We indulge in a signature Moroccan Hammam at The Spa – Dophin Square…
And breathe…. that moment when you walk into a spa and you know you can forget deadlines, responsibilities, and unfinished chores that are niggling away in the back of your mind. Nothing beats it.
It’s good for the soul, and after a week of wedding planning, deadlines, pitching and general life juggling, a visit to the Dolphin Square Spa in Pimlico was very much in need.
This Moroccan style spa is known for one particular things – their Hammam treatment. And while they offer a variety of body treatments for him and her, it was recommended to me that I tried this signature ritual as a start to my experience.
After entering the spa which is discreetly tucked away in the Dolphin Square Leisure Centure, it’s bye bye hectic London and hello serene Morocco retreat.
Low latticed lighting, terracotta walls, elaborate wooden doors and a rich red carpet create an enticing welcome. And after being handed a key, you are invited to stow your belongings away in the changing room and put on your swimwear, slippers and robe.
You then wait in the lovely courtyard and relaxation area that’s filled with beautiful Moroccan style furnishings, where the hand-washing ritual is performed.
A spa therapist simply lifts the golden jug and wash basin and pours scented water over your hands. You can then enter the spa and flip flop in and out of the steam and relaxation rooms as you like.
After a ten minute chill out in the steam room, my therapist Grace, took me into the Hammam chamber – a steamy space where you lie across the tiled bench with a towel to cushion your head.
The Hammam here uses ‘Savon Noir’ – a black soap made from crushed olives, olive oil and eucalyptus. And after dousing me with water several times, Grace massaged the rich ‘Savon Noir’ across my whole body. She then left me for ten minutes or so while it seeped into my skin. I closed my eyes with nothing but the echoey sound of the dripping tap to calm my mind.
Next, Grace doused me in more warm water and then exfoliated my whole body with a kessa glove.
I won’t lie, this is not a gentle rub, it’s quite vigorous, so prepare for it to scratch a bit! But as Grace explained, it removes all the dead skin and we all know exfoliation is good for the circulation, brightening the skin, and even helping beat the dimples and ripples (!) so I persevered and my skin felt incredibly smooth afterwards.
After the hammam, I popped back into the salt-infused steam room which I believe it good for flushing out toxins and inducing relaxation. I then lay on one of the delightfully warm stone beds in the trepidarium.
Next, I was booked in for a 25-minute Shea Butter Massage.
Once lying comfortably in one of the treatment rooms, Grace allowed me to choose one of three scented oils – one which was ginger and lemongrass based, one that was infused with jasmine and another that was lovely and citrusy. I opted for the ginger oil in the hope it would energise and uplift, and Grace focused on the areas on my shoulders and neck where I had a lot of built up tension.
For me, it’s the little things that count when you have a massage – does the therapist talk you through the treatment? Do you feel like you’re in a luxurious setting? Is the bed cosy? And are they in touch with your specific ailments or areas of concern?
All of these criteria were ticked here. I particularly like it when a hot cloth is used to cleanse your feet before the massage which they do here at The Spa – Dolphin Square. I know, it’s such as small detail but it instantly relaxes you. Allowing you to inhale the oil and pushing down firmly on certain points over your back, arms and legs with the towel still covering you, also helps you relax into the treatment. The little things do count!
The key treatment is of course as equally important and while this was quite a painful massage, I needed it to be firm (I requested it that way) to ensure I had maximum benefit from 25 minutes.
Grace picked out some very tight areas in my neck and head and after the treatment, she provided a ‘prescription’ of one of their eucalyptus muscle rubs which they sell here.
I ended my visit relaxing in a cooler relaxation room, where I was served a herbal tea, nuts and dates. What a blissful way to end the afternoon. The only downside I think about The Spa – Dolphin Square is they don’t have a pool within the spa itself (there’s an ordinary swimming pool within the leisure centre) and the 25 minute massage just wasn’t quite enough for my stubborn knots! However, for an authentic and quality experience, it’s high on my best London spas list. I would highly recommend those of you who want baby soft skin and an end to those stubborn knots, to pay this lovely place a visit.
Until next time x
Oh So London was a guest of The Spa – Dolphin Square. The Hammam Ritual costs £42 and the Shea Butter Massage is £47. Both treatments last 25 minutes.
The Spa, Dolphin Square, Chichester Street, London SW1V 3LX