Sometimes a solitary day of peace and massage is better than a week on a busy beach.
Sequoia at the Grove Hotel
What: The Couture facial | £135 (100 minutes)
Spa: Housed in Hertfordshire’s stunning Grove hotel, this spa fills you with a complete sense of calm from the minute you enter. The facilities are partly underground, with no phone reception, which means you get to totally switch off. Guests can use the sumptuous pool, Jacuzzi, steam rooms and vitality pool. I was treated to a spa lunch, which was delicious and cleverly delivered in a bento box.
Treatment: Using the Natura Bissé products, the facial was nice and relaxing and my skin felt completely soft and revitalised after the mud mask she applied was removed. It did the trick to refresh my skin and left me glowing.
The Soholistic spa at the Ham Yard Hotel
What: Outer glow face and body exfoliation | £90 (45 minutes)
Spa: Although more of a “treatment area” than a spa as such, this space in the new hotel is an oasis of calm and pure indulgence. Comprising of a gym, steam room and relaxation area, this spa is so peaceful; it’s hard to imagine you are one minute away from the hustle and bustle of Soho. The funky design flair of the hotel is carried through to the spa that has an eclectic mix of trendy furnishings, waterfalls and exquisite décor.
Treatment: I’ve had numerous body brushing scrubs in the past but never experienced one like this, which was so utterly blissful. Every part of my body was polished with a unique sugar buff body scrub that was applied with massage like movements by the amazing therapist. My skin felt invigorated and the cooling leg treatment applied to my calves and feet felt and smelt delicious.
Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre at Hotel Café Royal
What: Valmont Elixir Des Glaciers facial | £250 (60 minutes)
Spa: Stepping into Akasha from the hustle and bustle of Regent Street right by Piccadilly Circus, you are immediately soothed by the smell of lavender. This is a perfect way to escape rush hour, I thought after taking the lift down to the spa reception, where calm reigns amid an underground maze of passages. The name Akasha reflects the four elements of nature: earth (this is represented in the lounge bar, where ‘nourishing’ food is served), water (the spa has a stunning 18 metre pool with underwater music, a steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi along with treatment rooms and a private Hammam), fire (a spacious gym) and air (private studios with classes for yoga, Pilates etc.
Treatment: This particular facial, which is exclusive to Akasha, is described as an anti-aging and firming treatment for face and body, and I can safely say I left with skin feeling smoother and more dewy). The therapist used nine products from Valmont – considered a leader in Swiss anti-age cellular cosmetics – and massaged away my lines while I nearly fell asleep. After I got used to the strong tingling sensation of the collagen mask (which is perfectly normal), my skin felt immediately fresher. Go on, I thought, someone ask me to show my ID!
Sense Spa at Rosewood London
What: Sense Signature | £205 (2 hour treatment – 1 hour Swedish massage and 1 hour facial)
Spa: A member of staff in a tweed blazer escorts me through a golden hallway and down a spiral staircase to Sense Spa. Before putting on the slippers, I notice the heated floor and have a quick peek at the sauna, steam room and tropical shower! There are complementary hair kits and other goodies too.
Treatment: Sense Signature treatment, comprises of a 1 hour Swedish massage and a one-hour facial on a heated bed. The very talented Marilena sets to work with hands which feel like silk as she manipulated my body to a state of blissful relaxation. She switches effortlessly to the facial, which is equally fabulous. While waiting for the mask to set, she massages my head which is the cherry on top of this exquisite experience and everyone would benefit from.