My daughter and I visited just before Christmas and had to queue for an hour to get into the spa. As we waited, we got more and more anxious that it would be so busy once we got inside that there would be no prospect of the relaxing time we had hoped for.
The mixed sex changing rooms were pretty chaotic and again didn’t instil any confidence in us. But changed and wrapped in our complimentary bath robes, we left the crowded cubicle area and started to explore.
The main experiences included within your 2 or 3 hour spa package, can be found over 3 floors of the building. There are very clinical stairways to navigate, but there are lifts if you can’t manage them. You’d have had to wait a while though as one was out of action on the day we visited.
We climbed and climbed and eventually reached the rooftop swimming area. Open to the sky and at 5pm on a December evening, the sight of the beautifully lit pool was so welcome. With the cold air hitting the water, an atmospheric steam rose off the surface and the faces of the visitors already floating around looked Instagram attractive. The light made everyone look their best and the water look so inviting. Although there were quite a few people in there, it didn’t feel too crowded.
We really enjoyed the temperature of the pool and the stresses of the street-queuing experience began to ebb away.
The other floors contained an indoor pool, with a gentle circulation of water which meant you could float on your back, or on the included supports, and let the flow take you with it as you shut your eyes. That room was perhaps too well lit. In contrast with the nighttime swim on the roof, it felt more like a municipal pool. But at least without any screaming kids and the water was lovely. Getting out to move between floors meant you got quite cold and the robes got increasingly wet so began to lose their ability to protect or comfort you. But I’m not sure how that could be improved upon without adding further to their already massive laundry bill.
My favourite experience was on another floor again. A series of rooms with varying levels of temperature and humidity. One with a trough of ice to rub into your skin. Others were steam rooms and a sauna. A ‘space’ themed room where you could lie on stone benches and watch a mindful abstract film. Showers of cold or warm waters, with aromatic fragrances and rainforest music also pumped in to add to the sensory detox.
For a city spa, I felt the entire session was definitely worthwhile and I would recommend to anyone who is fairly able bodied. The hard stairs and poor vision in some areas like the outdoor pool at night and the steam rooms might be difficult for some people to navigate. There are optional extra treatments and a dining room as well if you are interested.
We were de-stressed enough by the time we returned to the changing rooms to not let them undo our experience too badly. But the nature of those more communal areas did let the overall experience down. The numbers of people in each part of the spa never felt too many, which was great. But it’s a shame that sheer weight of traffic through the changing areas meant I can only give an overall rating of 4 stars.