London's best spas

Unwind with our guide to London spas, featuring massages, beauty therapy and everything else you need to relax

Ushvani

Ushvani


Fluffy towels at the ready; it's time to get pampered. London's best spas will host hen parties, manage your weekly manicures or provide the most relaxing treatments. Browse the list to find the one that will most suit you.

Tell us if we've missed out your favourite spa or treatment in the comment box below.

St Pancras Spa

If you crave pampering in plush surroundings, St Pancras Spa is your place. Located in the basement of the beautifully renovated St Pancras Renaissance hotel, in the what was the original hotel’s subterranean kitchens, the space takes influence from its 1876 origins. The stunning pool area is bedecked in Victorian tiles and surrounded by a eucalyptus steam room and sauna while a vast stone corridor boasts six luxurious treatment rooms. The themes of exploration and travel means the spa menu features exotic treatments like the Balinese massage, the Creme de Rassoul Moroccan body wrap and the Udvartana Ayurvedic slimming ritual from India. Our tester indulged in a sleep-inducing Ko Bi Do facial, which included a soothing Japanese massage and moisture-boosting mask using Cinq Mondes botanical products. No visit is complete without reclining in the elegant relaxation room and sipping on Chrysanthemum tea. All in all, one of London’s best new spas.

  1. Marriott St Pancras Renaissance, Euston Road, NW1 2QR
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Spa London

Until 2007 when Spa London opened in Bethnal Green, there was no such thing as an affordable day spa in in the capital. A second branch opened at Swiss Cottage Leisure centre with a long, good-value treatment menu and late last year a third in the form of the elegantly restored Ironmonger Row Baths in Islington complete with saunas, steam rooms and relaxation lounge. The East End original also includes steam rooms, Turkish hamam and plunge pools. Treatments range from an Escape in the City Salt Scrub (a 25-minute cleansing that should remove all trace of London grime), to the spa's signature Gym & Tonic in which your body is cleansed, body brushed and exfoliated, before being treated to an aromatherapy massage and warm marine mask. Indulgence without the price-tag.

  1. York Hall Leisure Centre, Old Ford Road, E2 9PJ
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The Sanctuary Spa

The Sanctuary Spa has become the go-to ‘girls’ day out’ destination (it performs 28,000 facials a year). Sadly it will be closing after 37 years of business on 31st May 2014 so book-in while you can. Like modern-day Romans, groups of bathrobe-clad women sprawl out across giant cushions, drinking prosecco, eating mini macaroons and reading celebrity magazines. The treatments, however, are its forté. There are dozens of affordable treatments with prices starting at £35 for a revitalising eye rescue. The latest treatment is the Active Reverse Facial (£165) created by celebrity facialist Nichola Joss, who between flying to LA, works at the spa on alloted dates (check the website for next available slot). Take your own flip-flops, as no slippers are provided – and bring a girlfriend or seven.

  1. 12 Floral Street, WC2E 9DH
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Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

London has luxury five star hotel spas aplenty but none have quite the swank factor as the Four Seasons Park Lane spa. Located up on the tenth floor with stunning views of London over leafy Hyde Park (we’ve seen them all but these definitely in our top five) it has everything and more you’d want from the hotel spa experience. Big, comfy treatment rooms with floor to ceiling windows overlooking that view. There are spacious, daylight-filled changing areas with vast dressing tables, posh hairdryers and all the products you need. The indulgent, secluded lounging area is a must between sessions in the sauna and plunge pool. We experienced the ultra-indulgent Omorovicza Gold Hydrating Facial which features actual gold being slathered over the skin (£175) but you can also get manicures, pedicures and massages – the newest is the throughly indulgent Four Hands massage where two therapists work their magic over your body for 80 whole minutes (£245). Prepare for a right proper pampering.

  1. Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7DR
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The Berkeley Spa

With its small but perfect open-top swimming pool overlooking Hyde Park, this spa, a favourite with celebrities, wins points for its location. Bamford Haybarn Spa recently took over with the aim to bring 'the essence of the English countryside to the heart of the city' with a secret scented garden. The treatments are indulgent and impressive with emphasis on facials and body treatments like Bamford Deep Tissue Massage - 55 mins £110 or the Bamford Full Body Exfoliation - 40 mins £60. Less fancy treatments, such as waxing and eyebrow shaping, are also available.

