In Depth

The best spas in London and the UK

Forget the daily grind and indulge yourself in some of Britain's most luxurious wellness centres

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The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park

Cocooned beneath the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge, the Mandarin Oriental spa is a tranquil place to while away the hours and forget about the pace of life on the surface.

On arrival at the spa’s lavish reception area guests’ shoes are exchanged for slippers (on a lotus leaf-adorned tray, no less) and offered a cup of soothing herbal tea; two immediate hints of the relaxation that lies ahead.

Reopened last year following the hotel’s most extensive renovation to date, the spa’s treatments take place in one of the 13 beautifully appointed rooms - an increase from the previous nine.

The spa now also boasts a new couples’ suite - ideal for those looking to indulge in an escape from reality with a partner. A full spectrum of luxurious treatments are available, from the hotel’s signature ‘four hands’ Oriental Harmony massage - where two therapists work together to massage the body, to the restorative digital wellness escape which aims to ease tensions that can build up in the neck and shoulders of those a little too prone to checking their phone 24/7.

The spa also offers an indulgent 1h 20m maternity massage - using the full rose range of luxe Aromatherapy Associates products to calm the senses and relax the mind - which for The Week Portfolio proved to be the ultimate way for a mum-to-be to switch off and ease pregnancy aches and pains.

But the pampering doesn’t end there. Before and after treatments, guests are invited to make use of the spa’s other facilities which include an amethyst crystal steam room, sauna, single-sex vitality pool and a blissful relaxation area with reclining beds, a full selection of herbal teas, magazines and healthy snacks - capping off a luxuriously indulgent experience, far from those madding crowds above.’

For further information, visit mandarinoriental.com

The Landmark London Spa and Health Club

Standing on London's bustling Marylebone Road is the historic Landmark London hotel. Opened in 1889, the imposing Gothic Revival property wasn't always so grand, having served as a convalescent home during the Second World War and later as the headquarters of the British Railways Board. These days, however, it is one of the capital's most luxurious hotels, with a spa to match. 

The spacious Landmark Spa boasts a chlorine-free 15-metre swimming pool, huge hot tub, sanarium and mosaic-tiled steam rooms. There's also a fully equipped gym if you feel like exercising as well as relaxing.

But what makes this spa really stand out is its selection of luxurious treatments. Run in partnership with European skincare house Germaine de Capuccini, the spa has four treatment rooms and offers everything from hot and cold stone massages to facials and body wraps.

The signature treatment is The Landmark London Elixir, which last for almost two and a half hours. First comes a gentle body exfoliation, combining resins, bamboo and poppy seeds to gently buff the skin. This is followed by a warming cinnamon full-body massage using warm shells to work into any tight spots. 

The treatment is topped off with a rose facial and Kobido facial massage - a Japanese technique that produces a natural lifting effect - to leave you glowing. Well, it did for The Week Portfolio, at least. 

If all that pampering leaves you hungry, don't miss the The Landmark London's award-winning afternoon tea. Taken in the hotel's Winter Garden restaurant, set in a soaring eight-storey, glass-roof atrium, it's the perfect way to round off an afternoon of decadence. 

For further information, visit landmarklondon.co.uk

Urban Retreat at Harrods

Where better than to be made to feel a million dollars than in the heart of the world's most famous luxury department store. Urban Retreat at Harrods brings all the pleasure and delights of a world-class spa right to the city centre – ideal for today's busy lifestyle.

Located on the fifth floor of Harrods, it offers 20,000sq-ft of pampering, with  32 styling stations, 21 beauty rooms, 14 manicure and pedicure stations, a make-up salon and a world-class Moroccan Hammam Spa. The menu of treatments reads like a small telephone book, matched only by the list of premium retail products, including La Prairie, Sisley, Eisenberg and Hourglass.

As you'd expect from a store renowned for top service, the team at Urban Retreat include some of the industry's finest. Ruby Hammer, one of the world's most internationally respected make-up artists, heads up the make-up salon, making sure her team are ahead of the trends, techniques and industry knowledge. Meanwhile, multiaward-winning stylist Andrew Barton is in charge of the hair salon, which, when The Week Portfolio visited, was full of amazing transformations. Andrew himself is available to work his magic, delivering a thoughtful consultation – where you are very much in control of what goes on with your hair – and then chatting away as he works, his charming Yorkshire manner instantly putting clients at ease. A glass of champers will have you feeling like a film star before you swish your way out of the salon, eager to show off your new look.

