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Chuan Spa

The best day spas in London

Escape the stress of the city and spend the a few hours in a cocoon of pampering at one of London’s very best day spas

Written by
Time Out editors
,
Lucy Lovell
&
Sarah Cohen
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We’ve all had a pretty stressful time lately, but going away for a few days to recharge isn’t always possible. However, you can get a quick fix of relaxation with a trip to one of London’s best day spas. Dissolve into a hot tub or heated pool, feel your muscles release as you succumb to the heat of a sauna or steam room and let a professional massage your cares away.

The places on our list of London’s best day spas range from the ultra affordable to the super luxurious, and offer classic treatments like facials as well as more alternative options (ice fountain anyone?). So step out of your daily life for a few hours and into a pampering paradise right here in London.

Check out our video of ten of the best spas in London:

Dreamy day spas in London

Akasha Holistic Wellbeing
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Regent Street

It may be just a few seconds walk from that noted oasis of calm, Piccadilly Circus, but once you’ve dodged the crowds to retreat inside Akasha’s heavy wooden doors, you really wouldn’t know it. Everything about Akasha is really rather magnificent, from the wood-panelled reception to the clean lines of the changing rooms. After navigating the labyrinth of cool marble walkways, you soon reach the centrepiece – a gorgeously lit pool.

Facilities: 18-metre pool, sauna, Hammam, jacuzzi, gym.

Cost: £185 (Mon-Thu) for a 60-minute treatment and access to the spa and gym for 90 minutes (£95 for day pass only).

ESPA Life at Corinthia
  • Shopping
  • Whitehall

A shiny, monochrome labyrinth of treatment rooms, steam rooms and pools, ESPA Life is thoroughly lavish, modern, low-lit and windowless. It’s the ideal place to shut the door on reality. The spa’s main area, the Thermal Suite, is a black-marbled oasis which houses a glass-walled sauna amphitheatre as its centrepiece. 

Facilities: Gym, vitality pool, sauna, steam room, ice fountain, relaxation area.

Cost: £325 (Mon-Thu) for a 60-minute massage, 30-minute facial, light lunch, champers and day access to spa.

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  • Hotels
  • Spa hotels
  • Mayfair

Although you’re located beneath the Connaught Hotel in less-than-relaxing 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. 

Facilities: Relaxation area, 60-square-metre pool, steam room, gym.

Cost: £150 for a 60-minute holistic massage (plus an additional £100 for a spa day pass).

May Fair Spa
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Mayfair

An impressive steam room, great treatments and striking middle-Eastern statues make this one of central London’s most tranquil hotel spas. Spa-goers are encouraged to lounge in the relaxation area post treatments as well as indulging in the stone oven sauna.

Facilities: Steam room, sauna, experience showers, ice fountain, relaxation room, gym.

Cost: £125 for a half spa day, including two hours in the spa, a 30-minute treatment and lunch or afternoon tea.

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St Pancras Renaissance Spa
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • St Pancras

St Pancras Spa boasts five luxurious treatment rooms and a couples’ suite, where treatments include the Ko Bi Do facial that incorporates ancient Japanese massage techniques, the Udvartana Ayurvedic slimming ritual from India and a dreamy aromatherapy full-body massage for serious relaxation. 

Facilities: Gym, sauna, steam room, relaxation pool.

Cost: From £110 for a 60-minute treatment; spa day pass from £60 (Mon-Thu).

The Berkeley Spa
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Knightsbridge

POOL CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS

With its small but perfect open-top swimming pool overlooking Hyde Park, this spa, a favourite with celebrities, wins points for its location. But the treatments are also impressive with emphasis on facials and a strong selection of men’s options.

Facilities: Open-top pool, gym.

Cost: From £80 for a 30-minute massage.

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Chuan Body + Soul
  • Shopping
  • Marylebone

This latest opening is London’s first luxury Chinese medicine centre and touted as the hottest ticket in town. 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.

Facilities: Sixteen-metre pool, steam room, sauna, relaxation room.

Cost: Massages from £100 (for 25 minutes); facials from £115 (30 minutes).

Four Seasons Spa
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Park Lane

Hint: if your therapist asks how you’d like the curtains at the Four Seasons Hotel spa, the correct answer is open. As well as a posh Park Lane postcode, each treatment room offers floor-to-ceiling windows with killer views over Hyde Park. After your treatment, head to a dimly lit relaxation pod where you can have a steaming cup of tea and some nibbles, while you slip on a pair of headphones and let the calming effects of your treatment really sink in.

Facilities: Sauna, pool, relaxation area.

Cost: From £155 for a 60-minute signature massage.

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Spa Illuminata
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Mayfair

The entrance may be more Rodeo Drive than zen garden – a large shop, then a leopardskin chair next to a lion’s-mouth fountain – 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. 

Facilities: Steam rooms, relaxation room.

Cost: Massages from £45; facials from £60.

Spa Experience
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Bethnal Green

You’re about as likely to find a cheap spa package in London as you are a unicorn. Unless you go to Spa Experience in Bethnal Green (there are other London branches, too). These guys are offering quality relaxation at a price us common folk can actually afford. Whether you just want to hang out in a steam room for an afternoon or get the full works, Spa Experience will have something to suit your budget.

Facilities: Steam rooms, Turkish baths, sauna, ice fountain, plunge pool, Hammam, relaxation lounge.

Cost: Massages and facials from £30.

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The Spa at Mandarin Oriental
  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • Knightsbridge

With its opulent surroundings, 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. 

Facilities: Steam room, sanarium, vitality pool, relaxation area.

Cost: Massages from £160; facials from £85.

Spa at The Landmark London
  • Hotels
  • Marylebone

The elegant redstone facing Marylebone station is London’s last grand Victorian hotel (it opened in 1899, just two years before Queen Vic passed away), and it’s home to the pristine Spa at The Landmark London. The haven of relaxation is run in partnership with Germaine de Capuccini, one of Europe’s leading skincare houses, hence the pampering massages and body-care therapies will use these top products.

Facilities: A 15-metre pool, jacuzzi, steam room, sanarium, relaxation area, gym.

Cost: Facials and massages from £105 each; packages from £245.

Fancy extending your London spa day?

London’s best spa hotels
  • Hotels
  • Spa hotels

London is vibrant, varied, exciting, seductive, sprawling... and just a little bit exhausting. At some point, you're probably going to need to pause to unwind.

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