An affordable day spa in Kensington Leisure Centre, Spa Experience by Better Wimbledon aims to be inclusive and friendly, with a funky Zen design. The thermal facilities include an aroma steam room, sauna, ice fountain, a hydrotherapy pool and monsoon shower. After, relax on day beds in the relaxation area with complimentary infused water and fresh fruit. There’s an impressive range of treatments on offer from Sultane de Saba, Elemis, Murad, Essie and Fake Bake.
- Aroma steam room
- Ice fountain
- Hydrotherapy pool
- Monsoon shower
- Relaxation Lounge
Our Spa Spy review
Spa Experience Kensington offers affordable treatments in a contemporary setting within the New Kensington Leisure Centre, a short walk from Latimer Road station in west London. The large, modern façade is characterised by full-length frosted windows, while the entrance to the Leisure Centre has a great sense of space with high ceilings and minimalist, neutral tones. The spa is on a mezzanine floor above the main entrance; you can reach it via spiral stairs or the lift.
What's on offer?
On the mezzanine, you step out into a wide, open space with pure white walls and grey laminate wood flooring. To your right lies the large spa reception counter. Friendly staff will check you in and hand you a fabric bag containing a sunny yellow robe and towel, and branded spa flip-flops. It's tidy and minimalist, with the corner given over to Essie polishes and jugs of citrus-infused water. There are plenty of armchairs strewn with colourful cushions, where you can perch to fill out the consultation form ahead of your treatment.
The changing rooms are very functional and "leisure centre" in appearance. What they may lack in frills, they make up for in space and cleanliness. Beside the entrance is a full-length vanity shelf with mirrors and hairdryers; the bathrooms are tucked away around the corner. Use a new £1 coin to operate the green lockers. There are private changing cubicles, and behind the wall, shower cubicles containing soap dispensers.
The thermal suite is decorated in minimalist grey and neutral hues, brightened up with some potted plants. We began our spa journey in the steam room, which was exactly how we like it (super hot and steamy) with discreet white seating and colour-changing lights. A cavernous Swedish sauna has three tiers, and again was very well heated. Cool off under the monsoon shower with its "tropical rain","Caribbean storm" and "cold mist" settings, or grab a handful of crushed ice from the adjacent ice fountain.
Finish up by bubbling away in the circular Jacuzzi, which is set in the corner with steps leading up. Stay hydrated with a choice of watermelon and lime- or lemon and cucumber-infused water.
We settled down on muted beige loungers with chocolate-coloured cushions in the relaxation room, where LED candles give an ambient glow and gentle piano music emanates from hidden speakers. Help yourself to magazines and herbal tea, or order a fresh fruit smoothie from reception.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried the La Sultane De Saba Ayurvedic Shirodhara (90 minutes, £89) followed by an Elemis Superfood Pro Radiance facial (50 minutes, £70).
My therapist, Liliana, greeted me in the spa's reception and led me to one of the spa's four treatment rooms with soaring ceilings and full-length cream drapes shielding floor-to-ceiling windows.
Following a detailed run through of my areas of concern, Liliana settled me onto the heated massage bed under a swathe of caramel-coloured towels and began the La Sultane De Saba Ayurvedic Shirodhara. Inspired by ancient Indian philosophy, this treatment is designed to rebalance body and mind.
Liliana gently trickled a combination of rose water and warm oil over precise energy points across my body to encourage relaxation and clear my chakras of negativity. She followed this with a full massage of my upper and lower back, shoulders and legs using a hydrating shea butter.
Halfway through, Liliana roused me from my semi-conscious state to repeat the process on my arms, feet and stomach. Next, she used two spice-filled poultices to continue the massage, releasing sublime scents of patchouli, amber and sweet vanilla. This proved a truly relaxing, harmonious treatment that banished the dry, tight feeling in my skin.
The Elemis Superfood Pro Radiance facial uses superfood ingredients and creams rich in minerals such as magnesium, zinc, vitamins A and E, and potassium; it aims to remedy tired, stressed and ageing skin. Despite this treatment's results-driven approach, it was a gentle and relaxing experience thanks to Liliana's excellent facial massage.
The treatment ended with a deluge of the Elemis Superfood Facial oil, which smelled a little like a health food shop (thanks to the concentrated broccoli, flaxseed and radish ingredients) but nonetheless felt supremely nourishing. The dark circles under my eyes had vanished, and I left with soft, luminous skin.
Spa Experience Kensington offers dedicated treatments for men and mums-to-be as well as facials, scrubs, hot stone massages and treatments for couples. Quick pick-me-ups and finishing touches include waxes, Essie and CND mani-pedis, fake tans and lash and brow tints.
Spa Experience Kensington does not have a dining area and spa days do not include food. There is, however, a café on the ground floor. The spa does serve a choice of three delicious fruit smoothies priced at £2.50 each; we tried the tasty green option with avocado and kiwi while lounging in the relaxation room.
We loved / we didn't love
The super fluffy towels and long robes that kept us extra cosy throughout our stay.
The confident, attentive care we received during our treatment was admirable; Spa Experience Kensington might be an affordable spa, but they don't skimp on quality therapists!
We didn't love
The relaxation room could do with some discreet reading lights, as this is where you're most likely to settle down with a magazine.
The wrist-strap locker bands get very hot while you're in the sauna or steam room; it's best to stash them in your robe pocket.
Who do you think would like it?
City-slickers: The central location of Spa Experience Kensington makes it easy for office workers to enjoy a treatment during their lunch break or after work.
Value-for-money spa goers: Despite this being a London-based spa, treatments won't break the bank.
During our spa day we also saw couples, pairs of friends and solo spa goers, too.