Nestled within the bustling Kingly Court in London’s Mayfair, the House of Elemis spa sits quietly; unassuming, unpretentious, and belying it’s glittering trove of wellness within.
Spa: The House of Elemis
Address: The House of ELEMIS, 2 Lancashire Court, Mayfair, London, W1S 1EX
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 1030-2100, Sunday 1000-1800
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 499 4995
Choice of oils given before treatment? Yes, a full discussion with your therapist before treatment
Use of other spa facilities given? No – there is no pool or sauna, it’s not that kind of spa
Lockers and changing room? There is a cupboard to hang your belongings in every treatment room
Does it feel luxurious? Yes, absolutely, it is dreamy
Did I feel relaxed? Yes, the most ever during a massage
How much for a massage? From £95 for an hour’s body massage, and £40 for a 30 minute facial
Not all spas are made equal. The newly refurbished Elemis spa, the House of Elemis, touted as its ‘couture beauty house’, is among the cream of the crop. From my previous memories of it being covered in orange, red and gold, dark wooden Far Eastern decoration, (complete with bells and whistles – and actual chimes), the spa has been brought bang up to date, with slashes of silver hardware among an otherwise now creamy palette. The décor is all whitewashed walls, hessian carpets, duck egg blue rugs and plaster cast orchids, with hints of the traditional Elemis purple here and there.
The reception area at the House of Elemis
The modernity extends to the technology you will find in every treatment room. There is a large screen TV and, for Elemis’ BIOTEC treatments, an offer given to you, by your therapist, to analyse your skin. What hasn’t been lost, however, is the level of skill that the Elemis therapists possess. More than most spas I have visited, they know their stuff inside out, as it were, and can diagnose and suggest transformative treatments for dry/oily/achy/dull/tired skin at ten paces.
Although I specifically wanted, and asked, to feel relaxed after my treatment, the menu here is designed to put back in what city life takes out and is made for people with hectic lives. Hence why you can have a treatment that lasts just 10 or 20 minutes. Elemis’ co-founder Noella Gabriel told Red magazine, “This is about results. It’s about having a great treatment that helps you manage your lifestyle and stress levels. You want to walk away with really healthy looking skin and perhaps a bit more information about how to look after yourself your wellbeing.”
My treatment room, complete with hanging cupboard
I booked in for the two hour (yep, two blissful hours) Couture Touch face and body combo treatment, with therapist, Pam. It costs £185 for the two hours. You can upgrade this to the same but using Elemis BIOTEC products, the new energy boosting product technology from the brand. I have started to use these products at home, and after a couple of weeks, my skin is already plumper and brighter. The aim of the range is to ‘switch skin back on’. Here is a basic diagram of how they work:
Hot stones for the massage
You can choose between deep tissue and hot stone for the massage part of the treatment. I had always been a little sceptical about hot stones being used in massage, but chose this option for the body part of my treatments as Pam explained they work to destress muscles without the twinge feeling that you can sometimes experience with hand massage. Pam used oils before working the heated, oval stones up and down the back of my body first, before working on the front. It was unbelievably relaxing – my goal for the day. As she moved onto the facial, I even started daydreaming about Christmas, which must have meant I was in a state of hyper relaxation.
The facial comprised of gentle cleansing, exfoliation, toning (the step which Pam explained the importance of including in my everyday routine), facial massage and moisturisation. I always used to think of facials as the poor relation to the full body massage, thinking somehow that a facial would leave me feeling shortchanged. Little did I know, a good facial will leave you whimpering ‘no, no, no’, when your therapist tells you the treatment is over. Mine included a shoulder, neck and head massage, too. TIP: Bring a hairband/dark glasses for afterwards. You won’t want to be putting on makeup, and you will want a head massage – meaning oil will get in your hair, but it’ll feel so good, you won’t care a jot.
Don’t miss my list of 10 of the best things to take to a day spa
From the Penthouse at the top of the House of Elemis, (which has an amber quartz bed, which envelops and supports your body with thousands of warm, tiny crystal beads, that energise and invigorate your cells), to fast treatments at the ‘Speed spa’, there is something for everyone’s beauty needs, here. Everything on the menu, from the 15 minute treatments, to the lengthy spa journeys in the penthouse, feel luxurious, and will have you leaving walking on air. Plus there’s manicures, pedicures and HD brow treatments on offer, too, as well as a treatment menu designed for men.
TIP: You might want to book an Uber to get yourself home, rather than roaming round the underground in a sweetly-scented daze – like I did….
Going up? Stairs leading up to the House of Elemis Penthouse
By FashCatherine editor, Catherine Hudson
The treatment in the review above was, in part, supported by Elemis
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