The Sanctuary Spa, Covent Garden London
I’ve been lucky enough to visit the Sanctuary Spa in the heart of Central London, not once but twice this summer. As part of the 13 spas in 2013 project I’ve had a restful half day mini spa day all to myself and treated Mrs LadyM to a relaxing mini spa day too.
The Sanctuary Spa located on Floral Street, just off Covent Garden was the first of now a fabulous collection of Sanctuary Spas, also available in Richmond, Cambridge and Bristol. You enter via the Sanctuary shop, small but perfectly formed apothecary of beauty, relaxation and spa treats. At the back of the shop is a set of stairs, up you wander to the women only spa that has the most opulent reception and opens out to be a gem of a hidden retreat in the heart of London.
I couldn’t believe that an exercise pool, Hammam Rasul steam room, sauna, two jacuzzi’s plus another relaxation pool, two floors of treatment rooms and a vast Koi lounge could be contained in such a built up area of London. It was like walking through the wardrobe in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and entering Narnia!
The History of the Sanctuary
What I love about the Sanctuary, is its origin. The spa opened in 1977 and was the creation of a US Choreographer, Gary Cockerill, his wife was a ballerina at the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House just round the corner in Covent Garden. He wanted to create a magical retreat for her and her dancer colleagues to come and relax after training. What a fabulous man! Now over 60,000 women a year enjoy the perfect setting for a touch of girly relaxing, whether you’re a regular member washing away the stresses of the day or there for a special occasion.
The setting takes you off to a Grecian era, it’s quiet, peaceful and you can enjoy afternoon tea, a glass of bubbles, a few chapters of your book and a few giggles with the girls in the famous koi carp lounge with pools containing over 35 koi carp and surrounded by comfortable loungers. Perfect!
The first time I went on my own I treated myself to a Hot Lava Shell Massage. Wow-wee it was amazing. I’ve had a lot of hot stone massages before but this is the next step, the new thing. This special treatment elevates hot stone massage to the highest level using tiger clam shells heated by a unique volcanic lava and seaweed mix. Deeply relaxing, the massage also helps detoxify the body. (warning, drink a lot of water afterwards!) There is a fabulous range of body and massage treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures, IPL treatments and cellulite and body toning treats available. Just make sure you book up ahead of the day – the therapists can get very busy!
I tested out the exercise pool with a few laps, but I didn’t have a go on the famous swing in the atrium pool that was the setting for Joan Collins in the film The Stud. Instead I took to a day bed, fresh mint tea in hand and a copy of Vogue, naturally. It was so relaxing. For me the best part of both visits was the amazing Sleep Retreat. 25 minutes, in a darkened room, on a vibrating bed, with a voice over talking you through meditation. I felt so relaxed afterwards and Mrs LadyM even managed to drift off completely. – mission successful in the relaxation department!
There are so many spa day options, to treat yourself, your loved ones or for a good old girly day; whether its a birthday, hen party or pay day treat. Check out the range of vouchers available here.
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