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 London St James hotel, what SoSPA lacks in thermal facilities, it makes up for in classic Parisian style.
What's on offer?
Arriving at the hotel's stately marble reception hall, a receptionist 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. Make sure you look up and admire the beautiful ceiling, too.
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 90 minutes 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.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed a So Magnifique for One Facial (60 minutes; £120).
My therapist, Kristina, fetched me from the Jacuzzi and led me to a small, stylish treatment room. Sshe invited me to sit on a chair so that she could ask about my concerns (fine lines around my eyes, deeper lines on forehead). Kristina suggested using Carita products, which are anti-ageing, then left the room so that I could make myself comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face up.
The treatment began with a citrusy oil which Kristina used to massage the back of my neck, running it through to the ends of my hair, tugging slightly as she did: a delightful feeling. She began the facial with a double cleanse followed by a refreshing toner. The scrub that followed smelled a bit like soy sauce but, when wiped off, left my skin squeaky clean.
Kristina used a light cream to massage my face, using a pinching motion on my cheeks and along my jaw-line, and long strokes on my forehead and around my eye sockets. The hot mitts she used to remove the cream felt very comforting.
Next up: a creamy mask; as this worked away, Kristina massaged my neck and shoulders.
An eye cream, face cream, room spritz and the chime of a bell marked the end of this extremely personalised facial. Kristina slowly raised the bed; I raised one hand to my cheek; as I suspected, it felt as soft as a baby's bum.
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.
We tucked into the luxurious afternoon tea which was impeccably presented by spa manager Katie. A pot of English breakfast tea accompanied finger sandwiches and three different scones, inventively served with lemon curd as well as the more traditional jam and cream. Our favourite was the fresh raspberry macaroon which was decorated with a single red rose petal.
For something more filling, dress and head to The Balcon restaurant in the hotel, where a menu of British classics with a French touch is served.
We loved / we didn't love
The private steam and Jacuzzi session: We felt very special bubbling away in our own Jacuzzi.
Our treatment: Kristina delivered real results.
The afternoon tea was as pretty as it was tasty.
We didn't love
The changing rooms are a little snug.
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.
City slickers: Work in London? Enjoy a slice of French-inspired spa heaven during your lunch break.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
Monday to Saturday: 9am - 8pm; Sunday: 10am - 8pm