Most couples will probably agree that wedding planning is many things – exciting; fun; time-consuming and also somewhat stressful too. There’s so much to think about that by the time the big day draws near you may well feel like you need the honeymoon before the actual wedding; and that’s where the pre-wedding spa day comes in.
Whether you’ve dropped some hints to your bridesmaids about a spa day as part of your hen do, or just need a pre-wedding pamper, our round-up below of the best spas in London and the best spa hotels UK-wide is sure to come in handy. And, fair warning, if you didn’t have a spa day in mind, reading this is more than likely to change your mind (sorry, not sorry).
Naturally, the best spas in London (and outside London, for that matter) don’t come cheap, but if the run-up to one of the most important days of your life isn’t reason enough to treat yourself, we don’t know what is. Most of the spas listed below offer half- or full-day packages including things like spa access, a short treatment and glass of bubbly or a themed afternoon tea, while others are more treatment-focused, so whatever kind of experience you’re looking for, one of our picks is sure to suit nicely.
If you’re really looking to blow the budget, perhaps with your betrothed before you say ‘I do’ or with your bridesmaids for a night of well-earned indulgence, why not stay overnight? Almost all of our picks below boast incredible accommodation as well as luxurious spa facilities, so you could spend the day relaxing in the pool or on a massage table before slipping between soft sheets upstairs – the ultimate bliss.
Top tip: many of the spas below offer cheaper rates for off-peak visits, so if you’re willing to go during the week rather than on a weekend, you could save some money, which you can then put towards a longer treatment or bottle of expensive Champagne.
The best spas in London
Unsurprisingly, London boasts a glut of five-star spas for premium pampering. We’ve listed our favourites to help you make an informed choice about which to check out.
agua Spa at Sea Containers London
What: With a commanding position on the South Bank, Mondrian London has made waves in several departments since opening, particularly with its glamorous bathhouse and spa. Head below deck for a luxurious treatment, such as a massage or facial, or if you’re flashing a little flesh on the big day, book yourself in for a herbal hammam (£135 for 60 minutes). The treatment will leave your skin smooth enough to see you through to the honeymoon.
Where: 20 Upper Ground, South Bank
Price: Treatments from £45
Book Sea Containers London
ESPA Life at Corinthia London
What: The Corinthia’s ESPA Life sanctuary is one of London’s biggest spas, with 17 treatment rooms, an amphitheatre sauna with 360° views and private sleep pods to curl up in post-treatment. If you’re looking to destress after all that wedmin, try the Bamboo Ritual (£295). The two-hour treatment includes a body scrub, warm bamboo massage and scalp massage that promises to banish aching muscles and revitalise your mind and body.
Where: Whitehall Place, Westminster
Price: Full day spa pass £150
Book Corinthia London
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London
What: Set over two floors, the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge is an oasis of calm that’s sure to put you back in the wedding zone. Get your complexion camera-ready with the Aromatherapy Associates Hydrosol facial (£195 for 90 minutes), an experience tailored to your skin needs. Infused with hand-blended pure essential oils and powerful plumping actives, it delivers an intense hydration boost, resulting in firmer, smoother and more radiant skin.
Where: 66 Knightsbridge
Price: Treatments from £120
Book Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Spa at Four Seasons London
What: With a menu of signature rituals designed to rejuvenate, this rooftop spa is a welcome respite for wedding-worn brides or grooms. It’s famed for its Four Hands at Four Seasons massage (£290 for 75 minutes) where two therapists work simultaneously to ease tired muscles. For the ultimate in R&R, relax and unwind in the exclusive Sky Suite (£150 for 60 minutes) prior to your treatment.
Where: Hamilton Place, Park Lane
Price: Treatments from £145
Book Four Seasons Hotel London
Chuan Body + Soul at The Langham, London
What: Tucked below the bustle of Regent Street, Chuan Spa makes a great haven if you need some calm after a big bridal shop. Relax in the chandelier-lit pool and blow off steam in the Himalayan rock salt sauna before indulging in a signature treatment. If you need to catch up on some sleep, try the Tranquil Deep Sleep Ritual (£195 for 12 minutes, off-peak), which starts with an aroma breathing ritual, continues with a warm lavender candle massage and ends with a soothing Organic Aromatherapy Facial by Kerstin Florian.
Where: Portland Place, Westminster
Price: Treatments from £90
Book The Langham London
Thai Square Spa
What: Designed to be a haven of tranquillity, Thai Square Spa brings the Far East to London with its rich décor and nurturing environs. First-class facilities include a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, ice fountain and salt room, while treatments are inspired by ancient Thai rituals that invigorate the mind while relaxing the body. Special bride-to-be spa packages are available too, and promise to beautify you to your bridal best.
Where: 25 Northumberland Avenue, Covent Garden
Price: Bridal spa packages from £185
Book Thai Square Spa
The Bvlgari Spa
What: Popular with celebrities, the spa at The Bvlgari London is one of the largest and most luxurious in the capital. Set over two floors, this urban oasis of tranquillity boasts a swimming pool lined with shimmering green and gold mosaic, a vitality pool covered in gold leaf tiles and 11 private treatment rooms. There’s also the private Onyx Spa Suite for couples interested in the ultimate pampering experience. For brides looking to smooth out the orange peel before the big day, the Cryo Energy Cellulite treatment (£200 for 60 minutes) promises to work wonders.
