Spa Verta is a stylish spa set within the super-chic Crowne Plaza Hotel in Battersea, just across the river from Chelsea Harbour. Changing rooms are roomy and spotless with ESPA products to try. Facilities include a sauna, steam room with twinkly ceiling lights and sanarium, as well as a large hydrotherapy pool to bubble away any post-work tension. The relaxation room is as sumptuous as the hotel and you can enjoy a gastro-pub style lunch overlooking the Thames and hotel heliport.
- Four treatment rooms, including one double treatment room
- 10m hydrotherapy pool
- Experience showers
- Lava Shells
Our Spa Spy review
Spa Verta is a stylish, small spa in the basement of the modern Crowne Plaza Hotel in London's sprawling Battersea, across the river from Chelsea Harbour. With no tube or railway station nearby, you might be wise to pre-order a taxi from Victoria or Clapham Junction stations to ensure you don't get lost (which we did).
What's on offer?
The reception is compact but welcoming with a corner sofa, shelves of ESPA products and a member of staff beaming from behind a small desk. Immediately forgiving our tardiness, she showed us quickly around, handed us a brown waffle robe and white slippers, and left us to enjoy our day.
Over 20 light wood, half-height, keypad-operated lockers containing hangers make up the small changing room; this has a slatted central bench and vanity bar with two hairdryers but no amenities for post-spa preening.
To the right are two spacious cubicles with hot, powerful showers, each attractively designed with mosaic tile walls and containing ESPA shampoo, conditioner and body wash. There's one loo and a swimsuit dryer (which was broken on our visit). Grab a fluffy towel and a cup of iced lemon or cucumber water on the way out.
A waft of warm air greeted us as we entered the wet facilities, making us head straight for the attractive 10-metre raised hydro-pool. This has a gold mosaic-tiled wall, two round bubbling chairs, and two ultra-powerful swan-neck fountains. At the top end is a row of sunken metal bars; sit down and let the jets work away at your thighs.
A sauna, sanarium and experience showers (with "tropical" and "cool" settings) are positioned in a square in front of the pool, with two arched, tiled loungers in the middle. We had the entire space to ourselves and happily floated from room to room, frequently heading to the pool to take cooling dips.
The steam room wasn't particularly, er, steamy but was plenty hot enough, as was the sauna and the sanarium. Each of the facilities is a good size, comfortably accommodating six to eight people.
There's one relaxation area which is beautifully decorated. However, as it has no door, you can hear foot traffic outside. I loved the marble wall with matching shelves supporting lit candles. The four comfortable recliners have head rests containing pockets for your valuables.
Fancy listening to some music? Use the electronic device on the round table next to you and select tracks/adjust the volume; a natty idea. Help yourself to magazines, a wide choice of Tea Pigs bags (there are white teapots underneath), iced water, shiny green apples and Kilner jars filled with nuts, dried banana pieces and raisins.
Spa Verta also has a small gym.
Tell us about the treatments
We enjoyed an ESPA Aromatherapy massage (50 minutes, £80).
My therapist, Federica, collected me from the relaxation area and led me to a larger-than-average treatment room with a shower and a cupboard to store your valuables. The room was smartly decked out in creams and chocolate browns, with light wood flooring.
Federica invited me to sit on a chair and asked me what I would like to achieve from the massage (to feel less stressed). She dabbed two different EPSA oils on the backs of my hands to see which scent I was more drawn to. I opted for the second (called Restorative). Federica left the room so that I could get comfortable on the bed.
Not being a fan of deep tissue work, I often find massages a bit "meh", but Federica's expert touch convinced me to think differently. Working out knots with ease (and with zero wincing), she had me on the brink of sleep, the warming scent of the oil filling the air.
I often find ESPA's oils too tangy and revitalising for relaxation, but Restorative -- with its blend of sweet orange, lavender and rose geranium ingredients -- was perfectly grounding and calming. I left feeling super relaxed and calm. Long journey? What long journey?
You will need to get dressed to take lunch in the Pad Restaurant which is on the mezzanine level of the hotel, and named because it's in view of the helipad. If it's a sunny day, opt for a seat on the terrace and take in views of the River Thames.
The menu is more indulgent than healthy -- think pate, burgers and chocolate fondant -- with four choices for each course, including one vegetarian dish.
My oriental crab cakes with sweet chilli aioli were light and delicious, while my moules frites with white wine, garlic and thyme shallots, and skin-on fries was perfectly-cooked and hearty. Order wine at extra cost.
The restaurant can also cater for free-from guests if you let them know in advance.
We loved / we didn't love
The treatment: Our massage was expertly delivered by an effective therapist.
The views: It's rare to be able to sit right by the Thames in London, let alone watch helicopters take off.
We didn't love
The location: Spa Verta is tricky to find; do some research before leaving the house.
Little niggles: A few things were broken on our visit, and the changing rooms could do with a few more amenities.
Who do you think would like it?
City slickers: Anybody staying at the hotel as part of a tourist visit will enjoy spending time in the spa.
Peace and quiet hunters: Unusually for a hotel-based spa, Verta Spa doesn’t allow children into the spa -- not even to use the pool; some R&R is almost a guarantee.
Monday to Sunday: 8.30am - 8.30pm