When I was younger, one of my favourite novels was an adapted biography of beauty empress Helena Rubinstein, and I often dreamt of having had the chance to visit one of the art deco all-inclusive beauty spas she created in the early twentieth century... After today, I feel as if someone has taken that image right out of my mind and re-created it in real life for me to enjoy!
I visited ESPA Life at the Corinthia London for the first of what I sense will be many times, it's so lovely I won't be able to resist coming back again and again! Maybe I should enquire about a loyalty programme...
First, it's enormous, built over three floors, and everything feels sophisticated and luxurious, from the amazing changing facilities to the fabulous treatment rooms. The spaces are all round and curvy which is very relaxing, and the light is soft and easy, creating a very calm environment, even though you're in the middle of the bustling city.
After checking in at reception, my friend and I are taken downstairs to the changing room, which feels bigger than most flats I've been in! The walls and floors are all in pristine white marble, whilst the changing lockers and the dressing tables are a gorgeous lacquered black. Very 1930s indeed! This space is so perfect I want to move in permanently (I wonder if they have baby cots?)
After just a few minutes we're collected by our therapists and I'm taken to what can only be described as the most amazing treatment room I've been inside in London. Again the sense of space is fantastic, it's round with little recesses where the therapist can open closets to reach out for products. My two first treatments are a sea salt scrub followed by a shower then a relaxing massage which manages to miraculously relax most of my muscle knots. My therapist does mention my muscles are very tight and maybe I should take it a bit easier (gee, I wonder where that tension might have come from!) Afterwards I feel like my skin is so soft and my whole body is totally relaxed, exactly what I needed... Oh and the music in the room, amazing! None of the usual new-age stuff that other spas play, here it's all very soothing music but chosen from current and cool artists!
We then move on to my pedicure in the nail spa, which is virtually a little candy-box of a room with plush leather chairs in ivory, dark wood floors and grey and white drapings. I feel like I've been transported into a film set from The Artist. So beautiful!
After getting my feet scrubbed, moisturised and painted it's time to go back to the changing room where I lie on one of the heated beds in front of a fire to dry off my little nails whilst my friend uses the sauna, before heading back upstairs to stock up on a muscle relaxing bath oil and some salt scrub sachets to bring back a little of all this heavenly fabulousness home.
I finished up a perfect afternoon by a Tea in the hotel's Lobby Lounge, which I promise to tell you all about soon! In the meanwhile, to know more about this wonderful spa, details below:
ESPA Life at Corinthia London
Whitehall Place, London SW1
0 207 321 3050