Agua Bathhouse and Spa at Mondrian London embraces Hollywood glamour with bold statement art and quirky design. While it doesn't have a huge amount in terms of spa facilities, what there is will produce the same inner bliss as a pool. There’s a large Art Deco steam room, Glamour Room for beautifying and a futuristic spa lounge with soft, pale seating. The urban glamour and laid-back, fun atmosphere are perfectly complemented by some seriously special treatments and delicious sorbet sundaes.
- Single sex facilities
- Boutique lounge
- Glamour room
- Steam room
- Natura Bisse
- Lycon Waxing Systems
- Estelle & Thild
- Billion Dollar Brows
- Agua Signature
Our Spa Spy review
Mondrian London at Sea Containers is an achingly hip hotel with a cool subterranean spa, all designed by British architect Tom Dixon, a master of mood lighting and bold statements. Entering the large, glass-fronted reception is like stepping aboard a glamorous 1920s ship, with huge panel-beaten copper curves around the reception area, a giant knot sculpture and model cruise ship.
You reach Agua Spa via its own lift towards the back of reception, before the swanky Dandelyan bar with its river views. The spa is less showy than the hotel, but equally a work of art: space-age minimalism with lavish curves and splashes of gold.
What's on offer?
Spa reception at Agua is bright white with gold-tinted mirror columns and textured walls. A chic lounge with a plush banquette just behind reception is where you sit to fill out your consultation form. A receptionist will bring you a drink then give you a tour.
Agua doesn't have a huge amount in terms of spa facilities, but what there is will produce the same inner bliss as a pool. A pale slate-tiled corridor winds from reception past a gym and the all-white Glamour Room for grooming, to the single-sex changing rooms.
Everything at Agua Spa is beautifully finished and very... white. There are lockers containing robes, slippers and a towel, three toilets, and three showers, each with a large grey tiled changing area with chair and mirror. A vanity area has two hairdryers and is stocked with products by New York brand Malin + Goetz. Water is delivered in a gold vessel on a gold tray.
Each sex has their own steam room, a good size – they would easily seat 20 – with Art Deco black, grey and white tiled seats and a large glowing panel at one end. You can have mud delivered to the changing rooms in dinky ceramic bowls, which you take into the steam room and smother all over your skin and hair. Rinse under a refreshing storm shower next to the light panel in the steam room. Great fun.
Double doors lead to a corridor of six treatment rooms beyond the spa lounge, a futuristic space with curving steps of soft, pale seating. An eye-catching, gigantic, copper-plated teardrop dangles over a sunken pool, lit so water ripples reflect on the ceiling. Along the back wall are five scooped loungers with white duvets, each separated with white gauze curtains that you can draw around you for a post-treatment snooze. Herbals teas, water and apples are available on a sideboard.
Tell us about the treatments
My therapist, Trillian, dressed in hospital-orderly whites, fetched me from the lounge and led me to a large, minimalist treatment room with stone coloured walls and tiled floors. We discussed my skin, health, and any aches and pains; she said she would tailor the treatments to suit my needs.
The Dr Jackson's Bust Blossom treatment (50 minutes, £80) is a deeply healing and holistic massage developed initially for breast cancer and mastectomy patients, but beneficial for any woman needing a bit of TLC.
I changed into paper underwear and lay face up on the bed, with my hips on a heated Hydrotherm water cushion and my body covered with a towel. Trillian placed a lavender bag over my eyes, then pressed deeply along my body through the towel; this had an instant de-stressing effect.
She slid her fingers between my back and the water cushion to massage along my spine and the sides of my body, focusing on my hips and lower back. Her touch was very slow and intense. I could see why it would feel wonderful after an operation or treatment; it felt amazing for someone in good health. Trillian massaged my arms and stretched them above my head. Once I was thoroughly blissed out, she worked on my neck and chest, then moved down to work over my internal organs, balancing my breathing rhythm and draining the lymph. The treatment finished with the application of cooling gel. Despite the title of the treatment, I was always discreetly covered.
Next up: the Natura Bissé Diamond Energy facial (60 minutes, £100).
