Whether your muscles are aching or you’re 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 budget can enjoy a little loosening up after a hard day’s sightseeing.
This niche little spa has had a luxury 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
The Porchester Spa | Courtesy of The Porchester Spa
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 a large pool for lane swimming to work those back muscles into shape, or a 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 (no ambient music or fluffy white towels here) for men and women, indulge in wraps (£55), facials (£30) and massages (£26), all at affordable prices.Monday to Saturday 9am-9pm, Sunday 9am-3pmQueensway, Bayswater, London
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
Until 2007, Londoners had no idea what an affordable spa was, until Spa London opened up its first spa-tique in Bethnal Green. Now there are several all over London, but the favourite must be in Swiss Cottage. Signature body treatments, facials and massages are up for grabs from as little as £30 — rare in this part of town. For something more luxurious, the Hammam Signature treatment is your new BFF. For £40, indulge in organic recipes with age-old techniques (including the Sultane de Saba bathing ritual) — Kessa mint and black soap wash-infused in shea butter to replenish, revive and refresh mind, spirit and body.Mon-Tues, 10am-6pm, Wed-Thurs, 11.30am-8pm, Fri, 11am-7pm, Sat, 9am-5pm, Sun, 10am-5pm
If you have a little more lolly to play with and fancy a midweek indulgence (weekend appointments are almost impossible to come by), Liz Earle is calling your name – and the results are worth the splurge. 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 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