Guests and visitors of the 5-star Corinthia Hotel London — housed within a Victorian building dating from 1885 (once used by the war department and Winston Churchill) on the edge of the River Thames — discover a haven of tranquility tucked away from the buzz and bustle of the city at ESPA Life. Spread across four floors underneath the hotel, the spa is outfitted in a thoroughly modern style with black and white décor, curved walls, mood lighting and chic crystal chandeliers. Guests can enjoy the ultimate indulgent experience and pursue some truly valuable health options.
Stepping into ESPA Life, accessed via the hotel’s main elevator, I let its peaceful ambience and warm décor envelop me and soothe any lingering stress. After flying from New York the same day, I needed to let the spa do its trick and relieve my jet lag. A friendly team immediately greeted me in the reception area, a white-marble space featuring shelves lined with top-notch ESPA products. I could hear the hum of the state-of-the-art Daniel Galvin hair salon nearby and got a glimpse into the spa’s café located to the left of the reception desk, a stylish space equipped with white chairs and tables offering an extensive menu of breakfast, lunch, unique cocktails, juices, desserts and afternoon tea. I, of course, enjoyed my signature green tea while I waited for my massage.
My relaxation journey began with a trip downstairs one floor to the separate men’s relaxation and locker area. After stopping in the changing rooms, storing my belongings in a smart locker and enjoying a glass of citrus-infused water, I was tempted to relax with a copy of Global Traveler in one of the heated marble chaises or nap in one of several sleep pods — comfortable, private beds separated by curtains in a serene, dark room. Instead, I traveled to the bottom floor to what is perhaps the spa’s most tranquil area outside of the treatment rooms — the Thermal Floor.
Decked out with eye-catching white furniture in a space featuring sultry, dark-blue walls and floors, the co-ed Thermal Floor is a truly therapeutic facility and haven of its own, complete with a black mosaic steam room, an energizing vitality pool, a silver steel swimming pool and an all-glass sauna boasting 360-degree views. One of the most unique features is a large marble bowl into which crushed ice occasionally falls. I saw several guests leave the sauna to pick up handfuls of ice to rub on their hot faces and bodies.
I easily could have spent an entire day relaxing on the serenely beautiful Thermal Floor, alternating time lounging on a bench in the amphitheater-style sauna with dips in the two swimming pools and a snooze on a heated stone chaise. Instead, I eventually journeyed to my treatment room to enjoy an ESPA signature massage.
The 80-minute treatment began with a consultation in which I explained my desire for a deep tissue massage focusing on my shoulders and back. Throughout the massage, my therapist checked in with me, asking if the pressure was adequate. She was more than happy to accommodate my requests, making for a personalized experience that completely de-stressed me according to my needs.
After the treatment, I caught up with Nichola Roche, spa director, ESPA Life at Corinthia, to learn more about the flagship ESPA Life’s holistic approach to wellness and the impressive range of therapies. The treatment menu comprises a vast selection of male- and female-tailored experiences, from rush-hour treatments for those short on time between meetings to grooming and hair appointments. An excellent choice for Londoners and visitors is a hot stone foot massage, providing warmth and relief to cold feet weary from walking around the wet city.
ESPA Life also offers intensive lifestyle programs carried out by a team of globally acclaimed holistic professionals. Unique treatments include intensive detox and sleep programs, orthopedic rehabilitation, marathon training and fertility treatments. These treatments keep many of their guests coming back again and again.
If I had more time in London, I would have indulged in three hours of exclusive use of a private spa suite, complete with a Rasul healing mud ritual, 30 minutes of relaxation time and a two-hour treatment of my choice — perhaps the bamboo joint-release experience or shiatsu-inspired experience with body exfoliation and aromatherapy oils. But the Queen Mary 2 beckoned, and I left London feeling renewed and ready for life on the sea and a trans-Atlantic crossing, thanks to ESPA Life at Corinthia.
ESPA Life at Corinthia London
Corinthia Hotel London
1 Whitehall Place
London SW1A 2BD
tel 44 20 7930 8181
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