Agua Bathhouse and Spa, Mondrian Hotel

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Monday evenings are usually reserved for dance classes or relaxing at home. But a few weeks ago I spent a Monday evening at the Mondrian hotel spa and was utterly enamoured with this underground haven.

The new Mondrian hotel seems to tick every box: excellent location overlooking the river, contemporary and characterful bedrooms, luxury amenities and a destination bar with award-winning mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana. Initially the spa seems to be a bit of an afterthought, hidden on a quiet lower floor, but after experiencing the retreat I felt it was reason alone to visit this hotel.

Agua Bathhouse and Spa feels exclusive and boutique, with striking design, creative product choices and a carefully curated list of signature treatments. Every detail is fine tuned to make the spa experience faultless and memorable. After admiring the amusing ‘I Love My Muff’ products on offer in the reception I was shown through to the smart changing room area, fully stocked with my favourite Malin & Goetz products. A bowl of thick mud was waiting for me outside the luxurious steam room, and I gladly coated my body in the moisturising mask whilst breathing in the cleansing warm air.

Feeling thoroughly cleansed I went through for my Custom Mondrian massage. The room was simply designed and dimly lit, creating an uncluttered zen atmosphere. I was sandwiched between the softest sheets on the bed and asked about my preference of scent. This treatment uses the Soveral oils, which are blended individually for each customer to create the perfect aromatic oil for your needs. A mix of Lavender, Frankincense and Peppermint was used for me to give a relaxing and soothing effect. It was 50 minutes of bliss, and my brilliant therapist used a range of techniques to target difficult areas of tension in my body. As I left, i was handed a lovely little bottle of the oil to take away and use at home.

After the massage guests are taken through to the relaxation room, a spacious area with reclining beds, magazines and plenty of herbal teas. The staff here go above and beyond the norm to ensure the relaxation experience continues after your treatment. I was given a fluffy duvet, a lovely oriental pot of camomile tea and a hot water bottle… I could have fallen asleep for the night.

Whether you are visiting Agua Bathhouse and Spa for some much needed alone time, or with friends, there are a range of unique and effective options carefully designed to suit every occasion. Next time I visit I am keen to try the sunrise yoga, and for girly groups the mud parties sound unmissable.

More information and book a spa treatment here.

Como Shambhala Urban Escape, Park Lane

Como spa

A few years ago I visited the Como Hotel in Bangkok, a serene oasis in the centre of the chaotic and hot city. The Metropolitan Como Hotel in London has a similar feel, laid back luxury with a hint of Asian influence. The spa is hidden on the second floor, a discreet but luxurious little retreat, far removed from the business focused Park Lane below.

I was greeted by several members of staff who showed me around the small spa. After a cup of zingy homemade ginger tea, I changed into a giant fluffy bathrobe and enjoyed a ten minute session in the steam room. Feeling cleansed and refreshed, I realised it was time for my treatment, the signature Como Shambhala massage with Yuki.

como calm

Tucked up and cosy in the massage bed, I felt relaxed for the first time in days and ready for the pampering session. This massage uses long hand strokes to give the body balance and harmony. I had a choice of aromatic oil scents and chose the Calm variety, a mix of lavender and geranium. Despite her shy demeanour, Yuki had great strength and undeniable ability. She seemed to instantly work out the maze of knots in my back and used miraculous movements to ease them away. Her expertise in Shiatsu massage showed in the immaculate finger pressure techniques that she used on my problematic areas. It was an hour of total heaven, I didn’t want to leave.

Revitalised and relaxed, I changed and ordered a delicious fresh juice, a tropical mix of mango, coconut water, papaya, orange and lime. A sweet and vibrant pick-me-up before returning to the mayhem of London.

como flowers

The Como Shambhala spa is a small venue offering treatments that make a big difference to how you feel. I cannot wait to return to try out one of the other innovative massages.

More information and book a treatment here.

Sense Spa, Rosewood London

Rosewood London

The Rosewood is, without a doubt, one of London’s most beautiful hotels. I have seen the rooms and bars many times before, but last week was my first experience of the luxurious spa.

One level below ground, the Rosewood Sense Spa has a warm exotic feel, thanks to the dimmed lighting and bamboo walls. The staff are softly spoken and when you arrive they gently escort you into the circular relaxation room for a few moments of calm before your treatment. The spa is intimate and bespoke, and when I visited was full of small groups of friends receiving some weekend pampering.

Within minutes I felt removed from busy London life, and completely revelled in the indulgent facilities. Before an individual treatment, guests are invited to make use of the dry heat saunas and amethyst crystal steam rooms, particularly good to loosen the muscles and pores before a massage or facial. I lay in the glittering gold leaf adorned relaxation lounge and enjoyed a glass of citrus infused water before being taken to one of the seven private treatment rooms.

Sense Spa offers a range of treatments collaborating with renowned organic brands from all over the world. The exclusive Sodashi and Face Place experiences are particularly popular. Feeling tense and stressed after a chaotic few months, I was booked in for a 60 minute Deep Tissue massage. I slipped into the silkiest sheets on the massage bed and as she worked on my back and neck I could feel my breathing slow. Deep Tissue is a strong pressure massage, effectively soothing aches and knots, rather than solely relaxing the body. My therapist worked hard on my shoulders and lower back, and using innovative techniques managed to loosen areas of tightness. She seemed to instinctively know when to apply more or less pressure and left my body feeling balanced and my skin feeling softened.

After the treatment I returned to the relaxation lounge to enjoy a warming cup of herbal tea and reflect on my blissful massage. The Sense Spa is a lovely way to experience this iconic hotel, and was the perfect time out during my busy weekend.

More information and book a treatment at Sense Spa here.