Luxury London takes on the hard task of investingating the sumptuous underground wonderland of this Oriental-themed spa
UPDATED September 2016
Any day that ends with a bit of me-time is, in my books, a good day. An even better one, when that precious time is spent lounging and being pampered in a calm, soothing and plush spa. So taking a trip to Thai Square on a cold and rainy afternoon in February was always going to be the highlight of my week.
After abandoning my worldly goods (including my phone, a difficult separation as we’re practically surgically attached) in a locker, I’m lead down the colourful staircase into the peaceful depths of the spa’s Sen Space.
The décor down here looks like Liberace’s bedroom crossed with a Roman bathhouse – but somehow, it works. The glittering, shimmering tiles interspersed with giant murals of fighting Roman soldiers, tall pillars and grinning Buddhas everywhere at first seems a lot to take in, but after a glance around, I realise this slightly odd-seeming collection of interior design actually has a bit of magic to it.
I’m certainly not in Kansas anymore. Or London, for that matter.
Instead I’ve been transported to an underground, far-eastern fantasy that’s happily just a two-minute’ walk from Charing Cross.
After spending the first five minutes fighting my urge to sprint back upstairs and grab my phone so I can Instagram everything, I settle in to the Salt House to while away the first part of my peaceful hour.
The cavern harnesses the healing qualities of Himalayan salt – famous for its potent blend of iodine, potassium and bromide minerals, as well as 84 different micro-elements, which are reputed to be excellent for those suffering from respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or asthma.
I poke my head briefly into the steam room and dip a toe in the Jacuzzi – both extremely pleasant – but I’m headed for the sauna, always a highlight of any spa experience for me. I bask in the warm humidity and pretend I’m on a beach somewhere.
Already I can feel the stress of the week soaking away.
Once I’m thoroughly defrosted, it’s time to drag myself out of the sauna and collapse down on one of the extremely comfortable lounge beds and wait for my therapist to call me in for my treatment. (I may have fallen asleep at this point. Don’t judge me.)
I’m here to try the Ritual Massage, a treatment that uses various Oriental techniques with essential oils designed to soothe and balance the senses. I opt for the energising and restorative Jasmine flower extract, combined with Thai rice bran, sweet almond and safflower oils for hydration and Vitamin E for its antioxidants.
The massage itself is delightful. Whether it’s that I’m already relaxed from my hour in the Sen Space, or that I simply have a lot of tension to release, the pressure is perfect and I find myself dozing in and out of consciousness in an extremely pleasant way. As it comes to an end I would happily sell my soul (or my phone, which strangely enough I couldn’t care less about right now) for it to go on for another hour.
Floating back up the sparkling staircase, I feel like Persephone emerging from the underworld, but in reverse. Returning to the vivid reality of London in rush hour is a bit of a buzz kill.
Despite the inherent stress of a brush with the District Line crowds, I crawl into my bed later that evening for a full night of undisturbed sleep – the first time I haven’t woken in the night for as long as I can remember. Clearly the peace of Thai Square has followed me into dreamland.
New Treatment Available – Himalayan Ritual Massage, £105 for 60minutes
Thai Square Spa has just launched a brand new treatment, allowing guests the opportunity to experience a traditional ritual massage in the Himalayan Salt Room.
Himalayan salts, found deep within the rivers and valleys of the Himalayan mountains, are renowned for their healing properties. Opting to have your massage in the salt room offers plenty of benefits. These include skin hydration, increased circulation, promotion of cellular regeneration, detoxification, reduced inflammation of the muscles and joints and stress relief.
The salt cave also reputedly is great for the respiratory system, so as we approach the cold & flu season, a regular pink-salt pick-me-up could be just the ticket for feeling your best this winter.