R&R: The best massages in London

Zoe Gunn

24 May 2022

Relax, unwind and let these stellar treatments melt your troubles away

24 May 2022 | Zoe Gunn

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here’s nothing quite like a really good massage. One whole hour (or 90 minutes if you’re feeling flush) dedicated to nothing but easing your aches and pains and leaving you feeling your absolute best. But all massages are not created equal. Perhaps your gym-worn muscles are in need of something a little more intense. Or maybe it's a stressed mind that really needs the relief of an aromatherapy-based treatment.

Whatever R&R you’re in need of, London’s bevy of spas and beauty salons are ready and waiting to provide. From soothing treatments in serene subterranean spaces to post-workout wind downs, here are the best massages in London to book now.

Elemental Herbology at The Cadogan, Chelsea

British aromatherapy brand Elemental Herbology is the latest addition to the roster on offer at The Cadogan hotel’s spa suite – an elegant space available purely for exclusive use, ensuring you can relax in complete privacy. Grounded in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, each Elemental Herbology treatment is based on the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water), with oils and aromas chosen to compliment your personal characteristics and goals.

The signature Five Element Aroma Massage is available in 60- and 90-minute options and combines therapeutic use of essential oils with heated stones, steam towels and a combination of Eastern and Western massage techniques for top-to-toe rejuvenation. Pure bliss.

Massages from £125 for 60 minutes, elementalherbology.com

 
 

Chuan Spa at The Langham, Marylebone

Another of the capital’s finest spas guided by the principles of Chinese medicine, The Langham’s Chuan Spa is an oasis of calm on bustling Regent Street. Booking a treatment here will grant you full access to the spa facilities, including an indoor pool, wellness lounge and fitness studio, so we highly recommend making a day of it.

The full massage menu includes hot stone treatments, lymphatic drainage and classic Swedish massage but for the real Chuan experience opt for the Harmony massage. Designed to stimulate meridian harmony (the coming together of the body’s energetic highways), therapeutic acupressure is complemented by relaxing massage strokes to instill a deep sense of calm.

Massages from £155 for 60 minutes, langhamhotels.com

Linnaean, Nine Elms

This Instagram-perfect temple to wellness in buzzing Nine Elms is designed to meet all your pampering needs, with brunch and afternoon tea thrown in too. Start downstairs at the all-vegan restaurant or settle in for a trim or blow dry at the chic hair salon before heading upstairs for treatments including manicures, pedicures, facials and high-tech body procedures.

The ten-strong massage menu ranges from invigorating deep tissue and sports massages to acupuncture, osteopathy and pregnancy treatments. Our pick is the contouring massage, which utilises wood therapy – the vigorous application of wooden rollers, tools and suction cups – to break down fat and fibrous cellulite so it can be naturally eliminated. With added lymphatic drainage and detoxifying benefits, you’ll leave looking and feeling great.

Massages from £110 for 60 minutes, linnaean.com

 
 

Bamford Wellness Spa, Brompton Cross

A holistic haven of health and wellbeing (with some seriously good shopping on its doorstep), the Bamford Wellness Spa in South Kensington is a one-stop-shop for energising yoga and pilates classes, health workshops, top-notch skincare and a huge roster of facials and body treatments.

For the full works, it’s hard to beat the B Strong Ritual massage. This all-encompassing 90-minute treatment begins with a foot bath before combining shiatsu, cranial pressure points, kneading, wringing and deep friction to create a deep tissue massage guaranteed to reawaken tired muscles and smooth out knots.

Massages from £130 for 60 minutes, bamford.com

Wellbeing at Pan Pacific London, Liverpool Street

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The City of London’s newest luxury hotel is also home to one of its finest wellbeing suites. Occupying an entire floor of the Pan Pacific London hotel, it boasts an 18.5m infinity pool, state-of-the-art gym, sauna, steam rooms, mindfulness studio and relaxation lounge, alongside two gorgeous treatment rooms.

The treatment menu here is extensive, featuring everything from spa days designed to tackle jet lag and optimise sport performance to relaxing season rituals and oxygen facials. Tap into the Eastern heritage of the hotel with its Thai massage: a stress-relieving treatment that blends stretching and twisting of the body with firm pressure to soothe muscles while also alleviating back and joint pain and helping ease headaches.

Massages from £150 for 60 minutes, panpacific.com

 
 

Urban Retreat at the White House, Knightsbridge

There’s little in the way of beauty and grooming you can’t indulge in at Urban Retreat. Need a haircut? No problem. Fancy a new tattoo? It’s got you covered. Dipping a toe into the world of botox and fillers? You’re in safe hands.

Its range of body treatments is equally vast, with reflexology and osteopathy available alongside more classic massages. The MLD (manual lymphatic massage) applies negative pressure via cupping to eliminate toxins, reduce puffiness and improve circulation and muscle tone. We promise you’ll practically float out of the treatment room.

Massages from £120 for 60 minutes, urbanretreat.co.uk

KX Spa, Chelsea

Opened within the luxe KX gym in 2002 and staffed by some of the industry’s leading aesthetics doctors and practitioners, the KX Spa is the choice of many a celebrity and even a discerning royal or two. The approach here is 360, so you’ll find nutritionists, physiotherapists and fertility specialists, as well as more conventional spa offerings.

Alongside a line of classic sports, deep tissues and Swedish massages, as well as signature massages devised by each of its therapists, KX also offers Remodelage by Martine de Richeville. This unique massage treatment targets the metabolism and tackles cellulite, while also increasing stress resistance and tissue oxygenation. There’s nothing else out there quite like it.

Massages from £115 for 55 minutes, kxlife.co.uk

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