The new Lanesborough Club and Spa opened in London’s revamped Lanesborough hotel, which is part of the Oetker Collection, in March 2017. Spread over 1,672 sqm it was conceived by interior design studio 1508, and features opulent materials such as marble, silk wallpaper, leather upholstery, peacock blue satin, bronze trim, wood panelling and fireplaces with realistic fake flames flickering.
WHERE IS IT?
On Hyde Park Corner, in Knightsbridge. The Piccadilly line Tube station for Hyde Park Corner is right outside.
Accessing the subterranean spa from the main ground-floor entrance of the hotel is complicated – we had to have a member of staff show us the way and take us down in a lift. It was very peaceful when we arrived, with no one else in sight apart from a member of staff at reception.
After signing in, I was shown to the women’s changing rooms, which were supremely luxurious, immaculately clean and stocked with everything you could need including robes, slippers, hair dryers, hair spray, and spacious individual shower cubicles with towels, Ila shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. They also have a dry sauna and steam room covered in black mosaic tiles.
Although I didn’t see it in person, the men’s locker room has a single private booth right in the middle of the room, in shimmering gold (pictured above).
With direct access from the changing rooms, there is a unisex hydrotherapy pool, which is great for easing aching muscles but isn’t long enough for swimming lengths. When I was there it was empty, which was a bonus. There are loungers where you can sit back with a magazine and a smoothie, or have a snooze in the warmth.
For those that want to workout, there is a hyper-modern Bodyism gym, with professional trainers on-hand to help you with your regime, and state-of-the-art Woodway cardio machines with interactive screens that allow you choose running routes in the virtual worlds of Skyrim and the Elder Scrolls.
There’s also a mirrored fitness studio where you can do spinning, yoga, reformer pilates, HIIT TRX and dance for example. Sessions are £35 or free to members. As well as the Butterfly members’ lounge, there is a dedicated mani-pedi salon.
FOOD AND DRINK
The Club has it’s own restaurant, which is very formal and stately, so when you wander in wearing gym or a robe, you feel very under-dressed. With an emphasis on healthy food and drink, the menu has been developed by Michelin-starred chefs Eric Frechon and Florian Favario, with nutritional guidance from Bodyism founder James Duigan.
Although expensive, the menu had a superb array of tempting dishes and snacks, ranging from coconut chia pudding (£9), acai smoothie bowl (£15) and courgette spaghetti with tomato confit (£15.50), to chicken pitta with hummus (£21), a vegetarian quinoa “lifestyle” burger (£21) and salmon poke bowl with brown rice (£12). I had a coconut and matcha energy ball and a Berry Burn Bodyism shake (£8), while sitting at the bar. The quality of the ingredients is excellent.
From Bio-Energy mud bathing (£70 for 45 minutes) to Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Age-Defying facials (£150), there are all manner of expensive, extravagant therapies that promise to make you feel reborn. Therapists have been trained by “facial innovator” Anastasia Achilleos and products used include luxury skincare brand La Prairie, which is employed in the Ultimate Rejuvenating Platinum facial (£240), for example, and the White Caviar Illumination pedicure (£100).
I chose the 60-minute Ila Deep Tissue Potali and Hot Stone massage (£140), which is designed to reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, ease stiffness, improve mobility and flexibility, and firm the skin. Inspired by Ayurvedic traditions, muslin Potali bags filled with herbs and salt, warmed pine, amber, frankincense, and steeped in earth and fire essential oil, are applied on the body in rhythmic, fluid motions.
I was impressed at how my therapist talked me through what would be involved in advance, asked if there were any particular areas of tension I wanted her to focus on and adjusted the temperature, lighting and music to just the right setting. It was a deeply relaxing, transcendental experience, and loved the use of herbal poultices and hot stones. After it was over, I returned to the silent lounge, with thick soft carpet, oil paintings and armchair, to enjoy a cup of herbal tea. A selection of nuts and dried fruit are laid out on a counter for you to help yourself to if feeling peckish.
This truly is a five-star spa, what with its highly professional staff, exceptional treatments, delicious, healthy food and high-tech gym. It’s a shame it doesn’t have a proper swimming pool but the hydrotherapy aspect is great. The Lanesborough spa is a place you could easily spend an entire morning or afternoon. It might be pricey but you’ll leave feeling it was money well spent.
OPENING HOURS 6am-1pm Monday to Friday, 7am-9pm weekends.
PRICES Membership starts from £6,000. Day passes are £150. Massages start from £110 for one hour.
The “Stay and Spa in London” package starts from £690 for an overnight stay, free club and spa access, a choice of either a 60-minute full body massage or Gold Silk Ila facial, breakfast, a healthy detox smoothie, and 24-hour butler service throughout your stay.
CONTACT The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London; tel +44 (02) 20 7333 7060; lanesboroughclubandspa.com