The Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane has teamed up our friend and grooming expert, Grooming Guru to devise a new group of spa packages for men based around practicality. With this is mind, everything has a reason and something we wanted to try was the dry floatation bed. 20 mins in this baby is the equivalent of 4 hours in your bed at home, so perfect for jet-lag or a hangover and beats a Berocca every time!
How it works - A thin, smooth membrane surrounds the body, so that you are not in direct contact with the water. The salt solution in the floatation bed creates a whole-body experience of weightlessness, which restores, relaxes. It can also ease muscle and joint strain, and promotes deeper sleep.
TheChicGeek says - After an hour being massaged in preparation for the bed there is no way to be other than relaxed. Like doing ten rounds with a mini Mike Tyson, in a good way!, the therapist had me in the 'floppy-baby-head' state. Covered with towels, you climb into the bed and it starts to fill around you. Like a warm water bed, it cocoons you and you float in a weightless state.
While I didn't quite get the in the 'zone' by failing asleep, the experience was a bit like returning to the womb, or so I imagine. I think it's something you need to try a few times to get the full benefit in reaching the deep REM sleep. It's certainly a nice way to end a massage and something that is perfect after a long flight or a stressful week.
A quick question. Has a man ever looked good in a towelling dressing gown? The reason I ask, after two recent visits to luxury spas, I have never felt so self-conscious; more self-conscious than simply wearing swim shorts. You're not quite sure what to do with it; the etiquette of the item or whether is it even necessary. Do you wear open boxer style which looks arrogant and bolshie or do you fasten tight with the belt and feel like you're about to enter an infirmary. Add the fluffy slippers and any ounce of masculinity you once had has disappeared quicker than you can say "fire cupping".
This is the downfall of the spa experience. Spas are a great place to de-stress and devote a little down time to yourself. the majority of men would love the rejuvenating facials, the relaxing massages and chilling out in thermal pools and saunas, but it's the dressing gown and the emasculating experience that taints the experience. We need something which does the job of the towelling dressing gown but something more masculine and inconspicuous. Maybe a towelling jacket or blazer, something shorter which doesn't overwhelm or feel like you're in a Persil ad. What do you think spas?
Paul Smith - White dressing gown - £159
If you thought the W Hotel in Leicester Square was all disco balls and M&Ms you'd be wrong. Located on the sixth floor and in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Soho is the AWAY Spa. This compact and chic spa is a world away from the party atmosphere in the rest of the hotel. Using British brands REN and Aromatherapy Associates all treatments are free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients and preservatives and boost the skins natural ability to protect, repair and renew itself leaving it beautifully healthy and radiant. Signature treatments include the AWAY Massage and the AWAY Facial.The signature massage is tailor-made for spa guests who wish to detox from a long playful night out or to refuel. The signature facial is also customised to individual requirements, whether it’s time to hydrate and heal or soothe and wind down. Treatments come with refreshing and detoxing shots of various juices. There are a variety of other body treatments available including manicures and pedicures, body treatments and waxing. There are five treatment rooms at AWAY Spa, but alternatively, hotel guests can choose to stay in one of W London’s spa suites featuring indulgent steam rooms, meaning they don’t even have to leave their own rooms to be pampered from head to toe. Just make sure you avoid Chinatown and undo all their good work on the way out.
9am to 9pm 0207 758 1071
The Corinthia is the swanky new hotel just around the corner from Embankment tube. Beautifully and tastefully furnished, it has quietly appeared on the luxury London hotel scene and is settling in nicely.
The cherry on the icing is the new Espa Life spa. Four floors of bodily perfection, Espa Life is the first of a new concept by Espa featuring a fully integrated wellness approach as well as the traditional spa experience. The spa features a thermal floor with a silver steel swimming pool, sauna amphitheatre, steam room, vitality pool and an ice fountain which you rub on your skin to re-energise your body. The men's changing rooms have additional heat rooms as well as sleep pods to have a snooze after your treatments which are done on another floor with 15 treatment pods. Treatments include facials, reflexology and massages as well as manicures and pedicures. The wellness approach comes in tailored made packages targeting specific issues or problems. The final floor has the 'spa lounge' where you can have a bite to eat and drink.
TheChicGeek Comment - This really is first class, the facilities and finish is faultless. Spas are often seen as feminine environments but nowhere beats a spa as a place to de-stress and dedicate time to yourself. Throw in a massage and we promise you'll never want to leave. Expensive but worth it, go on treat yourself.