  1. The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL
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Aveda Institute

For those who care about what is going into and on to their bodies, the Aveda Institute on High Holborn is hard to beat. One of the orginal purveyors of natural hair and skin products, the brand continues to deliver quality treatments at this vast, airy hair and beauty spa. Time Out has long been a fan of the salon, not only for its fabulous non-agressive colour and great cuts, but the serene manicure and pedicure booths, tucked away at the back. What makes this salon appealing is that is refreshingly un-sceney: no air-kissing, fuss or celebrity gossip.

  1. 174 High Holborn, WC1V 7AA
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The Porchester Spa

The Porchester Spa, loacted in a spectacular 1929 building, is one of London’s more authentic spa experineces - benefited from a new ventilation system, re-tiled steam room and bigger sauna since its refurbishment in 2006. But but don’t expect the fluffy-white towel and ambient-music experience. This is the spa to come to if you like pools (they have a proper swimming pool, plus a plunge pool for cooling off after a stint in one of the three Turkish hot rooms). People – including lots of local men – come here for no-nonsense treatments (like the Hot Towels Treatment ) at affordable prices, including wraps, facials and massages.

  1. The Porchester Centre, Queensway, W2 5HS
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Aman Spa

While located beneath the Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, once you’re being massaged in oils from the continent of your choice in the heavenly Aman Spa, ensconced in hot towels on a heated bed, and being murmured to in hushed tones by your barefoot therapist, you won’t believe you’re not in a Malaysian beach spa. The spa also features what must be London’s loveliest swimming pool, black tiled and complete with waterfall. A half-hour treatment costs around £70.

  1. Carlos Place, W1K 2AL
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The Spa at Bluebird

It’s not immediately obvious where Spa at Bluebird as (tip: look for the mirrored wall and Blink threading bar tucked in a far corner). Through a discreet door the world dissolves into a calming, peaceful oasis. One of the most popular treatments is the Micheline Arcier signature facial which proves an hour's-worth of relaxing – but ultra effective – cleansing. An arsenal of brushes, pads, and steamers were used in conjunction with oils, massages and pressure-point work resulting in one of the best facialwe’ve tested. Afterwards, you may even manage to float, untempted as we did, past the new season shoes.

  1. 350 Kings Road, SW3 5UU
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58 South Molton Street

If you are looking for beautification of the mind, body or soul, head to this recently opened wellbeing centre, 58 South Molton. Located conveniently in the middle of town, 58 South Molton homes a range of top practitioners including the gloriously soothing osteopath Avni Trivedi, whose dulcet tones and calm manner will have you relaxed in seconds. Avni specialises in pre and post natal treatments and can get to the root of your aches and pains by making subtle adjustments to your spine. She also makes helpful suggestions about lifestyle and posture. Having seen her over various sessions for a sore neck, we can vouch for her effectiveness. If it’s perfect skin you are looking for, book in with Doctor Terry Loong, a trained surgeon-turned-skin doctor who is on a quest to make her clients look more youtful. Like many of the practitioners here, Doctor Terry takes an holistic approach and analyses lifestyle factors to see what’s really getting under your skin. She then makes a detailed action plan with practical solutions, which may or may not include baby Botox injections and chemical peels. It’s all done in modern, glamorous surroundings that are a world away from the wood panelled fustiness of Harley Street.

  1. W1K 5SL
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Gary Ingham Lifestyle Salon & Spa

Having out-grown its original Hampstead space, the popular Gary Ingham salon relocated to a bigger, flashier site on Heath Street in spring 2012. The move saw the Aveda salon expand its offering with a new upstairs spa and a broad range of treatments, from threading, waxing and facials, to Chakra balancing and Lava Shell massages. Therapists are friendly and skilled – ours offered personalised tweaks to a very accomplished and effective deep tissue massage – while the hair salon staff are equally service-minded, ferrying wines, coffees and Aveda's own blend herbal tea to relaxed punters. High-tech additions (such as bliss-inducing electronic massage chairs at the wash basins) show Gary Ingham to be ahead of its competitors, while talented hair stylists and colour technicians make use of Aveda's superior products to deliver uniformly excellent results.

  1. 63-67 Heath Street, NW3 6UG
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K West Hotel & Spa

With a chic restaurant and chic spa area, this 4-star boutique hotel is situated in Shepherd’s Bush, just a 15-minute walk from White City. The rooms have handmade mattresses and luxury linens.The award-winning K SPA offers a range of luxurious treatments, at an additional charge. Guests can relax in the herbal steam room, hydrotherapy pool or fragrant foot baths. It is also possible to cool off in the innovative snow room.The spacious rooms at K West Hotel & Spa have elegant décor, and each has a luxury bathroom with designer toiletries. Rooms also have a large work desk, flat-screen TV and Wi-Fi access.K Lounge serves light snacks and creative cocktails, and has a live DJ at weekends. The stylish Kanteen restaurant displays modern art, and serves contemporary cuisine in a lively setting.Just a 5-minute walk from Westfield London Shopping Centre, K West Hotel and Spa is half a mile from Shepherd's Bush Underground Station. Private parking is available on site.

