Spa review: Mandarin Oriental London

The spa has a 17-metre twin lane swimming pool ( Mandarin Oriental London )

The Mandarin Oriental has reopened its doors following a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The luxury hotel was due to relaunch in June but a fire put paid to those plans, causing a 5-month delay. But finally the wait is over.

Along with the guest rooms and suites (which re-open in the spring) and the restaurants (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Bar Boulud) the spa has had an overhaul.

We went along to try it out…

Famous for…

The spa at the Mandarin Oriental is one of the most luxurious in London and takes pride in offering a holistic approach to wellness and beauty. Not just a place to be pampered and preened, this spa aims to go deeper. Guests are encouraged to arrive at least 45 minutes early for their appointments so they can use the extra (and complimentary) facilities like the Amethyst Crystal Steam room, samarium and vitality pool. There’s also a focus on Chinese medicine as well as a new Oriental Suite complete with an impressive Rasul water temple - a tiled steam room used for heat and mud therapies.

Hero treatment

The spa menu is varied. Along with the Bastien Gonzalez Pedi:Mani:Cure Studios and anti-ageing Nescens facials, there’s ASANTE traditional Chinese medicine with the founder himself Professor Ke. The professor will design a bespoke treatment programme for clients based on specific problems and symptoms. Also on offer is Tuina massage, a treatment using pressure, stretching and mobilising, as well as special Chinese exercises, which involve breathing techniques and meditation.

A VIP suite at the Spa at Mandarin Oriental (Mandarin Oriental London)

General vibe

You’ll be taken care of from the minute you walk through the spa doors. Shoes and coats are whisked away while you’re handed a refreshing towel and a cup of cleansing tea.

For luxury hotels like the Mandarin Oriental it’s all in the detail. The changing rooms come with fluffy towels and robes, the floors are heated, lockers have in-built charging points and even the key is a quartz healing crystal bracelet.

New Yorker Adam D. Tihany was tasked with the redesign of the spa and has drawn heavily on Chinese influences throughout, adding to the general feeling of calm. From the vitality pool to the pretty pond at the bottom of the main stairwell, the soothing sound of water follows you throughout.

Products

Celebrity skin pro Linda Meredith has worked up a menu of results-focussed facials, there’s a Philip Kingsley hair and scalp treatment as well as products by Aromatherapy Associates and Sodashi.

The big partnership though is with innovative Swiss skincare brand Nescens.

The entrance to the spa designed by Adam D. Tihany (Mandarin Oriental London)

The treatment

We tried the positively named Nescens Better Ageing Facial. In equal parts relaxing and effective, the aim of the treatment is to stimulate circulation and lymphatic drainage.

After skin has been cleansed it all kicks off with a tingling enzyme peel. While that does its thing the therapist will massage the scalp, arms and neck to release tension. Once you’re in state of disconnected bliss the hard work begins - for the therapist, at least. Dynamic massage movements are used on the face to activate the collagen and to restore radiance to skin, before using a cupping machine to kickstart lymphatic drainage. This doesn’t hurt at all and won’t leave any bruising or marks.

Layer upon layer of serum and cream is massaged on, leaving skin looking plump, hydrated and firm.

Verdict

So often with facials one has to make the choice between relaxation and results, but not so with the Nescens Better Ageing Facial. I left feeling half asleep but also glowier than I’ve looked in months.

Details

Price: £145 for 50 minutes, £225 for 80 minutes.

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