TUCKED into the side of Loch Ard lies a hotel which promised a remote and relaxing experience – and delivered just that.

The Macdonald Forest Hills Hotel and Spa sits just minutes from the idyllic village of Aberfoyle, just a half hour drive from Stirling, and this is where for one rainy post-Christmas day, the pressures of life would alleviated.

We arrived at around 12pm where we checked in for Macdonald’s New Year, New You spa package, which promised two treatments and full access to the spa for the entire day – topped off with a glass of prosecco for the non-driver.

The chance to relax in, and at the side of, the pool while watching the rain hammer off the window was a perfect way to kickstart the day, before climbing into the sauna, hot tub and jacuzzi.

The facilities were ideal, if not a little small, but Forest Hills won’t be the busiest Macdonald hotel out there. Small and sparse they may have been, but they were just enough for us, and the several families with young children – all of whom had something different to occupy them.

Once we were finished in the pool facilities, it was time for our treatments which included a 25 minute personalised hands on ELEMIS facial using specially formulated products using locally sourced ingredients and superfoods to detoxify the skin leaving it more smooth and supple.

A facial was a first for me but I went in with an open mind and ended up having as relaxing a time as I could have hoped for.

The therapists could not have delivered a better service for either of us, asking questions beforehand to ascertain our skin types and what issues – if any – we would like addressed in our 25 minutes.

We then had a choice of express treatments and could choose a hand and arm massage, foot and leg massage or a lip and eye treatment.

Both of us opted for the foot and leg and left with zero regrets.

A firm massage to release the pressure before hydrating and exfoliating both the feet and legs left us wondering why we don’t give ourselves these opportunities more often, as the prosecco was brought into a relaxation room while we dreaded the return to work the following day.

It was the perfect way to spend any Sunday, especially a grey and miserable one and as we sheltered from the conditions on the way back to the car, we agreed it wouldn’t be the last time we treat ourselves to the very best Macdonald Hotels have to offer.

For more information or to book at the hotel, go to https://www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/.