Near+Far’s ‘Feeling Well’ series explores the most innovative, calming and sophisticated wellness spaces in the Middle East and beyond. The series highlights the spots in the world for health-conscious travellers and luxury lovers who want to feel well while at home, and away. Here we visit London’s most talked-about new spa opening, the four-floor, 27,000 sqft wellness wonderland that is the Guerlain Spa, Raffles London at OWO
About The Guerlain Spa at Raffles London at The OWO
As (arguably) London’s most talked-about new hotel opening, Raffles London at The OWO had to be impressive – after all, it has more than 100 years of history and a £1.5 billion renovation. In halls that once housed the Ministry of Defence, the Old War Office and played host to Ian Flemming, Winston Churchill and many more salubrious figures, travellers, VIPs, curious Londoners and experience superlative hospitality – and in the lower levels lies The Guerlain Spa – one of just 40 in the world. While Raffles OWO is historic, grand, imposing, and in many words, masculine (yes, it is), The Guerlain Spa is a complete juxtaposition – a four-floor, 27,000 square feet Parisian-inspired haven of whites, pinks, soothing taupes and minimalist curves. The space truly is an oasis in the heart of the busy property – even more so as shoes are instantly whisked away and replaced by slippers upon entry, and a fragrant hot towel wipes traces of London’s streets away. Of course, being Guerlain, bottles line the walls and the French brand’s logo features throughout – creating a warm, amber glow in the dimly lit and tranquil space.
Four floors of utter peace, relaxation, fitness, wellness and health – both physical and mental. There’s the spa itself, with what feels like a rabbit warren of (though there are, in fact, just nine) treatment rooms complete with private bathtubs and changing areas stocked with lovely toiletries and amenities and the treatment rooms themselves – the same Guerlain bottles illuminating the moody spaces. A wonderful relaxation area complete with private white cloud-like relaxation beds in a highlight shrouded in white curtains and with a variety of artisan herbal teas, water and healthy snacks on show. Elsewhere, there’s the hotel’s famous 20-metre swimming pool, housed in a double-story atrium-style space where guests descend via a cured white staircase, saunas, hammams and the state-of-the-art, hyper-modern gym and movement studio, The latter offers yoga session and personal training, and the on-site Pillar Kitchen serves up healthy snacks and smoothies for refuelling between pursuits.
What’s the offering?
Of course, what happens when one of the finest French brands collaborates with one of the most luxe hotel brands in the world is pure magic – and the treatment menu is far from the ordinary. This is luxe, relaxation, rehabilitation, rejuvenation and prevention at its finest. All treatments begin with a choice between four of Guerlain’s beautiful fragrances to scent the room – truly setting the scene –
Come for the likes of the Royal Glow Tech Facial (£360 for 90 minutes) that uses photobiomodulation (light therapy) and microdermabrasion combined with Guerlain massage techniques, the SPirit of London massage (£310 for 90 minutes) – exclusive to the property with LED light therapy targeting busy and stressful lifestyles and myriad tailormade, facial, body and flash beauty treatment (the latter at the neighbouring L’Atelier salon). There’s also a VIP Spa Suite for those really looking to treat themselves – where two treatments – a duo and solo spa journey take guests on a three-hour journey (£620 for one).
Completely zen and Parisian chic, yet warm, welcoming, and friendly (it’s easy to have a cheery laugh with the staff). Each therapist is smiley and full of personality, so no treatments or any part of the journey feels stiff or robotic – despite the grandeur of the establishment. It’s also perfectly fine to roam around in your slippers and robe – comfort and feeling at home are paramount.
The treatment menu is spectacular, but none catch our eye like the 4 Hand Imperial Massage (£540 for 90 minutes), and we spend the week leading up to your treatment imaging just how great it would feel to have not two, but four hands (two wonderful therapiest) massaging you at the same time. The therapists work in unison, almost like they’re dancing, and it’s impossible to imagine two-handed massages again. I leave the bed 90 minutes later feeling woozy, in the most wonderful way, and truly struggle to pick myself up off the bed and return to reality.
Spa treatments: Daily 10.00am – 7.00pm
L’Atelier Guerlain: Daily 10.00am – 6.00pm
Swimming pool: Monday to Friday 6.30am – 9.00pm; Saturday & Sunday 8.00am – 8.00pm
For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call +44 (20) 39077370 or visit raffles.com