Being pregnant and coming from a spa therapy background I completely understand how important it is to look after my body and my well-being. So when I was invited to review some prenatal treatments at Spa LONDON Wimbledon, I grabbed at the chance with both hands!
When I worked as a spa therapist in Derbyshire, I trained in Elemis and specialised in advanced therapies such as pregnancy massage so it was a delightful surprise to discover that the treatments I was booked in for was the Elemis nurturing mother-to-be massage and prescription facial. With that in mind, I was really looking forward to reviewing the place.
As much as I like to spa alone, it’s nicer to be able to share the experience with someone so I asked a friend to come along with me. The spa is located just a stone’s throw away from Wimbledon and South Wimbledon tube stations so getting there was super easy. It was a short walk away for me from South Wimbledon station and a 1 minute bus ride away for my friend who came via Wimbledon. The spa itself is nestled inside the Wimbledon Leisure Centre, on the first floor. There is also wheelchair access to the spa reception.
Upon entering, the lovely smell of oils and scented candles greeted my nose- it really brought me back to my spa therapist days which I miss a lot. We were greeted by two friendly faces at reception who checked us in and confirmed my treatments for the day. I wanted to book my friend in for treatments as she was only having the thermal spa experience but unfortunately they were fully booked.
We were then sat in a small waiting/retail area where we filled in our consultation forms. Our receptionist brought over some complimentary arrival drinks (cold orange juice in a tall shot glass) which I thought was a lovely welcome touch. After the forms were completed, we were each handed a lovely brown canvas bag that contained our spa wear; spa gown/robe, fluffy towel, sandals and a lock for the changing room lockers. ‘Dan’ (I can’t remember his name!) showed us how to set the locks then lead us to the changing area and instructed us to come back to the main reception once we’re ready and to take us on our spa tour.
After donning our swimwear and gowns, we went to meet up with Dan again. He took us on our tour, leading us to the relaxation area which looked amazing and then into the thermal spa suite. When he opened the doors, it was surprisingly light and airy. I really didn’t expect that much natural light in a spa so it was really wonderful to see as most spas just have artificial lighting.
The thermal spa suite has a hydrotherapy pool with jets that you can turn on/off, hammam benches (which are heated tiled plinths you sit on), foot spas and monsoon shower with a hot/cold function, ice fountain, aromatherapy steam room and sauna. Dan told me because I was pregnant, I needed to avoid heat treatments so I could only use the foot baths, hammam bench, experience shower and the ice fountain. I was allowed to sit on the edge of the hydro pool but not get in because of the heat and the jets which would be too stimulating for me. Dan also told us to make sure we keep ourselves hydrated and drink plenty of water. My friend and I were in the suite for about 15 minutes and just had enough time to have a quick natter about how beautiful the spa before my therapist came to whisk me away for treatments.
My therapist (I can’t remember her name either so we’ll just call her ‘Ana’) was super friendly and made some small talk before leading me to the treatment room. She told me that we’ll start off with the nurturing mother-to-be massage and finish with the skin prescription facial. I was taken back a little when she said the treatments were going to be carried out on the bed. Don’t get me wrong, Ana adjusted the bed to fit with the contours of my curvaceous pregnancy bod but I was just expecting the special Elemis beanbag to be used. After all, the main concept and USP of the Elemis nurturing mother-to-be massage is for the treatment to be carried on the floor surrounded with cushions and pillows and performed on a unique beanbag. I got over it in the end but just felt a little disappointed. (I later found out from the receptionist that the spa doesn’t have the beanbag that’s why it wasn’t used. Fair enough.)
Once I was on the bed (which was heated too!) Ana started off by cleansing my feet and in that moment, my mind was whisked away to somewhere peaceful and serene and I forgot about everything. When Ana started to massage my tired and tight legs, it felt even more wonderful. She used a light pressure on my legs and a medium pressure on my back. After working on my legs and back she moved onto my arms, tummy and upper chest. I wished the tummy massage was a bit longer as I love my bump being touched. (If you have this massage in your first trimester, the stomach area is completely avoided.) After having my upper chest massaged, Ana got started on the facial and this is when I started to nod off. I don’t remember much of the facial (sorry!) as I kept drifting in and out of sleep.
I remember Ana applying the papaya enzyme peel which is my favourite exfoliator from the brand. The creamy exfoliator is applied like a face mask and left onto the skin so the fruit enzymes can gently slough away the dead cells without being abrasive or harsh. It’s the perfect exfoliator if you have dry, sensitive or ageing skin. I fell asleep again and woke up with a face mask on but I couldn’t tell which product she used this time. A blissful face and scalp massage (with oil) was performed while the mask was working its magic and I nodded off again. I woke for the last time to Ana removing the face mask with warm mitts then she applied toner, eye cream and moisturiser. I knew the whole experience had come to an end when I heard the gentle chime of the Elemis bells.
Ana brought me some water and recommended me the Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath and Cream which I was very tempted to buy but I didn’t as I’m quite happy with using my raw coconut oil and shea butter at home. She left me to get dressed then escorted me the relaxation area where I met up with my friend again.
The Relaxation Area
I love the look, ambience and atmosphere of the relaxation area. The sheer dividers provide each guest with that extra little bit of privacy and the loungers were really comfortable. We helped ourselves to fruit-infused waters and fresh fruit (there was also herbal teas to choose from) and laid back on the loungers to reminisce about our mazing experience. We were also brought some extra fresh fruit and juices, courtesy of the staff and felt absolutely pampered!
As we indulged on our berries and sipped on our juices, I had a little ponder about the layout of the lounge. It’s an open space so it’s not in a dedicated room like some other spas I’ve visited. To get to the thermal spa suite, you have to walk past the relax area. It just made me wonder if during periods it would get too noisy due to the increased footfall? Luckily for us, the spa didn’t feel busy at all and we didn’t hear a peep from any footfall.
All in all…
We both agreed the spa was excellent value for money; from the service and treatments offered to the spa facilities available, we couldn’t believe a place like this exists in such a central location. We will both be returning very soon to Spa LONDON Wimbledon. For me, it’ll probably be after I have baby but for my friend, she’s already booked back in! This time for the Elemis hot stone massage and she’ll be bringing her sister along for the mother-to-be massage.
The spa offers all guests a generous 20% discount for re-bookings and special offers like book 2 treatments, get 1 free or book 4 treatments, get 2 free – how awesome is that?! Other spas need to take a leaf out of Spa LONDON’s book. When it comes to client retention I believe in times like these when everyone is on a budget but needing a place to unwind and de-stress, it’s deals like the ones mentioned that will turn first-time visitors into loyal regulars. I would highly recommend Spa LONDON Wimbledon to anyone looking for a stunning day spa with affordable spa treatments and packages.
About Spa LONDON
Spa LONDON is an award-winning concept developed by GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited) that has revolutionised the day spa market by offering a luxurious experience at an affordable price. The GLL also work in partnership with local councils to deliver a quality service that locals can afford. GLL is a charitable social enterprise for all the community, a not-for-profit organisation with a firm belief in the power of social values.
*NB. I was kindly invited to Spa London Richmond for spa day and pregnancy massage. All words and opinions are my own. The photos used (if not mine) have been credited to their source respectively.
BLOG UPDATE: 30/05/2016
Spa London are re-branding themselves as Spa Experience by Better – this will come into full effect as of July 1st 2016.