The May Fair hotel is very swish and stylish, with a dinky spa downstairs. The stylishly done spa area has water features built into the walls, and the rippling water has a very "spa" effect on you, the minute you walk in. The spa has no pool but packs in a hammam, a sauna, and a steam room that's a great size -- unusual for central London. The heated marble loungers in the dimly lit relaxation room are more comfortable than they look.
There's a wide-ranging and imaginative treatment menu including non-surgical facelifts; oxygen therapy, Botox, and red-vein treatments alongside the more usual spa menu of scrubs, massages and wraps. The Good Spa Guide was invited along to try out the latest addition to the spa's range: the Dr Murad Collagen Hydro-Surge, launched on 28 June. The brand was created by US dermatologist Dr Howard Murad in 1989 and focuses on clinical high-performance skincare products to repair, renew and refresh the skin. The aim of this particular facial is to hydrate the skin, and nourish it so that you see an immediate difference in clearness and smoothness. It includes ingredients such as hyaluronic filling spheres, which plump up with water in the skin, thus filling in fine lines and wrinkles, and providing hydration that continues for up to eight hours.
My Therapist, Shaunia, took me along to the dimly lit treatment room and asked me to make myself comfortable face-up on the nicely warm treatment bed. She wrapped my hair in a band, asked about my skin, and talked me through the various elements the facial would involve. She began with a creamy double cleanse, and followed this with a series of masks and serums.
Shaunia warned me that the professional-strength glycolic peel would cause some tingling, and was careful to check on application just how tingly it felt on a scale of 1 to 10. But it was a pleasant tingling (pleasant partly because I hoped that the tingling would make a difference).
There followed more exfoliation, some delightful facial massage, and a moisturising mask. While this was working, Shaunia treated me to a little scalp massage; I admit this was not unrelated to the fact that I had told her that scalp massage was my favourite part of any facial. She had a good knowledge of the products and was able to answer all my questions about ingredients (which include extracts of orchid, passionflower and camelina, as well as chamomile and green tea). Apart from the peel, all of the products felt soft and gentle, and my skin felt clean and smooth afterwards.
But enough with all this talk of hyaluronic filling spheres, I hear you say: did the facial make a visible difference? I was fervently hoping it had -- and in the right way -- as I was off to a party that evening and didn't want to arrive accompanied by blotches. I needn't have feared. My skin did indeed look clean and clear, visibly brighter, and very smooth. I didn't feel I even needed foundation for my posh event, I felt so confident in my own skin tone. (A rare event, at my age.)
If you want to try the Dr Murad Collagen Hydro-Surge for yourself, you'll have to pop along to the May Fair, as it's exclusively available at their spa. There's currently an introductory price of £99 for the 60-minute treatment so, if your skin needs some serious smoothing, call the spa on 020 7915 2826.