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Award-winning new “So SPA” at Sofitel St James.

by Rajul on November 18, 2009

The plush and luxuriant design of the brand-new SoSPA at Sofitel St James gives you a foretaste of the delights within

The plush and luxuriant design of the reception area at the brand-new Sofitel St James "SoSPA" gives you a foretaste of the delights within

We recently covered the exquisite hotel “product” – namely the beautiful public areas and rooms – at London’s top 10 rated Sofitel St James.  It’s also noted for its “Frenchness” and excellent TripAdvisor guest reviews.

In this article, I turn my attention to the hotel’s recently-opened spa which I visited a few weeks ago and which somewhat took my breath away.

It seems like I’m not alone.  The Sofitel St James “So SPA” has just won the coveted award for “Most Excellent Spa in the UK & Ireland” at the Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence in Europe for 2010.

Not being a spa person, I approached it with a sceptical eye.  But as soon as I walked through a discreet doorway I knew I was in for a visual treat.

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The fact that "SoSPA" is set on several levels reinforces the feeling that you're in a "pleasure palace"

The fact that "SoSPA" is on several levels reinforces the feeling that you're in a true "pleasure palace"

The spa is built as an extension of the hotel.  It is constructed like a maze on three levels using wooden frames in a striking contemporary design.

It extends over 263 square meters and tastefully retains many of the building’s original features (it used to be a bank).  I particularly like the chill-out area as you enter, which has a Tea Bar and plenty of natural light.

There are various treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy pool, an Arabic bath and an intriguingly-named “deep relaxation area”.

The relaxation room at SoSPA, Sofitel St James

The relaxation room at SoSPA, Sofitel St James

Other treatment areas include “rain sky” showers, an infinity bath with chromatherapy and a central heated marble treatment bed.

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Not surprisingly, the Sofitel St James provides a “spa butler” to guide you through the tempting array of options.  Staff will tailor every element of your experience including your preferred music, temperature and fragrance.

The menu of treatments is creatively extensive, including various massages, manicures, pedicures, Ayurvedic healing, youthfulness treatments, jet lag packs, baths and more.  They have also been given uplifting names like the “So Rejuvenating” facial and the “So Exhilarating” massage – a nice touch.

Men might appreciate some quality time in the SoSPA Hammam

Stressed-out men might appreciate some quality time in the SoSPA Hammam

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Men are not an afterthought like in some other spas.  I like the idea of the pre-breakfast special which starts with a stint at the equally-swanky “SoFit” gym to work up an appetite.  This is followed by time in the hammam, while your shirt is pressed and your shoes polished for the busy day ahead.

The delightful spa certainly gives the Sofitel St James an extra little draw.

While cocooned in this sanctuary, it’s hard to believe you’re only 5 minutes from the great cinemas and nightlife of Leicester Square and Piccadilly.

London Hotels Insight will shortly conduct a comparative review of several of London’s best hotel spas.  We’ll also be test-driving the Sofitel ‘s fitness facilities, so health and wellbeing addicts should definitely watch this space!

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Photo credits: Sofitel St James.

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