Consistently voted the top hotel spa in the UK (and who are we to disagree with the exacting standards of Conde Nast Traveller readers), The Dorchester Spa really is something special. A £3.2 million expansion of The Dorchester hotel in 2009 saw the spa undergo a makeover by Fox Linton Associates with 1930s touches - like the chrome doorway that gives you your first impression - and a centrepiece chandelier made of 75,000 South Pacific pearls. The Spa features nine tranquil, sound-proof treatment rooms including two double suites, a manicure and pedicure suite and relaxation room, a hairdressing salon and gentlemen's barber as well as a fitness studio. Unusually, and uniquely, for a spa there's also an informal 'Spatisserie' dining room where you can enjoy a light lunch, afternoon tea with (gasp) cakes, biscuits and pastries - a radical departure from the purify-and-purge philosophy of most spas. You can even indulge in a glass of pink fizz, or a Spa Kiss cocktail with elderflower and English sparkling Nytimber. Treatments cover the full range of face and body treatments with four 'expert partners' to choose from including signature facials by Vaishaly - whose Marylebone salon is frequently by celebs like Elle Macpherson and Sophie Dahl - Carol Joy London, European skincare brand Kerstin Florian, and acclaimed British brand, Aromatherapy Associates.
Best Spas in London
Decadent art deco features line The Dorchester's exclusive spa.
Dorchester Hotel, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K 1QA
Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station
Head to Harrods' fifth floor for some seriously luxurious treatments
5th Floor, Harrods, Westminster, London, SW1X 7XL
Surely one of the most desirable places to spoil yourself rotten - the Urban Retreat flagship spa sits ever so prettily on the top floor of Harrods, offering full beauty overhauls for a very pretty penny. From the top of your newly nourished head to your polished to perfection toes, they have a treatment for everything and come well equipped, with some of the world's finest salon brands, cutting edge techniques, progressive therapies and a dedication to innovative beauty practices. Treatments include the Crème de La Mer Ultimate Facial which combines sea quartz and diamond dust with exclusive and legendary Miracle Broth TM. Or, Urban Retreat Signature Body Treatment, an 80 minute fully body exfoliation, paraffin wax wrap and massage. If you want preening like a princess, the Urban Retreat is the place to be.
Spa treatments are perfectly complimented by dazzling panoramic views of the city.
Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1J 7DR
Tube: Hyde Park Corner Station
Few spas come with views like this. Situated on the 10th floor of the Four Seasons Park Lane Hotel, the luxury spa treatments are perfectly complimented by dazzling panoramic views of the city. There's a massage for everyone at the Four Seasons, choose from Swedish, fitness, mineral stone or aromatherapy. Or try a more adventurous body treatment, like the green coffee and chilli resculpting massage or the seaweed and eucalyptus detoxifier. For the ultimate indulgence however, it has got to be the Sky Suite, an exclusive private room with double steam shower, relaxation area and unbeatable views across London's parks and landmarks.
Home to a magnificent rooftop pool.
The Berkeley, Wilton Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 7RL
The Health Club & Spa at The Berkeley hotel lays claim to being the only hotel spa in London to feature a roof top pool, and what a roof top it is - located above the seventh floor spa, the pool boasts wonderful views across Knightsbridge and Hyde Park. In keeping with the discrete atmosphere of this five star hotel, the spa is a haven of relaxing massages and indulgent beauty treatments where everything is perfectly pitched to make you leave feeling like a (well groomed) princess. Mums to be will be tempted by the Blooming Beautfil day spa package which includes a Mama Mio Mini Kit so you can continue the relaxation treatment at home. There are also Perfect Retreat packages 'for him' and 'for her' offering two hours of treatments that are sure to de-stress the parts other day spas cannot reach. The advantage of booking in for more than one treatment is that you can make a day of it, take lunch by the roof top pool, and afterwards stretch out on a sun lounger and make believe you're a million miles from the city. That's what we call a high flying spa experience.
A blend of treatments from around the world are on offer here.
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, King's Cross, London, NW1 2QP
Tube: King's Cross Station
The lavishly restored St Pancras Renaissance Hotel has attracted a lot of attention since opening in 2011 as part of the grand Eurostar relocation. The Hotel's spa was inspired by the surroundings, drawing on the great train journeys that set off from St Pancras station. They provide a blend of treatments from around the world, aiming to transport you on a sensuous journey to "far away countries". Try an ancient Japanese Ko Bi Do youthful facial, an Indian Udvartana Ayurvedic Slimming Ritual or a Puree de Papaye Radiance Scrub from the Kingdom of Siam. There are also six luxury treatment rooms, including a Victorian tiled swimming pool, a eucalyptus steam room, a relaxation area, saunas, a fully equipped gym and a luxury couple's suite. And for something a bit different why not enlist the services of their fragrance tailor, Virginie Daniau, who can expertly sniff out your perfect "scent identity". The spa packages represent different journeys and continents, choose from Journey of the Silk Route or Journey to Africa, or just go for one of their traditional beauty treatments.
