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
The Mondrian Hotel forms part of Sea Containers House, a prominent building on London's South Bank, a short walk from Blackfriars station. The property -- which also houses the offices of several companies -- was meticulously restored to its former glory in 2015 under the eye of British designer Tom Dixon. The inside oozes 1920s glamour with a futuristic twist. There's a restaurant with stunning riverside views, a popular bar where the creative set flock, and a cinema.
The subterranean Agua Bathhouse and Spa is designed in stark contrast to the rest of the hotel, with a striking palette of white, bronze and monochrome geometric patterns.
What's on offer?
The spa's reception area is spacious and cool with white textured walls, shiny-leaved plants and flickering candles in bronze hurricane lanterns. If you haven't filled out your consultation form online, there's a long comfortable sofa on which to do so. Opposite, you'll find several shelves of beauty products for sale.
Dominique warmly welcomed us, took us on a tour of the spa, and left us in ginormous changing rooms that are larger than most London flats. Inside tall white lockers are fluffy robes and black slippers. Change in one of three private, slate-lined rooms; each has its own shower equipped with Malin and Goetz shampoo, conditioner and body wash. The smart white vanity area has two hairdryers, body lotion, and cotton wool next to a shelf stocked with fluffy white towels.
The Art Deco-style steam room is also in the changing rooms; we loved the monochrome zig-zag-patterned tiles and the sheer size -- it could easily seat 20 people. Cool down under a storm shower afterwards.
For post-treatment dozing, the relaxation room is bedecked entirely in white, with five loungers separated by flowing curtains. Grab a Joe's tea, a magazine or a glass of water and admire the huge bronze teardrop suspended from the ceiling. Ask a member of staff clad in white (of course) for a duvet to snuggle under or a hot-water-bottle to curl up with.
Despite its name, the Agua Bathhouse and Spa doesn't have any water facilities but you can make good use of the mud room, the Glamour Room with its sleek pedicure thrones and manicure stations, and the well-equipped gym.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Made for Life Hot Oil Envelopment and Facial (110 minutes; £190).
My therapist, Tendai, showed me to a large treatment room with soft grey walls and apothecary-style bottles lined on shelves. After talking through the steps of the treatment and my skin concerns, Tendai decided to switch the mask for the facial from a Made for Life product to one by Soveral, which she felt would suit my skin better. She then left the room so that I could lie face down on the warm bed and get comfortable.
My treatment began with some acupressure work and deep breathing to relax my body and mind. Tendai then poured hot oil on the backs of my legs and massaged it in using long, flowing strokes. This felt really soothing. Tendai then switched to shorter, deeper strokes to ease out pockets of tension. By the time she repeated the massage on my back, neck and shoulders, I was deeply relaxed.
Next up: a coarse salt scrub designed to exfoliate dead skin cells. Tendai removed the scrub with hot towels; my skin immediately felt soft and silky to touch. She then slathered a thick, luxurious cream all over my body before wrapping me in hot towels to encourage the cream to hydrate my skin. When Tendai poured hot oil in my hair and wrapped it in a towel, I couldn't fight sleep.
For the facial, Tendai placed a heated pillow under my neck and herbal compress over my eyes to block out the light. Tendai began by double cleansing my skin in preparation for a Volcano Ash mask made with bentonite clay; this felt cool and tingly on my skin. As it set, Tendai removed the towel from my head and performed a blissful scalp massage, moving my head from side to side to release any tension in my neck.
I was completely spaced out by the time Tendai gently roused me and handed me my robe and slippers. She met me in the relaxation room with a glass of cold water and duvet to snuggle under (if I must). My face was glowing and my complexion was clear -- as if a reset button had been pressed. I loved the hot oil envelopment part of the treatment, too; my skin felt silky soft for several days afterwards.
The Agua Bathhouse and Spa at The Mondrian offers a range of customised massages and facials by Made for Life, Dr Jackson's, Lola's Apothecary and Soveral, alongside packages for couples. There are also treatments for men and mums-to-be, as well as guests recovering from cancer. You can also have manicures, pedicures and beauty treatments in the Glamour Room.
You can eat lunch in your robe in the relaxation area. Staff will bring you menus, return to take your order, then bring you your lunch once it's ready -- ensuring it's as fresh as it can be.
The menu has a good selection of salads to choose from, alongside ciabattas, juices, sorbets and Champagne. Our Mondrian Garden Salad with juicy prawns and creamy avocado was light and healthy; our Joe's peppermint tea was refreshing.
We loved / we didn't love
The design: The Agua Bathhouse and Spa definitely has the wow factor; we felt like we had been transported to a funky, futuristic galaxy far away from London.
The staff: Everybody we met was warm, friendly and welcoming, and nothing was too much trouble.
The treatments: Agua offers a huge range of professionally-delivered treatments, with a good mix of the familiar and more unusual. Even the most seasoned Spa Spy would find something new to try.
We didn't love:
Like most city spas, The Agua Bathhouse doesn't have a pool. However, the cool design, spacious relaxation room and oversized steam room will help you find inner serenity.
We would have liked to have seen a wider range of reading materials on offer in the relaxation room.
Who do you think would like it?
We saw solo spa-goers and small groups of friends all enjoying the spa on our visit.
Hipsters and millennials: There's a creative buzz about the place and, with wi-fi in the spa, guests can 'gram away to their heart's content.
City-slickers: London-based workers can head to the Agua Bathhouse and Spa during a lunch break or after work.
Tourists: Views of London don't come much better, with many iconic landmarks on show.
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.