Sofitel So SPA is a stylish hotel located in St James’ Park, London. Set over three floors, the So Spa is a little haven of French pampering set in the former banking hall of Cox’s and King’s. Décor is French chic – think sumptuous deep pinks and purples, silk drapes, candles, velvet upholstery and dark wood. Treatments are by Carita and Cinq Mondes, while facilities include a private hammam, Jacuzzi, hydropool and chromotherapy bath. Stay for the delectable patisserie during afternoon tea.
- Double treatment room with Kohler chromotherapy bath
- Double treatment room with hydrotherapy pool
- Manicure and pedicure area
- Relaxation room
- Tea bar
- Cinq Mondes
Our Spa Spy review
After winding through the hectic heart of London, stepping into SoSPA feels like entering a stylish haven of tranquillity, far from the madding crowds. Located a stone's throw from Trafalgar Square in the Sofitel St James hotel, what SoSPA lacks in size, it makes up for in classic Parisian style.
Rich cream marble and dark wood create an harmonious effect throughout the three floors of this bijou spa. The changing rooms, steam room and Jacuzzi are on the lower floor, while five treatment rooms and a relaxation room sit on an elegant mezzanine above the ground-floor reception.
What's on offer?
Arriving at the hotel's stately marble reception hall, a porter immediately greeted us and escorted us to SoSPA, where the busy hotel quickly gives way to a calm inner sanctum.
In the spa's own reception, cream and dark wood tones are offset by inviting jewel-coloured soft furnishings. There is more than a touch of art deco in the finer details.
The receptionist greeted us with a warm "bonjour" and invited us to sit down for a refreshing cup of honey and hibiscus tea accompanied by a chocolate-dipped apricot.
Spotless communal changing rooms have lockers equipped with plush robes, slippers, towels and plenty of hanging space. Large showers feature impressive rain heads, while the horizontal water jets are an experience in themselves.
L'Occitane shampoo, conditioner and hand wash is freely available, as are deep piles of freshly laundered towels. You can make use of a generously stocked vanity desk with hairdryers, straighteners, deodorant, and all the products you'll need to face the capital again.
Unsurprisingly given its size and central London location, SoSPA doesn't feature a pool. If you are having a treatment lasting an hour or more, you have free use of a hot steam room, a hammam and Jacuzzi, which is a great choice for couples.
We loved the curved, mosaic-tiled hammam, which is wonderfully grotto-like but can accommodate a handful of guests. Cool down in the room's spacious shower afterwards.
A small but perfectly formed relaxation room sits on the mezzanine next to the treatment rooms. Comfortable loungers each have personal headphones with a choice of music to relax to. You can rehydrate with infused waters and a range of teas while leafing through piles of glossy magazines.
SO Spa also offers a well-equipped manicure and pedicure station.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed a Botanical Full Body Massage (60 minutes; £100).
After fetching me from the steam room, my therapist, Agata, led me to a spacious treatment room with soft lighting and a warm and relaxing feel. Each room is personalised to the guest's individual specifications, from the room temperature, music and lighting, to the height and temperature of the bed and the room's scent.
I chose the Brasil fragrance containing notes of fresh coconut and lime, which my therapist Agata used to perfume the room before beginning the treatment.
Agata then helped me choose a massage oil which contained rose and rosemary to aid relaxation. After a liberal application on my back, Agata used firm, sweeping strokes to get the blood flowing, switching to deeper kneading on pressure points. She paid particular attention to my shoulders and neck, as I had asked.
The highlight of the treatment was Agata's skilled, deep massage of my feet, hands and, in particular, my head; this resulted in a pleasant feeling of weightlessness.
I left the treatment room feeling distinctly lighter with more of a spring in my step: perfect for an afternoon of London sightseeing.
SoSPA use their own blend of essential Vitamin E-based massage oils designed for relaxation or muscle invigoration, while -- in line with the Parisian feel of SoSPA -- treatments feature prestigious French brands such as Cinq Mondes and Carita.
A comprehensive treatment menu at SoSPA includes massages, facials, scrubs, wraps and the hammam, as well as finishing treatments such as manicures and pedicures. Dedicated treatments for men include the wonderfully named Pint and Pedicure where male guests can sip a pint of British bitter while enjoying a 30-minute pedicure.
You can have breakfasts, sandwich lunches and afternoon tea at a large communal table in the Tea Bar on the ground floor.
Still wearing our robes, we enjoyed the luxurious afternoon tea which was impeccably presented by spa manager Marina. Finger sandwiches accompanied a range of pastries and three different scones, inventively served with lemon curd as well as the more traditional jam and cream.
For something more filling, dress and head to the grand Balcon restaurant in the hotel, where a menu of British classics includes burgers, steaks, and fish and chips.
We loved / we didn't love
The warm, friendly service was second to none.
The intimate atmosphere: Small can indeed be beautiful.
The afternoon tea was one of the best we've ever tasted.
We didn't love
The snugness of the changing rooms: This could potentially be an issue during busier times.
Who do you think would like it?
With packages designed for both sexes, SoSPA is great for couples wanting to make the most of a city break in the capital. Mothers and daughters looking for quality time together will love this chic French spa.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
Monday to Saturday: 9am - 9pm; Sunday: 10am - 8pm