Not a lot of people know this, but – let us share with you our little secret – Mr & Mrs Smith have been hard at work on a brand new, ultra-slick series of London hotel videos that will give you a Smith-style tour around some of the capital’s best luxury boutique hotels. You’ll have to wait a few more weeks to catch your first glimpse of these one-minute wonders, but in the meantime, we’ll bring you news on location from the footage-filming frontline, where (as you’d expect at London’s finest hotels) it’s all long lunches, spa pampering and champagne blood, sweat and a lotta luvvie tears, obv.
Baglioni London – where the spa was recently taken over and refurbished by those brilliant beauty-enhancers from SPC at Stoke Park – was an obvious contender for a place among our premiere clutch of films (along with properties including the historic Gore, bucolic Bingham and iconic Blakes boutique hotel – more of those in Smith Travel Blog posts to come…). As well as footage of its rooms and suites overlooking Kensington Gardens, burnished-gold cocktail bar and decadent Brunello restaurant, we shot a behind-the-scenes interview with chef Andrea Vercelli. And since we were giving the whole hotel this under-the-microscope treatment, we thought it only right and proper that we should test out the new SPC spa. Just for you. Selfless, I know.
SO TELL US ABOUT THE SPA, THEN
Spa-savvy weekenders will recognise the mighty SPC moniker from its origins at the classic country-manor hotel Stoke Park in Berkshire (or Buckinghamshire, depending on which side of the border your particular mapping gizmo puts you), where the spa has a longstanding reputation for excellence – SPC is deservingly name-dropped by beauty editors and industry insiders alike. Using ingredients from the kitchen and country gardens at Stoke Park (including rose oil), SPC has developed a natural skincare range that is the signature star in its tried-and-trusted spa treatments.
The products are now used at the Baglioni’s own SPC spa, which gets to play glamorous city day spa to its Stoke sibling’s grand country retreat. The menu of holistic therapies provides a carefully curated range of techniques and methods from cleansing and exfoliation to lymphatic drainage and deep-tissue massage, to detox, recharge, relax or rejuvenate – perfect for all-day pampering sessions (so I gathered from the clutch of super-groomed and glowing ladies-who-lounge leaving the spa reception as I checked in).
AND WHAT WAS YOUR TREATMENT LIKE?
After a quick change into a snuggly bathrobe (resisting the urge to linger in the dressing area’s hi-fangled aromatherapy steam room), therapist Asha ushers me into one of the four new treatment rooms for my indulgent SPC Collagen Age-Defying Facial. I’m thinking, with a name like that, it’s promising a lot that most facials I’ve had haven’t lived up to. Asha briefly quizzes me on my skin type and preferences before attempting the impossible: rejuvenating the care-worn features of a busy working mother.
Incredibly – thanks to a combination of Asha’s in-depth expertise and intuitive touch, SPC’s highly effective products and an invigorating facial-tissue massage – I emerge looking positively radiant. The spa manager is even called in to witness the miraculous uplift of brows, brightening of eyes and rosying of cheeks (I note it surpasses even the results of a memorable facial at the excellent One&Only Givenchy spa last year).
PRODUCT YOU CAN’T GO HOME WITHOUT?
Frankly, it’s a tussle between the Plant Collagen Night Cream, the Vitamin E Line Serum and the Kiwi Complexion Scrub… but opt for the Kiwi Complexion Scrub – it’s remarkably useful and multitasking. Made with kiwi seeds, walnut, pineapple enzymes and the powerful antioxidant pomegranate, it not only smells delicious but has just the right active ingredients to gently exfoliate without any dryness: use it as a simple daily in-shower facial scrub, or, when you’ve more time, it can be used as a weekly cleansing mask. A must-buy for globetrotting Mrs Smiths who need hardworking products that really work (and don’t take up too much space in that vintage Louis Vuitton luggage…)
To book treatments, ring the SPC spa at Baglioni London (020 7368 5923); to buy products, visit the SPC online shop. For more information, or to book a spa weekend at Stoke Park or the Baglioni, visit Mr & Mrs Smith.