These London spas are utterly relaxing urban escapes
These London spas offer transformative treatments in awe-inspiring spaces for total relaxation in the midst of the big city.
Aire Ancient Baths
Beneath the hustle of Covent Garden is the underground oasis known as Aire Ancient Baths. The spa’s candlelit labyrinths lead to various baths each with a different healing property, including a Vaporium (Steam Bath), Flotarium (Salt Bath), and Caldarium (Hot Bath /40ºC).
Most notable, however, are Aire’s treatment packages; including an Argan Massage, which features a dip in the pools followed by a body and face massage with argan oil, and the Himalayan Salt Experience, a three-hour treatment that includes a full-body salt scrub and hot stone massage.
The Retreat at The Londoner
The Retreat at The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square curated treatments made in collaboration with a number of well-known beauty brands. These include facials by Omorovicza, massages by Cotswolds-based aromatherapy brand Ila, and body treatments using Ishga’s Scottish seaweed products.
From the spa’s extensive menu, we recommend trying the Opium Massage by ila which draws on Ayurvedic healing traditions to relieve pain, cramps, old injuries, and stress-related tension. Or, try the Gold Hydralifting Facial by Omorovicza which blends traditional Hungarian facial massage with a sprinkling of gold flakes.
After your treatment, relax in one of the Retreat’s poolside cabanas, indulge in a manicure in the nearby salon, or enjoy a salad bowl and smoothie from the superfood clinic.
Aman at The Connaught
The Aman spa at The Connaught claims to be a portal to another world and it lives up to the promise. The first Aman Spa to be built outside the world-renowned Aman resorts, this underground oasis maintains the brand’s signature opulent aesthetic with crystal steam rooms infused with essential oils and a black granite swimming pool.
The spa’s signature treatments use a mixture of amber oil, sandalwood, rose quartz crystals, jasmine, rare black Peruvian and purple muds, wild harvested butters and silver to specifically treat stress, exhaustion, and insomnia.
In particular, we recommend trying the Grounding Massage, which combines cupping, acupressure, deep-tissue techniques and Tibetan head massage to induce complete relaxation.
The Bulgari Spa
The Bulgari spa is one of the most opulent health and wellness centres in London. Spanning two floors, the expansive complex features interiors by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners crafted principally from onyx, oak and Vicenza stone.
The spa has 11 private treatment rooms and one double spa suite, complete with its own steam room and hydromassage pool. The pools alone are aesthetic wonders, with a long Vicenza stone swimming area flanked by mammoth colonnades and a smaller jet pool where you can immerse in shimmering tiles of gold leaf glass.
Working with the pioneers of cryotherapy, 111Skin, the offers some of the most high-end facials in the city. These include the Lunar 28 Facial, a clinical laser treatment designed to completely resurface the skin that comes with a 28-day post-treatment set to follow up the treatment with at-home.
The Lanesborough Club and Spa
Practically everything you could possibly imagine in the way of fitness and wellness is on offer at The Lanesborough Club and Spa.
Caviar facial treatments designed by La Prarie and the ‘Queen of Green,’ Tata Harper (including 100 per cent natural acid peels and facial cupping), massage treatments informed by Ayurvedic medicine, and restorative precious pearl and jasmine salt bath.
If that wasn’t enough, guests can also can exercise with personal trainers, dance tutors and yoga instructors; or work out personalised wellness plans with renowned nutritionists and osteopaths.
Teresa Tarmey is no doubt the sleekest facialist in London, with a newly launched range of minimally packaged skincare, a Notting Hill clinic that served as an exhibition space for never-before-seen Guy Bourdin images and a new post as one of Dior’s Skincare Ambassadors.
Tarmay thinks of the face as a piece of marble that can be sculpted and resurfaced through radio frequency and micro needling. The transformative success of her treatments has made her one of the most in-demand facialists in London and it is a status she rightly deserves.
Lovers of niche, ultra-high tech treatments will find there haven at KX Spa in Chelsea. Although KX is a private member’s club, the Spa is open to visitors and boasts a wide-range of treatments that include colonic hydrotherapy, lymphatic pressotherapy suits that that encourage natural body detoxification, laser vascular treatments, hot and cold plunge pools, and more.
Most recently, the spa has added a Facial Reflexology treatment to its menu, which uses Dien Chan (a facial massage method from Vietnam) to treat fibromyalgia and back pain amoung other ailments.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Spa
Although Dr. Barbara Strum’s London spa does not offer the the German aesthetician’s famous ‘vampire-facial’ (anti-aging facial made from blood plasma) it does feature of host of other, skin-transforming treatments.
Located in Mayfair, the new spa offers treatments blends the brand’s iconic skincare products with cutting-edge technological devices. These include the Signature Sturm Glow Facial; a transformative anti-aging treatment that refreshes the skin surface through cleansing, exfoliation and extractions, followed by Sturm’s trademark massage for toning facial contours.
Also worth trying is the Anti-Aging Body treatment, which uses the brand’s signature blend of non-surgical technology and anti-inflammatory formulations to smooth and brighten skin on every part of the body.
The Ned Spa
The Ned boasts some of the London’s finest hotel accommodations, 10 different restaurants, and a state of the art spa with one of Europe’s largest hammams. The Ned itself is located in a former bank, and the spa is in what used to be the vaults.
iS Clinical light therapy facials zap skin back into shape, while Cowshed massages and manicures offer instant relaxation. While there, don’t miss the Ned’s Club Upstairs, a top-floor pool that offers panoramic views of the city.