The Elemis Travel Spa is located on the Pavilion Level (middle level) between the Concorde Lounge and the First Class Lounge. (The upper level houses the Galleries Club Lounge for Club World, Club Europe, gold and silver Executive Club members, while one floor down on the Pavilion Level is the Galleries First Lounge for First customers and gold Executive Club members, along with the Concorde Room for first class passengers and “specially invited guests”.) To qualify for a treatment, you must be flying First, Club World or be a gold Executive Club member travelling long-haul. The reception is on the right – to book a treatment, give your flight details to the person behind the desk and make your choice of therapy.
There were four types of “Flying Facials” on offer: Anti-Age Wrinkle Control, Pure Skin Clean, Skin Thirst Quencher or Flight Rehydrator and SOS Skin Saver, as well as Flying Feet, an Elemis Spot-On Power Back Massage or an Exotic Hand and Arm Re-Energiser. I chose “Stress-Away Shoulder to Scalp”.
At the appointed time, I was shown through to a waiting area. The spa features “mood-enhancing lighting, natural materials including limestone, wood and slate, soft layers of fabric and a muted palette of colours”. I filled in a short form to confirm I had no medical conditions, and then my therapist – Kerry – introduced herself and took me to one of the rooms. These are simple areas screened off behind curtains, so there is not the same element of privacy that there was in the old Molton Brown treatment rooms in T4, but since you are not undressing, it isn’t too daunting.
Therapies take place while you sit in an “Intelligent Massage Chair”. I was expecting this to be as ineffectual as the massage functions which some business class seats have, but in fact it was a revelation, the software programme first of all measuring me by prodding me all over, and then giving me a 20-minute massage which was extremely proficient. Meanwhile, Kerry was working on my shoulders, neck and head. At times it was like having several therapists working on me at once, ideal given the short amount of time available.
The “mood-enhancing lighting” was evident in a wall sculpture in front of me which changed colours, at times resembling the sea, at others sand dunes. It was very peaceful to look at. The treatment was over all too soon and, after filling in a feedback form, I was handed a sampler pack of Elemis products, and returned to the lounge, feeling much better after only 20 minutes.
For those arriving in good time for a long-haul flight, the treatments are well worth trying.
There is no advanced booking, so you may find the spa is busy, but since BA has yet to complete the transfer of its flights to T5, now is the time to try. Since the price of the spa is included in the business ticket (or as a privilege for being a top-tier cardholder), if you can spare the time it is a relaxing and diverting 20 minutes.
OPEN 7am-9pm daily.