An oasis of calm, the extensively restored and enlarged Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London is a place to enjoy peace and serenity and to restore mind, body and soul.
Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, The Spa offers a diverse range of treatments from traditional Chinese medicine, Bastien Gonzalez renowned manicures and pedicures and anti-ageing Nescens facials.
Alongside our 13 luxurious treatment rooms, you’ll find the Oriental Suite, featuring two massage beds and a Rasul water temple – its health-enhancing heat, steam and mud are the ultimate in conditioning treatments.
- Single sex facilities
- XXL robes available
- 17m pool
- Vitality pool
- Amethyst crystal steam room
- Couple’s Oriental Suite with Rasul water temple
- Zen Colour Therapy Relaxation Area
- Fully-equipped fitness centre
- PilatesPT yoga studio
- Linda Meredith
- Armatherapy Associates
- Philip Kingsley
Our Spa Spy review
The Mandarin Oriental is a grand hotel on Knightsbridge with red-and-black-clad doormen. The entrance to the spa is to the right of the light-filled main foyer; enter and the space becomes low-lit with subtle scents and a feeling of warmth. The spa is not overtly oriental; the granite floor and dark wood walls are minimalist, decorated with flickering lights and the occasional vivid pink orchid.
The spa itself is set over two floors with the reception area and eight treatment rooms on one floor; the changing areas, heat and water experiences and the relaxation room a floor below.
What's on offer?
Spa reception is an open space with honey-coloured wood, soft seating in blue and aqua, and a wall lined with beautifully arranged products. Behind the reception desk is a piece of intricate Asian-inspired art depicting a golden tree.
A receptionist brought me a small cup of herbal tea, a hot towel, flip-flops, an orchid and an in-depth consultation questionnaire to complete. Then, another receptionist led me downstairs to the spa. There are separate facilities for men and women, each with the same journey.
The well-equipped changing area has two showers, two changing rooms, loos and well-organised wooden lockers – there’s even a plug socket if you need it. There’s a central row of seating with a jug of mint water to quench your thirst in the heat. The vanity area has everything you’ll need: cleanser, toner, moisturiser, hairspray, Dyson hairdryers and even dental and shaving kits. Tucked away is a spinner for your wet swimsuit. There are plenty of towels on hand, too.
Beyond the changing area is the vitality pool with warm mineral water and hydrotherapy stations: a jet lounger, bubbling seats and pedi-jets for your feet. As you enjoy the water, you can gaze up at a wall of granite sculptures and vibrant pink orchids. An amethyst crystal steam room (perfectly hot on our visit) lies on one side of the pool and a traditional wooden sanarium (a mild sauna) on the other. Each room is relatively petit.
The relaxation room is low-lit with four loungers, a flower on each, and a table with tea, water and fruit. The loungers are adjustable, have individual lighting and phone chargers. At the end of each, you’ll find a zen colouring book, pencils, a stress reliever ball and leaflets on subjects such as digital detox and mindfulness – a lovely post-treatment touch. Your therapist will meet you here.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Oriental Qi massage (150 minutes, £265) and Nescens Better Ageing Facial (120 minutes, £225).
Rika, my therapist for the Oriental Qi massage led me upstairs to the treatment rooms. She washed my feet as she explained concept of a person’s elements according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. My element is earth, so Rika would focus on my lower back and the front of my legs. After a quick scent test, I chose the ‘flourish’ oil with coriander, cardamom and lemongrass.
I lay face down on the bed, and Rika asked me to take three deep breaths inhaling the flourish oil. She started the treatment massaging my lower back, first using gentle strokes, then more rigorous rolling and stretching techniques. She moved on to my knot-filled upper back, checking her pressure as she eased the tension. Rika placed a hot water bottle over my lower back (blissful) while she worked on my legs.
I turned over and Rika massaged the front of my legs – digging into acupressure points on the front of calves which she explained related to my stomach and spleen. Rika adjusted the towels and used gentler, circular movements on my stomach. She worked along my arms, up my neck and then onto a scalp massage.
