The following article was published in the March issue of Psychologies.
I have just written about Grace Belgravia the newly opened women’s members’ club, for Vogue Japan‘s February issue, which is out now. It’s an inspiring place – as is its co-founder, Kate Percival. It would be interesting to see the concept rolled out globally – a luxury members’ club for women in every major capital across the world? Inter-connected, a global sisterhood or sorority (a buzzword for 2013). A thought: would the concept (private all-women space; intellectual hub for learning about stuff; private spa with integrative wellness approach) translate into a less luxe, and so more universally accessible concept across cities?
Meantime here’s a little on the place -
‘We wanted to create somewhere where women could come and not worry about how they looked, somewhere where they could relax and be themselves,’ says co- founder, Kate Percival. As you might expect of a women-only club, wellness plays an integral part and the roster of experts takes some beating. Dr Timothy Evans is medical director and co-founder alongside Percival, and also apothecary to the Queen. Head of fitness is the trainer, Matt Roberts, who trains the prime minister, David Cameron and his wife. Members are offered assessments in nutrition, general medicine, skincare and physical fitness. The results are put together in a bespoke lifestyle programme.
The spa is as state-of-the-art as a top, hotel spa (waft around in Havaina flip flops to size and a soignée sarong). There is a hamam, a sauna, steam room and tropical rain shower and facial, massage and body treatments are extensive. Highlights include dry flotation treatments using organic oils, masks and scrubs, or therapies using the ‘affusion’ shower room, such as Grace Energising Affusion Water Therapy With Magnesium (£195 for 90 mins). This includes salt scrub, immune boosting magnesium-infused steam, and deep tissue body massage under the soothing mist of the affusion shower, which spans the length of the body.
Therapists have been selected for their individual and integrative approach. Mikiko Hayano combines massage and cranio-sacral work with Oriental and Western traditional therapies in a four-hand Integrative Therapy treatment (120min, £500). Monika Skrzydlewska conducts deep, healing body massage using aromatherapy oils by Micheline Arcier (120min, £255). I was lucky enough to experience her magic touch – utterly soothing yet reviving. Dr Henri Chenot Facials (£145) combine massage, lymphatic drainage and micro-current therapy. For more see here.
Vogue Japan, September 2012
Here is the English version:
The Bulgari Spa
The spa at the Bulgari hotel is the latest in a line of new, luxury hotel spas to arrive in London. Like the hotel, London’s first luxury hotel to be built from scratch for 40 years, the underground spa was designed by Antonio Citterio, Patricia Viel and Partners. It spans two floors, has 11 treatment rooms including a double spa suite and a 25-metre swimming pool. ‘It is the longest hotel spa pool in London,’ says head therapist, Igor Mitric who has come from the Amam Spa at the Connaught Hotel. The fabulously luxurious pool is lined with shimmering green and gold mosaic and has a salt water vitality pool at one end, which is lined with gold leaf glass mosaic and features a state of the art massage jet system. The spa has teak and Vicenza stone lined walls and beautiful, onyx marble panels feature throughout.
Treatments are designed by Espa and carried out in warm, comforting, teak lined treatment rooms, to the sound of classical music. The signature, Renewing Enzyme Facial, (£175 for 90 minutes) begins with a warm, essential oil footbath. You are asked to inhale a choice of oils, to find your favourite. The facial includes a double cleanse and steam to prepare skin for the pumpkin enzyme peel. It tingles but this is eased with a head massage. A light, facial massage follows to boost lymph circulation, which is so relaxing it is easy to fall asleep. Skin looks brighter, plumped and feels smoother, especially the following day. Treatments designed by top British podiatrist, Margaret Dabbs are also available for the first time at a London spa. The Bulgari Luxury Medical Pedicure (£175 for 70 minutes) chiropody treatment ends with a nourishing oil wrap followed by a fifteen-minute foot and leg massage, with additional oxygen therapy for those in need of extra relaxation. Celebrity personal trainer, James Duigan has designed the fitness programme at the state of the art gym.
Bulgari Spa at Bulgari Hotel & Residences, 171 Knightbridge, SW7 1DW, tel: +44 207 151 1055, firstname.lastname@example.org
Class Act: NK Beautannia
Brighton is the fourth scent from Beautannia, a scented bath and body collection from Space NK inspired by British sensibilities. Its inspiration is the English seaside town of Brighton, which is best known for its pier and the exotic Regency designed Royal Pavilion. The scent contains sea moss, orris, grapefruit, mint, neroli and vetiver. This combination evokes the cool, freshness of the sea and sun warmed skin. The Body Lotion, £35, and Body Cream, £42, contain antioxidant vitamins B, C and E and a peptide complex to help firm, as well as softening argan and moringa oils. The Bath Oil, £42, contains sweet cherry and grape seed oils; the Bath & Shower Gel, £30, is free of sulphates and instead uses a gentle coconut and sugar cleanser; the Soap, £15, contains shea butter and is triple milled, so lasts for longer and the Candle, £35, burns for 40 hours.
Space NK, spacenk.com Click to buy.