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The Spa in Dolphin Square
Pimlico, London, SW1V 3LX
Has thermal facilities
5 treatment rooms
The Spa in Dolphin Square is a small but perfectly formed day spa with a Moroccan theme in both décor and treatments. The spa takes the unusual approach of not allowing free access to the heat facilities; instead, the steam room, hammam and rhassoul are prescribed and paid for as part of your treatment programme. The Spa in Dolphin Square is competitively priced for central London and offers some imaginative overnight packages, with accommodation in one of the Dolphin House apartments. Perfect for time out to recharge and refresh, alone or with a friend.
Summer Spy visited The Spa in Dolphin Square in July 2015
The Spa in Dolphin Square is a day spa within a block of luxury apartments built around a large courtyard in posh Pimlico in London. Walk through the rather grand entrance to Dolphin Square itself and you'll quickly see the signs for the spa to your left. Then it's down a couple of sets of steps. It feels a little like you're going underground (because you are). The Spa in Dolphin Square doesn't look that impressive from the outside. Once inside, however, this spa is truly a little piece of calm and tranquillity.
The spa reception area has a serene and very Moroccan feel, with plush reds and golds, antique mirrors and softly lit lanterns. The treatment rooms are set along each side of a red carpet with more little lanterns lighting your way.
The setting, along with the heady, spicy aromas that fill the spa, make you feel as if you are in a traditional Moroccan retreat rather than somewhere just a few minutes' walk from the busy streets of London.
The Spa at Dolphin Square is polished with beautiful touches that are sometimes absent in modern spas. Spa-ing starts with a rose-water ceremonial handwash, a lovely way to be rid of the dust and dirt of London. The mineral-rich water used in the spa comes from the City of Westminster's only working artisan well.
Dolphin Square prides itself upon its authentic Moroccan feel, which is continued through the décor, treatments and facilities. You can use the deep relaxation room, tepidarium and the showers (including a bucket shower) without charge, but the steam room, hammam and rhassoul are all paid-for experiences. There’s also a beautiful courtyard which catches the sun. A gorgeous place to relax on a sunny day.
The changing / shower room is tastefully and simply decorated -- clean and airy with a good sense of space. The lockers contain slippers and fluffy mink-coloured robes, as well as a bar of organic soap. The member of staff who showed me around checked that the slippers and dressing gown were the right size for me: a very nice touch.
The Spa in Dolphin Square has five treatment rooms in total as well as two studio rooms if you're after quick(er) salon-style treatments such as eyebrow waxing or lash extensions.
We tried Dolphin Square's Journey Of The Spices (150 minutes, £199). Using a blend of spices at each stage of the journey, the treatment is long. I worried that it might be too long but it passed in a flash. Bang on time, my friendly therapist Monica took me to the treatment room. She took detailed notes and explained what to expect.
The treatment begins with a hot-towel pressure-point full body massage. This massage is designed to be simply relaxing rather than to iron out aches and pains and it really did do the job. My breathing relaxed and I began to feel myself loosen up and un-grit my teeth. I just let my body sink into the treatment.
Next up was a full-body spice scrub from toes upwards. Full-body scrubs are not something that most of us do on a regular basis, so it felt great to have all that dry skin sloughed off. As I showered off the exfoliating scrub, my skin felt softer than it had for long time.
My therapist then used hot poultices with warm oil to massage my body, this time including my scalp. (You can let your therapist know if you don't want this done if you don't like oil in your hair). This part of the treatment is designed to alleviate stress and be deeply relaxing – and it was. I started to dream, so I must have dropped off!
The treatment ends with a seven spice facial, which includes work on your neck and shoulders. I was cocooned in cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Pure bliss.
After my treatment, the skin on my face was seriously glowing. My hair looked a bit greasy because of the scalp massage, but that didn't matter because my skin looked so good! The skin on my body had lost that slightly tired, dry look, too. The treatment must have relaxed me as I slept exceptionally well that night.
A wealth of ancient and contemporary massages is on offer along with body wraps, facials, and a selection of bespoke treatments exclusive to the spa including exotic-sounding rituals such as the Moroccan Majorelle and the Arabian Nights Manicure.
You can have healthy and not-so-healthy snacks in the relaxation room including crumpets with peanut butter, scones and cream, ice cream, or hummus, pitta and olives.
We loved the attention to detail: From the cleansing hand-wash before our treatment to the gift of poultices at the end, we felt very looked after. The fact that the spa can alter most treatments to your specific needs is great. You can call a spa mentor before you book to make sure you get the right treatment.
We also loved the Moroccan tea service with dried fruit at the end of the treatment.
And the slippers and robe fitted properly!
The background music for part of our treatment was not very conducive to relaxation. Also, the heat on some on the tepidarium beds was incredibly high for a hot summer's day. Perhaps keep a check on the temperature during the summer months?
Couples, mums and daughters, groups of friends. Men, too – either on their own or in a group as they wouldn't feel awkward; the spa doesn't divide treatments into His and Hers.
Once again, we gave The Spa in Dolphin Square a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. Dolphin Square is a spa that looks after its guests, offers excellent treatments, and makes good use of its space.
Summer Spy visited in July 2015 and awarded it 5 Bubbles
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Chichester Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 3LX
Tea menu and nibbles served in the relaxation lounge.
Dolphin Square’s serviced apartments are available for overnight stays.
Monday to Saturday: 11am - 9pm; Sunday: 10am - 8pm