THE VIBE: One of London’s best-kept secrets, Ushvani is a private retreat just off Sloane Square that offers Asian-inspired treatments. The capital’s only Malaysian spa, it’s consistently scooping spa awards, namely for its superlative treatments, beautiful décor and outstanding service. Ushvani uses its own products, the smell of which delicately lingers in the air – think ginger, nutmeg and pandan leaves – and thanks to a staggered booking system, the space never feels overly crowded. There’s a strong focus on the mind here, too – all treatments start with guided meditation and breathing exercises to supercharge the relaxation process.
WHAT TO BOOK: Once you’ve experienced Ushvani’s signature Malay massage, no other treatment will ever compare. Taking a more gentle, Asian approach, the treatment starts with a consultation and uses long, kneading strokes to banish knots and tension. If you have the time, treat yourself to a two-hour treatment – at Ushvani there’s a minimum booking time of 90 minutes for all body treatments, but the additional 30 minutes will guarantee total full-body relaxation. This may sound like a long treatment, but it’s one of the few where we’ve fallen asleep and remained comfortable throughout the entire treatment.
The Ned’s Club Spa
THE VIBE: If you’re in need of some real pampering, you could do worse than step inside the lavish surroundings of The Ned’s Club Spa. This spa comes with all the frills, including a 20-metre, marble-clad pool, steam room, sauna and hammam, as well as numerous treatment rooms. With a nod to 1920’s glamour, the spa’s interior doesn’t go unnoticed – think parquet floors, velvet club chairs and gold-flecked, hand-painted murals. If that wasn’t enough, the pool was formerly a bullion vault that’s been reclad in marble.
WHAT TO BOOK: A one-stop-shop for head-to-toe maintenance, the spa at The Ned ticks all the boxes. For the ultimate pre-party pampering, consider the Cowshed Ultimate pedicure, a 75-minute treatment that comprises a hydrating foot mask and scalp and shoulder massage; or for quick results, try the Fire & Ice LED iS Clinical Facial. Using light therapy to kickstart the skin into action – think red light to boost collagen production and antibacterial blue light – alongside clinically-proven cosmeceutical products, it’s the perfect facial for those looking for serious results. If you don’t have time for a full facial, consider adding a speedy 20-minute LED treatment onto your pedicure.
The Lanesborough Club & Spa
THE VIBE: Positioned between Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair, The Lanesborough has long been synonymous with luxury and its spa offering is no exception. Having opened in 2017, the spa is an extraordinary space where opulent interiors are matched by a gold-star roster of therapists. Spa manager Debbie Lowry has enlisted some of the wellness industry’s biggest names – think Garry Trainer who heads up the back clinic with his unique approach of osteopath and acupuncture.
WHAT TO BOOK: To reset mind and body, book in for the ila CBD Immersion, a heavenly 90-minute treatment that focuses on the feet, abdomen and face. Using a variety of ila products, including gentle exfoliators, CBD balms and luscious oils, you'll leave feeling at least two inches taller. We also rate the deep-tissue massage, which uses an Ayurvedic method of applying potali pouches (soaked in argan oil, lemongrass and frankincense) along the spine, followed by a massage with a smooth volcanic stone.
The Bamford Spa at The Berkeley
THE VIBE: The fourth-floor Bamford Haybarn spa at The Berkeley could well be mistaken for an English country garden, albeit high above the city. All treatments on offer use Bamford and OSKIA’s botanical-inspired products, harnessing the healing power of nature. Our top tip? Book in with a friend and head to the hotel’s legendary Blue Bar for post-massage cocktails. Also keep an eye out for a new spa featuring an indoor swimming pool, which is set to open later this summer.
WHAT TO BOOK: If you’re prone to stress, anxiety or insomnia, The Bamford De-Stress Massage will restore and revive. The treatment starts with a soothing footbath, followed by a rhythmic massage that uses shiatsu, meridian and Swedish techniques to re-energise and enhance lymph flow to banish unwanted toxins. As well as being incredibly soothing – ideal for stressed-out urbanites – it also detoxes at a deep level, instantly countering sluggishness and bloating.
ESPA Life at The Corinthia
THE VIBE: One of the largest spas in London, ESPA Life at The Corinthia is set over four floors and is the ultimate in spa luxury. The dark décor – think black Italian marble, polished chrome and pewter artwork – feels almost cocooning in its warmth, while the thermal floor is well worth a visit. With log fires, an ice fountain, black-mosaic steam room and a glass-fronted sauna, you could easily spend a couple of hours here, while the sleep pods are the ideal spot for a post-treatment snooze. When it comes to the treatments, expect the best from globally acclaimed naturopaths, traditional Chinese medicine acupuncturists and herbalists, osteopaths and massage experts.
