Summer Spy tries a Hammam Ritual at The Beaumont Spa
Take me with you…
The Beaumont Hotel has a small but perfectly formed spa just near Selfridges on Oxford Street. Step away from the bustle of the shoppers and you’ll find a place of indulgence, from excellent spa treatments to flawless afternoon teas. The five-star hotel draws heavily from Art Deco design; the lobby has a chequerboard black and gold floor, cherrywood panelling, portrait art and dramatic walnut seating.
Shall we spa?
Although the hotel feels very British, the spa feels more Paris than Mayfair. The aged mirrors, gleaming chrome, monochrome tiles, and easy jazz playing in the background make this feel like Les Années Folles (or Roaring Twenties this side of the pond).
The petit spa is downstairs from the entrance lobby. There’s a small reception desk, a glamorous salon, and changing rooms with large lockers, central seating and well-stocked showers. The etoile of the spa is the thermal area which has a cold plunge pool, traditional wooden sauna, white-tiled steam room, cold shower and an ice fountain. Alongside the thermal rooms, there are four white leather loungers, teas and fruit-infused waters to help yourself to, and plenty of magazines to read.
We had the thermal facilities to ourselves before and after our treatment which was pretty special – we almost felt like we needed a strand of pearls around our necks and diamanté slippers.
We tried The Beaumont Hammam Experience (120 minutes, £190); a hammam treatment, a full body massage and a mini facial.
My therapist extraordinaire, Athina, met me in the thermal room and guided me to the hammam which had a tall marble plinth and shower to rinse my skin. She gave me some paper underwear – top and bottom – and I lay on the hammam table.
Athina began the hammam by washing my skin with eucalyptus and olive black soap. Once clean she washed my skin and then exfoliated it with a kessa glove. Another rinse and she applied a clay mask to my skin - I took a few moments to relax while it dried. Finally, Athina rinsed my skin and used a Sultana de Saba mist spray to scent the air.
Being washed felt strangely intimate – even more so than a massage – it feels more like personal care perhaps. As someone who doesn’t have a loving relationship with their body, I didn’t once feel judged or even aware of my flaws. I felt cared for, which is a rarity in the life of a mum to a small child. My skin felt soft and glowing.
With clean skin and warm muscles, we moved to a more traditional treatment room for the full body massage and mini facial. Athina checked my areas of concern (neck, shoulders, lower legs), and expertly and confidently eased the stress from my body. She massaged my back, legs, feet, tummy, arms, chest and shoulders using deeper pressure on problematic areas and gentler rhythmic movements on more tender regions. After the massage, my tight neck and shoulders felt freer and my legs lighter. My skin was deeply nourished.
The final element of the experience was the mini facial using Oskia products. Athina cleansed with a soft balm, exfoliated and then applied moisturisers for my eyes, lips and skin. The products smelt beautiful, reminiscent of an English country garden in summer.
Athina took me back to the thermal area where I could top up on water and relax.
How did it measure up?
The treatment was deeply relaxing; my skin looked and felt great. Perhaps, more importantly, the experience was a reminder of how very important self-care – or care from others – is. My life revolves around childcare, work, looking after others, and this treatment gave me two hours to recharge before Halloween parties, half-term chaos and family visits.
Spot of lunch?
There are several excellent dining options at The Beaumont. The Colony Grill Room serves steaks; Le Magritte Bar and Terrance bourbons, whiskeys, cocktails and light snacks.
We tried afternoon tea in Gatsby’s Room. As a teetotal vegetarian, I imagine the French waiter was a little disappointed with my life choices, but duly served me Jasmine Pearls Sparkling Tea and vegetarian versions of coronation chicken, smoked salmon and salt beef sandwiches. The cakes were pure afternoon tea with mini mocha cake, yuzu cream pie, and vanilla pudding.
Got all day?
Visit with a loved one, use the thermal rooms and then spend the afternoon leisurely enjoying teas, cakes, and putting the world to rights. Or get a cut and blow dry in the Salon.