to be pampered
Within a 500m radius of ESPA Life at The Corinthia, London are a number of very important buildings where very important matters take place. The Houses of Parliament. 10 Downing Street. New Scotland Yard. The National Gallery at Trafalgar Square. ODEON Leicester Square where global films premiere. These are all highly important and command global headlines. Yet in the blissful cocoon of ESPA Life, none of that matters. All that matters is just one more lap in the heated swimming pool.
Occupying four floors of the lavish hotel – two above ground and two below – ESPA Life at Corinthia is one of the wellness brand’s two next generation spa facilities that combine an integrated, holistic approach with a luxury experience. Here, you start at the top. From the reception, with its light, warm atmosphere of champagne and sunrise hues, the facility descends into the women’s level – still bright – then the men’s level – darker and more masculine – and finally the thermal floor with its dramatic blacks and glimmers of warm fires and cool blue lights.
The thermal floor is the absolute highlight here. It is entirely possible to lose several hours of your life here. The heated pool with its Tron-like lighting rippling off the water beckons. For a greater rush, the vitality pool gushes with the motion of air- and water-massage jets, while an ice fountain is available for an invigorating wake-up shock after a round at the amphitheatre sauna or steam room. Even just resting is a treat; the loungers are heated. Time loses potency here. It is all too easy to lose track of it, whether in a pool or one of the ‘sleep pods’ on the changing levels – semi-private areas decked with cushions and blankets that are perfect for naps.
Do wake up for your spa treatment, though. Of which there many. From the Age Rebel Face Treatment for men to the Dosha Specific aromatherapy ritual, the range of treatments is wide and covers all possible desires, whether it be de-stressing, detoxing or boosting vitality. Specific spa packages also combine treatments with a stay at the hotel. Like the Residential Mindful Sleep package, where a perfect night’s sleep is preceded by an entire day at ESPA Life with treatments designed to promote rest, and dinner/breakfast from the Sleep Menu co-created by neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart.
Just an hour at the thermal floor here can feel like it shaves years off. There are also other ways to while away the time at ESPA Life at Corinthia. Work up a sweat at the massive state-of-the-art gym, then retire to the Spa Lounge for breakfast, lunch or tea with a menu that focuses on health. For beauty, there is a glamorous nail studio and an outpost of Daniel Galvin hair salon to look the best for a ritzy night out. Exiting is like rebirth – moving from cavernous depths into the airy light four floor above, an illuminated metaphor of rejuvenation. Outside, the evening air may be bracing, but a seed has been planted. That once experienced, the question is not if, but when you’ll return to ESPA Life at Corinthia.