UR­BAN ES­CAPE

Vanessa Craft checks in at her favourite London spa—where ther­a­peu­tic tran­quil­ity hits new heights.

Elle (Canada) - - Beauty -

london is not a city to take lightly. When­ever I’m in town, I have an ex­ten­sive todo, to- see and to- shop list that leaves lit­tle time for peo­ple-watch­ing or pam­per­ing—two of my favourite things. Luck­ily, at the stately yet dis­tinctly non-stuffy Con­naught ho­tel, I can do both. Set in May­fair, just seconds away from the Roland Mouret and Christian Louboutin bou­tiques, this won­der­fully wel­com­ing rest­ing pad hosts the plush, in­ti­mate Aman Spa— the only one in Europe. The spa’s phi­los­o­phy and treat­ments bor­row from the an­cient cul­tures and tra­di­tions of China (re­new­ing), Thai­land (detox­ify- ing), In­dia (bal­anc­ing) and the Amer­i­cas (en­er­giz­ing). I choose the in­vig­o­rat­ing Chi­nese treat­ment, which helps to re­store en­ergy us­ing the con­cept of qi. Within the con­fines of a warm oak-pan­elled and grey-stoned co­coon, my ther­a­pist takes me through two hours and 30 min­utes of a body re­set: an elite ex­fo­li­a­tion us­ing Hi­malayan salt, an aro­matic green-tea foot­bath, acu­pres­sure, a mus­cle-awak­en­ing full-body mas­sage and— the fi­nal knock­out punch—a tra­di­tional Chi­nese fa­cial mas­sage and skin treat­ment. Con­sider it a ma­jor achieve­ment if you can stay con­scious through at least half of this in­cred­i­ble sen­so­rial on­slaught. I am re­warded for my ef­forts with a cup of steam­ing hot tea, ex­otic fruit ke­babs and an in­vig­o­rated spirit. There’s no bet­ter way to take on the (shop­ping) streets of London.

The jaw-drop­ping pool at the

Aman Spa in London

Take our ad­vice: Book a room at the Con­naught and stum­ble back to it for a

post-treat­ment nap.

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