K Spa at the K West Hotel, Richmond Way, London W14 0AX
I was pleased to see my Muscle Ease Elixir treatment was in the room pictured above. It states the following in the brochure – it takes elements from a traditional Royal Thai Massage and our Signature Massage to manipulate the limbs and back and to alleviate stiffness. While comfortably lying in our Sun Meadow suite, a therapist will stretch your limbs and your back. The ritual ends with an acupressure scalp massage to release tension hidden in the cranial area. A must-have treatment! My therapist instructed me to lay face down and there was a long silk scarf strategically placed to lay my boobs in. Ladies, make sure you do this, you’ll see why in a short while…
She explained the treatment involves a lot of stretching and my help would be required with some of this. As she started work on my feet I realised how long it’s been since I last had a foot massage and how underrated they can be. It was lovely and I was slightly disappointed when she moved onto my legs. Now I’m a tough cookie when it comes to ‘hard’ massages! I’ve have had hundreds of different types, due to my chronic neck and head pain caused by EDS syndrome but I did actually gasp as she went to work on my legs. I knew I could say if the pressure was too much or too little but I wanted to get the most out of it and not be a wimp.
There was a lot of activity on the leg area and then moving onto the best bit, my back and neck. Seeing as this is the part of my body I am used to being worked on the pressure was fine. Now this is where the silk scarf comes in, she fastened it into a knot behind my back and asked me to flip over. All seemed well, but then some of the stretches involved quite a lot of movement and being sat upright the scarf slipped down and I was left half-naked. I doubt this would be a problem, if unlike me, you have a bit more up top.
I was relieved to lay back down again and the therapist swiftly covered me up. I was nearing the end of the treatment and looking forward to the scalp massage, but it didn’t happen. I started doubting myself, perhaps I read it wrong? I didn’t, she just didn’t do it – shame!
This treatment is not for the faint hearted, it reminded me of a combination of shiatsu and physio. She knelt on my back and twisted me into all kinds of positions. I certainly felt well stretched afterwards and the normal post-massage fuzziness.
After I was left to drink a glass of water, usual practice, and then led into the Relax room where you go after your treatment. I loved this room also, little cubicles with curved beds, voile curtains for privacy and a little water feature making a relaxing trickling sound. There were two other considerate women in there talking very quietly as I lay across from them chilling out. There are magazines to read and unfortunately for me, apples to eat. The women both ended up crunching an apple each with is enough to drive me mad at the best of times, let alone in a very quiet and peaceful room.
I left and went to visit investigate the wet spa. Again, you need your key card to get in here and the door to the ladies changing room to which you have to go through wasn’t working, eventually someone inside came to my aid.
The wet spa was very modern. A lot of chrome, dark wood, white walls and vivid mosaic tiles. Most spas, in our experience, fall into one of two categories. Modern – like one of our favourites, Lifehouse country spa resort. Or dark and calming, with a traditional oriental vibe – like K West and the amazing Molton Brown spas.
The wet spa was smaller than I expected but lovely never the less. At one end was the hydrotherapy pool, then a couple of saunas, a steam room, chill out pod things and also the snow room. Will get to that part shortly. I chilled out in a (slightly damp) pod and gazed at the twinkly star-like lights on the ceiling.
There were several Scandinavian men using the spa and amusingly, whipping each other with towels in the sauna. Some kind of cultural thing? Who knows. Ade soon arrived and we headed into the hydro pool followed by a short burst in the sauna (about all I can handle) and then the snow paradise room – created to boost circulation. Ade was hilarious, although he’ll kill me for saying that. He stupidly walked in without his slippers on, the floor and walls are all covered in snow. He totally freaked out and ran out saying it was too cold. I persuaded him to give it another go this time wearing slippers, he was a bit happier about this but still wasn’t keen. He said he ‘felt trapped in an icy cave, like Luke Skywalker at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back‘. You’re only meant to spend three minutes in there, which I did, after the mugginess of the wet spa it was a welcome relief to be cold.
I wanted to show Ade the Relax room, thought he’d appreciate that after his snow freak out. My key card wouldn’t let me in, not knowing if this was another fault I kept trying and then a member of staff let us in, despite it being meant for post treatment only, everyone had gone so it was fine.
We showered and changed ready for dinner, I was ravenous and couldn’t get ready quick enough. Unfortunately there was no shower gel to be found in the showers so I had to sneak out and use the dispenser by the sinks instead. Sometimes it’s the small things that count.
K West Hotel
London W14 0AX
Open Mon-Thu 6:30pm-10pm; Fri 6:30pm-9pm;
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8008 6600
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8008 6650