  1. Richmond Way, W14 0AX
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Ushvani

If money were no object, we’d go to Ushvani. Located behind a barely marked almighty door in Knightsbridge, it feels more like a hidden gentlemen’s club than a spa. But in the bowels of the building are whirlpools and baths and truly world-class facilities. The serene treatment rooms and luxurious hydrotherapy pool soon whisk you into a Zen-like state. Treatments include the scrumptious Summer Body Experience, featuring a delicious-smelling papaya-and-cane-sugar scrub and green coffee oil, which apparently helps break down pesky fatty deposits. Or there’s the orange-and-chocolate scrub and wrap. If we had the money (and we don’t), we’d book into the Asmara couple’s suite for three hours of complete spa experience

  1. 1 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ
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Spa at Chancery Court

This friendly, subterranean, luxury spa is all dark wood and limestone, scented candles and hushed tones – punctuated by the post-treatment guests shuffling around like contented zombies. With a 40 per cent rise in the number of male visitors in the past year, our tester picked from the men’s menu: the Gin & Tonic is a full-body exfoliation with salt and juniper berries, a 55-minute intense massage, and a reviving gin and tonic for afters – all of which was delivered with a firm but fair hand. There are more than 40 treatments available (from the gently relaxing to results-driven ‘cosmeceutical’ treatments), and the dry sauna and steam rooms complete the package.

  1. Chancery Court Hotel, 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN
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Chuan Spa

London’s first luxury Chinese medicine centre is a great place to while away a couple of hours. Stepping in for its signature Chuan Balancing treatment, you fill in a form to determine what element you are (we’re earth, apparently) before being whisked off for a sublime massage, which stimulates the body’s pressure points to relax and detoxify. We fell asleep mid-treatment – ‘Fifty per cent of people do,’ smiled the therapist.

  1. The Langham, 1c Portland Place, W1B 1JA
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The Spa at Brown's Hotel

This elegant Rocco Forte-owned Mayfair hotel provides a thoroughly relaxing and luxurious experience. The seasonally changing signature pedicures are still a big draw –when we visited, the ultra-indulgent ‘Hot to Trot’ pedicure offered a pressure point foot massage while you sip on a passionfruit, lychee and minty gin cocktail, all finished off with the perfect polish.

  1. Brown's Hotel, Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
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Spa at Mandarin Oriental

With its opulent surroundings, crystal steam room, sanarium and vitality pool, The Mandarin Oriental lives up to its reputation as one of London’s most luxurious day spas. Arranged over three levels, the dark wood interior, highlighted with oriental blooms, water features and stone sculptures, is impressive. Clients are encouraged to book time rather than specific treatments to get a perfect bespoke service. We rather fancy the Customised Aromatherapy Facial - a tailor-made, indulgent treatment that makes use of the lovely, specialist oils of Aromatherapy Associates.

  1. Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
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Elemis Day Spa

This small but well-established spa brand’s exotic, unisex retreat is tucked away down a cobbled lane off Bond Street. The elegantly ethnic treatment rooms are a lovely setting in which to relax and enjoy a spot of pampering, from wraps to facials. Customer service is always good and the treatments provide equal measures of relaxation and results. One of its best-sellers is the Visible Brilliance facial which delivers exactly what it claims. The massages – we’ve experienced a few here – are highly recommended.

  1. 2-3 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EX
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Spa Illuminata

The entrance may be more Rodeo Drive than zen garden – a large shop, then a leopardskin chair next to a lion’s-mouth fountain on which to fill out forms – but this Mayfair spa delivers one of the best massages we have experienced. ‘It’s Swedish aromatherapy with a bit of shiatsu thrown in,’ the therapist told us on a recent visit, before smothering us in balm and digging out every recalcitrant knot with the vigour you always ask for but rarely get. Even palms and toes are attended to. There's more unusual treatments too. The Madagascar Escape takes you on a 'voyage to the beautiful island' through essential oils and no less than 52 acupressure-style techniques.