Where: 171 Knightsbridge
Price: Treatments from £160
Book Bvlgari Hotel London
The best spas outside London
If you’re the kind of person who needs fresh air and countryside surrounds to feel properly relaxed, you ought to check out these top spas dotted around the country.
Barnsley House Spa, Gloucestershire
What: Time seems to stand still at this serene Cotswold spa set within the grounds of the beautiful Barnsley House hotel. Surrounded by nature, it’s a true haven for anyone in need of a little R&R thanks to its outdoor hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room and bliss-inducing treatments. The half-day spa package offers particularly good value for small groups, such as hen parties, as it includes use of the facilities, a 55-minute treatment and a two-course lunch in the charming Potager Restaurant.
Where: Barnsley, Cirencester
Price: Spa packages from £135
Book Barnsley House
The Langley Spa, Buckinghamshire
What: Whether you choose to cleanse in the hammam, heal in the amethyst crystal steam room or unwind in the stunning infinity edge swimming pool, you can be sure of a blissful experience at this spa hotel located just outside of London. For hen party spa days, The Langley Spa offers spa day experiences which include a welcome drink, full use of the facilities and a two-course lunch (treatments are priced separately).
Where: Uxbridge Road, Iver
Price: Spa day experiences from £175
Book The Langley
Grayshott Health Spa, Surrey
What: Given that Grayshott is a spa hotel, as opposed to a hotel with a spa, you can be sure the staff know everything there is to know about creating an environment to boost health and wellbeing. The team at Grayshott includes fitness experts, physiotherapists, holistic practitioners and nutritionists to ensure guests leave feeling rested and rejuvenated, whether you drop by for an afternoon or stay for the weekend. Facilities include steam and sauna rooms, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, daily classes and walks and a raft of restorative treatments. Just a short distance from London, Grayshott Healthy Spa is ideal for hen parties and pre-wedding escapes with your betrothed.
Where: Headley Road, Hindhead
Price: Day retreats from £100
Book Grayshott Health Spa
Lucknam Park Hotel, Wiltshire
What: For a true escape from guest lists, bridal gown fittings and wedding website updates, check into this stunning country house hotel set within 500 acres of unspoilt Wiltshire parkland. Then tone things down another notch by taking yourself off to the luxurious and rejuvenating spa. Choose from a selection of spa escapes, spa days and treatments such as the ESPA Muscle and Mind Ritual (£157 for 90 minutes), which includes a massage with salt stones and warm oil followed by a scalp massage – the ultimate switch-off treatment for busy minds.
Where: Colerne, Chippenham
Price: Half-day spa packages from £140
Book Lucknam Park
Three Graces Spa at Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire
What: You’d need several days to plumb the depths of Grantley Hall’s considerable facilities, which include three restaurants, several bars, a state-of-the-art gym and gorgeous grounds, but if you just have one, we recommend spending it in its magnificent spa. Forget your wedding planning cares as you relax next to the pool, take a dip in the indoor-to-outdoor hydrotherapy pool, unwind in the hot tub or enjoy the thermal experiences including the sauna, steam room and snow room. The full day spa package, while pricey (from £225 per person), includes use of the facilities, a 90- or 150-minute treatment, refreshments and a two-course lunch, making it perfect for Yorkshire brides looking for a slice of calm before the big day.
Where: Grantley Hall, Ripon
Price: Spa days from £225
Book Grantley Hall
Rena Spa at The Midland, Manchester
What: Wedding to-do lists and packed schedules have no place in this beautiful, award-winning spa located within Manchester’s Midland Hotel. Instead, your head will be filled with calm as you move from the Caribbean Storm and Arctic Rain shower experiences to the steam room and on to one of the hanging pod cocoons to await a luxurious treatment. Couples looking to banish the tension from months of wedmin should try the Ultimate Face and Body signature treatment (£140 for 100 minutes off-peak), which involves head-to-toe body brushing and exfoliation followed by a Divine Body Massage; facial cleanse, exfoliation and massage; and Cranial Scalp Massage.
Where: 16 Peter Street, Manchester
Price: Spa packages from £79
Book The Midland
Aveda Spa at Lakeside Hotel & Spa, Cumbria
What: Surrounded by the sublime views of Lake Windermere, the Aveda Spa at Lakeside Hotel and Spa is the perfect haven for stressed-out brides to recharge. Its group packages also make it ideal for hen parties since they can be tailor-made to include whatever you like. Why not start out sipping Champagne by the pool as you gaze out over the lake before hitting the steam room, sauna and jacuzzi? Then there’s the option for an Aveda treatment or two before tucking into a gourmet lunch or afternoon tea. And if you’re travelling far to get there, we recommend cosying up in one of the hotel’s interconnecting rooms for a sleepover with the prospect of a hearty breakfast to wake up to.
Where: Newby Bridge, Lake Windermere
Price: Spa days from £109
Book Lakeside Hotel and Spa
Looking for more hen party ideas? Check out our guide to the best karaoke bars in London.