The Guerlain Spa at Raffles London at The OWO is a serenely restorative spa, coupled with a contemporary fitness spaces that complete the transformation of this historic address.

Spanning 27,000 sq ft, across four floors, the Guerlain Spa was conceived by the interior design studio Goddard Littlefair; this calming and secluded space is home to a 20-metre indoor pool, vitality pool, sauna, steam and experience showers. Guerlain take care of treatments for face, body and mind. Book one of the two VIP treatment suites (one single; one double) with private showers and changing facilities. 


  • XXL robes available
  • Family swim times
  • Swimming pool
  • Vitality pool
  • Sauna
  • Steam room
  • Experience showers

Guerlain Spa at Raffles London

First impressions

Raffles London opened in October 2023 in one of London’s most iconic buildings, the Old War Office. It’s as white and historic as it is jaw-dropping – we nearly got run over by a Black cab trying to get the perfect exterior shot.

Inside, marble staircases, huge chandeliers and grand pianos ensure the jaw remains open. Rooms and suites are Edwardian yet contemporary in style, with all the suites named after famous British spies. Nine restaurants (yep), three bars (including a Spy bar in the basement with a real Aston Martin behind the bar) take care of dining; several meeting rooms serve business guests.

The Guerlain Spa (pronounced ger-lan) is the first of its kind in the UK from Parisian perfume brand (established in 1828); it occupies three floors of the basement.

What’s on offer?

Push B1 on the glass lift to glide down - you will know you’ve reached the spa when you see a huge backlit ‘Guerlain’ sign bathed in gold coaxing you in (arriving at the Pearly Gates can’t be much more ceremonial). Spa reception is impressive with parquet flooring, oval gold mirrors, cream leather chairs and a back-lit wall holding 16 bottles of Guerlain perfumes to test. Check in at the marble-topped, bronze-fronted desk and take a seat.

Our charming spa host replaced our winter boots with fluffy spa sliders, poured us a cup of herbal tea and asked us to complete consultation forms on iPads with gold covers.

On this floor you’ll find a long corridor of treatment rooms – of which there are nine – a relaxation room with six beds, block candles, reading lights, snacks to help yourself to, and the treatment changing rooms which are tiny but beautiful (you’ll find larger changing rooms beside the pool). Use a four-digit code of choice to open any of the 10 wooden lockers; inside you’ll find white fluffy robes, a large white towel and the most akin-to-knickers, single-use pants we’ve come across in all our years as a Spa Spy (halillujah).

There’s a vanity bar at either end with gold Ghd hairdryers and straighteners (sensing the theme?), hair fixing spray, and drawers filled with little white packets of cotton wool, brushes, shower caps and sanitary bags. The biggest shower we have ever seen in a changing room is on the opposite side, with shampoo, conditioner and bodywash from amenities brand 1906. Next door you’ll find one solo loo in a room so spacious it could easily house three.

If a swim or workout is on the agenda, you’ll need to head back into the lift, push B3 and glide down to the gym floor which has its own reception desk, a motion studio for Yoga and Pilates and a fully-equipped gym overlooking the pool.

The 20-metre pool is long by London standards and ideal for length swimming, with no bubbly nonsense to interrupt strokes - simply glide down one of the three metal steps and swim towards the flickering ribbon fire at the end. The water was a little nippy on our visit but, by length 20, we were grateful for the cool water. Having the entire pool to ourselves on our mid-week visit was a real treat, too.

The designers have made good use of the building’s natural arches, creating cosy nooks for couples with pushed-together loungers separated by small tables and lamps. Help yourself to lemon- and cucumber-infused water; spa hosts will fetch dry robes, cups of herbal tea and more towels on request – nothing, upon nothing, is too much trouble.

You’ll find a vitality pool at the opposite end of the fire with two sunken round chairs and two long stations at either end – push the buttons for timed bubbly-ness. The thermal area opposite has a round flickering fire at its entrance (hello) with a cream-tiled steam room behind, seating 10 – grab one of two silver hoses to direct cold water onto specific bodily hot spots. The larger-than-average sauna to the left has wall buttons to push to pause the heat. Cool off under one of two experience showers.

Whilst not officially part of the spa, Atelier on the ground floor is worthy of note - a stunning space for beauty treatments, make-up, blow dries and perfume testing. We loved the bold use of blue on the ceiling, the open fireplace and the huge windows affording London views.

Tell us about your treatment

We tried the Royal Spa Suite Journey (180 mins, £620).

My therapist, Cassie, met me in the relaxation room and led me to one of the Royal Spa Suites, a colossal space with a roll top bath behind wooden sliding doors and an incredible hand-made 3D nature scene on the ceiling above the bed.

The three-hour journey began with a 30-minute bath, which Cassie pre-drew and filled with bubbles. I tossed in a hand full of Himalayan salts, stripped off and sunk in.

