Whether your muscles are sore or you’re just plain knackered, everyone deserves a little luxury TLC once in a while. Here’s a roundup of London’s best-bargain spas so even those on a student budget can enjoy a little loosening up.
The House of Elemis
The House of ELEMIS lies in a blissfully quiet spot in Mayfair
This niche little spa recently checked in for a luxurious makeover by stylist Bay Garnett. The result: a sparkly shop decorated in clean white lines and porcelain flowers by Valeria Nascimento, flashy beauty treatments and a spa in the basement. You can have your nails transformed in 15 minutes for £20 or go all out with a £200 à deux in the private penthouse, featuring a glass roof and heated amber and quartz crystal beds for ultimate pampering and relaxation. If you’re skin needs invigorating, book yourself in for a BIOTEC facial — micro electric currents, oxygen infusion and light therapy to repair, firm and invigorate the skin. With a full facial analysis included, this is without a doubt the spa’s most effective treatment. But if your back is giving you trouble, the Elemis massage banishes those knots with a salt scrub, hydrating body creams and the loveliest of natural oils. Bliss. Monday to Saturday 8AM – 9PM, Sunday 10AM – 6PM
Housed in a jaw-dropping 1929 building, the Porchester is one of London’s more authentic spa experiences — jolly steam room and knockout sauna included. If you like pools this is the place to be! There is an exceptionally large swimming pool for long strokes to work those back muscles into shape, plus a delightful plunge pool for cooling off after a sweltering detox in one of the three Turkish baths. Offering a range of no-nonsense and to-the-point treatments (sorry no ambient music or fluffy white towels here) for both men and women, indulge in wraps (£55), facials (£30) and massages (£26), all at affordable prices. Monday to Saturday 9AM – 9PM, Sunday 9AM – 3PM
We know what you are thinking but don’t worry, Kanye hasn’t got his little paws into the hotel and spa industry just yet. This Shepherds Bush-based hotel recently underwent a makeover of its own; now a glossy, glass-clad hipster-ish paradise with staff donning the latest in toned-down designer apparel, a restaurant that offers a ‘glam rock’ afternoon tea. Oh and did we mention an in-house DJ that rocks out the beats in the hotel lobby until 2AM on Friday and Saturday? Hotel aside, this nifty little spa comes with its own stellar Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room to detoxify and enlighten those sad-looking pours. The added bonus here has to be the Massage Masterclass, specifically designed for people who want to learn the benefits of how to do a basic massage — at home! For £99, it’s a bargain and includes all-day use of the ‘chill area’ and a high tea or slap-up spa lunch in the hotel restaurant, Studio Kitchen. Open Monday to Friday only
This little chain has numerous outposts in the city but the favourite must be its latest edition in Swiss Cottage. Up until 2007, Londoners had no idea what an affordable spa was until Spa London opened up its first spa-tique in Bethnal Green. Signature body treatments, facials and massages are up for grabs from as little as £30 — rare in this part of town. For something a tad more luxurious, the Hammam Signature treatment is your new BFF. For £40, indulge in organic recipes with age-old techniques (including a La Sultane de Saba bathing ritual) — Kessa mint and black soap wash-infused in Shea butter to replenish, revive and refresh mind, spirit and body. Total magic! Monday to Tuesday 10AM – 6PM, Wednesday to Thursday 11.30AM – 8PM, Friday 11AM – 7PM, Saturday 9AM – 5PM, Sunday 10AM – 5PM
If you have a little more lolly to play with and fancy a bit of a mid-week indulgence, Liz Earle is calling your name. Whilst a little pricier than the others on this list the results are worth the extra splurge of cash. To avoid disappointment, book mid-week as weekend appointments are almost impossible to come by. Which treatment to go for? The Abigail James Hero Facial of course. Combining Liz Earle’s naturally active products and professional brands, the Hero Facial is a rather delectable fingertip massage (note the speed increases the further in so don’t be alarmed) giving the result of instantly softer, glowing, clear and radiant skin — now you can strut down the King’s Road without a blemish in sight. Monday to Saturday 10AM – 7PM, Sunday 11AM – 5PM