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East London is a work hard, play hard kind of place. If you need to break away from all the late nights, cocktails and computer screens, then follow our escape-plan below. From rooftop pools to Turkish baths to high-tech facials, here are the best spas in which to recharge...
Best for rejuvenation: The Ned Spa
Five-star hotel and sought-after members’ club The Ned has a spa that is so inspired and on-trend that you’ll never want to leave. Despite its grandeur, opulent wallpaper and Edwardian decor touches, its unpretentious with a welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff. Sink into deep armchairs for a fast and flawless mani or pedi at the Cheeky Nails studio. There’s a hair parlour for ladies and a speakeasy-style barbershop for gentlemen, because it’s all about grooming equality. Their Cowshed Spa offers every kind of full-body maintenance from facials to makeup sessions to massages. The serious spa-goer can try out one of their advanced treatments which includes intravenously administered VitaDrip® infusions to rejuvenate the body via the bloodstream, Dermalux LED Phototherapy and an Urban Warrior pollution proof facial from de Mamiel. Afterwards glide down the marble stairway to the Club Relax area with a sauna, steam room, 20-metre pool and an authentic Hammam.
Best for value: Turkish Baths by Better
Better Leisure Centres offer two unique spa experiences in East London. Both Bethnal Green’s York Hall and Old Street’s Ironmonger Row Baths have taken over historic Turkish bath sites, among the few left in the capital. Many of the original features have been restored and, as well as the traditional Turkish baths, there are saunas, steam rooms, ice fountains, monsoon showers, plunge pools, hammams and relaxation lounges. You can frolic through the various Turkish chambers with a three-hour day package for just £26, or add on one of their reasonably priced treatments, from Elemis facials to holistic asian-inspired massages.
Best for detoxing: Beauty and Melody Spa at M by Montcalm
Luxury M by Montcalm hotel in Shoreditch contains a perfectly formed get-away-from-it-all sanctuary. Begin the experience with a dip in their pool. It is not huge but the surrounding space is stylish and serene with cream walls, Versace gold leaf detailing and the cleanest of lines. There’s an adjoining Jacuzzi and a spacious steam room and sauna in which to thoroughly detox. Afterwards head to their black marble treatment rooms with a range of therapies on offer, from Environ facials to Thalgo massages to Soprano Laser hair removal. Their marine themed capsule rituals are pure indulgence – try the Thalgo Discovery Facial which draws on marine active ingredients to rejuvenate the skin or a detoxing algae body wrap because, aside from the fact a seaweed hug feels strangely good, it infuses minerals, vitamins and micro-nutrients into the body.
Best for views: The Curtain Hotel Spa
The Curtain Hotel and Members’ Club feels exactly like what would happen if you combined East London creativity with New York cool. The spa is no exception. Hotel guests and members have access to their showpiece rooftop Lido, a twinkly, bright and understated space with a heated pool that stays open even when the city lights up below and the stars appear overhead. There is also a 24-hour gym with all the a latest equipment, a dedicated Boom Cycle room and yoga sessions throughout the day. For relaxation and pampering head to the subterranean spa with three treatment rooms, a sauna, Imarni Nail stations and a hairdressers to resurrect that post-swim hair.
Best for on-the-go pampering: The Shoreditch Spa
The Shoreditch Spa is a pocket of calm just off the bustle of Brick Lane for some lunchtime or after-work pampering. A light, bright and clean space with exposed brick walls, the boutique spa offers a selection of face and body treatments. Pop in for a quick manicure or pedicure, relaxing on its plush armchairs with a complimentary bubbly or opt for an indulgent facial or massage in one of their tranquil private rooms. The staff are friendly, treatments use high end products such as Dermalogica and Aromatherapy Associates and there are tablets for entertainment on while you’re been attended to. What more could you want.
Best for tech: Nobu Spa
Technology and relaxation don’t normally go together, but the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch spa and fitness centre have cleverly combined the two with a deft hand. Alongside rituals, body scrubs and massages their spa offers innovative facials from luxury brand Natura Bissé®. If you’re feeling adventurous try out The Mindful Touch which ties together Natura Bissé® skincare, virtual reality and mindfulness for what promises to be an intensely freeing connection to your senses. The Nobu is also home to the A-list adored Studio Lagree workout with Megaformer machines that combine core, endurance, cardio, balance, strength and flexibility in every muscle-screaming move. Meanwhile the gym boasts Artis Line equipment by Technogym, which enhance workouts with screens connected to a cloud-based open platform. They give the user access to interactive experiences and customised training programmes for that extra motivation.
About the author
Cari Thomas is a freelance writer and London explorer with a background in consumer publishing and copywriting.