A knock on the door indicated that it was time to dry off and get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face up. The second part of this royal ritual is personalised, with any treatment of choice delivered in two hours. I chose a sculpting massage with particular attention to my thighs and stomach, followed by a hydrating facial.

Cassie began the treatment with a scent test using four Guerlain perfumes - I was drawn to a sweet fragrance containing Tonka bean and vanilla – and used this to source the oil for my massage. Turning onto my front, Cassie worked on my tight shoulders and back before moving down to wobblier areas which she gave the heave-ho with dynamic movements designed to lift. This she repeated on my front, paying particular attention to my stomach.

The facial began with steam, which Cassie directed at my face whilst applying a foaming cleanser and exfoliant. Steam switched off, she added a peel and used the moisture to lift my face in a massage that couldn’t be described as gentle but that was oh-so effective. Dots of eye cream, some serum and a good dollop moisturiser and I was ready for my close-up: the wrinkles around my eyes almost certainly appeared reduced.

Coming to, Cassie fetched a pretty fruit plate and a glass of fizz and left me for the final 30 minutes to relax and take stock.

Guerlain Spa at Raffles London offers a range of high tech, anti-ageing facials (microdermabrasion, LED); and massages (four-handed, deep muscular), as well as tailor-made treatments, perfume testing, make-up (lessons, bridal), cuts and blow dries, beauty treatments and metabolic analysis.

Food facts

Spa guests will need to dress and head to the ground floor to enjoy lunch at Pillar Kitchen, a healthy all-day dining concept serving juices, smoothies, coffees and light bites.

We began with a Sweet Green juice containing cucumber, apple, spinach, lime and parsley before munching on a zingy avocado Tikka wrap with chicken, jalapenos and spring onions. Our spa partner loved her Rockin’ Beets juice containing beetroot, carrot, apple and lemon, followed by the Fishless Nicoise salad with Tofu and Dijon mustard dressing.

For dinner we ate at Saison, a Mediterranean restaurant under a restored Edwardian glass ceiling, surrounded by plants and natural light. The chef uses UK-based seasonal ingredients to create dishes such as oysters, winter salads, West Country Lamb, Hereford Beef Fillet and Catch of the Day.

We began by sharing a colourful beetroot salad and a red mullet dish with sour dough toast which we washed down with glasses of non-alcoholic fizz. For mains, we enjoyed the hearty pumpkin ravioli with lemon confit and winter black truffle; our spa partner’s melt-in-the-house steak with triple cooked fries hit the spot.

Despite a winking Pear Panna Cotta, we were too full for dessert and, instead, retreated to the Spa Bar to sip virgin Martini's on bar stools in front of that Aston Martin. This bar is so hush hush, you’ll need a security guard to take you down. Put your phone away too, photos are strictly forbidden.

We loved/we didn’t love

We loved

The design:
it’s opulent and ostentatious; gold and gorgeous.

The staff:
the myth that Londoner’s aren’t friendly is heartily debunked at Raffles London.

Our treatment was noteworthy.

We didn’t love

The tiny changing rooms on the treatment floor: we followed two other spa goers inside and had to queue for the loo (use the changing rooms by the pool if you want more space).

Having to change for lunch.

Who do you think would like it?

Families: check the website for twice-daily swim times. 

Guerlain perfume lovers: if you love their scent, you’ll love their spa.

Well-heeled locals and visitors: rooms and treatments cost a pretty penny.

What Bubble Rating did you award this spa?

Without hesitation, we awarded Guerlain Spa at Raffles London a Good Spa Guide Bubble Rating of Five Bubble Luxury for its regal design, attentive staff, cutting-edge treatments, longer-than-average pool and perfume nods.

Spa location

Anyone who wants to indulge in the perfect combination of good food and great spa-ing. Keen spa goers who want to be tempted by a new treatment.

57 Whitehall,London,London,SW1A 2BX


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Extra Info


Pillar Kitchen & Juice Bar, conveniently located on the hotel’s ground floor, enjoy refreshing cold-pressed juices and seasonally inspired dishes from a chef-led, nutritionist-backed menu, available to eat in or take away.


Handsome State Rooms and grand offices have been transformed into 120 spacious guest rooms and suites with views of Whitehall and Horse Guards.

Opening Hours

L'ATELIER: 10am to 6pm
Weekdays: 6.30am – 9pm
Weekends: 8am – 8pm
Family Swim Times (for residents and hotel guests): 8am to 10am and 3pm to 5pm
Weekdays: 6.30am to 9pm
Weekends: 8am to 8pm
24 hrs for hotel guests

Travel and Parking

Valet parking available

Raffles London is a short walk from major London train terminals Waterloo and Charing Cross, and a short taxi ride from London Paddington, Victoria, King’s Cross, St Pancras International and London Euston.


The spa is fully accessible.

Treatment menu

View the treatment menu


  • Guerlain

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