Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty investor, Eiesha Bharti Pasricha, was the creative force behind our new wellness offering at Gleneagles. We caught up with her to learn about her vision.
A World of Wellness
With beautiful new spaces for relaxation, restoration and rejuvenation; a range of Gleneagles oil blends featuring natural botanicals from the Perthshire countryside; and treatments and experiences designed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading wellness brands, the Spa at Gleneagles is not an opus on indulgence, but a vital celebration of health, happiness and life itself.
Eiesha: “Nowadays, we’re all busy and our lives move at breakneck speed,” she says. “Each of us faces demands and distractions that our ancestors could never have imagined. As we go about our day – fuelled on adrenalin, spinning plates, juggling responsibilities and dashing between digital devices to which we’ve become addicted – discovering effective ways to protect ourselves and recover from that daily assault needs to be at the top of everyone’s agenda. Doing an hour at the gym a couple of times a week or having drinks with friends at the pub each Friday isn’t going to cut it.”
While in the past, the concept of ‘wellness’ was framed, even by wellness brands themselves, she says, as a luxury, an extravagance, or an aspirational pastime, the truth is wellness is relevant to everyone.
“It’s simply about finding and maintaining health, balance, inner peace and happiness in every part of your life. The pandemic – which has forced all of us to spend time at home alone reflecting on what’s important – has brought that reality home to many people, some for the very first time.”
Born in Scotland, raised in India, and now based between homes in London and Scotland, Eiesha’s dual cultural heritage informed her understanding of health as well as her vision for wellness at Gleneagles.
“Here in Scotland, we have the most beautiful scenery in the world and it’s something I never take for granted. Standing on the Gleneagles estate, inhaling the fresh air, and looking out at the untamed landscape of the Ochil Hills, it’s really quite an extraordinary experience, especially if you live in a city. The restorative and health-boosting power of connecting with those natural assets – their ability to lift our mood and restore our balance – is truly incredible.
“In India, there’s an ancient tradition of wellbeing based on nature too, especially the health-giving properties of botanicals. When I was a child in India, my mother and grandmother never gave me tablets for headaches or used synthetic products for a grazed knee. Instead, Ayurvedic therapies and rituals, which have been passed down from generation to generation, were always the norm, and there was an effective natural remedy for every ailment – using a turmeric root poultice to reduce inflammation, special concoctions made with herbs or a fresh ginger and aniseed tea to soothe a cough, or liquorice root and coconut oil to treat skin conditions. Those Ayurvedic therapies have, of course, influenced Western medicine and spa experiences increasingly in recent years, but they’ve been a part of my day-to-day experience my entire life and, like my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother before me, I now use them on my children too.”
Since Eiesha acquired Gleneagles six years ago, this natural approach to wellness – harnessing the formidable power of nature to boost wellbeing – has been a guiding principle in the evolution of the Spa, as well as the introduction of The Cabinet in the Retail Arcade.
“For the first time, we’re producing our own balms, oils and scrubs derived from herbs and plants that can be found on our estate and in the beautiful surrounding countryside. It’s what I call ‘modern alchemy’ and it’s taken almost a year to develop the products from concept to bottle. You could say we’re bringing the outside in, capturing the beauty and vitality of the glorious natural landscape surrounding the hotel, which is also reflected in the artwork that’s now displayed around the Spa.”
Developing a haven – a place to truly unwind and disconnect from the distractions and stresses of modern life – was Eiesha’s number one goal.
“As soon as you walk in, the designs and colour palette – which is pared back, muted, pastel and feminine – make you feel calmer instantly. From the furnishings and the lighting to the art, every inch of the space has been carefully designed to ensure the nervous system is quieted and soothed, not fired up.”
In this age of continual and limitless choice, reducing the size of the Spa menu was another careful move.
“Every single day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed, you have to make constant decisions – what shall I wear to work?; how should I commute today?; what should I choose for lunch?; which jobs should I prioritise?; what should I cook the children for dinner? – who wants to read through yet another 20-page document in order to enjoy what should be a pleasant experience? We’re cutting out the need to analyse and evaluate by distilling our menu and offering six incredible Gleneagles signature treatments which are tailored to the individual.”
As she continues our tour, Eiesha beams with pride and excitement that the new Spa at Gleneagles will enhance the guest experience through partnerships with some of the finest wellness brands in the world.
“I’m proud that we’re collaborating with the leaders in this field, women whose talents, research and brands have really advanced our understanding and appreciation of wellness. Many of these brand collaborations will be a first for Scotland, the UK or the world. “From Dr Barbara Sturm – who leads the way with her less-is-more and anti-inflammatory ethos – and Tata Harper, who grows all the ingredients for her products in her own garden, to model-turned-nutritionist, Rosemary Ferguson, who is working with our culinary team to develop a delicious and healthy new Café menu, and Glow Bar who have worked on a collaboration with us for our beverage bar, I cannot wait for our guests to experience the new Spa at Gleneagles.”