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 

London spa Teresa Tarmey at The Cadogan
Teresa Tarmey at The Cadogan
(Image credit: The Cadogan)

From high-tech facials to marble swimming baths, these London spas offer everything some of the best spa experiences you could ever wish for, in the way of fitness, beauty and wellness. 

Teresa Tarmey

Teresa Tarmey Noting Hill London facial centre with white walls and black leather chairs

(Image credit: Teresa Tarmey)

Teresa Tarmey is no doubt the sleekest facialist in London, with a Wallpaper* Design Award nominated skincare range, an elegantly minimal Notting Hill clinic, and a two year position as one of Dior’s Skincare Ambassadors. 

Tarmey 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 the city, and it is a status she rightly deserves. 

Her treatments are results rather than relaxation focused, using a combination of technologies like microneddling, LED, and peels to radically transform skin beyond the surface level. They are a particularly well suited to those who struggle with acne and blackheads by decongesting and discouraging the reappearance of impurities.

You can experience Tarmey treatments at her clinic in Notting Hill or her residency at The Cadogan hotel in Chelsea.

Akasha at The Hotel Cafe Royal 

The pool at Akasha at the Hotel Cafe Royal

(Image credit: Hotel Cafe Royal)

Located smack in the middle of Piccadilly Circus is a subterranean oasis. Step behind the unassuming door adjacent to Hotel Cafe Royal’s grand entrance and descend into the Akara Spa, where you can indulge in Aromatherapy Associates massages (a favourite of ours), traditional Hammam treatments with body scrubs and added massages; or Valmont facials, which use Swiss ingredients and massage techniques for impactful anti-aging results. 

There are also Proverb stretching treatments to open up the body and ease tight muscles; as well as a pool and sauna for unwinding after your treatment.

The Spa at Claridge's

claridges spa

(Image credit: Claridge)

The first spa in Claridge's history has all the pomp and glamour you would expect from the 200 year old icon. Excavating five floors below the London streets, Claridge's has created a hermetic wellness sanctuary with a swimming pool, steam rooms, sauna and seven treatment rooms. Interiors are designed by Andre Fu and inspired by his own visits to traditional Japanese temples and Zen gardens in Kyoto to create an enveloping feeling of tranquillity.  

There are treatments from resident brands Josh Wood, Augustinus Bader and FaceGym, but above all we recommend the body treatments designed by English brand La-Eva.

The brand’s three treatments are some of the most indulgent you can find in the city. There’s the Sensory Immersion treatment- a medium pressure, aromatherapy massage that sends you off into a state of zen-like oblivion; Deep Release massage for a more intense deep tissue treatment that uses rocking body movements to release tension and ends with a scalp massage; and a  Rose Full-Body Scrub that uses a combination of Himalayan salt and mineral-rich fleur de sel sourced from the Algarve for a stand-alone treatment or an add-on to the massage treatments.

The Bradden Method at Hershesons 

Sarah Bradden rhinestone ear seeds

(Image credit: Sarah Bradden)

A visit to the lovely Sarah Bradden at Hershesons Belgravia location is as mentally rejuvinating as it is physically. Using a blend of cosmetic acupuncture, reiki, reflexology and massage, combined with technologies like LED light and activated oxygen, Bradden’s method is designed to improve energy levels, calm the parasympathetic nervous system and give your skin a renewed lift and glow. 

Expect to lulled into a trace-like state of tranquility and leave felling totally refreshed. Even better, you can extend the effects of the treatment with Bradden’s fun, bedazzeled ear-seeds, which are placed on the relevant pressure points on your ears (Bradden preforms a diagnosic to determine which points you’ll need) and which press throughout the day whenever you need a boost.

Aire Ancient Baths

London spas Aire Ancient Baths

(Image credit: beaire)

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

London spas The Retreat at The Londoner Hotel in Leicester Square

(Image credit: thelondoner)

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 

London spas the Aman at The Connaught

(Image credit: 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 London pool with large white columns and blue tiled pools

(Image credit: Bulgari)

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

The Lanesborough Club and Spa London treatment rooms with black tiled steam baths

(Image credit: lanesboroughclubandspa)

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

Teresa Tarmey Noting Hill London facial centre with white walls and black leather chairs

(Image credit: teresatarmey)

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.

KX Spa

KX Spa London treatment rooms with lounge beds to relax in post-facial

(Image credit: kxlife)

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

Dr. Barbara Strum London spa with white treatment rooms

(Image credit: drsturm)

Although Dr. Barbara Sturm’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. This week (27-28 January 2023)  Barbara Sturm will be hosting an Anti-Imflammatory Workshop at The Stables, Covent Garden. It's a fully immersive experience of masterclasses, workshops and panel discussions with industry experts and special guests, as well as exclusive in-person experiences centred around skincare, nutrition, sleep, movement, and mindfulness.

For those who can't make the workshop we recommend stoping another time to try 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 London spa pool with blue tiles and marble pillars

(Image credit: thened)

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.

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.