The Glass Guide to beauty treatments and spas in London

GLASS rounds up the very best beauty treatments that London has to offer. From transformative facials to mind-soothing massage, these are the bookings to make this year.


Pfeffer Sal 2The treatment room at Pfeffer Sal

For lasting results: Pfeffer Sal

Why: This small team of dermal therapists offers results-led treatments along with sound lifestyle advice.

What to book: Ultra Synergy is the salon’s new micro-needling facial, developed in conjunction with botanical skincare brand Vintner’s Daughter. After an outstanding cleanse, extractions and steam exfoliation, the advanced derma stamp pen are used to create microscopic perforations in the skin, kick-starting collagen production and creating channels to deliver the potent cocktail of peptides and vitamins deep into the cells. With the use of the derma stamp pen instead of a roller, there’s minimal pain involved (we promise) but be prepared for a rosy-cheeked recovery period of one to three days. Once the redness subsides, you’ll be left with remarkably rejuvenated skin, which continues to improve as that collagen production kicks in.

Before you leave: Quiz your facialist for product and routine tips – they’re not tied to any specific brands, so you’ll get honest and tailor-made recommendations.

Ultra Synergy facial, £250 for 90 minutes. Pfeffer Sal, The Stables, 10 Warren Mews, London W1T 6BY

 Four Seasons 3The pool at The Four Seasons

For total indulgence: The Four Seasons

Why: While many hotel spas are in the basement, the Four Seasons’s gorgeous retreat stands tall on the tenth floor of the hotel, resulting in spectacular views of Hyde Park below.

What to book: The Blue Diamond facial from Omorovicza offers a perfect blend of relaxation and results. Cocooned on a heated bed, you’ll be treated to 90 minutes of bliss involving Hungarian massage techniques, circulation-boosting dermaglobe rollers, and an intensive anti-ageing mask. The award-winning namesake product collection boasts the ability to hydrate lacklustre skin beyond belief, but without a trace of heaviness – no easy feat.

Before you leave: To complete a truly indulgent day, head down to the hotel’s grand Amaranto lounge for their famous afternoon tea – their fig macaroons are the stuff of legend.

Omorovicza Blue Diamond Facial, £275 for 80 minutes. Four Seasons, Hamilton Place, Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1J 7DR


Vaishaly spaThe Vaishaly Spa

For mind-resetting massage: Vaishaly

Why: Cult therapist Vaishaly Patel is famed for her holistic approach, helping clients slip into a state of deep relaxation to heighten the effects of her healing treatments.

What to book: It’s easy to wax lyrical about the healing powers of a good massage, but Vaishaly’s truly raises the bar. Her intuitive therapists will know what you need, even if you don’t – ours immediately detects that our tension is more mental than physical and so blends gentle lymphatic drainage techniques with mind-soothing lavender aromatherapy. The 50 minutes that follow are heavenly, but it’s the lasting sense of calm that has me enamoured – book a late-afternoon appointment, because you’ll be too relaxed to do anything after.

Before you leave: Pop next door to the newly opened nail studio, before everyone else hears about it. Patel employs the very best technicians in London, specialising in everything from a traditional manicure to the latest nail-art trends.

Personalised Full Body Massage, £80 for 50 minutes. Vaishaly, 51 Paddington Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4HR


Ushvani Asmara Suite sofa cmykA suite at Ushvani

Facial preparation for a special occasion: Ushvani

Why go: Voted the UK’s Best Day Spa by both Tatler and Condé Nast Traveller, the spa is the brainchild of Usha Arumugam who wanted to create an authentic health and beauty experience inspired by the ancient practices of her homeland.

What to book: We tried their signature penyepit facial and were blown away by the results. Penyepit is the Malay word for chopstick and this Asian dining staple proves itself highly adept for this very unexpected use in a facial. After a double cleansing, a Jojoba Facial Scrub is applied to gently decongest skin before Coconut & Hibiscus Oil is worked in using chopsticks held flat to the face in and pressed firmly in upward strokes from chin to cheekbone to stimulate lymphatic drainage.

This is followed with a Mangosteen Face Mask – known in Asia as one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, and is renowned for its skin rejuvenating, anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory properties. While the mask takes effect the therapist performs a sublime scalp, neck and shoulder massage focusing on pressure points.

The results of the facial were not immediately obvious but the following day, once the lymphatic stimulation had taken full effect, the effects were dramatic – suddenly you have supermodel-worthy jawline and cheekbones you never knew you had and skin positively glows! The results achieved are beyond anything a make-up artist could replicate.

Before you leave: Enjoy the signature ritual of hibiscus tea served in the tea room to further boost the antioxidant effect of the treatment.

Penyepit Facial, £150 for 90 minutes. Ushvani, 1 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2RJ

Sense Spa_Rosewood London (2)Sense – A Rosewood Spa

For an organic experience: Sense – A Rosewood Spa

Why: Treatments feature boutique organic skincare brands such as Maison Caulières, a small family-run company in the Loire valley in France, and Sodashi (meaning wholeness, purity and radiance in Sanskrit), a New Zealand-born brand which has promoted completely chemical-free skincare since the 90s.

What to book: All facials are personalised so products used can differ but we loved the Sodashi Pure Radiance Face Treatment which features cleansing with Calming Rose Face Mist with soothing extracts from damask rose petals and healing vitamin E and a face mask with a soothing blend of pure botanical extracts of chamomile, damask rose, calendula and neroli to soothe inflammation and restore an even skin tone, and French argiletz white clay to draw out impurities. The treatment also features a deeply relaxing face, scalp, neck and shoulder massage to stimulate detoxification.

Before you leave: Be sure to leave enough time to relax post-treatment in the spa’s softly-lit and sumptuous relaxation area.

Pure Radiance Face Treatment, £115 for 60 minutes. Sense A Rosewood Spa, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN


Cafe Royal Hotel - Akasha - Swimming Pool1The pool at Akasha at Hotel Café Royal

For intuitive healing: Akasha at Hotel Café Royal

Why go: The menu at Akasha is as diverse as it is holistic and offers treatments completely different from any other “spa” experiences we’ve come across, including Reiki, Chakra cleansing, 24 karat gold hammam treatments and aquatic therapy.

What to book: We tried the Intuitive Counselling with therapist Sinéad de Hora. Unlike most consultations, Sinéad asks her clients to tell her nothing about what is ailing them and instead uses her incredible powers of intuition to decipher what is going on physically or emotionally and how best to treat it. The things that Sinéad can tell you about yourself are simply remarkable and leave you in no doubt that her powers are genuine.

Using her knowledge of Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Reiki and reflexology she tailors her treatments according to the individual’s needs and includes the use of massage, energy healing and a combination of alternative therapies.

Before you leave: You absolutely must lounge by the sublime 60ft pool and enjoy the complimentary herbal tea and healthy snacks – it’s the closest you will feel to being on holiday without leaving London.

Intuitive Counselling, 60 minutes for £130. Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, Hotel Café Royal, 50 Regent St, Soho, London W1B 5AS

 by Roberta Lister

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