The Peak at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower delivers relaxation and energisation in equal measures, and, what's more, it provides it in a five-star hotel with luxury oozing from every corner. The Peak Health Club and Spa is very grand but refreshingly unpretentious and unintimidating. The spa treatments are very well delivered, the facilities are state-of-the-art, and the club boasts spectacular views over central London. It is a wonderful place to relax and focus on your own health and well-being, in your own unrushed time. Take full advantage of the naturally lit swimming pool, a rare find in the city!
- Seven treatment rooms
- 20m swimming pool
- Steam room
- Aerobics studio with fitness classes
Our Spa Spy review
The Carlton Tower Jumeriah is a five-star 1960’s hotel set in a prime position in leafy Knightsbridge, opposite a private garden and within dangerous proximity to the city’s designer shops. A £100 million refurbishment saw the hotel re-open last year with a glamorous Art Deco feel in all its 186 rooms, two restaurants, two bars, meeting rooms and The Peak Club & Spa – a members-only fitness centre and lounge on the 9th floor with cracking city views. Look up and admire the curved wooden ceiling. You’ll find the Talise Spa and pool on the 2nd floor.
What's on offer?
From reception, press 2 on the lift to glide up to the spa. We were greeted in the small reception area - with its marble, teal and dark wood palette - by a charming lady who cheerily moved our day around for better flow.
You’ll find the compact, functional changing rooms beyond the pool with sections depending on which of the two doors you enter. We walked straight into wet area with its super steamy steam room seating eight and sauna with orangey-red Himalayan salt room seating 10; all three showers have Peak amenities and huge rain shower heads which, on our visit, could have done with a bit more welly. Head up a few steps for a small preening bar with Dyson hairdryers and straighteners; your spin dryer, and extra towels and robes are behind you, as well as two very clean loos. Lockers are around the corner, operated by four-digit code – choose full-height (over half) if you brought a long coat. You’ll find a pair of grey spa sandals and a fluffy grey towel inside. Here, too, are the sinks and amenities ranging from the expected (cleanser, cotton wool) to the very useful (mouthwash, hairspray).
At 20-metres, the swimming pool is currently the longest naturally lit pool in London with its statement white curved ceiling allowing light in. A rope separates serious swimmers from the more leisurely – check the website for family swim times. The raised steal and marble Jacuzzi might be oh-so-stylish but it’s a little tricky to enter thanks to marble steps (keep those spa sandals on). Press the silver button for bubbles.
Post swimming relaxation can take place on several grey rattan chairs or comfy loungers; head upstairs for cabanas separated by flowing white curtains where magazines, herbal teas, chilled bottles of still and sparkling water, dried fruit, apples and nuts are there for the taking.
Members can also glide up to the 9th floor for The Peak Fitness Club, a dual level lounge, gym and fitness studio with more of those views. Prices aren’t cheap (annual memberships range from an eye-watering £3,950 to a wallet-busting £20,000) but lunch in the lounge, with its long wall of glass windows and little tables with lamps is akin to a first-class airport lounge – we almost expected to see a runway below. The Art Deco touches, and cream, gold and dark wood colour palette is in keeping with the Talise Spa.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the Gold Hydralift Facial (90mins, £205) from Omorovicza.
While waiting at reception room in the Talise Spa, I completed a consultation form on an iPad, flipping through screens with ease and even choosing the music I wanted to accompany my treatment (classical please - none of this plinky-plonky business).
Ruth, my therapist, met me here and led me to one five calming treatment rooms decked out in creams and dark woods with modern artwork on the walls. She talked me through the facial before leaving the room so that I could get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face up.
Ruth invited me to take three deep breathes to inhale a scent that she had spritzed in the air; she advised me to try and remain mindful of my breathing for the next 90 minutes. The treatment began with a double cleanse followed by a toner which Ruth sprayed upstairs so that it could rain down onto my face – she evened this out with cotton wool. Noting my pores to be clogged, Ruth added an exfoliating peel to the treatment which she wiped off with a warm cloth.
