It would seem I’m fast becoming a spa addict. I simply can’t help myself; I just love being pampered. And pampering is the name of the game at the ultra-sophisticated Amida Spa in Chelsea’s Harbour Club. All this heat in London is great for weekends, but it seems to make the working week all the more stressful, and the lack of sleep brought on by our currently sauna-like flat has only been adding to my stress levels. So yesterday, my partner and I took a much needed day off work for a relaxing bit of ‘we-time’, and headed to Chelsea to check out this fab South London spa.
The Amida spa is in the centre of the Harbour Club, two floors down from ground level, and feels really isolated from the busy city upstairs. Inside, we were met with glossy, fresh décor – all white tiles and glass – and friendly staff who all seemed to just exude calm. After a quick change into our swimwear, the receptionist showed us to the stunning wet spa area where we started off with a short swim in the skinny, 25m lap pool. There were very few other clients using the spa, so the dimly lit pool room was incredibly quiet and chilled out – I was feeling more relaxed already.
After a twenty minute swim in gorgeously cool water, which really helped wash away the heat of humid London, we were ready to start relaxing. Tension seemed to melt away from my body almost instantly, as we stepped into the bath-like warm water of the hydrotherapy pool. This was a big, square jacuzzi cut off from the rest of the pool area by a high stone wall, in which multiple jets created bubbles from all angles. In the corner, a spray canon launched a heavy shower of warm water which thundered down onto my back as I stood under it and soothed my aching shoulders. I’m pretty sure that Sam, my partner, would have been content to sit in the bubbling water for the rest if the day. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t have minded either!
As well as the pools, there are tons of great facilities at Amida’s wet spa area which are great for soothing the senses. Chief among them are the heated ‘relax beds’, plastic beds curved into an ‘N’ shape to cup your weary body in the perfect position, whilst the heated bottom of the bed warms your calves and unwinds tension. After a short snooze on the beds, we tried out the salt room. Sitting in the darkness surrounded by a mist of salty, eucalyptus-scented steam lit by tiny green lights dotted across the ceiling like stars, I felt my breathing clear straight away. My hayfever-clogged sinuses cleared and unwound, while the salt and the 45 degree heat was probably pretty good for my skin, too.
Equally hot – almost a little too hot – was the 50 degree sauna, smelling sweet and woody and clearing my pores of all the London pollution they’ve been absorbing recently. A bowl of chipped ice kept by the poolside – and topped up regularly through a chute – provided the perfect relief for my baking skin after the hot treatments. But the best was probably the aroma room, which was not too hot at all; just dark, lit by warming red lights, and smelling gorgeously sweet and strongly of eucalyptus. It was so relaxing in there that I could have drifted off.
But no trip to the spa is complete without a massage, so eventually I had to tear myself away from the fantastic wet spa facilities and head to the treatment room for a 55 minute Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Massage. Amida describe this as a hero treatment, and it’s not hard to see why; a mixture of incredible techniques from Swedish massage to lymphatic drainage relieve tension, stimulate the nervous system, and improve circulation, leaving you feeling stress-free and revitalised. When I arrived at the spa, I was asked to fill out a consultation card with a few tick boxes to select my major problems (disturbed sleep, stress, muscle aches and pains, etc) – and the masseuse, Bethany, used these to identify the best oils and techniques to use. She’d narrowed the selection down to three oils, and asked me to smell them all without telling what they were or what they did. This meant that she could go by my instincts, picking the oil my body reacted best to, and also that I wouldn’t be left smelling of something I didn’t like for the rest of the day. No one who knows me will be surprised I picked the sweetest smelling option; a lovely rose scented oil designed to lift the mood and provide a bit of a pick-me-up.
Bethany started with my back – and concentrated most on my shoulders which, as usual, were feeling extra stiff and tense – before moving on to my legs, especially my tired calves, and then rolling me over to take care of my arms and shoulders. I felt a little bit vindicated when she told me that she’d noticed a number of knots in my upper back: proof that I’m not complaining about nothing! The massage was fantastic, and I left the treatment room feeling as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders; my whole body felt refreshed and relaxed. Bethany was really friendly and helpful, and was a great masseuse, and the whole experience was just fantastic. The classy spa was super stylish and really relaxing, and I’m still feeling fabulous this morning.
If you’re looking to really treat yourself this summer, this swanky South London spa is a fab option.
Amida Spa, Chelsea ~ 020 7371 7744 ~ Amida Spa, Harbour Club, Watermeadow Lane, London, SW6 2RR
Book now at lastminute.com