The regal façade of the Mandarin Oriental hotel looks out over Harrods, and with its location just a stone’s throw from Knightsbridge tube, this is well and truly the posh part of town. Uniformed doormen greet you and whisk you down to the spa, where you’ll swap your shoes for sandals while sipping complimentary tea. So far, so five-star, and that’s all before you’ve even donned a fluffy white robe.
Serene, dimly-lit and beautiful, this place feels a world away from London. It looks pristine: a result, no doubt, of careful restoration (a fire closed the spa just a few days after its first opening). You’ll find all the facilities you’d expect at a luxury hotel spa – pool, relaxation area and fitness centre – but it’s the thoughtful and modern touches that set the Mandarin Oriental apart, like the padded jewellery tray in each locker and a chance to try out those fancy Dyson hair-dryers in the changing rooms. There’s also a full menu of luxurious treatments, ranging from those taking advantage of traditional Chinese medicine to a range of potent Nescens anti-aging facials. After 50 minutes with my attentive therapist – and an acid peel, lymphatic drainage and a facial massage to boot – I emerged with actual cheekbones, a Kardashian-worthy jawline and a glow that lasted all week.