London's best spa hotels
One of the plushest hotels in the capital, with its American Art Deco vibe throughout, The Beaumont exudes the sexy and sophisticated essence of the 1920s. Dimly lit bars, acres of maple furniture and a gallery’s worth of art – it’s smart, unpretentious and positively plush. The small but perfectly formed spa in the basement of this bijou hotel makes for a seriously stylish central London chill-out. Beautiful and art-deco themed (naturally), it also boasts one of the only Moroccan hammams in London. As you'd expect, Hammam treatments with massage are one of the spa's specialities.
Best for: pretending to be both beautiful and damned
Just down the river from the iconic Tate Modern, this bankside hotel has one of the best locations in the city. And designed by the ever-excellent Tom Dixon – you know, him of all the tastefully shiny things that you want to fill your home with – it’s also blessed with one of the sleekest interiors. Beautiful throughout, its impressive spa with central copper drip sculpture looks like the chill-out zone of a particularly well-groomed James Bond villain – absolutely a good thing. Try the spa's signature mud cure treatment to give your whole body an exfoliation in the traditional Turkish bath.
Best for: being almost villainously sleek
Just down the road from Theresa May's house lies this one-time government office, now reincarnated as one of the capital’s smartest hotels. Seriously, it has a spectacular chandelier roughly the same size as the moon. While undoubtedly luxurious, modern touches prevent it from feeling stuffy, and despite its central location (read ‘should be noisy’) it’s home to a beautifully peaceful spa which, being windowless, is the perfect place to close the door on reality. It's a surprisingly vast space featuring 17 different treatment rooms, an ampitheatre sauna, an indoor pool and vitality pool, a Daniel Galvin hair salon, and a Margaret Dabbs nail salon.
Best for: avoiding the apocalypse
What was once the drinking den of H G Wells, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle is now a sophisticated five-star hotel. Combining an olde worlde opulence with its illustrious history, this swish spot also boasts a brilliant spa which is home to the capital’s only dedicated Watsu pool. At the centre you’ll find a gorgeously lit 18m pool with a sauna, Jacuzzi and plenty of recliners. The treatments on offer, as you'd imagine, are properly luxurious.
Best for: finally penning that novel
Once a private members club for very well-to-do gentlemen, the Mandarin Oriental is one gobsmacking building. After reopening its grand doors in 2000, with a new set of owners, it retains the now-listed marble which coats its impressive interior. With rooms overlooking Hyde Park and boasting a parkside royal entrance, former guests have included members of Japan’s Imperial family and the legendary Joan Collins. Its fitness and wellness centre – complete with PTs and a full-sized swimming pool for more active guests – offers treatments ranging from Zen colour therapy to oxygen-boosting facials. There are also male and female sanariums, vitality pools and amethyst crystal steam rooms.
Best for: getting a right royal treatment
These days, the Sanderson's facade is starting to look a little tired. Maybe an all-white, heavily-windowed exterior really belongs on the Miami strip, and not in this grey and smoggy city. But the hotel's interiors remain cool and classy, and its 10,000 square foot Agua Spa is simply brilliant. Almost dystopically white inside, with swishing curtains and a relaxing atmosphere, it's a world away from the nearby chaos of Oxford Street.
Best for: the trance-inducing stillness of the spa
With one of the best rooftop pools in the capital, the simple and well-considered Bamford Haybarn Spa atop Knightsbridge’s Berkeley hotel is a destination in its own right. Add in champagne-infused body wraps and spectacular views over Hyde Park, and it's almost impossibly lovely. There's even a secret rooftop garden. Its handy location close to some of the city's swankiest shops means it’s is the perfect hotel to stay during London's glorious (if somewhat unpredictable) summer.
Best for: literally looking down on people
Slap-bang in the centre of London, this swish Victorian hotel has had everyone from Oscar Wilde to Princess Diana sleeping in its super-high-thread-count sheets. One of the most iconic hotels in the capital, it hosts a suitably swanky spa whose underlying philosophy is based on Chinese medicine. Factor in a well-equipped gym, a sunken swimming pool, heated lounge chairs, and a Himalayan sea salt sauna that glows with a warm orange hue, and it's a one-stop shop for all your wellbeing needs.
Best for: spending an entire day at in a spa, and not getting bored
More than 100 years old and set in leafy Mayfair, this is a very British affair; the butlers are even trained in shoe care by the expert cobblers at John Lobb. And if you’re looking more tired than your loafers, this super-smart establishment also boasts the lovely Aman spa, which comes complete with one of the sleekest-looking swimming pools in the capital. As well as a waterfall, naturally.
Best for: ignoring what TLC said and definitely treating yourself to a scrub