The first spa in London to feature a 'Snow Paradise'.
K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London, W14 0AX
Book in for some freeze-thaw action at the K Spa at K West Hotel, an oasis of calm in a stylishly modernised former BBC office block in Shepherd's Bush. Awarded the top rating of '5 Bubbles' in the 2013 Good Spa Guide, the basement spa is the first in London to feature a 'Snow Paradise' - the place to come when you want to cool off in minus 15 degrees powder snow. Brr. For the full effect, follow the freezing experience with a stint in the steam room, sanarium or sauna; the hot-cold contrast is said to stimulate the body's circulation and improve the immune system. In the wet area the glass panelled Hydrotherapy Pool, which can comfortably seat eight to ten people, provides the main focus of the room where you can relax under the twinkling star lights in between treatments. Alternatively, there is a dedicated RelaKs Zone where you can rehydrate and chill out (though perhaps not to -15degrees). Another first in London, K Spa also recently launched the Baobab Feel Good treatment. Using unique ingredients from the African Baobab tree - renowned for its benefits to skin, hair and general health - the treatment is the ultimate in relaxation and invigoration. Starting with a full-body exfoliation, guests will then be treated to a soothing massage and energising leg therapy - drifting off into a complete state of Zen is pretty much guaranteed! The treatment then concludes with a super fruit smoothie made with 100% organic Baobab extract, which can be enjoyed with music and magazines in the RelaKs Zone. Further treatments available include the Sun Meadow room - using light therapy to combat S.A.D sydrome - and a dry flotation bed. Whether you're intent on relaxation or in search of some re-energising, the treatments are many and varied.
A team of world-class professionals and respected health and beauty experts work here.
Whitehall Place, Westminster, London, SW1A 2BD
The people at Espa take grooming pretty seriously, and quite rightly, when it comes to appearances it's often best to leave it to the experts. You'll certainly feel in safe hands at Corinthia's Hotel spa, where they have selected a team of world-class professionals and respected health and beauty experts. Daniel Galvin takes charge of hair styling, personal trainer and athletic expert Stephen Price looks after the gym and Max Tomlinson is responsible for integrated complimentary health. The 3,300 square metre spa is dark, chic and modern with black Italian marble and cutting edge treatment facilities, including an enclosed glass amphitheatre sauna, an ice fountain, a hammam, relaxation pods, a silver steel swimming pool and a black mosaic steam room. They have a great range of therapies on offer, from the super efficient 'Rush Hour Beauty' treatments, to the more intensive lifestyle programmes which treat everything from sleep disorders, to weight management and fertility and conception problems.
Girls only pampering and beautifying in the heart of Covent Garden
12 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DH
Originally designed as a haven for The Royal Opera House's female dancers to stretch out and unwind in, this day spa is still exclusively for women and is a total pampering experience from the minute you step through the door. Located in bustling Covent Garden you'll soon forget the hectic world outside, thanks to the calming collections of pools, treatments, saunas, relaxation areas and A la Carte restaurant. You can even take an immune boosting snooze in their specially-designed Sleep Retreat. Go for the whole day, just an evening or try one of their special deals.
More than just a spa, this is 'a couture beauty house'.
2 Lancashire Court, Mayfair, London, W1S 1EX
Following a major redesign, the Elemis flagship spa in Mayfair re-launched as the House of Elemis in 2015. More than just a spa, it's 'a couture beauty house' that brings together science and beauty, offering a wide range of hi-tech treatments that promise results. Guests are invited into a calming space that combines natural tones, textural lighting, artisanal glass and ceramic work, reflecting the brand's ethos of the best that nature and science have to offer. An exclusive piece of artwork by Valeria Nascimento and porcelain flowers scattered throughout the House also add to the beautiful space. Co-founder and creator of Elemis, Noella Gabriel, has worked with a team of experts, including nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, fitness expert Steve Mellor and make-up artist Kelly Cornwell, to create a menu that's full of action-packed yet relaxing treatments. Options include a range of BIOTEC anti-ageing and skin solution treatments, energy boosting and musclease massages, and beautiful bride makeovers. There's also the choice between The Speed Spa, offering a range of fast but results-driven treatments, or the luxurious Penthouse, where the spa concierge will arrange anything from cars to dinner reservations to theatre tickets.
