East London is known for its cool creative vibe and frenetic nocturnal scene – yet it is also home to some of the most serene spas and wellness venues in the UK capital. Old Street lays claim to a flock of high-end spa and wellness spaces in this great corner of London. Come and immerse yourself.
This mid-century listed building on the corner of Finsbury Square has truly sophisticated Art Deco rooms, lined with elegant pale leather and dark wood. It’s a look softened by rain-shower bathrooms and fluffy bathrobes for snuggling up in after a visit to the Beauty & Melody Spa. Here, possibilities for relaxation or beautifying range from Thalgo mineral-rich face and body rituals to deep-tissue massages; you can also swim and sweat in the 8m (26ft) pool, hot tub, gym, sauna and wet room. You’re looking lovely already.
Who’d have thought a boring old bank would resurface as such a sassy urban spa? This Art Deco delight near Bank Station – with members’ club, restaurants and hotel rooms – rewards guests with access to Ned’s Club Gym and Spa in the expansive basement. The Soho-House Cowshed spa brand takes care of every mani-pedi need, not to mention face and body treatments. We love the signature Moody Massage and Urban Warrior pollution-proof facial. After pampering, laze by the pool with its large marble pillars, or steam in the rose-marble hammam.
Such an overtly urban hotel, a ticket’s throw from Liverpool Street Station, isn’t where you’d expect to find a spa. Yet, here you’ll find a wellness area complete with a light-filled gym offering complimentary towels, earphones and water. There are male and female sauna and steam rooms plus showers. Treatments are more of the nurturing than glowing-face variety, with a fine range of deep-tissue, Thai and sports massages. Passionate about modern art, the hotel has appealing rooms with plum-painted walls and faux-fur throws, marble bathrooms and deep soaking tubs. It’s a cool check-in indeed.
Here, smack in the heart of Shoreditch, just off Kingsland Road, East End history buffs will adore the converted Edwardian Old Street Magistrates Court and police station – because it’s now a quirky contemporary hotel with a fascinating history. Oscar Wilde and the Kray twins spent time here – obviously not in the rooms that you will, with patterned carpets and shiny cushions, nor in the relaxing wellness centre with its 10m (33ft) heated pool, jet fountain and bubbles, sauna and steam room. Hop in – it’d be criminal not to truly indulge!
One of the coolest hangouts in the city includes 120-warehouse-style rooms – in a hotel that doubles as a members’ club for fancy freelancers with a taste for the high life. You don’t need to be a member or a guest to head down to the bijou basement spa for a personal-training session in the state-of-the-art 24-hour gym. Or how about a morning yoga session followed by a dip in the heated rooftop pool? Members and hotel guests have the added luxury of access to these amenities. Spa devotees will want a relaxation session: try a speedy 30 minutes or a nighty-nighty 90 minutes of pure massage bliss.
The major pull of this converted East London warehouse, 10 minutes’ walk from Liverpool Street? Book one of the 26 bedrooms – New England beachy in style, named Tiny, Small or Small+ – and you get access to the members’ club with a heated rooftop pool, open year-round. Expect gorgeous Cowshed-brand products in the marble bathrooms – and more of the same in the Cowshed Spa, with its rustic-feel treatment space for massages and facials. Burn off those cocktail calories with boxing, pilates or yoga in the gym – before doing it all again.
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch lurks behind a bold concrete and steel façade on a serene street in the heart of East London. A 10-minute walk from Old Street, it’s the biz for guests and non-guests needing a massage, facial, exfoliation or body scrub. Signature treatments include a range of massage techniques along with your choice of aroma oil blend. If you’re staying, factor in leisure time in your pared-back room: serene spaces, they come with floor-to-ceiling windows and walk-in showers in all-white bathrooms that might have come from outer space.
In the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral, you get to dip out of the urban buzz at this glass-fronted spa hotel with smart rooms and fine city views. Take languid laps in the impressive 18m (60ft) heated pool lined with mosaic-tiled pillars and palmy fronds. Clock the lovely Zen waterfall. Then have a lie-down in the steam lounge or the sauna. If you seriously want to bliss out, go for an indulgent treatment offered by the Asian-influenced Rena Spa. With its wooden screens and meditative Buddhas, it is a serene spot for a heavenly hot-stone massage.