Stylish Spy tries a Sound Healing Treatment

Mar 14 2024

Stylish Spy

4 min read

Take me with you…

Built in 1792, The Dorchester is the grand dame of the London hotel scene, welcoming famous faces, politicians, royalty and the well-heeled in a history spanning over 200 years. Bell boys in full morning suits and hats will open the doors to this eponymous hotel, with its wood panelling, impressive art collection, pricey chandeliers, original features and splashes of gold that could well be 24-carat.

There are so many rooms, suites and signature suites at this hotel they have been divided into 16 categories; there are almost as many (11 and counting) dining and drinking options, too, including Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, The Wine Vault and The Vesper Bar.

Shall we spa?

You’ll find the Dorchester Spa in the basement – press the ‘spa’ button inside the lift to glide down one floor.

Reception has more than a hint of Hollywood glamour about it with gleaming white marble floors, walls adorned with ballerina prints and a peachy-pink sofa with beaded chandelier above. We loved the glass box filled with white roses sitting between the silver handrails. Head around the corner to try (and buy) ishga, Storie Valmont, Carol Joy and Mii products.

The dressing room is a welcome upgrade on your standard changing room with more of those polished white floors, a bronze-topped table with four cream chairs and full-height, pale wood lockers operated with an actual key. Inside you’ll find a safety deposit box similar to those in hotel rooms, a white robe, a pair of flip-flops, a refillable water bottle and a host of amenities in bags and boxes, from disposable underwear to swimsuit bags.

The vanity bar has three hairdryers in bags (grab one and plug it in when ready), a tray of bottles and sprays (from deodorant to hairspray) and ishga facial products to cleanse, tone and moisturise after showering. Help yourself to white towels and bottles of water.

Beyond here is a female-only steam room seating four comfortably (six at a squeeze), and three showers with pale green tiles, generous heads and all the amenities you need. You’ll find two loos behind heavy white doors in a separate room just outside.

After a massage or facial, retreat to the relaxation room where gleaming white floors and pink tones are swapped for velvet carpets, pale blue flowing curtains and midnight blue chairs with fluffy white cushions.

The Dorchester Spa also has a mani-pedi room for Mii treatments, a hair salon by Carol Joy London and its own café, The Spatisserie.

Treatment talk

We tried an ishga Sound Healing treatment (90 minutes, £300).

Denise, my therapist, met me in reception and led me to a treatment room with a quartz sand bed in the centre. After explaining the treatment and conducting a scent test of ishga oils (I was attracted to a more nurturing oil containing rose), she left the room so that I could get comfortable on the warm bed, lying face down.

Denise began the treatment with a sound bath using a gong which she struck several times; this reverberated around the room making me feel instantly relaxed. She then sculpted the sand around my body and drizzled my chosen oil on my calves and thighs. Using firm pressure and long strokes - using both her hands and forearms - Denise marched the tension out of my post-running calves and glutes, making me wince at times but leaving my muscles feeling much looser.

When it came to my back, Denise used warm poultices to warm the muscles before working out the tension in my back and shoulders (no easy feat). She then asked me to turn over so that she could work on the front of my legs, my shoulders and my scalp, for which she tilted the bed so that my head was lower than my body.

The treatment ended with another sound bath which brought me gently to. Denise then lifted the bed so that I could climb down and re-robe.

How did it measure up?

As a Couch to 5K newbie, this massage was perfect for working out the ‘I’m-not-really-a-runner-what-are-you-doing-to-me?’ tension in my calves and bum cheeks (more politely known as glutes); the warm sand and sound bath helped me relax.

Spot of lunch?

Lunch can be taken en robe in The Spatisserie which is easily one of the nicest spa cafes this Spa Spy has had the pleasure to eat in. More of those gleaming white floors are paired with flowing cream curtains, baby pink and cream chairs and throwns, an entire wall of roses and glass vases containing white orchids.

On the menu: juices, smoothies, hot drinks, breakfast, main courses (on our visit tuna tartarte, avocado tahini, roast halibut, superfood salad) and afternoon tea.

We went for afternoon tea and tucked into crust-less sandwiches containing egg mayo, smoked salmon, cucumber and cheese; pretty pink cakes and pastries; and scones with jam and cream. We washed this down with a chilled glass of alcohol-free pink fizz.

Got all day?

Spend a good amount of time chilling in the relaxation room and preening in the opulent dressing room before hitting the streets. Knightsbridge – with its Harvey Nics - is a wink away, as is leafy Hyde Park and elegant Mayfair.

Short on time?

Pair a treatment with lunch or afternoon tea.


Stylish Spy

14th March 2024

Spy Likes:

Minimalist lines; organic products; facial massage; tranquillity; interesting people-watching.

Spy Dislikes:

Discarded towels on loungers; steam rooms that aren't steamy; mobile phones.

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