To make sure you leave feeling as if everything is coming up roses, this August the Moroccan Spa marocMaroc is celebrating the romantic flower. Treatments at this Mediterranean paradise include a limited edition rose hammam created with rose petals from the foot of the Atlas mountains (£150) while from 15-19 August, marocMaroc's leading hammam kessala, Loubna El Maslouhi, will be available for appointments, bringing the best of Morocco's hammam therapies to London.

When you're finished, you can try some of the Moroccan delicacies on offer at the Urban Retreat Cafe.

For further information, visit Urban Retreat at Harrods

Niall Clutton

Coworth Park, Ascot, Berkshire

There are 70 rooms waiting for you and an award-winning eco-luxury spa at Coworth Park, which is set in 240 acres of picturesque parkland a mere 45 minutes from central London and 20 minutes from Heathrow airport.

The groundbreaking luxury spa is an architectural wonder which would not look out of place on Channel 4's Grand Designs. Partially submerged into the land, the upper floor offers breathtaking views of the surrounding parkland, while the natural environment is echoed in the interior design, with every area of the spa flooded with natural light, crisp contemporary architecture, art and sculptures throughout.

The upper floor has eight treatment rooms, a manicure/pedicure salon, relaxation room and The Spatisserie dining area, which works under the ethos that "a little of what you love is good for you". Enjoy healthy snacks and light meals or afternoon tea, fruit smoothies and champagne while looking out on to the stunning countryside

On the lower level, there is a heated indoor swimming pool with underwater music, a poolside relaxation area and a sun terrace with luxurious loungers, an aromatic steam room, experience shower and pre-swim shower. Natural light and treetop views also flood the gym, making you feel as if you're exercising with Mother Nature herself, while integrated televisions in the equipment mean you won't miss your favourite show.

For further information, click here

Barney James / Timeless Pictures

Bhuti, Richmond, Surrey

Nourish your inner being as well as your physical body at this eco wellbeing escape. Bhuti – Sanskrit for well-being - offers spa-lovers the chance to stretch themselves with a range of 35 yoga and wellness classes, which can be booked before you relax with one of the 50-plus high-tech holistic spa treatments and therapies. Individual sessions or spa days are available, while membership packages start from £170 per month.  

Classes are held in an airy studio filled with natural light and led by a team of experts – teachers include Katy Appleton, Emma Hicks and Chris James, recently named one of the top ten yoga teachers in London. But while The Week Portfolio loved brushing up on their asanas, it was the facial that followed that had us buzzing. After a discussion with the therapist, we opted for the Therapi Honey Skincare - the world's first professional treatment using the range – and for 90 minutes, were pampered and stroked with nature's liquid. It was, without doubt, one of the best facials Portfolio has enjoyed and left our skin glowing.

Don't leave without stopping in the vegan cafe, which is Soil Association-certified. But forget ideas of bland cardboard. The chefs here are truly amazing, with a wide range of free-from food to delight from morning to evening. It comes with a star recommendation - Hollywood actor Glenn Close was spotted enjoying a coconut dahl here. The menu changes every day, but The Week Portfolio recommends the savoury muffins with an sumptuous slice of cheesecake to finish off.

For details, visit Bhuti

Niall Clutton

The Dorchester Spa at The Dorchester, London

Art Deco glamour is given a contemporary edge to help you relax in style. This beautifully designed oasis in the classic British hotel may be underground, but it will have you feeling on top of the world. Design touches include a chandelier of south-pacific pearls, which nestles perfectly with the crisp, white interiors.

Treatments take place in nine spacious rooms and offers top-end products from the likes of La Prairie, Aromatherapy Associates and Carol Joy London, which also offers a diamond microdermabrasion which will leave your face glowing. In addition, you can enjoy a sumptuous relaxation room, aromatic steam rooms and experience showers.

If working out is more your thing, the gym is equipped with top-of-the-range TechnoGym resistance equipment and cardiovascular equipment, as well as a full set of free weights, swiss balls, a bosu ball and various medicine balls.

To make sure you leave looking good from head-to-toe, the Carol Joy London hair salon is filled with expert stylists and colourists, while the Dorchester Barber Shop has been offering the finest traditional grooming services for more than 30 years. And of course, once you're done, you have all of Mayfair to enjoy.

For further information, visit Dorchester Collection.  

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