There’s no doubt about it, most Londoners could use some time out. Our fast-paced lifestyles which make the city so vibrant can often leave residents feeling a little less so, as we constantly strive for that ever-elusive work-life balance. Yet among the crowds and concrete, it is possible to find pockets of serenity. Urban spas and clinics can provide some much needed R&R, whether you’re after some pre-party pampering or a more spiritual experience. SUITCASE picks out the city’s best offerings.

The luxe one: Four Seasons spa

Situated on the 10th floor and with beautiful vistas of Hyde Park and the city skyline, the award-winning spa at Four Seasons is a beautifully designed haven, away from the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge below. Open from 7am until 10pm, there’s plenty of time to fit in a treatment before or after work – but we recommend booking a day package so you can make the most of the facilities. The spa includes nine treatment rooms, each offering dramatic floor-to-ceiling views and an individual relaxation pod, as well as separate men’s and women’s sauna, steam rooms and vitality pools. For the ultimate indulgence, book out the Sky suite, an ultra-luxurious double suite allowing couples or friends to enjoy private treatments together. A highlight is the “Black Pearl 24k Golden Luminescence” facial, which uses a high concentration of 24 carat gold and innovative nanotechnology to help revitalise, tone and tighten ageing or dull skin.

The medi one: Eden Skin Clinic

With two locations in west London, the Eden Skin Clinic specialises in non-invasive aesthetic treatments – put simply, they achieve dramatic effects without surgery. In a clean, bright setting, founder Lorraine Scrivener and her carefully curated team offer a range of treatments from hair removal to facials, massages, botox and fillers. Try the Venus Freeze, a skin-tightening and wrinkle-reducing treatment which uses state-of-the-art technology on the face and body to naturally contour and rejuvenate the skin. Look no further for a skin transformation.

The problem-solver: Aesop

Cult skincare brand Aesop will probably be well-known to those with problematic skin. The naturally active range of products in chic brown UV resistant packaging has won many fans for it’s minimum fuss maximum results approach, and the brand’s acclaimed facial treatments are no different. Available exclusively in the treatment space at the Richmond store, a beautifully renovated Georgian townhouse near the green, qualified Aesop therapists offer six signature treatments, each designed to solve a different skin problem. There’s the ‘lactate surge’ for pigmented or blemish prone skin; ‘asorbic action’ for dull or patchy skin; and ‘skin quench’ for dry or dehydrated skin to name but a few – you’re bound to find something to suit your needs.

The affordable one: The Porchester Spa

Something of a west London institution, what this place lacks in glamour it makes up for in character and authenticity. Situated in an original 1920’s bath house, with high, arched ceilings and green-and-white tiles, the spa contains a full size swimming pool, plunge pool, steam room, sauna and various treatment rooms offering simple services such as scrubs and hot-towel treatments. Most days are single sex, with men having access on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, while women are invited on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sunday Mornings. Sunday afternoons are mixed, so you can enjoy the facilities with a partner. Prices are very reasonable – but be warned, you won’t find any scented candles or soothing music here. For no-frills relaxation however, it doesn’t get much better.

The hangover cure: Grace at Belgravia

It’s easy to burn the wick at both ends in London. Grace, a female members club and spa popular amongst some of the city’s party animals, is adept at dealing with even the most brutal of hangovers. As well as their ‘cleanse me’ spa package, described as as the ‘essential one day detox experience’, Grace has a gym, so you can work off last night’s indulgences, and a restaurant – which hosts a ‘Grace detox brunch’ every Sunday – complete with bottomless juices. If you’re truly burned out, Grace also houses a medical and wellbeing centre with a qualified GP, dedicated to getting you back on your feet – and back in your dancing shoes.

The speedy one: Cowshed

Cowshed, the Soho House-owned spa and beauty chain, has branches all over town, making it one of the most convenient places to get pampered. Each spa is kitted out in their famous shabby chic style, with some of the friendliest staff in the capital, and a small but perfectly formed selection of treatments and packages, some as short as 30 minutes. We recommend treating yourself and a friend to the ‘relax and rejuvenate’ package at the Shoreditch House location, followed by dinner downstairs at Pizza East, for the ultimate indulgent weeknight.

The one-stop shop: The Linnaean

Part of Nine Elms – South London’s latest regeneration project – rapid expansion, Linnaean is a beauty and wellness emporium complete with medispa, salon and plant-based restaurant. All treatments place a strong emphasis on clean beauty with only ethical products being used: nearly all hair colourants, nail polishes and facial peels are vegan and all are cruelty-free. After a buddha-bowl breakfast, book in for an LED-light facial or, if your lifestyle has been less-than-green of late, get hooked up to an IV-fusion packed with essential vitamins. Overflowing with a botanical garden’s worth of florals, plenty of pink velvet and selfie-ready mirrored walls, Linnaean is as aesthetically pleasing as you yourself would hope to be after an onslaught of treatments.

The staycation one: Akasha Spa

Slap bang in the centre of Piccadilly Circus, just seconds from the tube station, this probably isn’t the first place you think of when searching for peace and serenity in the city. Squirrelled away in the basement of Hotel Café Royal, however, is a sleek, urban spa retreat complete with 18m pool, sauna, watsu pool and Carrara marble-clad hammam. Plus, there’s some of London’s best soundproofing here – seriously you can’t hear a thing. Hydrotherapy treatments are the specialism here, so try the detoxifying green-tea shower ritual. Start with a sea-salt scrub before being slathered in a blend of green tea and shea butter. The full-body treatment finishes under the invigorating Vichy shower. Float upstairs to your room to soak in the post-spa bliss, then spend the next day treating yourself at the hotel’s Cake & Bubbles café. Balance is key, right?

The romantic one: The Lanesborough Club & Spa

After a million-pound makeover and the introduction of some of the world’s best wellness experts, The Lanesborough has set the standard for the city’s spa scene. London’s grand dame called upon trailblazing facialist Anastasia Achilleos, science-driven skincare giant La Prairie and “Queen of Green Beauty” Tata Harper to de-puff, de-wrinkle and de-stress. Aside from age-defying facials that produce the kind of results you can only dream of bottling, the couples treatment is particularly knee-weakening. Grab your significant other by the hand and lead them to the mud chamber for a Rasul mud bathing, followed by an energising soft steam and a side-by-side massage – all taken in a private spa cocoon. Finish off by summoning your personal spa butler (yes, that’s really a thing) who will bundle you into your robes, take you for herbal tea and ensure that the champagne is kept on ice.

The experimental one: Chuan Body + Soul

Hidden at the bottom of The Langham hotel in a former bank vault is an innovative wellness hub that caters to city-worn souls looking to try something new. Blending traditional Chinese medicine and western practices, all treatments start with a multi-choice, in-depth questionnaire to establish your elemental balance – wood, fire, earth, metal and water – that combines with your energy flow to influence your wellbeing. Experience the works with the Chuan Ritual – a two-and-a-half-hour head-to-toe treatment that’ll buff, polish and realign your elemental balance. The vigorous massage banishes any aches, pains and resets desk-slumped shoulders; the intense one-hour antioxidant facial rewinds the effects of city dwelling and, to finish, the intensive scalp treatment may well send you in to a peaceful slumber.

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