Pampering at Thai Square Spa – Northumberland Avenue:
Who doesn’t enjoy a few hours in a spa? When I moved here and gave up my gym membership, although I didn’t miss the exercise room at all, I found myself yearning for a session in the sauna or steam room.
What luxury then to be booked in for a traditional Thai facial and given the chance to spend an hour or so in the main spa area. At 10 am on a cold winter’s morning, there was no-one else there so I could indulge in a deeply relaxing session in a jacuzzi that was nearly big enough to swim in. The compact changing room was empty when I went to undress, put on a swimming costume and the complimentary robe and slippers provided by Thai Square Spa. I was tempted to head straight for the jacuzzi…
First, in the interests of research, I spent some time in the Himalayan salt house. The floor is piled with salt, the walls encrusted with salt, there are piles of magazines and deck chairs to relax on. The room is kept at a constant temperature and humidity. There are said to be many health benefits – it’s particularly good if, like me, you suffer from asthma and breathing difficulties.
Then, I went on to the sauna and steam room. I really do like the relaxing, tingly feeling of spending half an hour or so working up a good sweat by just sitting there!
Finally, I indulged myself in the jacuzzi.
By now I felt squeaky clean and totally at ease. I suspect the effect was not down to any one of the treatments but rather to the combination – and to the fact that the spa was still blissfully quiet.
Once I’d dried off, I chilled out in the relaxation zone and waited for my therapist
The facial itself lasted for an hour. Utter bliss, it’s the kind of treatment that relies on the skill of the therapist – with plenty of light facial and shoulder massage as well as a cleansing and toning routine and a light face mask. I’ve never had a ‘traditional Thai facial’ before, nor have I visited Thailand so I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the offering from Thai Square Spa. What I can confirm though is that the treatment was gentle and refreshing – the sort of facial that leaves you feeling that you could put on some make-up and go straight out to dinner without any ‘red faced’ effect. Though that’s not recommended because ideally you leave all the oils to be absorbed by your skin for at least a couple of hours.
Thai Square Spa have their own range of Thai products made from a unique combination of Thai herbs. Everything was light and beautifully scented. I began to regret choosing the Facial over the Thai massage, especially when I learnt from my therapist that you can request different levels of intensity for the massage. There is a full range of options, including a ritual massage with three stages, each with a choice of massage oil.
After the massage, I enjoyed a cup of traditional tea, changed back into my day clothes and walked out of this little bit of Thailand into the real world.
I’ve been tempted enough to go back and look at the pricing. As a dedicated spa, Thai Square feels considerably more luxurious than the majority of hotel facilities. Considering the location, in central London, just a few minutes from Trafalgar Square, it’s spacious and the place is very well laid out. But the pricing is competitive – facials are around £80 for an hour, massages a little less. And there are packages available, with special options for couples too.
25 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AP