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ESPA Life Review

Anyone can attain fabulosity, at a price, darling

Written by . Published on November 2nd 2011.

ESPA Life Review

WHEN Corinthia in Whitehall Place describes itself as a grand hotel, they really mean it. And now, with the opening of the new Espa life at Corinthia, they have an equally grand spa to match. Yet, ‘spa’ doesn’t quite cut it – Espa life is more of a spa hotel within a hotel – covering 3,300 square metres over four floors. They refer to it as ‘concept’ spa, a term that irks me a little, because really, isn’t the spa itself the concept? According to their definition, the ‘concept’ brings together ‘an unrivalled team of the world’s top professionals to offer fitness, nutrition, complementary healthcare and luxury spa treatments for face and body’ so who am I to argue?  

Imagine Mariah Carey summons her interior designer and demands that they create the ultimate space for her to disrobe… well, this is it.

This ‘revolutionary new spa’ was due to open in July 2011 but it was delayed until August, and from an aesthetic point of view, it was well worth the wait. We’re talking handmade lacquered wall panels, black Tunisian marble, white Italian Calacatta marble and textured leather and ornamental fireplaces (or if you aren’t a design snob... then lots of fancy, shiny things). Espa life isn’t somewhere you pop in to get a mani/pedi on spec (unless you just robbed a bank and decided to treat yourself), this is seriously exclusive and yes, you guessed it, seriously expensive. (Day spa packages are £300 upwards while massages start from £150.)  

Espa Life At The Corinthia - Sauna 2Sauna

They recommend you arrive an hour before your treatment to enjoy the facilities, and I say you would be a fool not to. I could write one long love letter about the women’s changing rooms alone, but I’ll just give you the highlights. First, imagine Mariah Carey summons her interior designer and demands that they create the ultimate space for her to disrobe… well, this is it. Heated chairs to lounge and eat grapes in while reading magazines, experience showers, a unisex sauna and steam room, as well as lockers (bigger than my wardrobe), bathrobes and beautiful fluffy slippers. Each changing pod also has a bureau with a hairdryer inside (VITAL) as well as everything you need.

The thermal floor comprises of a nine meter silver steel swimming pool flanked by white couches, a vitality pool with massage jets, an amphitheatre sauna, steam room, ice fountain, experience showers, marble heated lounges and relaxation bays. No expense has been spared here, it’s what a ’90s rap star might refer to as ‘off the chain’.  When I first see the pool… I silently think ‘SHUT UP’, but this place needs more than that, it deserves expletives. Ok so, it’s not great if you are training for the Olympics but it is one of the most tranquil pools you are ever going to get your behind into. The sauna could host a party for good-size Irish Catholic family (including cousins), and the black mosaic steam room is just plain sexy.

Espa Life At The Corinthia - Pool Low ResPool

On the other floors you’ll find a state-of-the-art gym, seventeen treatment pods, a nail studio and hair studio. As well as the usual menu of treatments there are also wellness programmes, complementary and alternative medicine, diet and nutritional advice, physiotherapy and osteopathy and sports and remedial massage on offer. Reading the Wellness brochure, you might think you were being invited into an scientology meeting with all the talk of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and ‘gatekeepers’ but really all they are saying is that they have everything on offer. Want to lose weight? They have people who can help. Do you want to detox, relax, get back in shape after having baby, or even have a baby? (See fertility and conception programme). They have that covered. Want to be defuzzed from head to toe? They do that to.

For my part, I was booked in for a signature facial, which lased 40 minutes and costs £95 – so you kind of expect perfection – because whatever about the amazing setting, the fluffy towels and the ambience, when you have your eyes closed the only thing that maters is the skills the therapist has and the products they use. Well, both were top class. I was offered to select my favourite oils by smell, what music I wished to hear during my treatment and a choice of an arm and hand massage or a head and scalp massage during the facial. I opted for the head and scalp (because whenever they massage my scalp in the hairdressers my tongue literally falls out of my head with pleasure) but I can’t report fully on the quality of the head massage because I dozed off. And that is a sign of approval in itself. The facial left me feeling (and looking) pretty good and when I left I felt just about relaxed as a girl can be without smoking dope.

After two hours of being pampered within an inch of my life, I walked through the streets with the pigeons and the traffic and the sirens blaring past and I couldn’t help wondering why life can always be that luxurious? But I guess it can, at a price.


For more info or to book your own appointment visit their website.

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