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