rethink) of the 7,500-acre estate north of Inverness. "If you wish to be a world-class destination," says managing director Peter Crome, "you can't rest on your laurels." For the spa, which occupies a converted Edwardian garage where Carnegie kept his Bentleys, Skibo's designers have smartly chosen to depart from the chintz and heavy draperies of the 21-room castle. Instead, calming modern luxe is the prevailing style, with a slate fireplace and a Highlandesque palette of pastel blue, green, and heather purple. The three silk-lined treatment rooms include marble showers, heated floors, and one-of-a-kind handblown-glass sinks. The offerings—from antiaging facials to full-body mud therapy—don't break new ground, but they're expertly administered using products from the Italian maker Comfort Zone and Sodashi from Australia. We're not sure which we found more soothing: the 80 minute hot-stone massage or the sight of swans gliding by on Lake Ospisdale during our manicure. If you can't relax here, you can't relax. From $1,175 to $1,730; treatments, $15-$145. (Nonmembers can stay once but must join for future visits.) In Dornoch, Sutherland; 44-1862/894-600;


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