Last week I had the absolute pleasure of visiting a Spa Experience in Kensington to rest, relax, and recuperate. I’m going to be frank; I’ve never visited a spa before, but this has definitely set the bar for future experiences!
While I’m a relatively new Londoner, there are definite new stresses and strains that come with city living, and as I felt with my trip to Qi Wellness Centre, finding a bubble of tranquil peace in such a hectic place is often quite difficult. I’ve also found that even when I don’t think I’m stressed, my body retains knots and kinks that work themselves out on days like this.
Spa London’s Kensington branch is based in Kensington Leisure Centre, a short walk away from Latimer Road underground station. I arrived slightly after my booked time (which is bad of me, I know) but there was no fuss in changing my start time to slightly later on, including my treatment, which was really accommodating of the staff there.
On arrival, you’re asked to fill out a health form, and then take a cloth bag filled with your towelling robe, foam slippers, and a beach towel for use within the wet areas. I’ve got to say, while it didn’t cross my mind at the time, the place was sparkling clean, so it even felt okay to walk around without the slippers on.
Once you’re dressed in your swimsuit under your robe, you are given an armband with the entry code to the spa (as the changing rooms are shared between gym goers and the spa) and are left to then choose what course you want to take. Inside the main room, there are recliners for relaxing between rooms, along with a place to get ice water, ice chips, and a shower with different rain settings. In fact, you can see this all on Google Maps too.
The spa consists of three main parts – a sauna, a steam room, and a jacuzzi – which mean you can take the traditional route of heat and cool, or mix it up yourself. I went for the sauna first, and only lasted five minutes before I could feel myself struggling, but looking back on it, it takes a while to acclimatise your body to the different experiences there. The sauna is great for when you want to sweat in a dry heat, with crackling hot coals in the back and toasty wood to bring on a deep sweat. The benefit of this is increased blood circulation in the body, and of course a skin cleansing too.
After a 15 minute session in the jacuzzi, I discovered just how wonderful the steam room is. Out of everything, this was my favourite place to be, with 80-100% humidity meaning my skin ramped up the sweat and mixed with the hot eucalyptus air, almost like a heavenly jungle feel when you close your eyes! Even breathing in felt delicious, although with both heated rooms I’d recommend taking in a cool drink to keep yourself hydrated.