Consistently voted the top hotel spa in the UK (and who are we to disagree with the exacting standards of Conde Nast Traveller readers), The Dorchester Spa really is something special. A £3.2 million expansion of The Dorchester hotel in 2009 saw the spa undergo a makeover by Fox Linton Associates with 1930s touches - like the chrome doorway that gives you your first impression - and a centrepiece chandelier made of 75,000 South Pacific pearls. The Spa features nine tranquil, sound-proof treatment rooms including two double suites, a manicure and pedicure suite and relaxation room, a hairdressing salon and gentlemen's barber as well as a fitness studio. Unusually, and uniquely, for a spa there's also an informal 'Spatisserie' dining room where you can enjoy a light lunch, afternoon tea with (gasp) cakes, biscuits and pastries - a radical departure from the purify-and-purge philosophy of most spas. You can even indulge in a glass of pink fizz, or a Spa Kiss cocktail with elderflower and English sparkling Nytimber. Treatments cover the full range of face and body treatments with four 'expert partners' to choose from including signature facials by Vaishaly - whose Marylebone salon is frequently by celebs like Elle Macpherson and Sophie Dahl - Carol Joy London, European skincare brand Kerstin Florian, and acclaimed British brand, Aromatherapy Associates.
London Hotel Spas
Decadent art deco features line The Dorchester's exclusive spa.
Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA
Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station
Tailored treatments drawing on the Aman's Asian influences.
The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London, W1K 2AL
Tube: Bond Street Station
The luxury Aman Spa in the basement of the marvellous Mayfair hotel, The Connaught, is the first and only UK spa from the world renowned Aman Resorts. This is five star pampering at its most indulgent. The Connaught is a grand old building which recently emerged from a dazzling £70m-plus refurbishment which included the grand unveiling of the sparkling new spa on 25th November 2009. The spa in the hotel's new West Wing has been kitted out with a sleek Asian inspired interior and Thai silks and spa users have the pool and exercise room at their disposal too. The overall effect is a feeling of being in a unique cocoon. Reassuringly expensive - Aman resorts are famed across the globe for their celebrity clientele - a simple treatment list includes a holistic facial, Oriental oil massage and Chakra balancing treatment. For the ultimate extravagance, there's the Aman Spa Experience - a little pricey at £280 but for that you get two and a half hours of unadulterated bliss. But the real attraction is the way they make guests feel like they're queen for a day - and this is down to the therapists who are not only skilled in beauty techniques but in treating you like royalty too.
Knightsbridge is blessed with many spas, but not with a luxury rooftop pool like this.
The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7RL
The Health Club & Spa at The Berkeley hotel could be the only hotel spa in London to feature a roof top pool, and what a roof top it is - with its seventh floor location boasting wonderful views across Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. In keeping with the discrete atmosphere of this five star hotel, the spa is a haven of relaxing massages and indulgent beauty treatments where everything is perfectly pitched to make you leave feeling like a (well groomed) princess. Mums to be will be tempted by the Blooming Beautiful day spa package which includes a Mama Mio Mini Kit so you can continue the relaxation treatment at home. There are also Perfect Retreat packages 'for him' and 'for her' offering two hours of treatments that are sure to de-stress the parts other day spas cannot reach. Or if you're feeling more active, book in for a Synchronised Swimming lesson and unleash the underwater ballerina. The advantage of booking in for more than one treatment is that you can make a day of it, take lunch by the roof top pool, and afterwards stretch out on a sun lounger and make believe you're a million miles from the city. That's what we call a high flying spa experience.
Relaxation is taken to a whole new level at Sanderson's Agua Spa.
The Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 3NG
Walking into the clean white space that is the Agua Spa at the Sanderson is instantly calming, relaxing and heavenly. There are 14 private treatment rooms, a steam room and a gym with state-of-the-art equipment, free weights area and cardio theatre. Private relaxation suites and a central relaxation lounge complete what must be one of the most luxurious ways to be laid back while in the heart of the city. Arriving at least 15 minutes before your appointment will help you make the most of it and avoid any pre-spa stress. Treatments include Aromatherapy Associates or Eve Lom facials and massages range from Reiki and reflexology to reviving; there's even a mother-to-be option if you're expecting. The spa is strictly for use by members and hotel residents but if you want to visit for the day a £15 day membership fee is charged in addition to treatment costs.
Regain some harmony in the Manderin Oriental's amethyst crystal steam room.
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, London, SW1X 7LA
The vitality plunge pool, amethyst crystal steam room and zen colour therapy relaxation area are all part of the experience at The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental. No plain old relaxation area here - the 'aen' part means you get to chill out under lights that change colour so improving your mood - it's the perfect quiet spot to relax between therapies while sipping on a freshly squeezed juice or perfectly chilled water. The spa offers a full menu of treatments, including maintenance services like waxing and eyelash-tinting as well as more indulgent massages and facials all performed using E'SPA products. There's an Eastern influence with treatments focusing on holistic principles where your whole lifestyle - not just your skincare routine - is taken into account. The Mandarin Oriental has a worldwide reputation for five star elegance and this is the only place in the UK where you can sample how that translates into a spa. Utter Bliss.
Luxury escapism in the heart of the city. Home to London's first Snow Paradise.
