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The very best massages in london
Life in London can be tense. We gird ourselves with overcrowded commutes, contorting into unlikely gaps on the tube. We hunch over technology all day long, sit through stressful meetings and stay at our desks late into the evening, often finishing it off by slumping to scroll through pictures of our mates on holiday. Even if we find time in our days for an hour or two of proper funmindful quiet or the endorphin hit of a sweaty exercise class, we still have tired feet, tight muscles and shoulders in need of soothing.
Enter the spas and studios in London dedicated to massaging the city back to health. Permit yourself a break, put your slippered feet up and let these amazing treatments work their magic.
Perfect for quieting meddlesome minds. Forget everything you think you know about spa treatments. Here, in a quiet corner of the COMO Metropolitan on Park Lane, there are no water features, hot tubs or options to add prosecco to your treatment.
The focus here is on lifelong wellness and taking a pause from your hectic city existence, rather than snuggling in soothing fluffy robes. Though the robes are super soft, FYI. The long, assured strokes, with hands rhythmically moving along the entire length of your body they recommend you go nudecreate a powerful, almost trance-like sensation that will quiet even the most meddlesome of minds.
After 90 minutes I felt feeling peaceful, refreshed and genuinely rebalanced. Almost ready to take on the Central line again. Ellie Walker-Arnott. Perfect for chilled vibes with a view.
Everything is attuned to your body, from the pressure to the oil you choose sweet grape is anti-inflammatory, while coconut has antibacterial properties. Then get ready to relax as the tension is kneaded from your back, arms, legs, feet and hands. It lasts 55 minutes, and the heavy scent of sandalwood and lavender in the air mean the chances of falling asleep are extremely high. The spa itself is very small, with the candle-lit treatment rooms tucked away in the basement. But the location — right on Charlottes Place in Fitzrovia — could not be better.
The building shares a terrace with cosy cafes and lunch spots, so you can take yourself for coffee after the massage while smelling like a bowl of potpourri. Katie McCabe. The deep tissue massage at this frighteningly trendy wellness studio starts with a full-body consultation. The whole experience is delicious: you stand before your therapist in a darkened room and tell her all your real and imaginary aches and pains, while she examines you, tenderly, so as to tailor the session to your specific needs. In all seriousness: before my therapist had even touched me she had made me feel truly known.
This is the most full of self-love I have ever felt. You will leave transformed. Kitty Drake.
Perfect for anyone scared off by fancy spa days. Set across three shipping containers at the Gossamer City Project, with a bright, greenery-draped courtyard at its heart, the aim here is to champion the power of touch as an antidote to city stresses. For me, that meant late and slightly sweaty after rushing out of a meeting and across London to the appointment.
Happily, my frazzled arrival at the space, simply decked out with calming tones and fresh interiors, was met with soothing words and a line-up of delightful, and percent natural, oils to sniff. Perfect for spa sceptics. Tween-friendly price tags are left at the door of the country cottage-style oasis, but the fun factor is not. Treatments here come with a side serving of theatrics. Stephanie Hartman. Perfect for really, really tense Londoners. The expansive, dark-wood reception area has a slight boarding school feel to it, but that quickly evaporates when you head down to the petite spa, where zen vibes abound.
There are seven luxurious massage therapies to choose from, with the added use of a pool and steam room if you want to make a day of it. Added benefits: the treatment finishes with a soothing coconut oil face massage, and a cup of tea with sugared winter melon, shipped all the way from Malaysia.
Tasty stuff. Ju Shardlow.
The best massages in london
Perfect for a quick fix. Instant gratification your jam? Each shade is associated with an emotion and an intense scented oil, which will be used during your massage, leaving you feeling replenished, calm and ready to tackle your next challenge.
Perfect for a temporary escape from the city. Clarendon Cross is the original London spinoff of the Babington House spa, which is literally in a converted cow shed — and even from the pavement outside it smells like, well, the opposite of a cowshed, with delicious Cowshed products wafting out the door. Grumpy, knackered, lazy, moody, wild Pick an oil from these six moods grumpy and knackered are fresh and citrussy, FYI, while horny has a floral and sultry scent. Clare Vooght. Perfect for stressed-out professionals. The treatment rooms are luxe with absolutely no expense spared in the pursuit of serious chill.
Expect dressing gowns, slippers and heated, adjustable beds to get you comfortable from the get-go. Rosie Akenhead. Perfect for anyone craving more balance. While there are quite a few places to get a massage in London, there are far fewer places to experience an ayurveda massage. The Hindu system of medicine — most commonly practised today in India, Sri Lanka and parts of South East Asia — is more than 3, years old and is rooted in the idea of balance between mind, body and spirit. Anu, who does my treatment, immediately finds the tense points in my shoulders no doubt from all that Netflix-watching in bed.
Massage service in london
Gail Tolley. Perfect for a total transformation. You might associate a massage with snooze-inducing relaxation. Fueled by aromas of tea tree and eucalyptus-infused oils, the resilience is about waking up the body and senses. Foot reflexology, gentle sinus stimulation and a long scalp massage are all thrown into the mix.
By the end, you feel lighter, wide awake and weirdly erratic. Not unlike — yep, you guessed it — a butterfly.
Choose from venues offering massages in london
Perfect for taking some much-needed time out. The flash of car lights at the very top of the high window and the gentle rattle of train carriages are the only giveaway. Treatments here take place in intimate rooms with soft lighting and even softer beds. The real treat, though, is being buried away in this secret space, so close to the stress of commuters on the tube and travellers waiting for delayed trains.
Perfect for alleviating serious tension. Amid the Broadway Market hubbub of hipsters, foodies and comedown moodies, Holistic Health is a sudden sanctuary. After the usual cursory form-filling I met my therapist, Alan, who gave me a cup of water, led me to a bijou treatment room and inquired about my ailments. I bring your average desk-crabbed tensions to the table: knots in my shoulders and along my spine, nuggets that cluster like dried peas in an inner tube.
Add to these an annoyingly chronic elbow injury, and I was able to give Alan something to work with.
I have sometimes been an unsatisfied customer when it comes to massages, left with the sense that the treatment, like a kind of glorified stroking, has skated over the issue. In this case, an hour-long combination of acupressure, deep tissue and sports massage which involves manipulating the limbs not only addressed the stress, but genuinely helped my press-up elbow. There may be more luxurious or transcendental options around, but functional and effective was what I was after. Caroline McGinn.
Perfect for getting involved. My glutes have never felt such a sweet release.
Naomi Waring. Perfect for hippie-style healing. But get into it, man, this former Victorian piano factory is as chilled as the Dalai Lama whose quotes are on the wall, natch. One of six studios, the Camden Triyoga site offers yoga, pilates, chakra and energy-balancing workshops, reflexology and all kinds of massage — from aromatherapy to Thai, to pregnancy and hot stone.
The most fascinating, though, is the powerful 4-handed lomi lomi massage, a Hawaiian technique using long, synchronised strokes along the body, originally performed by ancient healers before big events weddings, battles and the likesometimes with up to eight people massaging one person at a time.
Perfect for a proper luxe treat. On our visit, we found the masseur to be extremely professional and eager to help: talking through pressure levels and when they started to get ouchie. It was a learning experience too — we learned how small tweaks to daily life could relieve tension around the shoulders. Products used were top-notch, and a sauna and steam room were both on hand for post-massage enjoyment too. Lush surroundings, top-class treatments… the Sense Spa is a gem, basically. Oli Keens.
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