When you live and work in a busy city like London, it’s hard to know when to press the stop button. The daily grind takes over, we suffer from sleep deprivation, develop unhealthy habits, and go through the week on autopilot. Repeat, routine, and what happened to the REST?!
After years of being constantly on the go and travelling around the world as a journalist in search of the best and most luxurious spa hotels and retreats, I had recently moved back to London and was finding the shift to a fast-paced environment challenging.
Staying fit and healthy whilst residing in the capital was my number one priority and there’s no better way to end the working week than spending a Friday afternoon in the stillness and sanctuary of London’s largest urban spa – located within the five star Corinthia Hotel. Set in a space of iconic beauty and spread across four lavish floors covering 3,300 square meter’s, this opulent and expansive spa by ESPA provides the perfect pampering experience for both men and women.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the warm and welcoming staff and taken for our individual treatments, for ‘her’ – a manicure, and for ‘him’ – a personalised massage.
My guest, Russell who’s a personal trainer went for the personalised massage to focus on releasing muscle tension. The next day when I asked him for feedback, he said that it made him lift better at the gym.
My beauty regime is very low maintenance so getting my nails done was a real treat. I went for a bold red colour simply because it matched my bikini and I am normally a fan of cool blue and turquoise colours.
After our treatments it was time to get changed and discover the spa. The changing rooms are a haven of relaxation in themselves, dazzling in black and white mosaics. The large circular room has thermal facilities in the centre, with areas of changing space around the outside. There’s a traditional wooden sauna, and a huge marble shower between the two. Next to the showers are black and white heated tepidarium beds. The three changing enclaves each have a shower and private changing cubicle, sinks, vanity desks and plenty of fresh towels.
Down another two levels are the wet and thermal facilities. At the entrance there’s a pretty relaxation area which has white leather couches and a statement light piece which looks almost like petals and butterflies.
The centre piece is the dramatic amphitheatre sauna which is sunken into the floor and surrounded by glass walls. It was super-hot during our visit and would comfortably seat eight to ten people.
Luckily there’a a large ice fountain and showers to cool off afterwards and the pool to dip into. For me, part of spa-ing is having something beautiful to look at while I chill in the hydro-pool. The marble, sculptures and design flourishes keep the eyes busy while the mind wanders…
The day hadn’t quite ended yet and we were in for a post spa treat in the spa cafe to try out their ‘Brain Power Menu’ served with a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne. The brainchild of a collaboration between Corinthia Hotel London’s Neuroscientist in Residence, Dr Tara Swart, and Executive Chef, Adriano Cavagnini, this three course menu has been carefully curated to provide dishes that optimise mental function.
We both went for the raw kale salad, with quinoa, parmesan crisps and raspberry dressing to start with. For mains I had the roasted squash with wild rice, steamed asparagus and red pepper oil and Russell had the walnut-crusted baked mackerel with avocado and monkfish liver toast.
With hardly any room left for dessert we finished off with a delicious mango and chia seed pudding and an avocado chiffon cake.
I loved spending the day at the Corinthia spa and the only down side was having to leave, that wasn’t before getting a tour of one of the pent houses with the most spectacular views across the Southbank and the London Eye.
ESPA Life at Corinthia has a huge treatment menu from traditional spa massages, facials and body treatments to traditional Chinese medicine, physiotherapy, nutrition, fitness and beauty finishing touches in the salon and nail parlour. Massages start at £160. For more details on ESPA Life at the Corinthia visit www.espalifeatcorinthia.com.