K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London, W14 0AX
Book in for some freeze-thaw action at the K Spa at the K West Hotel & Spa, an oasis of cooling calm in a stylishly modernised former BBC office block in Shepherd's Bush. The basement spa is the first in London to feature a 'Snow Paradise' - the place to come when you want to cool off... in the -15ºC powder snow. Brr. For the full effect follow the freezing experience with a stint in the steam room, sanarium or sauna; the hot-cold contrast is said to stimulate the body's circulation and improve the immune system. In the wet area the glass paneled Hydrotherapy Pool, which can comfortably seat eight to ten people, provides the main focus of the room where you can relax under the twinkling star lights in between treatments. Alternatively, there is a dedicated RelaKs Zone where you can rehydrate and chill out (though perhaps not to -15ºC). Some of the more unusual treatments are the Sun Meadow room - using light therapy to combat S.A.D sydrome - and a dry flotation bed. But whether you're intent on relaxation or in search of some re-energising the treatments are many and varied from a quick fix manicure to a K Spa Escape day package which includes a candlelight massage and spa lunch.
Take a journey of the senses at the luxurious St Pancras Spa.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, King's Cross, London, NW1 2QP
Tube: King's Cross Station
The lavishly restored St Pancras Renaissance Hotel has attracted a lot of attention since opening in 2011 as part of the grand Eurostar relocation. The Hotel's Spa was inspired by the surroundings, drawing on the great train journeys that set off from St Pancras station. They provide a blend of treatments from around the world, aiming to transport you on a sensuous journey to "far away countries". Try an ancient Japanese Ko Bi Do youthful facial, an Indian Udvartana Ayurvedic Slimming Ritual or a Puree de Papaye Radiance Scrub from the Kingdom of Siam. There are also six luxury treatment rooms, including a Victorian tiled swimming pool, a eucalyptus steam room, a relaxation area, saunas, a fully equipped gym and a luxury couple's suite. And for something a bit different why not enlist the services of their fragrance tailor, Virginie Daniau, who can expertly sniff out your perfect "scent identity". The spa packages represent different journeys and continents, choose from Journey of the Silk Route or Journey to Africa, or just go for one of their traditional beauty treatments.
Take some time-out at ESPA Life, one of the world's largest and grandest spas.
Whitehall Place, Westminster, London, SW1A 2BD
The people at Espa take grooming pretty seriously, and quite rightly, when it comes to appearances it's often best to leave it to the experts. You'll certainly feel in safe hands at Corinthia's Hotel spa, where they have selected a team of world-class professionals and respected health and beauty experts. Daniel Galvin takes charge of hair styling, personal trainer and athletic expert Stephen Price looks after the gym and Max Tomlinson is responsible for integrated complimentary health. The 3,300 square metre spa is dark, chic and modern with black Italian marble and cutting edge treatment facilities, including an enclosed glass amphitheatre sauna, an ice fountain, a hammam, relaxation pods, a silver steel swimming pool and a black mosaic steam room. They have a great range of therapies on offer, from the super efficient 'Rush Hour Beauty' treatments, to the more intensive lifestyle programmes which treat everything from sleep disorders, to weight management and fertility and conception problems.
Book into the Four Seasons Park Lane for jaw-dropping views and ultimate indulgence.
Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1J 7DR
Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station
Few spas come with views like this. Situated on the 10th floor of the Four Seasons Park Lane Hotel, the luxury spa treatments are perfectly complimented by dazzling panoramic views of the city. There's a massage for everyone at the Four Seasons, choose from Swedish, fitness, mineral stone or aromatherapy. Or try a more adventurous body treatment, like the green coffee and chilli resculpting massage or the seaweed and eucalyptus detoxifier. For the ultimate indulgence however, it has got to be the Sky Suite, an exclusive private room with double steam shower, relaxation area and unbeatable views across London's parks and landmarks.
This unique and colourful day spa is guaranteed to lift your spirits.
6 Waterloo Place, St James's, London, SW1Y 4AN
Opened in July 2009, So SPA by Sofitel is a stunning relaxation space - all marble and modern design - housed within the Sofitel St James hotel where a 'spa butler' ensures your every need is catered for. Located in a landmark listed building (a former bank) in St James, one of the most prestigious locations in London, the hotel is a lesson in understated elegance with design features accentuated by a French accent. There's even a large topiary French poodle overlooking the garden. The spa consists of five treatment rooms spread out over three floors with a Turkish steam bath (or hamam) featuring a central heated marble treatment bed, and a relaxation room on the mezzanine level. Cinq Mondes and Carita are the luxury products used in the spa treatments which are presented as gastronomic treat with a menu of starters, mains and desserts. So you can indulge in a 30 minute hamman to start, an anti-ageing Pro-Lift Firming Rejuvenation facial for main course, followed by a martini and manicure for dessert. A fun way to round off your deliciously pampering day at the So SPA.
A tranquil oasis hidden within the large Greenwich hotel.
InterContinental - The O2, 1 Waterview Drive, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0TW
Tube: North Greenwich Station
Hidden within the centre of the InterContinental London - The O2 is a large luxury spa that offers a tranquil escape. In keeping with the hotel's brand, the spa draws on the historic influences of Royal Greenwich and the local East India Trading Company, bringing together sumptuous rugs and delicate die-cut pendant lighting inspired by the local trading of porcelain and silks that dates back as far as the 18th century. The spa houses eight treatment rooms, where guests can enjoy a number of ESPA beauty and relaxation therapies, and a 17metre indoor swimming pool, with sunbeds dotted around the edge for ultimate relaxation. Additionally, guests will be able to utilise a sauna, steam room and a gym that has TechnoGym equipment.
IN THIS ARTICLE
The Dorchester Spa
The Berkeley Health Club and Spa
Agua Spa at Sanderson
The Spa at Manderin Oriental
K Spa at K West Hotel
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel Spa
ESPA life at Corinthia
Four Seasons Park Lane Spa
So Spa at Sofitel
The Spa at InterContinental London - The O2
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