THE SPA SHORTLIST: LONDON
It feels like that in-between time of year, doesn’t it? Too early for the summer holidays (which can’t come soon enough) but luckily never too late for a spa escape. So…
Inspired by SpaFinder Wellness 365, we’ve compiled The Beauty Shortlist’s spring “Spa Shortlist” for you – spafinder.co.uk is a great one-stop resource for everything ‘spa’, from finding a spa near you to planning a wellness holiday abroad.
Spafinder Wellness 365 also do Gift Vouchers, so you can give the gift of feeling better to someone who deserves a soothing break – the lucky recipient gets to choose a bespoke spa experience from over 1,000 locations in the UK.
Now for our round-up of 7 luxury London spas (no airfare involved so you can splurge a little more!) that really do deliver on the calming/energising/balancing front.
Get your spa slippers on, switch off, forget the rest of the world, and join us as we whisk you off on a tour of London’s most relaxing places and spaces…
We l-o-v-e Elemis skincare and who better to surrender your skin to than Elemis’s expert therapists at The Elemis Day Spa in Mayfair?
Book yourself in for an award-winning facial or stay longer and turn your private suite into your own private sanctuary right in the heart of London.
Tucked away in Lancashire Court, the ambiance here is tranquil, the interiors quite gorgeous (think ‘Moroccan design meets zen den’) and each individual therapy has been intelligently designed to revive not just your skin but your body and mind.
What to try? One of the eight skin-targeted facials: Acne/Deep Cleansing, Anti-aging, Custom, Exfoliating, Men’s, Rosacea, Sensitive/Calming or The Elemis Signature Facial (legendary).
Don’t miss: Elemis’s totally game-changing NEW Biotec Facials which have been in the making for over two years and have only just launched – read all about the breakthrough anti-wrinkle, resurfacing, lift effect hi-tech Biotec facial therapies HERE.
Explore more at ELEMIS Day Spa, 2-3 Lancashire Court, Mayfair, London, W1S 1EX with SpaFinder Wellness 365
Leafy green views and bespoke treatments tailored around you have made COMO Shambhala one of the most healing holistic urban spas in the city and a local favourite.
What’s more, COMO Shambhala’s own range of divine massage oils formulated with herbs and aromatic plant extracts (originally created at the stunning COMO resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands) are used in the treatments.
Take your pick from the Asian-inspired menu which includes shiatsu, reiki, reflexology and Thai massage and if you fancy a private yoga class, they can arrange this for you. There’s also a gym for post-work workouts, too.
Well known for its massage therapies, time just seems to slow down at COMO Shambhala, so it’s the perfect spot for a bit of pampering and healing in our rush-rush world.
COMO Shambhala, Metropolitan London, Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1LB
Winner of The World Luxury Spa Awards (2014)
Need to jet away? Escape to Marrakech, but minus the travel time (and the airfare) and dip into The Spa at Dolphin Square’s Maroc-inspired menu of authentic cleansing rituals.
This place is positively dripping with all sorts of indulgent therapeutic treatments, from luxury hammam sessions to 15 minutes in the salt-infused steam room. The salty steam mimics the benefits of sea air and works to draw out toxins, soothe weary muscles and induce a deeply relaxed state (yes please) – and this treatment doubles as a tonic for respiratory conditions and helps heal skin conditions, too.
Dolphin Square also happens to be a just 15 mins from central London but the blissfully scented Spa’s gorgeous low lighting, comforting warmth, luxe ambiance and “modern Moroccan” look and feel might just be the next best thing to a one way ticket to Marrakech next weekend.
Try: The Moroccan Rose Indulgence, a full body exfoliating treatment after which you’ll be wrapped in a “rose cocoon”, finishing with a revitalising facial.
There are lots of add-ons to the therapies offered – mini manis, mini pedis, quick fix argan facials and hair treatments, so although you’ll be wanting to stay for the day, if time is an issue you can still pop in and be out within the hour, too.
Don’t miss: The ultra-cleansing Luxury Hammam Ritual which starts with a mint leaf foot ritual, followed by a rhassoul clay and shea butter nourishing body cleanse and ends with an orange blossom and rose water treatment – you’ll walk out feeling calm, clean and revived.
Visiting from out of town? Book into one of the stylish serviced apartments and stay the night.
The Spa at Dolphin Square, Chichester St, London SW1V 3LX
Sleek, hip and happening, The Sanderson Hotel’s uber-cool vibe translates into an oasis of minimalist calm at Agua Spa. There’s even an interior courtyard garden where the hustle and bustle of the city feels a million miles away, and a Malaysian restaurant if you’re feeling peckish after your treatment(s).
When your stressometer’s heading for “red”, the all white and cream theme and diaphanous cloudlike curtains feel cooling and head-clearing and..yes…even the orchids are white.
