10 Awesome Spa Treatments That You CAN Afford

New Year, new you. We think that a spot of pampering is essential if you’re going to take 2013 head-on, but if your cash flow doesn’t quite stretch to Maldives spa resort-like proportions, we have 10 budget-friendly solutions. We’ve scoured the capital for the very best spa treatments — all less than £50. Impressive, huh? From an Art Deco spa retreat in West London to a historic Turkish banya in Bethnal Green, all are seriously luxe, but none will damage your wealth.
Meridian Massage
Need to free up that QI? Of course, you do. Located in the little oasis of calm that is Marylebone’s Chi-Yu spa, this treatment is based on traditional oriental techniques, which apparently get to work on the meridians (the body's energy pathways) and acupressure points. The result will get your Qi a-flowin’, thus making you feel that little bit more awesome.
£45, available at Chi Yu Wellness Centre, 36 George Street, W1U 7D; 0207 486 0304
Chuan Foot & Leg Massage
Given that it's located just a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, the Langham Hotel’s luxer-than-luxe spa is the perfect place if you need a break from pounding the floors of Topshop. Using traditional Chinese techniques, deep-acupressure massage focuses on the foot and leg, balancing the body’s energy and aiding relaxation — so that you’ll be back to peak shopping fitness in a jiffy.
£45, available at Chuan Spa at the Langham Hotel, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, W1B 1JA; 020 7973 7550
Hammam Rasul Experience
Whale music not your thang? The Sanctuary Spa majors on creating a fun, relaxed atmosphere that’s not too po-faced — something that can be a real turn-off in "serious" spas, especially if you don’t visit them that often. On the menu for January is the Hammam Rasul Experience. Described as “the ultimate luxurious detoxification experience,” you get a head-to-toe slathering of Morrocan clay mud before relaxing in steam infused with rose essential oil, and a tropical rain shower completes the experience. The Rasul accommodates up to four people, so it’s just the job if you want to bring along a sparring partner (or three).
£50, available at The Sanctuary, 12 Floral Street, Covent Garden,WC2E 9DH; 0845 521 4567
Photo courtesy of Chuan Spa
The Cowshed Ultimate Manicure
Cowshed’s Ultimate Manicure’s offers both an indulgent spa treatment and some practical body maintenance — making it all the more financially justifiable. Nails are filed, cuticles are nourished, and hands are softened by exfoliation and then massaged. The best comes afterwards, when hands are wrapped in a hydration mask whilst the scalp and shoulders are massaged. This is followed by polish to finish. Trust us, your digits will be eternally grateful.
£50, available at Cowshed Soho, Foubert's Place, W1F 7QG; 020 7534 0870
Dry Flotation Therapy
A few years ago, the 19th century basement of York Hall’s Turkish baths were transformed into a luxurious but incredibly affordable spa by nonprofit organisation Spa London. We’re kind of obsessed with its Dry Flotation Therapy, which leaves you floating, enveloped in a soft "membrane" that will keep you totally dry whilst experiencing a full-body and sound-wave massage — perfect for relieving 2013 angst. And for an extra fee, you can visit York Hall’s famous thermal spa, allowing you to sample therapies that date back hundreds of years (so they must by good). Six chambers each house a different heat treatments, from a dry sauna and ice fountain to the hammam, Turkish baths, and aromatherapy steam rooms. The best bit? The whole enchilada comes in at less than £50.
Dry Flotation Therapy costs £20 for 25 minutes, Thermal Spa Experience cost £24 for three hours, available at York Hall, 5-15 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PJ; 0208 709 5845
Thermal Spa Experience
Also part of the Spa London group, the brand-new Rainbow Spa might be located in the less-than-glamorous surroundings of a leisure centre in the ‘burbs, but given the high-quality facilities on offer — and ridiculously reasonable pricing — we’re not sure why anyone would let that bother them. The excellent Thermal Spa Experience includes a hammam with deliciously warm foot baths, sauna, hydrotherapy pool, and aroma steam rooms. And your entrance fee buys you three whole hours of bliss.
£15, available at the Rainbow Spa, East Street Epsom, KT17 1BN; 01372 727277
Tailored Relaxing Back Massage
Sold on getting a spa treatment but not quite sure what you need to give you that 2013 kick-start? Let us introduce you to the lovely Liz Earle. Her flagship just off King’s Road offers bespoke treatments at off-the-peg prices. The massage begins with a personalised consultation, which will allow your therapist to tailor the massage to your needs, creating a unique massage sequence to soothe and, we’re assured, bring inner balance to your mind and body. Not bad, eh?
£40, at Liz Earle, 38-39 Duke of York Square, King's Road, SW3 4LY; 020 788 17750
Photo courtesy of Rainbow Spa
Citrus Bliss Sea Salt Body Scrub And Face Exfoliation Massage
This mind-blowingly stunning 1920s spa is open to anyone who fancies a swim, massage, or steam bath. Prices are jaw-droppingly low for the standard of treatment on offer, and this citrus-y body scrub and massage are perfect if you need a spring in your step. The body is massaged with a blend of detoxifying sea salt and cleansing essential oils, getting rid of dead-skin cells and impurities. This is followed up with a refreshing body balm, leaving your skin soft and glowing.
£35, available at Porchester Spa, Queensway, Bayswater, W2 5HS; 020 7792 3980
Fleur de Bali Radiance Facial
Opened in July 2009, So Spa is ideal if you are looking for out-and-out indulgence with a French twist, complete with spa butlers and wall-to-wall marble, and set within a gorgeous Grade II-listed building. But even if your appetite for luxury exceeds your wallet capacity, you can still experience a little bit of five-star awesome with this facial. The treatment promises to remove unwanted layers of dull skin and stimulate cellular renewal, resulting in fewer lines and wrinkles. What’s not to like? P.S. if you fancy lingering after your treatment, we recommend that you loiter in the spa’s spectacularly decorated tea room. That is, until someone politely asks you to leave.
£45, at SO Spa at Sofitel St James, 6 Waterloo Place, SW1Y 4AN; 020 7747 2204
Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Scrub
Tucked away on one of Mayfair’s cobbled Dickensian streets are Elemis’ exotically elegant treatment rooms — and they’re absolutely perfect for some serious pampering. Using one of the brand’s cult products, this invigorating deep-cleanse treatment promises to lift the senses. After a light-body brushing, warm oil is drizzled over the body, leaving you silky-smooth, glowing, and smelling good enough to eat. In other words this is precisely what’s required to snap you out of that post-festive slump.
£46, available at Elemis Day Spa, 2 Lancashire Court, Mayfair W1S 1EX; 020 7499 4995
Photo courtesy of Porchester Spa

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