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Usonia | Luxury Self-Catering Hot Tub Retreat | Melrose, Scotland


Melrose, Scotland, UK

Picture a Brooklyn loft with white-washed bricks and polished floors, then give it a dose of shrinking potion and tuck it away in the Scottish treetops; this is Usonia, a mid-century modern home turned luxury self-catering sanctuary on St Cuthbert's Way. If you carry a torch for cubic silhouettes, but have a soft spot for the Nordic decadence of sauna living, this Melrose hideout will make your modernist heart beat a little faster.



In a feat of architectural baton-passing that’s seen the house evolve in the hands of three design-led custodians, Usonia happens where small space living meets one of the great British pilgrimages. Sitting in its own mature woodlot, where country-hungry dogs can sniff squirrels up trees to their heart’s content, this zinc-and-larch-clad Usonian block is the Scottish Borders getaway to rival them all; a nifty Scandi-fied dwelling at the foot of the Eildon Hills. Offsetting Melrose's mild temps with steaming hot rainfall showers and a meditative sauna, this luxury self-catering retreat celebrates cosy functionality while staying true to its modernist bones.


Here lies good design. Clean lines and playful light; a wood and white rendering that would be approved by any professor of the Bauhaus school. Usonia is a Scottish family den that’s grounded by its materials, a pocket-sized industrial loft where natural timber and comic illustrations from Beano warm the monochromatic cockles. This is where luxury retreats meet treetop living in the folkloric lowlands. Minimalist souls with a magpie eye for all that luxe living has to offer will gather on webbed wishbone chairs for family Scrabble tournaments, while dogs press noses to the glass for sightings of rough-legged buzzards in the spruce trees.


Usonia is modernism’s answer to The Swiss Family Robinson, a could-be treehouse that’s all about the simple life. With St Cuthbert's Way right on the doorstep, there’s miles to meander (or scoot over at breakneck speed if you’re a four-legged friend); when feet and pockets are empty of shortbread, it’s back home for a thawing stint in the sauna and grilled cheese from the barbecue. The local inn and beer garden is just a dander away. And if it's blowing a hoolie, there’s nothing like a spot of cold water therapy to enliven the pack, so stuff a backpack with flasks and make for Cauldshiels Loch. But be warned, folklore tells it’s home to a phantom bull.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 6 guests (4 adults and 2 children)
    From £2,450 per week, £1,850 per short break
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are three bedrooms at this luxury Scottish sanctuary; one with a king-size bed up a short flight of stairs (which has access to a bathroom on the same floor with bath and overhead shower), and two up a separate short flight of stairs with double beds that share a walk-in shower room with WC.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesSauna, hot tub, yoga deck, and compact kettlebell gym
  • PetsTwo well-behaved dogs are welcome
    Each pet is charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyBabies and children are very welcome; a cot and high chair are available.
  • PracticalitiesEntry to Usonia is via a narrow road and there is ample parking for four cars on the private drive, but care is required due to the compact space. The kitchen has an oven, four-ring induction hob, combi-oven, microwave, low level fridge-freezer, Nespresso machine, and dishwasher. There is a utility area by the kitchen sink with a washer-dryer. The house has underfloor heating throughout. Please note that the garden is not fully enclosed, guests are asked to exercise due diligence if travelling with children and dogs. While this is technically a single-storey dwelling, there are some short flights of stairs into the main sitting room and up to the two double rooms.
  • Homestay includesA welcome hamper of local produce, iPad, superfast broadband internet, a Samsung Frame TV (with Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, NOW TV, ITV Hub, and iPlayer), an additional TV in the recreation room, Marshall Bluetooth speaker, barbecue, bird-watching binoculars, books and board games, luxury linens, towels and fluffy bathrobes, and logs and kindling to get you started.House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questions

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A unique modern home made of brick and natural wood
A contemporary forest home
The open fire will provide all the company you need

Prices & Availability


Scots Gaelic for "Bald Moor”, the supposed burial place of King Arthur, and with roots that date back to the Middle Ages, Melrose is wrapped in a lore all of its own.

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Getting there

  • On the Map Usonia is located in Melrose, within walking distance to shops, approximately one hour south of Edinburgh and one-and-a-half hours north of Carlisle.
  • By Car From London, take the M1 towards Sheffield, the A1(M) to Newcastle, and the A696 and A68 towards Melrose, and follow the directions provided.
  • By Train You can take a train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh in four-and-a-half hours. Usonia is one hour by car, or one-and-a-half hours by public transport. The closest train station is Tweedbank, which is three miles away.
  • By Air Edinburgh Airport is one hour from Usonia by car, with car hire available in advance.

From the owner

“Welcome to the woods, the setting that originally drew us to the property; a mid-century house in a truly idyllic and elevated position.”

From the owner

The house and garden were originally designed by the late architect Hamish Bremner; and an extension and terrace were added in 1977 by Ron Russell, a Principal Architect to the celebrated Peter Womersley. We acquired the property in 2021, after which it was re-imagined by dRAW Architecture of London.

We have lovingly renovated the house to turn it into a woodland sanctuary, but with all of the immediate amenities the town has to offer. Walk through the gates to solitude, or enjoy the culture and beauty of Melrose at a stones’ throw from our single-storey home. The property sits in its own acre of mature woodland, and the tiered terrace overlooks the town of Melrose and Melrose Abbey below.

Exhibiting the innovative spirit of modernist residential design, Usonia is a place to relax amongst the rolling Eildon Hills, watch the rugby in its hometown, or venture into medieval Edinburgh, which is just 40 miles to the north.


Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Melrose with an insider’s perspective.

The Gallery Melrose, Melrose

To Do

The Gallery Melrose, Melrose

Take a turn around town to peruse what’s on offer at The Gallery Melrose, perhaps sourcing some original artworks, quality prints, sculptures, jewellery, or glassware from artists as close as the Scottish Borders or as far as Arizona.

The Hoebridge, Gattonside

To Eat

The Hoebridge, Gattonside

Modern, thoughtful, and just five minutes away by car from the property, this family-run Michelin-starred restaurant crafts seasonal menus that change each month, serving locally-roasted Luckie Coffee and beer from Tempest Brewery.

Alexander Dalgetty & Sons, Galashiels

To Eat

Alexander Dalgetty & Sons, Galashiels

Galashiels is the next village north and the home of a charming fifth-generation family bakery; find world-famous Selkirk bannock (a rich and buttery leavened tea bread) and melt-in-the-mouth shortbread among its stores.

Commendator´s House Museum, Melrose

To See

Commendator´s House Museum, Melrose

Forming part of Melrose Abbey, Commendator´s House Museum is home to Scotland’s largest collection of medieval artefacts; take a wander around the surrounding grounds to find medieval bridges and ancient foundations.

Guest Testimonials

We enjoyed the time spent in that beautiful area. We definitely enjoyed our stay at Usonia, it was comfortable in many aspects (books, games, maps, condition of the property, location, etc) Thank you for your high-quality services!

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Usonia and Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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