  1. 63 South Audley Street, W1K 2QS
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May Fair Spa

An impressive wet room, great (if expensive) treatments and striking middle-Eastern statues make this one of central London’s most tranquil hotel spas. New to the spa this season are the indulgent Golden Caviar Facial and Cashmere and Silk Body wrap. Spa-goers are encouraged to lounge in the relaxation area post treatments as well as indulging in the sauna and steam chamber featuring fibre optic lights on the ceiling, to similate a night’s sky.

  1. Radisson Edwardian May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, W1J 8LT
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Agua Spa

Thirteen years after opening, the Agua Spa is still at the top of its game, delivering excellent treatments against a dreamy backdrop of swishing white curtains. On a recent visit, we sampled the Mother Nature Pregnancy Massage which involved lying on a warm water bed, being slathered in heavenly Aromatherapy Associates oils and being gently massaged all over from scalp to toes. Ultra-soothing. We can also recommend the Eve Lom Experience facial, hot stone massage and fabulous manicures using Rococo polishes.

  1. The Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG
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Users say

29 comments
Jin H
Jin H

London? I would really love to go there to experience their spas. But for now, I am so broke. I can't afford to go there. I've been eyeing for Flawless HK. That's a bit near here. I heard they have massage, spa hong kong. Cool, isn't it.
http://www.flawless.hk.com/

Patricia S
Patricia S

I had a terrible experience at Spa London, the one in Swiss Cottage. I turned up on the day and no one was there. After waiting for 20 minutes in Reception I very gently knocked on one of the doors and a lady came out, angry with me for disturbing her while giving a massage. I explained that there was no one at reception and I had already been waiting for a long time. Very rudely she said that the lady that was going to do my treatments had called in sick. Apparently they try to call me 10 min before my appointment to cancel, when I was already on the tube and they did not even leave a message. I was treated very badly and was so upset afterwards. They were rude and they didn't apologise for cancelling 10 minutes before the appointment was due to start. I will never go back and would not recommend it to anyone!

Janet
Janet

Wonderful options. Luxurious. I, am seeking a peaceful place to swim, sauna, steam. Not join a club but go when I feel like it, just pop in. Are there any nice pools, clubs that allow 1 day entry? Thank you Janet

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Faisal Aslam

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Jen Jones
Jen Jones

I would recommend the Benjawan Thai massage on Stroud Green road, Finsbury Park for a really authentic thai massage experience. It is like walking into a little massage parlour in Thailand. I had lots of massages over there (lived there for a few years). They only opened a couple of months ago. The ladies are very friendly, shoes are taken at the door and a cup of thai tea brought to you. I went for the Thai oil massage which was great and was even given a bit of extra time (hate it when your hour massage turns into 45/50 mins! More tea and a chat afterwards. Great, and good value.

k2329
k2329

I don't recommend the spa at Marshall street.(Oxford)I visited to use thermal spa and paid£12.50 last week. The staff in the space gave me robe, towel and slipper to use the spa. But when I visited here last year,I was allowed to use this spa and pool by paying £ 5.50??? Is £ 12.50 is for robe, towel and slippter?? I told the staff about this but they just insisted shat they said!. People in the spa have not have robe at all!! It is not fair that some peole pay £ 12.50 to use thermal Spa and others only pay £5.50 to use thermal spa and pool!! I hope that they make the price clear to use thermal spa. I felt very stressful!!

jenny
jenny

I just came across this article and wanted to mention that I've been going to Karaboon thai massage for a few months now. The service and quality has never let me down. Great thai massage at affordable price which you won't get at other expensive spa's, which I feel are overated. I don't know about the oxford street shop but the one I always visit is near Victoria.

Charlie
Charlie

The Perfect Pamper at Ozone Health & Fitness, lovely pool and Spa area, brilliant massage!

Mari
Mari

PORCHESTER SPA?! NO WAY!! I've been there and yes It's affordable but you get what you've got for the price! COCKROACHES & GREEN MOLDING CEILING.... Not hygienic at all. I'll never go back to this place. So if this made it on Time out Best Spa in London list how the Spa below must look like?!

Gertie
Gertie

I would recommend Elysium Spa in the City of London, located next door to Tower 42 in Bannatynes gym. Recently under new management. Lovely decor, fantastic treatments and great value for money.

mira
mira

i visited acu-channel spa in old brompton rd south kennsington it has beautiful interior relaxed and peaceful atmosphere there have special promotional deal try it

Lucia
Lucia

I would recommend Karaboon Thai massage. After a tiring shopping trip on Oxford street, I had a perfect Thai deep tissue massage. The price is very good and they have a promotion at the moment so it's even better! I have to mention the manager Alice who was so friendly and helpful explaining to me about the different treatments. Just to note as I've seen other people mention they are near Tottenham court Rd, but they have moved to Oxford circus, off Regent street. For me this is a better location and the new salon is very nice as well. I would definitely recommend.