Making sure I was comfortable and relaxed, Trillian placed damp cotton wool over my eyes and shone a bright light onto my skin. She then cleansed my skin thoroughly and announced that she was about to apply a skin peel with hydrochloric acid. "You may feel it tingle slightly and get warm," she said, cheerfully. "Don't worry."
It wasn't just tingly; it stung. Trillian said it would pass. It did, almost immediately, although all the good work from my massage was briefly undone.
Trillian left the mask on to do its miraculous work; I had heard this was a magic potion that takes years off you, so was pleased I wasn't reacting negatively. Afterwards, I was rewarded with a strong facial massage. Trillian then applied a cooling gel followed by a thick face mask; it was pasted over my closed eyelids, but I didn't feel claustrophobic. As I lay there waiting for it to set, Trillian treated me to an arm, shoulder, leg and foot massage, returning me to my earlier state of bliss. The mask came off in one piece.
I am allergic to aloe, which is in The Cure moisturiser and serum, so Trillian applied Dr Jackson's No.2 Skin Healing Cream and No.2 Skin Cream with SPF instead. It was a sunny day and Trillian had warned me that I would need extra SPF protection after the peel.
Trillian raised the bed to sitting and gave me some water. She gave me some valuable insights into my body and skin and how to continue to look after them. The Natura Bissé facial is legendary, so I wasn't surprised that my skin looked clear and youthfully taut afterwards.
My spa colleague had the Custom Guru treatment (80 minutes, £100). She said it was a wonderful massage, and the products had left her normally reactive skin feeling soothed and calm.
Agua at Mondrian's spa menu includes creative and bespoke massages and facials using Dr Jackson, Soveral, and Estelle and Thild products, with treatments for men and mums-to-be. The Glamour Lounge offers manicures and pedicures with Ciate varnish, and Billion Dollar Brows. You can book a Mud Room for private hammams and treatments, or a mud party for open-minded groups of 10-15.
We ordered lunch before our treatment and it was wheeled into the spa lounge on a table, ready for us when we emerged. It all felt very decadent.
The menu at Agua Spa offers a choice of three salads rich with seeds and nutritious ingredients and three smoothies, all with specific nutritional aims. Our salmon and prawn salads were beautifully presented beneath silver domes and tasted fresh and flavoursome. After so much healthiness, we simply had to try their sorbet sundaes. These sounded quite restrained, with fresh fruit, nuts and seeds listed as primary ingredients: mine included figs, dates and apricots, my friend's had apple, avocado and almonds. They arrived in classic fluted sundae glasses and were piled high with creamy sorbet scoops and fruit pieces, and were richly indulgent. My friend couldn't finish hers (I did my best to help her).
If you’re looking for more decadent food, you can order selected dishes from the room service menu.
We loved / we didn't love
The design: Elegantly stylish but with theatrically humorous dashes, like the set of a 1970s space movie. If the Starship Enterprise had a spa...
The treatments: Agua therapists have undergone extensive training and there's an intelligent approach to wellness beneath the layer of luxury. The aftercare advice was really interesting.
The steam-room mud pack: A fun way to start the day which adds to the spa element.
The sorbet sundaes: Okay, we slightly overdid those…
We didn't love
We would have liked to have seen better signage around the spa.
Who do you think would like it?
Cultured spa-goers seeking beautifully crafted treatments. The South Bank and Tate Modern are next door.
Anyone who thinks spa pools aren't as important as serenity and sophistication.
The striking space age design would please male spa-istas.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We gave Agua at Mondrian London a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles for the second time running. It offers a sublime spa experience for those who want effortless luxury alongside cutting-edge health and wellness. The treatments and design are second to none.
Sea Containers’ modern dining room restaurant is perfect for lunch by the river, sunset cocktails, or an enchanting dinner. You can also eat in the social and tranquil Den, or enjoy drinks in the Dandelyan and Rooftop bars.
A range of standard, superior, delux, loft and balcony rooms or suites, many with river views.
Spa relaxation and steam room are open Monday to Friday: 6.30am-10.00pm; Saturday and Sunday 7.00am-9.00pm. Treatments are available Monday to Friday: 9.00am-9.00pm; Saturday and Sunday 10.00am-7.00pm.