The Dorchester spa experience / by Hannah Foster

For my birthday this year, my sister gave me a voucher to use at The Dorchester's spa. I've written about The Dorchester for highteasociety, when Ed and I went for high tea there, and earlier this week I finally used my birthday voucher to have a Signature Massage at the hotel's spa. 

The spa is located below the hotel's lobby, so the entry is through the hotel's main lobby, which was still beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and huge Christmas trees. The spa itself is actually quite tucked away and I wasn't sure I was going the right way at first, but luckily there are about a billion Dorchester staff around who are happy to direct you. 

On arrival, before I even mentioned my name, I was greeted with 'You must be Miss Foster! Welcome to the Dorchester spa.' Oh yes, I thought, this is a very good start.

 The entry to the spa

The entry to the spa

I was ushered to a little lounge area where I filled in the usual contact details and medical survey. Then I was taken to the women's change room and given a key to my locker, which held slippers and a white fluffy Dorchester robe. Only at the Dorchester would you find a large safe inside every locker - for all those priceless jewels I wear, of course! 

 A safe in my locker

A safe in my locker

I was then shown the lounge area where I was told I should wait for my masseuse once I'd changed. I happily did so and then padded out to the lounge area, where chilled water flavoured with rose petals and cucumber (actually very nice!) and a selection of magazines awaited me. I wasn't waiting long though before my masseuse introduced herself and I followed her through breezy white corridors to the treatment room. The 1h25 massage was incredibly relaxing and included a head massage and a foot and hand massage, all of which I love. It also included hot stone massage, which I am always kind of nervous about at first, but then really enjoy. The massage overall was maybe a bit more gentle than I normally like, but I am used to mostly a remedial style (at the wonderful Milk & Honey back in North Melbourne), rather than full relaxation. If you have specific issues or serious back pain, this might not be the massage for you, but if you just want to completely relax and drift into an almost meditative state for an hour and a half, it is the perfect choice. The treatment room itself was small, but a good temperature and nice and dark. Plus they played soft classical music, which I much prefer to ocean or forest sound tracks. 

After the massage I was taken to yet another lounge areas, the relaxation zone, which was stuffed with super comfy velvet armchairs. I was given a glass of coconut water and an almond and pistachio biscotti. It was nearly dinner time, so I definitely could have eaten a lot more biscotti - they were delicious! There was only one other person in the relaxation zone while I was there. I was invited to stay there as long as I liked (within reason - I did consider camping out there forever...) and also to use the shower and steam room facilities. 

The showers at the spa are incredible and possibly a destination in their own right. Each shower is the size of a small bathroom. They're lined with tiny very pale blue glass tiles and lit with warm low level lighting that's built into the shower walls. There are three shower heads - a ridiculously large rainfall shower head, a normal looking shower head that is actually high pressure, and a shower head on the end of a hose which you can detach from the wall. Fluffy white towels, bottles of water and fresh roses await you in the change rooms when you finally drag yourself out of the shower. 

I also really appreciated the provision of BaByliss hairdryers and haircare products in the change rooms, so you can look leaving as good as you feel. The staff are all lovely and not at all snobby, though I'm sure they deal with VIPs and celebrities on a daily basis. 

While obviously very expensive, if you're lucky enough to receive a voucher like I was, or are looking for something decadent to do in London for a special occasion, this is definitely one of my top picks.

xox Hannah

 Lounge where I waited for my masseuse

Lounge where I waited for my masseuse

 Changing room dressing table

Changing room dressing table

 Dressing table close up with fresh roses

Dressing table close up with fresh roses