I was invited along to an afternoon at the South Kensington club in London, for a Pilates class but ended up staying till late I loved it so much. Doors open into a small reception area, the size of the lobby is no reflection of the vast, labyrinth hidden behind, this club is huge! Spread over 4 floors there is everything you would want from a city centre members club & as a visitor for the day.
I’ve got to say the first thing that was really noticeable was the general feel of the place, I immediately felt at home, it’s got an Amalfi coast, relaxed and welcoming vibe, a little touch of old school tradition with a sprinkling of youth. Friendly, helpful staff always helps.
Its the type of place you could easily order a Martini or green juice or even one followed by the other.
The array of facilities extend from restaurant, lounge, outside terrace, reformer Pilates studio, yoga studios, large gym, vast changing areas, meticulously serviced throughout the day. Relaxation areas, spa, an incredible Haman wet spa area, Jacuzzi pool.
The pilates studio has 4 reformers, natural lighting, slightly blinded by the suns rays beaming it, with vaulted barn style ceilings. The instructor was lovely and an added bonus which can make or break any class was the choice of music, perfect as far as my personal taste goes, even the detail of lowering the volume to explain the moves then raise it while you focus on the moves.
Lunch outside on the small roof terrace was an unexpected delight in central London, hidden from the road, you can still hear the hustle but it drifts into the background unnoticed. The food was lovely, service a little slow but we were too busy chatting & enjoying the surroundings to really notice.
A lovely touch, sunscreen and hats provided by the club
The Haman, steam body treatments are insanely good, and as a therapist myself that’s not an accolade I tout around frequently, they really have the wellness body treatments zipped up, with a huge menu of scrubs, muds, deep body cleansing and experiences. The BathHouse spa area has a steam, sauna, cool jacuzzi & plung pool with 2 hot treatments rooms. The facial menu is a little less elaborate & more simple.
I spend half an hour floating around in the jacuzzi pool, all to myself, then popped into the Bath House spa area.
I experienced with the expert help of their on hand therapist, who is half naked in the actual hot treatment space with you, as he said this is his office. I can only presume he is super healthy! his knowledge of the body and benefits of the treatments were amazing, he totally listened to my personal physical issues and tailored the experience. I had a Banya body treatment, now I was not fully prepared for the experience, it is FULL ON, hot, steamy, firm and at moments a little difficult to catch your breath, however and a big however, I was reassured throughout. It involved hot soaked Oak leaves being whipped on the body, scents of soothing eucalyptus, lots and lots of heat, interspersed with cold dips and a supported float in cool water, followed by a vigorous bamboo massage on my neck and shoulders (seriously good for extra tight muscles) I was given lots of water to drink, cocooned in towels in the Tea room relaxation area and drifted in and out of sleep for 30minutes.
Even being initially apprehensive I am literally craving that treatment again, I slept like a baby, genuinely my tight muscles are so much more relaxed and even the next day had a general feeling of zen and calm, a real wow experience with notable benefits.
I didn’t try the gym, but a really lovely, bright space to workout in.
This is a place of beautiful people, male and female, but enough shared smiles & relaxed enough to be a perfect antidote for some stylish central London rest and recuperation. This is a private members club but facilities can be used for a fee for the day, I am craving more of the Banyan treatments so will definitely be taking a trip back.