Annabel A.
Annabel A.

Had a prescriptive facial and deep tissue massage at Ayanna Spa last week. Both therapists were really good and knew what they were doing. The facial was pampering yet delivered the result I was looking for - a glow for the evening out. Definitely worth a visit!

Andrew
Andrew

I've recently been to Karaboon thai massage on Oxford street and noticed that someone else has also left a comment, so I thought I would contribute my thoughts as well. This place is a real gem to find! It' has a very quiet, relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for a therapeutic massage if your feeling tired. The therapist was excellent and great technique. I had a traditional Thai deep tissue massage. The price is also very reasonable for West End.

Lucy
Lucy

Ironmonger Row Baths -- amazing value, ok so it's not private and piping synth music but it's healthy and helpful and clean and nicely done and classic and historic and has steam and hammam and cold plunge and chillout area all for under a tenner

sheila lally
sheila lally

O SPA London. Order for hair straighteners in July 2011 . Still not arrived. No response to e mails or letters. Appalling service

tony
tony

I found the secret: most of these spas use the ultra refreshing Champs de Fleur soaps from the himalayas. You can ge it on amazon now.

Jams
Jams

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Jay
Jay

Dear Friends, Please be aware of Hashmi Dawakhana’s health products. I was also attracted and impressed by their advertisements and lucrative websites. I also got trapped by these thugs. Whatever they are promising to gain weight quickly up to 10kg in one month but I gain only 5kg in one month period. I took full course of vitoll-xl to gain weight. I was expecting to be fully cured of my problem but I got little improvement. Please think before buying.

Linda
Linda

I've recently been to Karaboon Health and beauty on Oxford street, near tottenham court rd tube station. I had an excellent deep tissue massage, the therapist was experienced. They specialise in Thai massage therapies. I've visited twice now and will go again soon. I would recommend.

Linda
Linda

I've recently been to Karaboon Health and beauty on Oxford street, near tottenham court rd tube station. I had an excellent deep tissue massage, the therapist was experienced. They specialise in Thai massage therapies. I've visited twice now and will go again soon. I would recommend.

anja
anja

can anybody recommend a place for deep tissue massage in or around lindon?

georgia sell
georgia sell

hi everyone i am thinking of gettin my big sister siobhan an spa from me for her secret sants and from your storeys it has made me think of takin her there and it is so intreging but i am still not sure but it looks an amaazig place to go for a spa from everyones coment is is suppost to be relaxing so i probulary will go thankz

Elena Hermy
Elena Hermy

Hi, I read an article about Casa Spa Traditional Maroccan hammam in Time out . I visited the spa with a group of girls. I must admit we had a fantastic time. Marakech at your door step you do not realise till you go down the spa, it so relaxing and if you really suffer from lack of energy you should go there. the staff are very pleasant and very good at their job. We had cold water thrown at us , black soap all over our bodies followed by a good scrub down washed and covered with mud called rasoul. We had fruits, tea and sweets after the holistic massage. It is a true wellbeing .We came out with a baby skin, feeling good, relaxed and planning to visit the spa again.

Rosen Resa
Rosen Resa

K-West Hotel&Spa????? today?? did it become any better?

Ronnie
Ronnie

Gentlemen's Tonic

David Hughes
David Hughes

As a regular spa user, I visited spa LONDON York Hall for the first time two weeks ago. I have to comment that I think it was one of the best spa treatment's I have ever received, with very friendly approachable staff with full spa knowledge, after enjoying a full body massage and use of all facilities including traditional hot rooms, hammam area.( thermal spa experience) I came out feeling relaxed and revitalised and from now on I will be a regular client of theirs, especially with the reasonable pricing structure I have no excuse but to treat myself reguarly.

Joana Lobo
Joana Lobo

I really loved this article! I am an absolute fan of SPAs and well-being institutes. I have been to the Sanctuary and absolutely loved it. Another one that I have been a couple of times is the Lush SPA in King's Road. The SPA is located just under the shop and you have to go through it to get to the SPA. Almost like a little hidden secret, which I thought made things very cosy. The SPA itself has a very relaxed athmosphere, and all the products are Lush products so everything very natural and aromatherapy based. The staff are very knowledgeable and lovely and I felt treated like a princess! I have had The Spell treatment (to help you release from any worries in your life) and the Good Hour (for my very sore back) and I can highly reccomend it! Enjoy, ladies!