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The Spa in Dolphin Square
Pimlico, London, SW1V 3LX
Has thermal facilities
6 treatment rooms
The Spa in Dolphin Square is a small but perfectly formed day spa with a Moroccan theme in both décor and treatments. The spa takes the unusual approach of not allowing free access to the heat facilities; instead, the steam room, hammam and rhassoul are prescribed and paid for as part of your treatment programme. The Spa in Dolphin Square is competitively priced for central London and offers some imaginative overnight packages, with accommodation in one of the Dolphin House apartments. Perfect for time out to recharge and refresh, alone or with a friend.
The Spa at Dolphin Square is a five-minute walk from Pimlico tube station and 15 minutes' from Victoria and Vauxhall. It's set in a quiet, residential area next to a fitness centre.
The spa is Moroccan-themed; as soon as you walk through the heavy wooden doors, you leave London behind you. Flickering lights and candles provide just enough light as a spa mentor greets you at reception. The reception area is painted in deep purples and pinks with gold, silver and bronze lamps and accessories. One of the first things you notice is the amazing scents that fill the spa.
You are invited to wash your hands from a large silver teapot filled with water and rose oil -- a Moroccan tradition. Before going through to the changing facilities, you can also browse a selection of the products on offer. The La Sultane de Saba range was created by a Moroccan family and uses traditional herbs and spices. You can pick up items such as the popular Black Soap which is pure crushed Moroccan olives with eucalyptus oil.
In the changing room, your spa mentor gives you your locker key. Your locker contains a towel, robe, flip-flops and a complimentary bar of soap. There are various size lockers so you can hang your clothing if you wish. There are two showers with [comfort zone] shampoo and conditioner, and two toilets. There are no individual changing cubicles although the toilets are large enough to get changed in should you wish. Two benches in the changing rooms provide seating and extra towels are aplenty. There are mirrors, hairdryers, copper wash basins and bags for your wet swimwear. Although the changing facilities are small, they didn't feel overcrowded when we visited and were spotlessly clean. Our robe was really soft and smelled like it had been just been laundered.
Through some double doors is the tepidarium, with six mosaic-tiled beds all heated to different temperatures, so you can find the one that suits you. Help yourself to magazines and water from a sideboard. The wet area also has a salt steam room, an ice-bucket shower, as well as the traditional hammam and rasul which are large and contemporary in design. The steam room, hammam and rasul are all paid-for experiences.
The quiet relaxation area has blankets, cushions and large day beds, ideal to relax in after a treatment or to grab a snack if you're feeling hungry. You can order tea and coffee from 3.50pm.
The Spa in Dolphin Square has five treatment rooms in total as well as two studio rooms if you're after quick(er) salon-style treatments such as eyebrow waxing or lash extensions.
We tried the Journey of the Spices (145 minutes, £199). My therapist, Grace, met me from the steam room. The treatment room was large, decorated in chocolate and terracotta tones, and softly lit with golden drapes on the wall. Large chocolate coloured towels and blankets lay on the treatment bed. Arabian music played in the background and the room was a comfortable temperature.
The treatment started with a gentle foot exfoliation using black soap. I let my feet soak in warm rose water while Grace ran through the products she was going to use. The scent of vanilla, patchouli and amber were strong, and Grace invited me to smell each one as she explained the benefits of the products. She also asked if I had any problem areas, how I liked my massage, and checked the music and warmth of the room were to my satisfaction.
Grace started the massage checking the pressure was to my liking. She quickly identified some knots and tension in my back and spent some time on them. The massage was a perfect pressure and already I could feel myself breathing more slowly and deeply. Grace then exfoliated my body with a salt scrub, starting with my back and legs then onto arms and stomach. The exfoliation was quick and not too abrasive.
After showering in the in-room shower, I hopped back on the bed. Grace explained that the hot poultices are a mixture of spices wrapped in muslin, heated, and placed on pressure points on the body. The poultices felt amazing. Grace applied them with warm body oil and shea butter: I felt drenched in moisture.
Grace wrapped me in towels and made an assessment of my skin for the seven spices facial. She started with a light exfoliation, then face and scalp massage using carrot oil, argan oil and shea butter.
I was initially concerned at the length of the treatment but Grace offered plenty of water and comfort breaks throughout. As the treatment is broken up into feet, body and face, the time went very quickly. At the start of the treatment Grace said I would leave "glowing" which I've heard before and dismissed as "spa speak". However, my skin had a beautiful sheen after the treatment.
Grace showed me to the tepidarium and served some hummus, crudités, baklava and dates with a Moroccan tea especially blended for the spa.
Other treatments at the Spa at Dolphin Square include Moroccan cleansing rituals such as the hammam and rhassoul, facials, manicures, pedicures, waxing, tanning and tinting. They offer treatment packages for bridal parties and mums-to-be. You can also exclusively book the spa for up to 14 people. Most of the treatments are for men or women although there are no facilities for dual treatments.
There's no café or restaurant at the spa. They can serve snacks such as hummus and flatbreads, olives, nuts, cake, coffee and tea.
If you want something more filling, you can go to the restaurant in the fitness centre. The restaurant is open 12:30pm - 5pm and lunch is not normally included in spa packages. You can opt for something healthy such as salad or wraps, or more substantial dishes such as steak, burgers, and roast chicken as well as fish and pasta. There are also some very tempting desserts. We had a grilled chicken and avocado wrap with sweet potato fries and a refreshing berry-blast smoothie: all well-presented, all tasted really good. The staff were friendly and, although the restaurant was quite busy, service was fast.
You'll need to eat before or after your treatment as you cannot go to the restaurant in your robe.
We loved our treatment, the décor and scent of the spa. Combined with the peace and tranquillity, this is a luxuriantly sensuous experience.
We also loved the added extra touches, such as taking the poultices away with you so enjoy the spicy scents at home for a little longer.
We didn't love
There are no hooks near the wet facilities to hang your robe.
Friends or single spa-goers: You can relax at The Spa at Dolphin Square with a friend or enjoy some solitude without feeling uncomfortable; it's a great place for some "me time".
Treatment lovers: The menu offers some lovely long treatments for you to relax and enjoy.
Hen parties: If you are looking for something exclusive, The Spa at Dolphin Square would be a great place to relax before heading out.
The Spa at Dolphin Square has retained its Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. The spa delivers unique and sublime treatments, with knowledgeable therapists and friendly, helpful staff. The Moroccan theme has been executed with style and taste, with lovely touches that make your experience special.
Supreme Spy visited in August 2016 and awarded it 5 Bubbles
This spa has not had any public reviews yet. Why don't you become the first?
Chichester Street, Pimlico, London, SW1V 3LX
Tea menu and nibbles served in the relaxation lounge.
Dolphin Square’s serviced apartments are available for overnight stays.
Monday to Sunday: 10am - 8pm