Best spa in London for: lunchtime laps
As you might expect at one of London’s more discreet grand hotels, The Connaught’s spa is similarly unobtrusive, hidden away in a shiny wing in the basement. As the only Aman spa outside of an Aman resort, it’s a pretty good secret to know about. The space is dark and glamorous, but simple – styled with natural woods, marble and slate. A sleek (chlorine-free) pool is the centrepiece, with its black-tiled water-fountain-wall providing the only soundtrack. You might find a magazine stylist doing lengths, or a hotel guest reading on one of a row of smart poolside loungers but, chances are, you’ll have the place to yourself.
The treatments on offer reflect the global reach of the Aman brand – and a serious range taps into wellness techniques borrowed from the likes of China, Japan and Tibet. But the best way to experience the spa is by booking one of the Signature Journeys. Treatments are split into three categories: grounding (for anyone feeling stressed and burnt out), purifying (aimed at tackling low energy, and the associated effects – say, dry skin or headaches) and tonic (a brilliant tonic for emotional exhaustion). Within these categories, there are three different treatments to pick from: a massage, a body polish and wrap, or a facial. But a Journey is the holy grail – and you’ll receive all three in one three-hour marathon of blissing out. For something a little more spiritual, there’s also Reiki with a master healer, breathwork and mindfulness to reduce anxiety, and vinyasa yoga – plus personal trainers available in the sleek gym, and deep tissue massages to aid post-workout recovery.
Treatment to book
The ultra results-driven Aman Advanced Facial. This is a proper facial, packed with muscle-sculpting massage, ultrasonic scrubbing, EMS and cryo bulbs to get your blood pumping. Products slathered on the skin are boosted with powerful Japanese herbal extracts, and masks used are the result of a brilliant partnership between Aman’s own skincare line and cutting edge, doctor-led 111SKIN. From £230 for 60 minutes.
Don’t forget to bring your swimming costume, as all treatments of two hours or more include access to the pool and steam rooms. By Tabitha Joyce
Address: The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL
Telephone: +44 20 3147 7305
Best spa in London for: a post-trip pick-me-up
There are a lot of jet-lag cures out there – light therapy, melatonin, fasting. But if you’re looking for a tried-and-tested spa treatment to get you feeling ready for the real world upon landing back in London, Reviv’s clinic on Great Portland Street is your best bet. It started providing IV therapies to the jet set in 2011 and has since expanded its empire to every corner of the globe, from Johannesburg to Toronto.
Having opened its first independent outlet in central London five years ago (you could previously head to Harvey Nichols for the treatments), Reviv offers a handful of distinct therapies that can pep you up after a cold, a heavy night out or, crucially, a big trip. The setting isn’t medical or clinical – you’ll barely even notice being hooked up to the drip once you’re ensconced in one of the big, squishy sofas.
Treatment to book
For people who travel regularly we recommend the Megaboost therapy, which restores hydration and replenishes essential minerals and vitamins, while also giving you an energy boost thanks to its extra-high levels of vitamin C mixed with detoxing antioxidants and electrolytes. The results will ease away any travel-induced fatigue or fogginess, meaning you’ll be feeling every bit as relaxed as you did when you were snoozing in a hammock beside the pool. From £209.
The influx of minerals and vitamins can actually make you feel worse at first, as your body processes the drip. It's normal to feel a bit tired and foggy immediately afterwards, but this soon disappears.
Address: Reviv, 45 Great Portland Street, Marylebone, London W1W 7LD
Telephone: +44 207 7636 4922