Best Spas: Alternative Friday night in London…


Not so long ago, I decided a Friday night didn’t need to start with happy hour to wash away that dreadful work week I’d just left behind. So, I started getting a few of the girls together for Friday nights at the spa – what better way to unwind and work your way into the weekend? We then pretend a few post spa cocktails are a completely appropriate part of the ‘detox’ … whatever! Here is a shortlist of some of my favorite spas around London:

1. Soholistic at the Ham Yard Hotel in Soho – beautiful Kit Kemp surroundings amidst Soho craziness. Everything about Soholistic Ham Yard is boutique and small, including the cozy lounge/bar area is relaxing and unpretentious for a drink afterwards.

1 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7DT  / +44 (0)20 3642 2000

2.  Agua Bathhouse and Spa at The Sea Containers Mondrian on South Bank – new and happening, this hotel and its spa are adding a new hotspot for South Bank London. Just near the Oxo Tower, the Agua Bathhouse and Spa is a Tom Dixon inspired heaven for relaxation. Following your spa treatment, expect to be tucked in with warm blankets to enjoy a spot of tea, making Agua a place you will find difficult to leave!

20 Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PD / +44 (0)20 3747 1000

3. COMO Shambhala Urban Escape at the Metropolitan in Mayfair – Perfectly located in Mayfair, this is the ultimate urban escape to forget about your workday blues. Como Shambhala is sleek, minimalist and focused on you. It also doesn’t hurt that Nobu is in the same building, you know… for another post-spa ‘detox’.

Old Park Lane, London W1K 1LB / +44 (0)20 7447 5750

4. Bamford Haybarn Spa at The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge – quintessentially English with a view of Hyde Park that would leave you thinking you’re in the countryside, when you are in fact in one of London’s best postcodes. The open air rooftop pool can be accessed part of a spa package in the summer, for a swim, snack, and drink. Sunny day London = Saint Tropez up there.

Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL / +44 (0)20  7201 1699

5. Spa at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge – widely regarded as one of the best in town, the spa at the Mandarin has so many amenities on offer that you’ll wish you arrived three hours prior to your treatment. Hint… if short on time, go straight to the eucalyptus room.

66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA / +44 (0)20 7235 2000

6. Thai Square Spa in Covent Garden – maybe it’s me, but being greeted by a giant Buddha and calm lighting when entering this spa sets the right tone – I love it! It also helps that this place offers a steal deal here and there. Every treatment starts with a signature foot scrub while you enjoy a pot of tea.

25 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9HW /  +44 (0)20 7240 6090

7. Sense Spa at The Rosewood London in Holborn – to my own surprise, The Rosewood offers one of the best treatments in town! The spa experience is completed by the fact that it is at one of the most beautiful hotels in the city, in the sense that it holds all of London’s character in one building. The architecture is unmistakably British, the restaurants, bar and terrace, and not to mention the resident golden retriever, Pearl. All in all, you could spend an entire day there. On Sundays there’s a plus too – a Slow Food market in the main courtyard of the building!

252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN / +44 (0)20 3747 8830

8. The MayFair – not my favourite spa on the list, but worth a mention for its location. I’m a fan of the fact that the experience rooms are co-ed, which is surprisingly not that common in this big city! Perfect for couple spa dates with a very central location.

Stratton St, London W1J 8LT / +44 (0)20 7769 4041

9. The Spa at Coworth Park in Ascot – a perfect country getaway spa within an hour from London’s central train stations. Located in beautiful Ascot in the Berkshires and surrounded by countryside, it’s the perfect place to escape to, leaving your worries behind in the city. The spa is set in its own multi-story complex surrounded by beautiful forest scenes and landscape. The treatment rooms are a bit bright for my liking, but the experience and relaxation rooms make up for it completely – cozy, large and varied. Not to forget, there is a Spatisserie, so you can brunch and lunch to your heart’s content without having to get out of the spa slippers and robe!

Blacknest Road Ascot Berkshire, SL5 7SE / +44 (0)13 4475 6756

10. ESPA Life at Corinthia – a grand and very British hotel, The Corinthia is a posh place to pamper yourself. The spa is very modern and large with a great eucalyptus steam room. Downside is that the relaxation areas are separate for men and women. Upside is the women’s relaxation area has a wonderful fireplace to lounge by. Not to forget, there is a spa cafe to indulge in before trading in the robe for street wear again.

Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2BD / 020 7321 3050


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