Fed up with the usual hotel spa menu and searching for the ultimate in R&R? From uber luxurious underground retreats and lavish champagne infused mud parties to serene rooftop pools, London is a pampering paradise. Here's our pick of the capital's most unique spas.
For beauty, bites and banter: Barbour & Parlour, Shoreditch
This is the place to either, hop in and hop out for an express mani-pedi or blow dry before your dinner date at nearby Shoreditch House, or the space to wile away the hours pampering your every beauty whim and having a spot of lunch and glass of wine with friends. Spread across three floors there's a super chilled cafe and barbershop on the ground floor, while upstairs is home to the Cheeky Parlour for all your beauty necessities and a Josh Wood Salon for expert cuts and colours.
A rural retreat: Bamford Haybarn Spa, The Berkeley
Bringing a slice of English countryside to the heights of the city, Bamford Haybarn Spa is the destination for escaping the grind of London. As well as the utterly indulgent Bamford treatments, which include a deep tissue massage and full body exfoliation, the highlights of this holistic haven have to be the secret scented garden and sublime rooftop pool on the hotel's 7th floor.
A little left field: Privet, Notting Hill
When we say left field, yes there is actually grass here. Opened by a team of gardeners around the theme of a country garden, this unique unisex salon offers a full range of beauty treatments or what they like to call 'Top to toe body topiary'. The treatments, which include Bonsai makeovers, a Blooming Marvelous massage or for the gents Man-icures, all take place in the 'sheds' while tanning is done in The Orangery.
For the gents: The Gentleman's Signature Experience, Bulgari Spa, Knightsbridge
For the men that won't set foot in a spa, boy, are you missing out. Especially at The Bulgari Spa in Knightsbridge who offer a unique and very manly grooming master class. Starting off with an old-fashioned Barbershop wet shave and haircut in a private room where one can sample the fine Bulgari colognes, sir is then ushered to the lounge for cigar tasting with your very own 'cigar sommelier' and of course to wash it down, a tot of cognac on ice. Very suave indeed.
The spa playground: Agua Bathhouse & Spa, The Mondrian
Take a break from the urban sprawl of a typical Friday night in London and head 'under the waterline' to the riverside Mondrian Hotel's basement spa for their Agua Mud Party. Muster up a group of nine or more friends and immerse yourself in mud treatments while sipping champagne cocktails and devouring strawberries. Other pampering party options include facials and massages from the Slumber Party treatment list and if you want a chocolate fondue or sundae on the side, just say the word.
The mini spa: Oskia Boutique Spa, Covent Garden
For fuss free facials in the centre of town, book yourself in with top therapist Abigail James, at this stunning boutique bolt hole tucked away in Good Vibes yoga studio in Covent Garden. With just two treatment rooms (complete with iPod docks) and a chill out library room in which to sip on Oskia's therapeutic tea, this place certainly makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity. All treatments are done using Oskia's own range of award winning natural products, including the acclaimed Signature Glow Facial.
An underwater experience: Akasha Spa, Hotel Café Royal
Seasoned spa junkies will appreciate the relaxing and meditative qualities of Watsu, but for many this underwater form of shiatsu therapy may be lesser known. At the Akasha Spa in Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street, London's first ever Watsu pool offers Watsu treatments which involve a therapist cradling you in the pool while stretching and gently massaging your limbs. The aim is for you to completely switch off, become weightless and enter a meditative state.
For spiritual rejuvenation: COMO Shambhala Urban Escape, Metropolitan Hotel
Many spas and spa treatments focus first and foremost on indulging the body, but at COMO Shambhala it is all about holistic wellbeing and soothing of the mind and soul. The spa's holistic health therapists combine the use of modern science with ancient healing, and their Intuitive Healing sessions help bring clarity to stressed out minds and put overworked brain cells back on track.