The Bulgari Hotel Spa
Health Spa in London
Luxury Hotel Spa
R&R for the mind, body and “sole” after pounding London’s designer shopping streets.
Knightsbridge draws in a gold-bling crowd for a number of reasons, one being the designer labels at a certain department store of international fame and neighbouring Sloane Street’s run of fashion forward flagships.
However, an altogether more zen excuse for visiting the capital’s most affluent area has launched right in the eye of this retail storm: 2,000m² of Bulgari Spa, the diamond in the LVMH group’s first hotel venture in the UK. Its launch follows hot on the heels of sister Bulgari Hotels in Bali and Milan, with Shanghai earmarked to open in 2015.
At first, it might seem an anomaly to have opened an extensive spa in the midst of such frenetic consumerism. I suppose The Mandarian Oriental and The Berkeley up the road did it successfully, so why not… Spa and shopping turn out to be supremely compatible when you consider that high-profile luxury medical pedicure guru Margaret Dabbs has chosen the Spa at London’s first Bulgari Hotel as her foothold. How clever to think of catering for London’s literally well-heeled clientele, their Manolo Blahniked toes in dire need of TLC after tottering from Marni to Chanel all morning (the poor darlings).
Spread over two spacious floors, with a 25 metre swimming pool and a hydrotherapy pool, wet/ice fountain suite and a very ample 12 ESPA treatment rooms, this Spa is not about dipping a manicured toe into a cramped city spa: This is where you’ll want to collapse for a few hours and have to peel yourself back onto London’s grimey streets.
Opulent pampering is at the heart of the experience, from a row of white muslin-canopéd Cabana day beds that flank the long rectangular pool, to the iridescent Hydro Vitality Pool housing a number of reclining and seated bubble beds. Its ceiling, walls and even floor have received the Midas touch as thousands of gold-leaf mosaic tiles twinkle with clever under-water lighting. The Gold Chamber gives the decadent effect of bathing in rippling golden Grecian honey. Cleopatra, you can keep your asses’ milk, Bulgari’s approach is closer to the mark.
A gold standard seems to have seeped through to the Spa’s service levels and expertise too. I mean, you’d expect this of any ESPA where founder Susan Harmsworth personally checks out what needs doing with her exacting eye, but it really shows that they’ve cherry-picked the gold-star therapists here. My therapist was profoundly knowledgeable, likeable, softly spoken and provided helpful suggestions, going easy on hard-sell on product. After 90 minutes of my bespoke ESPA Lift & Firm Facial (£175), I could feel the collagen in my skin waking up for the first time in years. In fact the facial clarified my complexion so effectively, it elicited comment from friends for days to follow.
This is the ideal antidote for couples and mothers and daughters, friends and men to deposit their designer bags and enjoy a dip, treatment and a cocktail. With couples packages around the £1,000 mark, it’s still supremely exclusive and therefore very much part of the Knightsbridge experience.
Open from 6:30am to 9pm Monday to Friday (Treatments from 8am to 8pm); 7:30am to 8pm at the weekend (Treatments from 9am to 7pm).
Annabelle Hood is a freelance journalist based in London and also has her own website
|Reviewer's Rating||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Facilities||Pool, Sauna, Jacuzzi, Treatment Rooms, Fitness Room|
|Suitable For||Mixed, Ideal for Couples|
|Treatments Available||Massage, Facial, Manicure, Pedicure|
Facials from £115 for 60 mins; Massages from £110 for 60 mins; Waxing from £25.
Last updated on 05-03-2013