Hotels are coming to understand that the visual appeal of their spa has a huge impact on guest experience. Now more than ever before, a spa should reflect a theme, tradition or place, its interior design and architecture must complement the client journey. Exceptional design is no longer a luxury, but a priority.
Looking to the future, it’s anticipated that the standard hotel spa design—a floor plan with treatment rooms, a pool and gym—and the traditional choreographed spa journey, will be disrupted and we’ll see wellness spaces appear in different areas of a hotel, allowing guests to connect and socialise in a less structured way. A space may intrigue, inspire, delight. Until then, there is much to tantalise. Here, AsiaSpa visits London, a city with some of the world’s most celebrated landmark buildings, to discover how space, history and story inspires today’s most aesthetically pleasing spas.
AMAN SPA AT THE CONNAUGHT
The Connaught’s 500sqm Aman Spa features five candlelit treatment rooms each with a dressing area, treatment area and steam room. The 60sqm swimming pool is lined with dark grey granite tiles, and essential oils in the steam room are changed every quarter to reflect the seasons. Curated with four pillars of wellness in mind—nutrition, movement, psychological health and bodywork—signature treatments fall into three categories: grounding, purifying or nourishing.
Choose grounding treatments for stress, exhaustion, insomnia and racing mind. These treatments use amber oil, sandalwood, rose quartz crystals, silver, muds and wild harvested butters to reassure and reconnect.
Try purifying treatments for bloating, low energy, dull skin, thyroid problems, post-illness exhaustion, headaches and migraines, with sage, sandalwood, juniper berry, raw honey, pearl, quartz and argon stem cells to stabilise the heart and mind.
Nourishing treatments boost lacklustre skin and ease anxiety, fatigue and emotional stress. Jasmine stem cells, sandalwood, vitamin B12, fresh royal jelly, silk and gold rejuvenate.
AKASHA HOLISTIC WELLBEING AT HOTEL CAFÉ ROYAL
Hotel Café Royal is one of London’s leading design hotels. Restored by David Chipperfield Architects, the building merges contemporary style with the grand historic public rooms of the 1860s and 1920s. The spa, Akasha Holistic Wellbeing, takes its name from the legend that before earth, wind, fire and air, there was akasha –– the source of all creation. You’ll find a 60ft lap pool, London’s first Watsu pool, a private hammam and a Vichy shower.
Nine treatment rooms, including the double treatment Akasha Suite, offer signature treatments that marry innovative Western practices with ancient Eastern traditions. In keeping with the legend on which the spa was founded, a signature treatment is named The Four Elements. This full-body journey involves a hydro-treatments in a Watsu pool (water), a hot stone foot massage (earth), a hot oil back massage (rire) and a tension relieving scalp massage (air).
NED’S CLUB SPA AT THE NED
A part of the Soho House Group, The Ned is London’s swankiest private members club and exudes cool and excess, channelling 1920s and 1930s design with vintage pieces, hand-knotted rugs, chandeliers and mahogany furniture.
Ned’s Club Spa (once the entrance to a bullion vault when the building was The Midland Bank) boasts a sauna, steam room, hammam and 20m indoor pool encased in columns of marble and mosaic tiles. A variety of materials are used throughout the spa; the hard marble and oak in the changing rooms are in stark contrast with the velvet furniture and de Gourney wallpaper inspired by the adventures of Captain Cook.
Cowshed products, whose wittily-named products reflect idiosyncratic British heritage, have long been a favourite at Soho House, and is very much in line with The Ned’s design.
ESPA LIFE AT THE CORINTHIA
Designed by GA Design, ESPA Life at Corinthia is spread over four floors and covers a massive 3,300sqm. The brightly lit entrance gradually darkens as guests walk into the spa along the thermal heated floor. Inside, black marble, stained oak and leather work together to create an environment that screams sophistication, while warming fireplaces keep the atmosphere relaxed.
The spa’s social area is surrounded by black granite manicure stations where guests can drink champagne during treatments. Other amenities include heated marble lounges, a vitality pool, a glass amphitheatre sauna and steam room.
ESPA Life offers six mindfulness therapies created to ensure guests are getting the most out of their experience, mentally, emotionally and physically. The acupuncture rejuvenation facial is one of the more unique treatments and works by regenerating new collagen and elastin to improve skin condition. Following treatments, guests can socialise in the Spa Lounge with a health shot.
BULGARI SPA LONDON AT BULGARI HOTEL LONDON
The Bulgari Spa London was designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, an Italian architecture and design practice, who were commissioned to design Bulgari Hotels & Resorts around the world.
At the heart of the spa is one of London’s most dramatic private pool complexes: a 25m Vicenza stone private swimming pool surrounded by loungers and cabanas and a vitality pool finished with tiny tiles of gold leaf glass in homage to the Byzantine mosaics of Venice.
The spa covers two storeys and comprises fitness room, steam rooms, saunas, ice showers, 11 treatment rooms, a luxurious private spa suite and a relaxation room. The private spa suite––The Onyx Suite––where all treatments are bespoke to the individual, caters for two and features side-by-side treatment beds, a twin steam shower, relaxation area and a hydro-massage tub with a green onyx backdrop.
THE SPA AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LONDON AT TEN TRINITY SQUARE
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is set in the lower ground floor of the landmark Ten Trinity Square building. The Joseph Caspari-designed spa was inspired by classic bathing parlours and is conceived as a natural continuation of the property’s public areas. The curved walls of the reception, for instance, reflect the style of the hotel’s rotunda, and the large pillars in the swimming pool are reminiscent of the hotel’s grand entrance.
The spa offers eight treatment rooms, including a couple’s suite and luxury hammam, as well as an extensive 24-hour fitness centre, thermal facilities and a swimming pool. A treatment favourite on the menu is the Swiss Age Perfecting Jewel, a deep cleansing and exfoliating facial using a bamboo-infused scrub and Alpine royal jelly serum.
THE LANESBOROUGH CLUB & SPA AT THE LANESBOROUGH
One of London’s finest private member’s clubs, The Lanesborough Club & Spa, is spread over an incredible 18,000sq feet and offers a 360-degree approach to well-being. Designed by Neil Howard of Howard Spa Consulting, it takes inspiration from the British heritage that runs through the building, as well as from Roman bath spas.
Facilities are clustered for easy access. Wet and dry areas are separate and there’s also minimal overlapping of female and male spa zones to ensure that privacy is incorporated into the design. While the male and female thermal suites are separate, couples can still enjoy the spa together in the Double Treatment Suite, complete with private rasul chamber, wet relaxation area and hydro pool.
The Lanesborough Club & Spa partners with top facialist Anastasia Achilleos and uses products by Swiss skincare brand La Prairie and British organic brand ila. The menu features innovative treatments like the La Prairie White Caviar Brightening and Firming Facial, infused with golden caviar extract to prevent discolouration and brighten the skin.