WHAT TO BOOK: Dr Barbara Sturm’s Instant Glow facial is the spa’s most popular facial treatment and one to book if you have a special event on the horizon, while the Resilience Ritual body treatment is a blissful two-hour treatment designed to boost circulation to revive the body – comprising hot stone massage, lymphatic drainage, a seaweed body wrap and scalp massage, it will leave you feeling physically and mentally rejuvenated.
THE VIBE: If you haven’t got a holiday booked anytime soon, a day pass to the Bulgari Spa, tucked away five floors below the cult Knightsbridge hotel, could well suffice for a few days relaxing on the beach. At the heart of the spa lies a gold colonnaded pool, which is lit by dappled rays from underwater lights and overlooked by rows of day beds, from which you can order drinks and snacks at the touch of a button. The treatments match the opulent interiors – from osteopathy to acupuncture and massages and facials, carried out by some of the world’s top therapists.
WHAT TO BOOK: The options are endless – think CBD stress-melting body treatments, Ayurvedic-inspired facials with a side of crystal healing, LED facials or the reviving JAX Coco Body Experience, which starts with a body scrub and finishes with a hot stone and coconut oil massage. For the ultimate in exclusive pampering, book out the Bulgari Private Spa Suite, which features two treatment beds, a dressing room with private bathroom, private relaxation room and a hydro massage tub.
Akasha at Café Royal
THE VIBE: Despite being located underneath Regent’s Street – arguably as central as it gets – this subterranean spa leads the way in its holistic approach to wellbeing and is the definition of an urban sanctuary. As you descend the steps into the spa, it’s the 18m pool, flanked by squashy day beds, that captures your attention, but tucked around the pool are nine treatment rooms, a sauna, a hammam, and London’s first Watsu pool for private hydrotherapy sessions. A spacious spa that has everything you need without being overwhelmingly big, Akasha is quite possibly the perfect place to while away the hours.
WHAT TO BOOK: Facial and body treatments headed up by Aromatherapy Associates are some of the best we’ve ever experienced, but for a treatment with difference, book in for a bone setting treatment with tai chi master Andy Mack and his son Duran. It may not be the most relaxing treatment – the aim is to resolve tension by creating waves to clear blockages in the body through energetic manipulation – but devotees say it cures everything from stubborn knee pain to poor posture. Also keep an eye out for a range of new Theragun massages, which will be launching imminently – ideal for post-workout weary bodies.
Aman at The Connaught
THE VIBE: The Connaught’s 5,000 square foot spa (the only Aman Spa of its kind outside of the resort group) is as luxurious as they come. With just five treatment rooms, it’s intimate and personal – all treatments start with a mineral-rich foot bath and treatments take from Chinese, Indian and Thai influences. Plus, each of the treatment rooms has its own private steam room, and if you fancy doing a few lengths, the spa’s dramatic black granite swimming pool is the place to do so in style.
WHAT TO BOOK: The Grounding Massage Ritual is the treatment to go for – a full-body massage which uses ancient Tibetan healing traditions to stimulate muscles, along with a separate massage to energise the body’s meridian system, as well as acupressure, a head massage, warmed rose quartz crystals and hot Himalayan salt pouches to relieve every last iota of tension. For something equally holistic, consider the Energy Lift Bespoke Facial with Aman’s resident reiki master – a facial massage that includes a full-body aura clearing and reiki re-balancing of the chakras.
The Spa at 45 Park Lane
THE VIBE: Hidden away in Mayfair, The Spa at 45 Park Lane is the opening to keep on your radar. Opening its doors this month, the 10,000 square foot wellness space is home to Park Lane’s longest swimming pool, spanning 20 metres, and the space has been designed to bring a sense of the outdoors in – think floral murals, natural timber and light-coloured stone. While away your time in the relaxation lounge, connected to the pool, which features an open fireplace and on-demand dishes from 45 Park Lane’s kitchens.
WHAT TO BOOK: Treatments by the likes of Valmont, Aromatherapy Associates feature on the treatment list here, but it’s the Carol Joy 24 Carat Gold Facial that will leave you glowing. Using pure 24 carat gold and regenerative Swiss golden millet oil, rich in omega oils, this gently exfoliating treatment will kickstart sluggish circulation and cell renewal for a youthful glow. Just be sure to save some time for a session in the state-of-the-art gym – book in for a session with a personal trainer for a targeted routine tailored to you or make the most of the extensive Technogym kit.
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