NATURE lovers are being offered a hotel experience that aims to provide the most restful of check-ins.

Guests at Glasgow's Blythswood will awaken to birdsong,recorded in the nearby square gardens, in a room filled with lush vegetation. 

The owners of the five-star hotel are hoping the multi-sensory experience, which is a first in Scotland, will imbue guests with the health and mood-boosting properties of plants.

The Herald:

First coined by American biologist E.O Wilson in 1984, hotels world-wide are tapping into biophilic design, where plants and vegetation weave around man-made structures.

Some of the most striking examples can be found in Singapore, where vines and plants climb the exterior of the 27-storey Oasia Hotel Downtown. 

Science suggests plants help remove toxins from the air while molecular natural chemicals called Phytochemicals are said to boost the immune system and ease stress.

One 2009 study concluded that people find it easier to resolve minor life problems when spending time in natural settings.

Trailing ivy, monstera leaves and palm fronds have been incorporated into the fifth floor room of the Blythswood.

The hotel is monitoring the effects of La Chambre Verte (the green garden) on guests and hoping to capitalise on a growth in so-called 'wellbeing tourism' which is predicted to surge in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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Finlay Anderson, Spa Director at Kimpton Blythswood Square and Area Spa Director for IHG said: “When we opened following the first lockdown in 2020 we noticed there was a real desire from guests to return for rest, relaxation and self-care.

"Our spa inbox is melting at the moment, it's so so busy. I think the whole wellness tourism is going to absolutely explode.

The Herald:

"There is a lot of evidence coming to light for biophillia at the moment in a lot of different aspects such as green-space design in the workplace for mental health.

"I'm into my fitness and having done some research it became quite startling the amount of athletes, part of their training schedule was time spent meditating in the garden or walking in a forest. It was their belief that it had a massive impact on their recovery.

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"When you start to look at the research in the hospital environment, post-surgery and the times people take to recovery, it is so much accelerated by having some sort of biophilic design or plants inside the wards.

"That then got me looking at it from a hotel point of view and becoming a bit of a believer in it. I was quite lucky, I grew up in a remote place in the outskirts of Dumfries, we are trying to bring the outdoors indoors.

"A lot of studies on what Millennial would like to see in hotels, it was more greenery and plant life."

The Blythswood has partnered with luxury CBD skincare brand La Rue Verte, created by Emma O'Neil and leading horticulturalists Benholm for an overnight package that includes guided meditation, CBD treatments and products and a mini-bar stocked with vitamin-infused cocktails rather than alcohol.

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Award-winning DJ, Brian D’Souza has created a rejuvenating sunrise flow and calming twilight track to enhance the experience. 

The Herald:

"It's a bit of an experiment at the moment," said the Spa Director. "We have a room directly below, which is exactly the same layout so ideally our guests will spend the night in the room below, get up have their breakfast and we will ask them to fill in a short survey on quality of sleep, mood and they will then move to the biophilic room and spend some time in the spa, with CBD treatments."

Adrian Bryne, Benholm Group said: “At Benholm Group we have long understood the value plants can bring to every environment.

"To have the opportunity to work on a project which is designed to highlight the benefits of biophilia for mental as well as physical wellbeing has been a real joy”.