Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Review: The Sanctuary Day Spa

Despite being a confirmed lover of all things beauty treatment related, and a native Londoner, I've never visited the famous Sanctuary Day Spa in Covent Garden.  This is largely because I've always found the entry fee (around £75) a little exorbitant given that you basically get use of the facilities and no inclusive treatments for your money.  This month, though, I finally went - with one of my best friends a couple of months away from giving birth to her first child, I figured that our lazy girlie days were numbered, and that we should see them out in style.  So, along with my two closest friends, I booked in for a day of rest, relaxation, and a 55 minute treatment as part of a package deal.

We turned up on a cold Monday morning to find the reception area heaving with women in pairs and threes, all looking for a bit of an escape.  Having checked in and donned the traditional white fluffy robes, we were given a quick tour of the facilities.  I was incredibly surprised at how big the spa is - hidden behind a single shop facade, there are five labyrinthine floors of treatment rooms, relaxation lounges, pools, jacuzzis, steam rooms and more.  We established ourselves quickly in the Koi Carp Lounge, an informal space littered with cushions, seating and blankets, and filled with quiet chatter.  

Starting off with coffee and tea, we proceeded to do absolutely nothing (bar a short dip in the famous atrium pool with it's infamous swing) for several hours whilst waiting for our treatments.  I've always said in the past that I wouldn't pay money to do nothing at a spa, when I could do nothing at home for free - but having done it, I now totally understand the difference.  The atmosphere was quiet, relaxing, and tranquil - there were no phones, no TVs, no distractions at all.  I found myself truly unwinding for the first time in ages.

I chose a Sanctuary Spa Therapies treatment, which lasted 55 minutes and included a facial massage, scalp massage, and full body massage, all applied whilst lying on a bed covered with a large hot water bottle.  It was pretty blissful - the therapist slid her arms between my back and the water bottles, massaging my back and neck without requiring me to move a muscle.  The scalp massage was utterly divine, and I can only wish it had formed a larger part of the treatment, as the facial massage was a little too hurried for my tastes.

After the treatment, I was left with soft, oiled skin and a very big smile on my face.  Retreating back to the Koi Carp Lounge, we had a light and tasty lunch and proceeded to do more nothing before indulging in the Sleep Experience.  This involved lying under some blankets for half an hour whilst a meditation tape was played - basically, it means a half an hour nap.

Overall, the day shot past, despite the lack of actual things filling it up - time whiled away at leisure, with people whose company I enjoy, made it a truly relaxing and reviving experience which left me feeling incredibly tranquil.  I wouldn't hesitate to do it again - despite the cost (around £120 each for the package), I really felt like I'd escaped day to day life and had a mini holiday, which was absolutely priceless for me.

The Sanctuary is located in London's Covent Garden and offers spa packages including use of facilities and treatments, from around 9 in the morning to around 9 at night.  I'll definitely be going again.  What about you?


  1. I have always wanted to go to this spa in C.G; looks absolutely beautiful, especially the pool. I am also a lover of sanctuary products - mmm so gorgeous and so moisturising.


  2. It's expensive but very enjoyable - and I will definitely go back, for a special treat!

  3. My blokey got me a day spa with 2 55 min treatments for Christmas at Sanctuary CG. Needless to say, it did not go well. It is not disabled friendly (I have MS) and the treatments I chose were on the top floor despite the Spa being informed of this. They had initially lost the package he had bought so said I could only have 25 minute treatments.

    I complained and to their credit, they sent me another day spa with 2 treatments but I'm reluctant to go back because of the no disabled access.

    The Koi lounge is beautiful and tranquil, though :)


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