While the mask stayed on for its allotted amount of time, Ruth massaged my arms and hands before treating me to a dry scalp massage (as the treatment was quite close to dinner reservation, I had already washed my hair). Mask removed, Ruth applied some cream and expertly performed Facial Fitness, a Hungarian massage to get the blood flowing via lifting, flat-handed ‘ironing’ and expert tapping – at one point it felt like Ruth was playing the piano on my face. Take that, wrinkles.
Next up some rose quartz crystals which felt wonderfully cooling on my skin. Ruth massaged these around by eye sockets before moving them around every inch of my face. The treatment ended with dabs of eye cream, a moisturiser and a slick of lip balm, all from Omorvicza. If it’s good enough for the Queen of Budapest… I left the room positively glowing.
The Talise Spa offers a range of treatments from 111Skin, Omorovicza and Aromatherapy Associates including massages, facials, scrubs, express treatments and manis/pedis. The spa’s signature Wellbeing Journeys include Forest Therapy and a Sleep Ritual (both two hours) or try a specialist massage like Performance (designed for athletes) or Metropolitan (created to combat the stresses and strains of life in London).
We ate lunch in the Chinoiserie restaurant on the ground floor which you can’t do in your robe – you can also lunch at The Peak Fitness Club between 1pm and 3.30pm where a fresh buffet is laid out for members.
On the menu at Chinoiserie: burgers, salads, mezzes, club sandwiches and smaller dishes like humous with toast or Caviar. Our breaded chicken fillet with avocado, salad and sweet chilli dressing went perfectly with truffle fries and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc; our spa partner enjoyed her King prawns with creamy pepper dressing.
For dinner, we dined at Al Mare, an Italian seafood restaurant with more Art Deco touches including curved doorways, oversized ceiling lights, a long gold-glinted bar, and a palette of tan and teal. Choose a booth by the window for a peak into London life.
The menu is fish-heavy with everything from bluefin tuna and clams to lobster and scallops cooked to order. You can also choose antipasti (think ham with picked artichokes), meat dishes (veal; Hereford beef) and made-to-order pasta, as well as desserts.
Our starter of Burrata cheese (like Mozzarella but creamier), cherry tomatoes and basil pesto was light enough to allow room for the main: Dover sole with lemon and parsley served with crushed potatoes. Our spa partner’s seafood pasta was specially made to be gluten-free and was, she exclaimed between mouthfuls, rich and filled with succulent seafood. We paired our mains with wines selected by our knowledgeable waiter.
A French Toast crème brûlée with pistachio ice-cream and specially-prepared fruit platter (which wasn’t on the menu) saw us throw in the towel.
We loved / we didn't love
The hotel: if you are a fan of all things Art Deco (which we certainly are) you shouldn’t hesitate to make The Carlton Tower Jumeriah your hotel of choice when staying in London. Even the staff’s uniforms looked like they came straight off a 1960’s catwalk.
The treatment menu: with products from 111 Skincare, Omorvicza and Aromatherapy Associates, as well as treatments designed for the sporty and the local, the spa menu goes beyond the norm.
The views made us fall in love with London all over again.
We didn’t love
While a clothed lunch worked for us on this visit, guests wishing for a seamless spa journey will find themselves getting dressed and heading either to the ground floor (Chinoiserie) or the 9th floor (The Peak Fitness Club) for lunch.
The lack of a dedicated relaxation room: everybody loves a post-treatment snooze, don't they?
The food: while we loved everything we ate during our stay (and we really did), our lunch and dinner menus were both fairly light on vegan options.
Who do you think would like it?
Families: we saw several families enjoying the pool and the restaurants during our stay.
Business guests can make use of The Ballroom, the restaurants and the pool during their visit.
Tourists: The Carlton Tower’s golden postcode makes it an ideal spot for combining shopping and sightseeing with a cooling swim, a foot rub in the spa or a delicious dinner.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
The Jumeirah Carlton Tower has three restaurants; The Rib Room, Chinoiserie and The Club Room. Afternoon tea is served in the Chinoiserie.
Eight room styles available at Jumeirah Carlton Tower from Superior Rooms to Luxury Suites.
Monday to Friday: 6.15am – 10pm; Saturday & Sunday: 7.30am – 9pm