With a ding of the chimes the treatment was finished. Rika gave me lots of advice and suggested adding a probiotic to my supplements. My body felt relaxed and far more supple than it had before.
My facial was with Chloe, who first discussed my skin and the products I currently use. Chloe explained that the Nescens treatment was more like a gym for your face than a passive experience.
She applied a foaming cleanser applied to my face, neck and décolleté, then spritzed on a toner and used a brush to apply a glycolic-based mask. My skin tingled but was not painful. After three minutes Chloe removed the mask and brushed on a thick moisturiser. She massaged my décolletage while the cream cooled my skin.
Next the facial massage – a core part of the treatment. Chloe used short uplifting movements, pinching, and smooth figure of eight treatments to coax my facial muscles into positions I’m not sure they’ve ever been in before. The second part of the massage used little cups attached to a lymphatic drainage machine which lifted the muscles. It felt like very gentle taps on the skin as she ran them down the side of my face and jaw.
Chloe applied a toner, serum and moisturiser before increasing the light level and handing me a mirror. I had asked for hydrated and glowing and my skin was just that! I was still receiving compliments two days after the treatment.
Treatments at The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental draw on Asian traditions and modern result-driven science. Try massages – from oriental to aromatherapy – scrubs, wraps, facials from Swiss brand Nescens and super facialist Linda Meredith, nails by Bastien Gonzalez, blow dries, make up and waxing. If you fancy trying something a little unusual, the spa also offers Traditional Chinese Medicine appointments with professor Ké of Asanté.
There are several dining options at The Mandarin Oriental; each will require you to dress and leave the spa. It’s more than worth it for the extraordinary food.
We had afternoon tea in the gorgeous Rosebery Lounge. Light-filled and bright, the elegant grey room has bright art spotted on the walls to give it a contemporary feel. The afternoon tea plates arrived and were hung on a golden tree sculpture with an amber apple atop. The petit sandwiches, scones and cakes were delicious and flavourful. You can also choose mini, beer or sake afternoon tea.
If you are celebrating, book in at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Inspired by historic gastronomy, dining at the two-Michelin starred restaurant is a theatrical experience.
We loved / we didn't love
The people: Everyone was helpful, available and happy. Our therapists were knowledgeable and made us felt like their cared.
The quiet: There aren’t many places in London where you can close your eyes and enjoy the silence.
The aesthetics: It may be subterranean, but the textures and colours give a sense of place.
We didn’t love
The lack of accessibility: There’s no way to access the changing room and thermal facilities but down a set of low-lit granite stairs. If you have accessibility issues you can use the fitness spa facilities including a pool, sauna and steam room. This will need to be arranged in advance.
Who do you think would like it?
Treatment connoisseurs: The treatments are carefully curated and each provides an a very authentic treatment.
City dwellers: If you’re searching for a couple of hours of peace in a hectic life, this is the place to go.
Celebrations: The Mandarin Oriental makes for a very special experience
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
There is a choice of three restaurants in the hotel:
The Roseberry – Afternoon Tea
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - Michelin Star, Historic British Gastronomy
Bar Boulud – Michelin Star, French
Sitting between glorious Royal Parkland and the buzz of central Knightsbridge, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is re-imagined and re-invented, offering the essence of timeless heritage coupled with contemporary flair and impeccable service, English elegance and sumptuous style
Internationally acclaimed designer, Joyce Wang, drew inspiration from the natural beauty of Hyde Park and the 20th century Golden Age of travel to create our exquisite new rooms and suites. Each of our 181 guestrooms and suites exude contemporary London style and timeless British elegance. With art deco-inspired features and carefully curated artworks, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is the perfect place to stay in iconic London.
Spa opening hours: 9am to 10pm Monday to Saturday – 9am to 9pm on Sunday
Spa reservation lines opening hours: 9:30am to 8pm Monday to Friday – 9:30am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday
Fitness centre opening hours: 24 hours Monday to Sunday
Swimming pool opening hours: 6:30am to 9:30pm Monday to Sunday
Spa is on two levels connected by lift access. Spa journey can be tailored accordingly.