This stunning 10,000 sq ft spa space offers a dazzling array of rejuvenating treatments combining the best of ancient and modern, all of which you can soak up in the comfort of your own chill-out zone. There are 14 treatment rooms and meditation beds where you can float away and forget the world while London life whooshes by, outside.
Book yourself in for: The “Aqua Milk and Honey”. This Ayurvedic-based massage, using a delicious blend of warm honey, sesame oil, and milk is the spa’s signature treatment.
Agua, The Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NG at SpaFinder Wellness 365
Love a London spa a stone’s throw from a pretty royal park?
The Sofitel’s neoclassical façade is the perfect backdrop for So SPA’s oh-So modern, oh-So elegant and oh-So slightly “French royal family” feel.
Why we love it: 392 sq m of pampering-to-the-hilt zones await you, spread across three different floors. Beauty hounds will love the fact that So SPA’s spa products are by Carita, Cinq Mondes and Mama Mio and you won’t want to leave without a session on the Sha Chair (odds-on you’ll want to take it home.)
Make a day of it and stay for afternoon tea followed by champagne and cocktails at the St. James Bar where the décor’s inspired by none other than Coco Chanel’s 1920s Paris apartment.
You might like…? The Claret-Coquet Method (aka alternative to botox) Acupuncture Face Lift, designed to stimulate muscles, smooth fine lines, tone, firm and energise the face.
There are 5 treatment rooms, a boutique, manicure and pedicure stations, a Turkish hammam, Astorina hydro bath, Dornbracht aromatherapy experience showers and even an effervescent Kohler Sok infinity bath with colour-changing chromotherapy , all here at So SPA’s oasis by the park.
Tempted? Read up on the So SPA experience at London’s Sofitel St. James, at SpaFinder Wellness 365
3 words. “Book us in!”
There’s only one London hotel actually ‘on’ Hyde Park and there’s only one Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park. This is the spa the spa gurus go to and if you’ve been before, you’ll know why.
It’s all about east meets west treatments at the Mandarin, where glamour and “spahh” factor mix as perfectly as the hotel’s near-legendary cocktails.
Each therapeutic treatment begins with a private consultation with your therapist to determine your personal and current state of wellbeing. Then the treatment and oils are tailored to each guest with the ultimate goal of leaving your body, mind and spirit both centred and balanced.
So SPA gets extra points for the fact that guests receive nutritional and exercise guidance to extend the beneficial effects of the programme at home.
If you’re in ‘money no object’ serious pampering mode, opt for the Full Day Experience. You’ll start with a Welcome Foot Ritual, moving on to the Intense Nourishment Body Wrap, English Rose Journey, Age-Repair Facial and last but not least Luxurious Foot Massage. £500 for 4 hrs 20 mins.
Soothing bamboo fixtures and minimalist interiors give a nod to the spa’s Asian origins, and if you’re not ready to leave yet after your treatment you can unwind in the Zen colour therapy lounge, linger for a few laps in the Vitality Pool, or explore the amethyst crystal steam room.
Good luck leaving. You’ll want to come back.
Dive into The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park with SpaFinder Wellness 365
“There is an almost religious peace about Ushvani, and a real reverence for beautification” – ES Magazine
Arguably, at the end of the day, peace (and love) is what we all seek so it’s heartwarming to find a place like Ushvani just a warm, flat spa stone’s throw from both Chelsea and Knightsbridge.
Founder Usha Arumugam has created a space that rivals the best spas in Asia – no easy feat – so no wonder the press accolades keep pouring in: “London’s best-kept secret” (Time Out), “A temple of peace and pampering of the highest order” (Sunday Times)…the rave reviews just go on and on.
Things you’ll want in your spa-throom. We adore the Coconut & Keffir Lime Butter (far left)
Ushvani is both a Tatler and Conde Nast spa winner, and this probably has a lot to do with the balance of beautiful, tranquil surroundings, holistic therapies – and therapists, just as importantly – and the inspirational Usha herself.
Ushvani is that sort of special place that can soothe your jangled nerves, comfort your soul, and leave you feeling so much better than when you walked in, and that all is well with the world (again)…
Don’t miss: The Ushvani Signature Massage. As Glamour magazine said: “Think of the best massage you’ve ever had. Then triple it”.
On that note, we’ll leave you to explore the rest… USHVANI.COM
Ushvani Day Spa, 1 Cadogan Gardens, London SW3
“Don’t compromise on your dreams and never give up. View any failure as a positive learning step taking you closer to achieving your dream” – Usha Arumugam, founder, USHVANI
A big THANK YOU to SpaFinder.co.uk for providing all the spa inspiration,and don’t miss our SpaFinder competition which starts 13 May.
Full details on how to enter and what you could win, will be on our competition page on Tuesday!
EXPLORE A WORLD OF SPAS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR AT