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
Aerobics studio with fitness classes
Our Spa Spy review
The Peak Health Club and Spa, in the five-star Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in London's very affluent SW1 postcode, is right in the centre of some prime retail space. Sloane Street's high-fashion emporiums and Harvey Nichols are just a short bag-laden stroll away.
Outside the tower, a steady stream of shiny SUVs and chauffeur-driven cars with blacked out windows were arriving, while smartly uniformed porters welcomed guests to the hotel. Inside, a harp player in the foyer added to the overall impression of cocooned affluence.
From the foyer, take the lift up to the ninth floor, which has a secure entrance for spa users and health-club guests.
What's on offer?
The clue is in the name: The Peak Health Club is very much a health club with a spa element as an add-on. More specifically, the add-on consists of seven treatment rooms and a manicure-pedicure room with space for two.
The Peak Health Club is split over two hotel floors: the ninth and the second. This slight disjointedness is somewhat ameliorated by the fact that the floors are connected by the spa's dedicated "panoramic lift". This small lift is transparent on one side, offering stunning views over Cadogan Gardens as you glide between the spa floors.
Spa reception is where you check in for any spa days and treatments that you have booked. Staff will take you through to the changing room and give you a towel, robe and slippers, as well as a card key for your locker. The changing room has a lovely hot steam room to relax muscles and open pores ahead of any treatments.
The main feature on the ninth floor is the Club Lounge. This long room has floor-to-ceiling windows that curve overhead, in effect making it a giant conservatory. We visited on a very overcast March day yet it still felt lovely and bright in the Lounge. On sunny days, it can become very hot, but electronic shades cover the windows as necessary. The Lounge is full of pale mauve and pink velvet-upholstered chairs and sofas. A large TV screen shows news, should you be interested.
Up a set of spiral stairs from spa reception is a well-equipped gym. You get the same stunning views over west London from the running machines as you do from the Lounge: a great incentive to exercise! A couple of people were doing some very intense-looking one-on-one personal training when we visited. Off the gym is a Pilates studio with an impressive range of equipment.
At each end of the gym are two and three rather small treatment rooms respectively. This rather strange configuration apparently derives from the fact that the gym space was once a restaurant.
The second floor is all about the pool; it has its own reception for guests and members using this part of the club. The floor has its own changing rooms which are split-level and cleverly fitted into each end of the space. A dinky saunaand steam room with two showers are on the lower level; lockers and changing space up a few steps in the "dry" area.
The pool is ozone-treated and has a metal frame. Striking mesh art images of naked men adorn the walls. The adjoining Jacuzzi, separated by an array of pot plants, has fairly weak bubbles but another lovely view of the sky through an impressive glass ceiling. At each end of the pool are a couple of loungers, and wicker chairs are dotted around, too: a tempting place to lie down after a treatment or relax and chat with a friend.
Child-friendly pool sessions for health-club members run between 9-11am and 3-6pm daily so you may want to avoid the pool at those times if you are spa-ing.
Two further treatment rooms are on this floor, although best avoided during busy pool times as they are not well sound-proofed.
Before you get too excited about the idea of using all The Peak's facilities, be aware that booking only a treatment does not entitled you to use them. You need to upgrade to a day package or even an overnight for The Peak to be your oyster.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Ytsara Kamatan-Relaxing massage (90 minutes, £155).
My therapist, Lex, collected me from spa reception and took me upstairs through the gym to one of the treatment rooms. The first impression was the smell of sweet basil from compresses being heated in the steamer.
Lex explained that this Thai inspired treatment would begin with a foot cleanse. In Thailand, people believe human energy derives from the feet, so Thai treatments begin here. I sat on the edge of the bed and placed my feet in the bowl of warm water and indigo, lemongrass, and kaffir lime.
Lex asked me to take off my robe and lie face down on the bed. She covered me with a towel.
Lex began the treatment by pressing quite strongly into the pressure points on my feet, which felt wonderful. She then uncovered my legs and used the hot compresses to press into the muscles. She used lemongrass and sweet orange oil to massage deeply. Lex stretched my quadriceps muscles by bending my foot towards my bottom; then, because I needed a deeper stretch, lifted my knee to intensify the stretch. Lex repeated this process on both legs before starting work on my back. At each stage, she used the compress, then the oil massage, then a series of stretches to lengthen the warmed and worked-on muscles. Very effective and very deeply relaxing.
Lex asked me to turn over and offered me an eye pillow before working on my arms and the fronts of my thighs. Finally, she asked me to sit up and placed a very hot flannel on my neck, finishing with a chopping massage movement up and down my spine.
Lex gave me the compress to take home. She suggested using it in the bath, cutting it open to use as potpourri, or putting it on a radiator to release the smell.
The treatment menu at The Peak offers a range of massages, scrubs, and body wraps. Choose from Body Detoxifying -- with mineral-rich marine algae; Firming and Toning -- with green coffee extract; and Hydrating -- with tropical papaya and pineapple.
The main skincare brands at The Peak Health Club are Murad and Pevonia. Murad offer a range of results-driven facials including ones that address "too much time in the sun" and use a wrinkle-reducing peel. You can also try treatments specifically for men, as well as beauty finishing touches such as waxing.
If you are visiting The Peak for a spa day, you will eat lunch in the Club Lounge between noon and 3pm. When we visited, there was a huge array of colourful , healthy, and delicious salads, including tuna Nicoise, and free-range chicken Caesar and Caprese salad with tomato, avocado and mozzarella.
The two hot options include a soup -- pumpkin, when we visited -- and a pasta dish. Choose from a selection of fruit to follow (the little glazed fruit tartlets are scrumptious).
The buffet lunch is also available to health-club members and non-guests for £28 per head.
We loved / we didn't love
We loved swimming lengths in the ozone pool with a view of the sky: what a luxury in central London.
We loved the panoramic lift: a little extra moment of excitement in our spa day.
We didn't love not having a relaxation room. After a treatment that good, we really wanted to lie in a darkened room and drift away.
Who do you think would like it?
Anyone who loves to shop and spa. The Peak Health Club is situated in a prime retail location.
Anyone for whom good food is essential to the spa experience. The lunch is superb. Because it's a buffet, you are not restricted to bento box-style portions.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We gave this spa a Good Spa Guide bubble rating of 4 Bubbles for its lovely swimming pool and delicious food. The Peak Health Club is primarily a health club; the perfect option if you want to get sleek and healthy, but not quite so much if you’re after a quiet, relaxed spa day.