From Watsu to Ayurveda, London's celebrated spa scene is stepping up to the demands of an increasingly diverse clientele – from well-travelled ex-pats to multicultural execs – and embracing global therapies, international detoxes and east-meets-west holistic trends. Weary travellers hunting for holistic healing, brain vacations and jetlag re-boots can now indulge in the plethora of comprehensive global treatments and state-of-the-art technicians gracing our capital's spas – from invigorating Thai yogic massage and rejuvenating African rituals at Spa Illuminata, Mayfair, to the hypnotic third eye oil pouring ritual of Shirodhara at Ayurveda Pura, Greenwich.
Detox divas are opting for the highly acclaimed Applied Kinesiology and alkaline gut-cleansing methods from the Austrian Mayr Cure at Grace Belgravia, while stressed-out high flyers are sinking in to tranquil English Rose Rituals at Aromatherapy Associates' flagship Knightsbridge boutique retreat. From Moroccan Hammams to Hellenic Havens, the capital's sanctuaries are delivering on an impressively global scale. Here we chart the best spas for detoxing in this new year.
Ushvani spa pool
This sleek, teak, serene and masterful sanctuary set in a Chelsea townhouse is the authority on Eastern wellbeing, the brainchild of a New York state attorney intent on introducing Malaysian healing to the luxury London spa circuit. Enveloping soothing facilities and the alchemical touches of therapists who embrace faithful practices from curative Thai stretches to contemporary Mandi baths, a visit to Ushvani offers restoration from the inside out. www.ushvani.com
Moroccan Hammam at Urban Retreat, Harrods
Inspired by ancient customs, this purifying cleansing ritual is still part of the weekly routine for many natives. Enveloped in the opulent candlelit surrounds of the Urban Retreat's Hammam you may well feel like you’ve been transported to a regal Moroccan bathhouse. The ritual boasts a warm steam for muscle relaxation, the traditional black soap cleanse and exfoliating scrub, and a light stretching massage using a milk Infusion d’Orange to revitalise. www.urbanretreat.co.uk
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Spa Illuminata Mayfair
Illuminata Spa Mayfair
Capturing the antioxidant properties of the Baobab tree – one of the most ancient and emblematic trees of the African Savannah – with oils containing vitamins and phytosterols (thought to lower cholesterol), the Silk and Baobab Body Ritual is a holistic journey extraordinaire. It begins with a relaxing foot ritual to calm the senses followed by a nourishing body scrub, full body massage and ‘lighter’ leg treatment using Phytocare Oil. The sybarite silk hair treatment employs warm stone tindus to ease tension leaving you literally floating on air. www.spailluminata.com