I’ve already mentioned the outstanding hotel decor and facilities at the Sofitel St James – consistently in the top 10 London hotels on TripAdvisor (currently number 5 out of 1076) – as well as its swanky So SPA facilities.
I recently had an opportunity to test its stunning new So FIT gym and intriguing hi-tech Sha Chair (which apparently cures jet-lag!).
I started with a workout using the latest Technogym fitness equipment. It looks minimalist but is highly functional when you’ve figured out how everything works! I was soon pounding the metal ferociously.
I was particularly taken by the variety of exercises possible on some machines. And the fact you could simply mimic directions from a video.
It was all very hi-tech and I felt suitably invigorated within minutes. After an energising Jacuzzi-style steam shower, I felt ready for the Sha Chair.
I was aiming to cure a slight hangover from my London Eye night flight and champagne experience (and its aftermath in a wine bar!) from the previous night, so it wasn’t quite jetlag but close enough.
The contraption is kept within its own enclosed room in the gym and you feel a bit like you’re entering the teleport room on Star Trek.
Once you are comfy on the ergonomic lounger – which rocks gently as it holds you – you do indeed feel as if transported to another world.
The gentle background music certainly lulls you into a relaxed state. I’ve not yet been abducted by aliens but I imagine it would feel a bit like this!
You then get the feeling you are marooned somewhere quiet on a sort of cosmic swing. It felt like being on a beach hammock in a gentle breeze. It was a pleasantly relaxing experience and my 20 minutes just flew by.
The Sofitel website describes the Sha Chair as “a unique multi sensory experience where specially-composed sound structures and vibrations are perceived in an holistic sphere to activate and unite the senses”.
I’d describe it more succinctly as a “relaxation lounger” with some interesting extra bells and whistles.
In summary then, the gym facilities are another point in the hotel’s favour, apart from its outstanding location. For further information about this Parisian gem in London, do browse some guest reviews of Sofitel St James.
Photo credits: Sofitel St James.
I paid for the Sha Chair Treatment (£25 for 20 minutes) myself.