An Underground Oasis in Busy London

Vivienne Tang

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Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre

The Akasha spa is an urban oasis in the heart of London, situated right underneath busy Regent Street

On a frosty day in Central London, the morning after a fresh snowfall, I entered the warming embrace of the Akasha spa, nestled peacefully under the bustling traffic of London’s Regent Street. The Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre can only be described as an urban spa oasis, embracing you from the city’s noisy streets into a tranquil sanctuary perfectly balanced in light, space, air and scent.

Akasha is a Sanskrit word, signifying the union of the four elements, fire, earth, water and air. It is these elements that have guided the build of one of London’s most impressive and fully equipped wellness retreats.

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Hotel Cafe Royal

A feat of architectural brilliance and the labour of five years of renovations, the Akasha spa opened its doors as part of the newly refurbished Hotel Cafe Royal in December 2012. An impressively vast space boasting a deeply high ceiling, creating the feeling of open space, the spa houses an 18-metre heated swimming pool, which takes center stage in the vast Akasha Spa, nestled deeply underneath Regent Street. From certain corners of the pool, you can hear the rumble of the nearby London Underground. Furthermore, the spa boast a 300-square-metre fully equipped gym, a hammam, a Vichy shower room, a Jacuzzi, as well as a private waste pool and six private treatment rooms. A carefully crafted spa menu is also available all day to adjoin the four central philosophies of Akasha wellness; fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and nourishing spa treatments. With a private lift, allowing guests the privacy of arriving directly into the spa, dressing gown ready, every aspect of your wellness journey has been thought through.

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Hotel Cafe Royal

Upon arrival in the dimly lit spa reception, I was swiftly escorted to my treatment room, where I was to receive the Aromatherapy Associates signature Rose facial. Beginning with a consultation into my daily skin routine, irritations and allergies, my therapist made a thorough assessment of my skin, followed by a bespoke three-staged treatment. This comprised of gentle exfoliation, a dry mask focused on my T-zone and a deep hydration and facial massage.

Complete with fully heated bed and the soothing sounds of gentle chimes, my thoughts quickly forgot about the snowy pavements outside and drifted into an enriching embrace, gently pampered for the next 60 minutes.

Upon completion of my treatment, I was gratefully explained the sequence of treatments I had received as well as my therapist’s take on how well the products worked and how my skin responded. I was presented with a card that detailed the products used on my skin as well as a suggested routine to follow for future months.

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Hotel Cafe Royal

The Hotel Café Royal caters to both oasis hunters and city explorers alike, nestled slap bang in the heart of London’s West End and within a minute’s walk from some of London’s most well-known theaters and night life.

Balancing contemporary elegance among period features dating as far back as 1860, the Hotel nods to Café Royal’s century-long history as one of London’s chicest hangouts for artists and poets. Hotel Café Royal is part of The Set Hotels, a small collection of hotel properties which includes the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam, and the Lutetia in Paris. 

Hotel Café Royal stands out distinctively from the more classically ‘English’ hotels in the neighborhood, having undergone a four-year long refurbishment to convert the once night club into a luxury hotel with all modern essentials and fully equipped Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre. Hotel Café Royal boasts 160 spacious guest rooms, including 49 suites, designed to give the impression of a city apartment.

Designed to take each guest on a culinary journey of travel and exhilaration ‘Laurent at Café Royal’ offers a menu centered around the parilla grill, a traditional iron grill barbecue, and a wide choice of innovative sushi. For those looking for something lighter, look no further than the carefully curated spa menu available directly at the Akasha Spa. Offering an English Afternoon Tea with a twist, the recently opened ‘Cakes and Bubbles’ is a new concept by world-famous chef Albert Adrià.

The perfect location for a city break where activity and total relaxation are both equally on the cards.

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