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ESPA Life, Corinthia
ESPA Life at Corinthia

The best luxury spas in London

In dire need of some pampering? Got plenty of cash to splash? Discover the capital’s most sumptuous spas

By Katie Rosseinsky
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Feel like a princess or prince for the day and treat yourself to a few hours at one of London’s most luxurious spas. Sleeping pods, vitamin pools and 360-degree saunas – splurge on a trip to one of the spas below and you’ll leave feeling a million dollars.

CHECK THIS OUT: London’s best day spas

Akasha Spa

Health and beauty Spas Regent Street

Everything about Akasha is magnificent, from the wood-panelled reception to the clean lines of the changing rooms, which boast a square footage greater than the average London flat. The centrepiece is a gorgeously lit 18-metre pool flanked by a sauna, hammam and jacuzzi, plus there’s a wealth of treatments on offer across nine private rooms. Exclusive to the spa is the indulgent Elixir des Glaciers facial, which uses a raft of Valmont’s luxurious Swiss spa products to cleanse, brighten and smooth away stress.

FEATURE_AmanSpa_CREDIT_DamianRussell_Press2011.jpg
© Damian Russell

Aman Spa

Hotels Spa hotels Mayfair

Mayfair is far from the most relaxing part of London, but the Aman Spa – situated beneath the five-star Connaught Hotel – certainly is. Step out of the hustle and bustle straight into a fresh pile of hot towels and ready yourself for the ultimate massage, accentuated by oils from the continent of your choice. The beds are heated, too, and the Aman pool, which has its own waterfall, is one of the loveliest in the city.

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The Berkeley Spa

Health and beauty Spas Knightsbridge

With its small but perfect open-top swimming pool overlooking Hyde Park, this spa (a favourite with celebs) wins points for its location. But the treatments are also impressive with an emphasis on facials and a strong selection of men’s treatments, such as the Hydra Performance Facial for men featuring Swiss glacial water (just so you know).

Chuan Spa

Shopping Marylebone

This 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 before being whisked off for a sublime massage, which stimulates the body’s pressure points to relax and detoxify. We fell asleep mid-treatment, but ‘50 percent of people do’ according to the smiling therapist.

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The Dorchester Spa

Health and beauty Spas Park Lane

Nothing bad could ever happen in The Dorchester Spa. So acutely drilled are the staff, and so invisible are the processes that keep the oasis running like a well-oiled machine, that you can relax to the point of regression. Every need will be taken care of (even those you never thought you had, like the absolute requirement for some biscotti after a massage). In terms of treatments, The Dorchester is king of the complete body experience, including full mud wraps, mineral cleanses and the luxurious rose cocoon.

ESPA Life at Corinthia

Shopping Whitehall

Situated on the mezzanine level of the five-star Corinthia Hotel, just off Trafalgar Square, is the ESPA Life day spa. A shiny, monochrome labyrinth of treatment hideaways, steam rooms and pools, the spa 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 large steam room, swimming pool, jet pool, ice fountain, heated loungers and, most stunning of all, a glass-walled sauna amphitheatre as its centrepiece. 

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May Fair Spa

Health and beauty Spas Mayfair

An impressive wet room, great treatments and striking Middle Eastern statues make this one of central London’s most tranquil hotel spas. If you’re after some serious pampering, opt for 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, which features fibre optic lights on the ceiling to simulate a night sky.

The Spa at Brown’s Hotel

Shopping Mayfair

A classy, traditional English hotel is likely to have nothing less than a classy, traditional English spa, and Brown’s does not disappoint. The basement spa is small but perfectly well-equipped with serene treatment rooms, and designed in classic white and brown tones. There is a gym with personal trainers available too: the lunchtime specials, which combine the use of both spa and gym, are popular with the Mayfair suits who form the majority of the weekday clientele.

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The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

Health and beauty Spas Knightsbridge

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.

Ushvani

Health and beauty Spas Belgravia

If you’re craving pure escapism and can’t afford a plane ticket, Ushvani in Chelsea is the next best thing. Tucked away just off Sloane Square, located discreetly behind a heavy wooden door, stepping inside Ashvanti day spa feels like being transported to an idyllic Malaysian oasis far from the madding crowds. Intricate teak carvings line the walls, there’s an abundance of decadent cream marble and everything smells and feels exotic. Once inside, your shoes are quickly removed, your bags whisked off and you’re given a scented hot towel before you’ve even had a chance to turn your phone to silent.

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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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