Authentic Thai tranquility, as the Kingdom of Siam comes to Covent Garden
25 Shelton Street, 40 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2H 9HW
Let the Thai Square Spa transport you to South East Asia with their traditional Thai spa experience, smack bang in the heart of Covent Garden. The Spa consists of seven treatment rooms, two specially designed Thai massage rooms and two luxury copper relaxation baths, plus an authentic mosaic Rasul Suite in which Detoxifying Cleansing Ceremonies take place. The treatments available here should cover any beauty quandary you may have found yourself in, from pedicures to waxing, hair remedies and body wraps, they have it covered. There is also the option of indulging in one of their Royal Treatments, which rely on methods developed in the late 19th and early 20th century Kingdom of Siam, when ladies of the court used indigenous ingredients to create elaborate and effective beauty regimes, which are still working wonders today. Prices start low at Thai Square Spa, but for the full Royal Treatment you can expect to pay full whack.
Bethnal Green's thermal spa is thoroughly relaxing and thoroughly affordable.
York Hall Leisure Centre, Old Ford Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E2 9PJ
Tube: Bethnal Green Station
Bethnal Green's former Turkish baths have been refurbished and turned into a spa complete with aroma steam rooms and a plunge pool. Spa LONDON is run by Greenwich Leisure Limited and Tower Hamlets Council making it one of the few affordable day spas in the city. Affordable doesn't mean it can't compete with the kind of havens posh people pay a fortune for. This place is plush: think fluffy white towelling robes, herbal infusions, hot stone massages and pampering pedicures. Treatments range from full body wraps and aromatherapy massage to the more new age Sea and Senses hot stone treatments which aims to leave you feeling entirely stress-free.
Beauty treatments that won't damage your carbon footprint
174-177 High Holborn, Covent Garden, London, WC1V 7AA
Environmentally conscious hair and make-up brand with 'lifestyle' stores like this one in High Holborn - where there's even a herb garden on the roof terrace. Get your cut and colour done as well as shopping for ultra-chic, ultra-hip cosmetics with colours to die for. A must-have for the cosmetics connoisseur concerned about the environment and precisely what percentage of recycled plastic their bottles of lotions come in. Ingredients are largely aromatherapy and products smell divine as a result. For a treat you can book a massage in the vaulted basement, very grounding - both spiritually and literally. Or try a session with a make-up artist; approximately £35 for a application and consultation (the cost is redeemable against products). Friendly and helpful staff.
Cowshed use lovely nature inspired products in all three of their London salons
119 Portland Road, Holland Park, London, W11 4LN
Tube: Holland Park Station
The Cowshed is more than a place to chew the cud, it offers "sociable grooming" - though we're not convinced we've seen any cows practicing this. What this means in human terms is that you can get a manicure and/or pedicure while stocking up on your Skinny Cow / Grumpy Cow / Saucy Cow (you get the picture) Cowshed products. Whether your on the hoof or just grazing this Soho House-owned spa brand has a suitably cow-themed product to suit. For the full spa experience you can take a trip to their Babington House spa in Somerset - a favourite with medialand luvvies - or, closer to home, try the Cowshed in Claredon Cross, Holland Park (W11). You'll want to stay till the cows come home.
Original Art Deco features and no-nonsense treatments
The Porchester Centre, Bayswater, London, W2 5HS
Tube: Royal Oak Station
One of the more relaxing London experiences, Porchester Spa isn't a homogenous treatment centre that could be located anywhere in the world, it feels local and it feels London and this is what makes it perfect for visitors and residents alike. Owned by Westminster Council, this Art Deco building opened in 1929 and houses three Turkish hot rooms, two Russian steam rooms, a cold plunge pool, a Jacuzzi, sauna, swimming pool and relaxation lounge. Certain days are either men-only or women-only but at other times they are open to couples and offer great packages and treatments including 'Shmeissing', the Jewish version of steam room therapy where you get massaged with a giant raffia brush. It has a gentle, romantic atmosphere, perfect for chilling out couples and or friends. As you step into the huge, echoing art-deco atrium, a sense of calm pervades, encouraging you to indulge wholeheartedly in the experience awaiting you. A good range of beauty treatments is on offer so you can end your session with a bit of professional pampering. Over the years, they've tried to close the place down but, finally, acknowledging it as the treasure it is, have given it its own well-served makeover. This isn't the Sanctuary - nor does it pretend to be - it is old-fashioned spa fun at its best.
IN THIS ARTICLE
The Dorchester Spa
Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane Spa
The Berkeley Health Club & Spa
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel Spa
K Spa at K West Hotel
ESPA Life at Corinthia
The House of Elemis
Thai Square Spa
The Porchester Spa
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