wellness travel tips

Spa Review: London’s Unique Roof Top Sanctuary

9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM

When someone utters the words ‘The Four Seasons’ you instantly relay it with luxury, opulence and the highest attention to detail and quality when its paired with the terms ‘Spa’ and ‘treatments’ this becomes a whole new world of excitement.

So the truth be told when I was invited to experience the spa & wellness facilities at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, I was nothing short of excited! My experience at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane took the form of their City Retreat: Champagne Package (worth £295pp), which included;

  • Use of the spa & wellness facilities

  • An 80 min hot stone massage

  • An 60 min Personalised Facial

  • Lunch on the 10th-floor lounge

  • A glass of champagne

Being a Londoner myself and an avid spa-goer, I had already heard the buzz about this rooftop sanctuary and simply couldn’t wait to experience the City Retreat for myself, here’s how my day unfolded! Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, just as the name suggests resides on London’s famous Park Lane and only a leisurely 10 min walk from Green Park station the journey to the hotel had my day off to a blissful start.

As I left the hustle and bustle of Green Park far behind me and strolled along the gates of the iconic Hyde Park towards my destination on Park Lane. This certainly helped set my day apart from any other.

The hotel lobby is smaller than you would experience in most Park Lane properties, but like any other Four Seasons, its grandeur and opulent décor with deep red and sultry dark tones create luxurious and alluring warmth as you step in from the city chill.

From the ground floor to the 10th floor is where you’ll find The Spa at Four Seasons. When the elevator doors open you step out into a light, airy and bright space, quite the opposite from the juxtaposition on ground level. The white décor, clean lines paired with perfectly curved furnishings create an equally welcoming space.

On arrival at the spa reception you’ll be in awe of the overwhelming large windows boasting views over Hyde Park and beyond – A view you feel lucky to be able to witness from such a luxurious property in one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods in London – It has the wow factor.

At the spa reception, I was greeted by Lilliana and Isabella. They were polite, courteous and very welcoming. I was escorted to sit in the waiting area (may I add an area flooded with natural light and floor to ceiling windows, boasting views of the royal park and iconic London city-scape).

As I waited in awe of the view I was served a welcome drink, provided with a hot cleansing towel, taken through the order of the day and the standard forms to complete. Interestingly there was an additional menu of smaller treatment enhancements which I could add to my experience for an additional cost.

I chose an eye treatment, which promised to be gentle and refresh my eyes while also reduce puffiness. Presented with a lunch menu I made my choices to enjoy later. My wellness journey then began as I was shown around the facilities.

The changing rooms are flushed in white, crisp lines, clean and stocked with all the conveniences you could need both pre or post-spa. From cleansers, toners to hair dryers, luxury robe, flip-flops and more - this is a spa experience you really don’t need to pack much for. I had 45 mins before my treatments and I wanted to use this time enjoying the wet facilities to start relaxing and unwinding so I can truly benefit from my treatments.

I started by using the vitality pool, followed by the aromatic steam room and finally drying out in the Sauna. What’s striking about this space is that although it’s small it’s just right for you to comfortably move between each facility, walking into this dim lit area from the bright but softly lit changing room is a contrast but helps to transform your body into a state of relaxation.

From the sauna you can enjoy the spectacular views, this is a gentle reminder of where you are, while also creating enough distance from the noise and pace of the city (this is perhaps the only sauna that provides views over Hyde Park – truly unique!).

What’s important to note is that the wet facilities for males and females are segregated and accessible from their respective changing rooms; each is connected to a central relaxation space – this is where I ventured to next to wait for my treatment, dimly lit in warm red tones.

I took some time out to relax on the lounge chairs and sipped green tea & enjoyed spa snacks while waiting for my therapist Joanna. Joanna arrived promptly with a real air of cool and calmness about her which was perfectly paired with how I felt too. She escorted me into the very spacious treatment room which had its very own en-suite changing room and shower facilities.

The entire length of the (rather large & spacious) room had floor to ceiling windows; again showing off the magnificent views. Joanna introduced me to the essential oils that best fit how I wanted to feel after the treatment, I wanted to feel relaxed but with energy to be able to continue my day, she asked me to place different scents on the inside of each of my wrists and to smell them.

I was to tell her which I was drawn to the most (as this was an indication of what is what my body craved), ‘energising’ got my attention and it was perfectly in tune with what I wanted to achieve. I asked for the curtains to be drawn to reduce the light in the room as my 80 minute hot stone massage began.

Joanna massaged the energiser oil over my legs and followed by rubbing the hot stones across my muscles applying just the right amount of pressure, the smoothness and the warmth from the stones were extremely soothing and I could really feel the tension easing away.

Joanna worked a similar method up my body towards my shoulders, where I had asked her to pay special attention too, this is a particular problem area for me. What sets this massage apart from any other type is that the heat from the stone really does enhance the relaxing effects of the pressure used.

I only usually opt for a 30 or a 60 min massage so with this 80 min massage I really felt the benefits as Joanna was able to spend enough time on each area with the extra time working my concern areas. Joanna moved on to my 60 min facial, the transition felt seamless, she used a handpicked selection of ESPA products that suited my skin type.

ESPA products are high quality and smell really nice and are not intrusive, the list of products used was vast but each felt great on my skin from the ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk, Refining Skin Polish, Essential Cleansing Mask, Nourishing Cleansing Balm, Optimal Skin ProSerum and 24-hour Replenishing Eye moisturiser and more, all which were available for me to purchase afterwards.

The facial left my skin feeling cleansed and I definitely had a glow after the treatment, initial results were impressive. But the true signs of a good facial for me really are the results a few days after. I have to say that this facial, is definitely one of the best I’ve had, I could certainly see and feel the benefits more than a few days after.

The massage left me feeling relaxed and ready for the rest of the day, just as the energiser oils had promised I was left feeling invigorated, refreshed and awakened. The facial gave me my glow back, the massage left my body feeling lighter and flexible – what a perfect combo, I believe how I felt is a testament to Joanna who was intuitive, listened to my needs and choose the right products for me!

I was guided to a private pod in the relaxation area, complete with reclining bed, headphones that I could tune into various musical channels, magazines, nuts and water, everything I could need to continue my journey of relaxation before easing myself back into reality.

This was followed by lunch, a bento box style serving of my earlier choices, which was served to me in the contemporary but cosy lounge, another great place that allows you to view spectacular London skyline and offers an effortless transition away from the spa but still with the desired calmness you’d expect as the day of wellness drew to a close.

It’s a known fact, when you leave most London spas, it goes without saying that you are very quickly reintroduced to the chaos and drama of city life (more often than none the minute you walk out of the property), but at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane it was different for me.

The views over Hyde Park and iconic landmarks across London appear at every corner of this spa and by far are a central feature. This is a reminder that you’re still in London, but there is something surreal about viewing this bustling city from this angle, close enough to never forget but distant enough to retain your calmness and feel detached.

A feeling that still consumes you when you leave, as I left the hotel I walked back along the royal park and down park lane retracing my steps, by doing so I was slowly reintroduced to London Life but this time with more energy and calmness than when I arrived.

The Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane is coined London’s unique roof-top sanctuary and after my 3.5 hours of wellness, this was not only a blissful experience, when paired with the highly trained staff and unparalleled Four Seasons hospitality it was nothing short of unique and I simply can’t find a reason not to return.

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