For those moments in life when you just need to hide away from the world (or when you’ve been hiding away from the world a little too much!), a roundup of the best spas in London becomes rather handy particularly as our favourite zen palaces begin to reopen again. Whether you choose to retreat and reap the rewards of traditional Chinese medicine rituals at The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental or enjoying the most luxurious hammam you’ve ever experienced at The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, you will return the world feeling restored, rejuvenated and rebalanced.
Purveyor of all things self care, LuxDeco’s VP Sales & Partnerships Carina Bartle unveils her top destinations for a spa weekend in London.
Image Credit: Bulgari Hotels
The Bulgari Spa
Said to be the best aspect of the entire hotel, The Bulgari Spa is an award-winning place of escape. At 2000m², it stands as one of the largest spas in central London and with the interior designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, it’s one of the most sublimely decorated too. Onyx meets oak and Vicenza stone meets gilded accents across its two levels of curated calmness. A favourite element has to be the 25 metre pool (over 82 feet!) that features deep sea green and shimmering gold leaf mosaic tiles where one could spend the whole afternoon floating mindlessly.
171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW; 020 7151 1010; bulgarihotels.com/london
Image Credit: The Corinthia
ESPA Life at The Corinthia
Many consider heading west in search of the most exquisite spa hotels in London, but you needn’t concentrate purely on Chelsea and Mayfair as ESPA Life at The Corinthia in the heart of London proves.
There are an impressive four floors of seventh heaven that include 17 treatment rooms (to ensure booking one of its decadent treatments is an effortless process) with a programme curated by its globally acclaimed naturopaths, acupuncturists, herbalists and sound therapists. Additionally, there’s a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a Daniel Galvin salon, and multiple thermal pools. For those in search of further seclusion, check out its sleep pods and private spa suite.
Whitehall Place, Westminster, London SW1A 2BD; 020 7321 3050; espalifeatcorinthia.com
Image Credit: Sea Containers London
agua London at the Sea Containers London
Yet another city centre destination for a spa break in London, this ‘therapeutic playground’ is perched on the edge of the River Thames in the glamorous Sea Containers building, formerly the Mondrian hotel.
Its defining feature has to be the ever-evolving treatment menu with bespoke manicures and pedicures offered in its aptly named Glamour Room and a multitude more throughout the spa. New in is its Hedgerow menu where home-made herbal salves, butters and plant-derived oils inspired by the British hedgerow are used in its massages and facials. Prefer something more medical? Then book in with renowned facialist Kate Kerr who offers tailor-made medical facials—one of the most sought-after treatments the spa has to offer.
20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD; 020 3747 1000; seacontainerslondon.com
Image Credit: Hotel Café Royal
Akasha at Hotel Café Royal
East meets west in terms of interior decor, treatment menu and spa ethos at Café Royal’s Akasha, said to be one of the best spa hotels in London.
Float above the city by swimming serene laps of its generous 60 foot long pool, unwind in its hammam with a purifying body scrub, or visit London’s first Watsu pool where guided meditation and hydrotherapy treatments await in a private environment. At Akasha, you can also benefit from a consultation with one of its many wellbeing specialists, be it concerning diet and nutrition, spiritual healing or support with processing cognitive or physical burdens.
50 Regent Street, Soho, London W1B 5AS; 020 7406 3360; hotelcaferoyal.com
Image Credit: The Lanesborough
The Lanesborough Club & Spa
And now to Knightsbridge where in 2019 The Lanesborough’s retreat was crowned England’s Best Hotel Spa of the year at the World Spa Awards.
Designed by LuxDeco 100 studio 1508 London, the decor is both classic and respectful of the building’s period nature as well as being light, bright and luxurious upon entering the club and spa. The treatments present beauty’s crème de la crème of brands such as La Prairie, while also being the first spa in Britain to welcome newer blends such as Tata Harper—known as being the ‘Queen of Green Beauty’. The facilities also provide completely private spaces, single sex areas and communal spa habitats to ensure all of its occupants are comfortable in their surroundings. To make doubly sure, there are Spa Butlers who answer to your every beck and call.
Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA; 020 7259 5599; lanesboroughclubandspa.com
Image Credit: Mandarin Oriental
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
As the hotel’s heritage suggests, there’s a firm focus on traditional Chinese medicine in the treatments to be found at the Mandarin Oriental spa as well as anti-ageing Nescens facials and nails by Bastien Gonzalez—spoilt for choice you most certainly will be.
One of the spa’s most popular features is its Rasul water temple where steam and cleansing muds combine to leave your body feeling deeply nourished. From here, wander into the Amethyst Crystal Steam Room or the Zen Colour Therapy Relaxation Area—as beautifully designed as they are named—and if you’re feeling energetic, there’s the newly unveiled PilatesPT studio run by award-winning trainer, Hollie Grant.
66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA; 020 7838 9888; mandarinoriental.com/london
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane
As soon as you see the words ‘Four Seasons’ and ‘Park Lane’, you know that you’re onto something splendid.
With floor to ceiling glass, a continuous use of soft teal and jade alongside beech-toned accents, and furniture with sweeping curves that’s as easy on the eye as it is to the touch, this is a spa that soothes before you’ve even stepped into the vitality pool.
A favourite treatment of mine is the rose crystal anti-pollution facial—the perfect antidote to life in the capital.
Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1J 7DR; 020 7499 0888; fourseasons.com/london/spa
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square
From one Four Seasons to another, this London spa hotel is for those who prefer their zen to be more glamorous than muted.
Here, expect to find a colour palette of brushed bronze and gold with plenty of neutral creams and whites to break it up. Into the Hammam in the City suite however, the metallic story continues, but gone is the gold and in its place, thousands of silvered mosaic tiles. They shimmer from the domed ceiling and down into the curved walls and its many archways. And, at the heart of the hammam is a heated marble plinth—the pièce de résistance.
10 Trinity Square, Tower, London EC3N 4AJ; 020 3297 3780; fourseasons.com/tentrinity/spa/
Image Credit: Langham Hotels
Chuan Body + Soul at The Langham
London’s best spas typically are found in the city’s finest luxury hotels, and naturally in that line-up is The Langham (remember that £24,000 a night suite?).
Similar to The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Chuan Body + Soul offers treatments steeped in traditional Chinese medicine, using tea blended oils and herbal steam rooms. Its name also follows the path of Chinese heritage, being derived from the word for a serene course of water, said to be the source of a happy life and balance in its culture. The spa’s interior is therefore approached with this as its inspiration, following the practice of feng shui also.
2 Cavendish Pl, Marylebone, London W1B 3DE, 020 7973 7550, langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/london/wellness/chuan-body-soul
Image Credit: The Connaught
Aman Spa at The Connaught
There’s something about the positioning of the Aman Spa within The Connaught that adds to its allure. It sits in the heart of the hotel, making it feel like luxury and a sense of sanctuary is at its core, and yet at the same time, it feels somewhat hidden.
Ask anybody to name its standout feature and they’re likely to comment on the striking black granite spa pool that provides the sound of cascading water for company as you swim. Close by is the Crystal Steam Room that is infused with essential oils to ensure the experience is ever more therapeutic.
Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL; 020 3147 7305; the-connaught.co.uk/aman-spa/
Image Credit: The Beaumont
Spa at The Beaumont
Harper’s Bazaar referred to the spa at The Beaumont as being “the best London spa for unwinding in style”. With pure white, marble heavy, Art Deco vistas as far as the eye can see, it’s not challenging to see why they said so.
The list of treatments offered by The Beaumont’s widely respected therapists include all of the spa classics from shiatsu massages to Dead Sea mud wraps in the hammam, but its facials are somewhat legendary, being under the expert instruction of Abigail James. For the brave, take a dip in the sub zero plunge pool or visit its invigorating ice bar.
8 Balderton St, Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair, London W1K 6TF; 020 7499 1001; thebeaumont.com/spa-and-gymnasium
Header Image: The Langham