I’ve wanted to go to the K West Hotel ever since Jourdan Dunn declared it her favourite hotel hideout.
When I was invited down and googled its whereabouts- just across the road from Shepherds Bush station and Westfield– I wasn’t too sure that Jourdan Dunn and I had the same idea of what a relaxing retreat was. Determined to keep an open mind, as I walked down the underpass just off the always hectic A3, onto the leafy residential road that the K West presides over, I realised my preconceptions had been very wrong.
The cool exterior of icy glass juxtaposing the white brick town houses on this gem of a street, suddenly seemed like the ideal spot for frazzled West Londoners to run to, when Babington House was all booked up.
As I was off to Berlin that very evening, I was duly frazzled and running late. After enquiring with the courteous concierge, I jumped in the lift down to the spa.
As soon as I exited I was presented with a skincare lovers haven- the spa shop- with shelves bedecked in Aromatherapy Associates oils, diffusers and lotions. After checking in I waited in the lounge area, an airy room dressed with drapes and curvaceous lounge chairs.
Once I’d completed my health survey, I was given a quick tour of the ladies changing rooms: equipped with everything from GHDs to cotton buds, automatic lockers, fluffy white robes and K West flip flops in lieu of slippers; a very nice touch.
I wandered back to the lounge to wait for my candlelit massage, a treatment I was petrified of and so of course had opted for.
Once in the dark mahogany rich treatment room, I was given the option of 3 candles to choose from. Being the granny I am, I opted for lavender; as I naively waited anxiously for hot wax to be poured down my back. Thankfully the hot candle massage was nothing like I had imagined and as my beautician Chanelle pressed hot coals, protected by a fluffy K West towel into my back, I knew I was in for a treat.
The sensation of the warm oil, which Chanelle poured from the candle into her hands before massaging in, was instantly soothing.
Being the place that I tend to hold stress, my upper back was in real need of work. At this point I’d usually lay in wait of a little necessary pain as the deep knots were worked to the surface, but it was surprising how soft strokes could be equally effective.
It’s always tricky to write about a massage, to divulge an experience so indulgent, mind numbing and personal. It’s always a treat to have that hour in the day or month for you: whether drifting off, assessing your actions or simply indulging in the moment; and though their power is underrated, they don’t tend to differ drastically. What sets them apart though is the little touches. In the K West’s case this was was the light-handed kneading between my neck and shoulders that instantly relieved weeks of stress, a hand massage that didn’t feel awkward, finished with a nice cup of jasmine tea.
The relaxation room at the end was without doubt a highlight, which further demonstrated that the K West is first class.
The room dressed in swathes of white chiffon, and enveloped in darkness, -the only light provided by the tiny headlamps by each bed- equipped with headphones, lounge beds and fruit, was even more special in that I was guided in after my treatment to find it wholly unoccupied.
I was actually pretty gutted that I had a flight to catch, as I could have laid there for hours. Instead I rushed off into the changing rooms (after a good 40 minutes relaxing of course,) to be presented by more treats: 2 saunas, a steam room, a snow room, foot bath and hot tub.
The sauna and steam room area was very much like entering an LA clubhouse, with lounging booths to one side and the hot tub in the middle. To the back a foot bath in which you could add your own salts, adjacent to a snow room-which was absolutely freezing, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with, but a nice novelty nonetheless.
As I sat in the sauna planning my pool party, I caught sight of jugs of ice cold water with a choice between lemon and fresh mint that had been laid out for thirsty steam room dwellers like myself. As I said, it’s the little touches.