London can be draining. On my recent trip, I biked for hours through the city center (the mode of transport du jour) and survived the nightlife scene with mid-morning taxi rides and sore feet to show for it. Riding the tube required elbowing, standing, and jostling. And while worth every minute, I also found myself desperately needing to carve out some time away from the trench-coated masses. I was, proverbially, knackered. While some Londoners go straight to the pub to relieve stress, I had a bathrobe, massage, mood lights, and hot tea in mind. I was thinking along the lines of popular spas like Urban Retreat Harrods or Sanderson, but several locals suggested One Aldwych. Always trust the natives.
The Spa at One Aldwych, a boutique hotel and member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, is small and incredibly cozy. In addition to the 18-meter, chlorine-free pool, there are three treatment rooms, an all-hours, fully-equipped fitness center, and a steam room/sauna. I totally got my detox on with a deep massage (I was completely taken aback by how my small-framed masseuse, Julie, was able to conquer the knots in my back – I’ll never judge again).
The spa is offering new treatments, mostly facials that incorporate the luxury facial line Natura Bisse, which is only used at select high-end spas in the city. It was a reasonable way of recharging, although a post rub-down pint afterward was inevitable.