Search

Abandon yourself to pleasure and indulgence

17:14 12 April 2012

Thhe Moroccan style spa

Thhe Moroccan style spa

Archant

»It’s 2012 and things have changed a lot since my father’s day.

Info

Dolphin House

Dolphin Square

London

SW1V 3LX

Tel: 020 7798 8000

e: dh@dolphinsquare.co.uk

Prices: from £65 to £152 per night

Dolphin Spa

Treatments range from £15 to £225.

Jon had a Moroccan cleansing ritual for him

Footballers are overpaid prima donnas, folk drink alcopops rather than ale and being a house husband is a viable career path.

Against this background, I am pretty sure it’s fine for a chap to go for a spa weekend.

At least, I certainly assured myself it was as I headed down to the new Moroccan-inspired facility at Dolphin House for a treatment with all the trimmings.

Dolphin House is a development of flats, shops, a fitness centre and now a spa set just north of the river.

Many of the apartments can be rented for just one or two nights, as an alternative to a hotel.

The Pimlico complex is set around a very pleasant private garden, which belies its central location, and staying there had the feel of a trip away, without actually leaving London.

All the facilities are good, rumour has it Gordon Ramsey is a gym member, but the new Moroccan spa really steals the show.

As you descend from the modern reception, lamps, drapes, cushions and exotic scents transport you to the land of the souk.

As a regular visitor to north Africa, I feel qualified to say the experience was pretty authentic – right down to the outfits, the mint tea and the riad-style courtyards.

Assuming that, if I was going to get in touch with my feminine side, I may as well do it properly, I had booked a Moroccan cleansing ritual – fully four hours of spa pleasure including massages, oils, facials and more.

Steamy room

It all started with a trip to the hammam – a steamy room in which you are rinsed, washed, in black soap, then scrubbed to within an inch of your life.

Feeling vitalised, and looking rather pink, I was then led to a peaceful room where I lay on a curved, heated slab, surrounded by muslin and ate dried fruit and drank tea.

After a few minutes of this I was taken to yet another room – this one with soft lighting and relaxing, vaguely Arabic, music wafting from the speakers – to begin my treatment proper.

First up was a full body massage – starting with my back.

When my therapist Sinead asked me what kind of pressure I was after, I put on my deepest possible voice and told her “firm” and asked her to go to town on any knots she found.

This boldness came back to bite me somewhat when she discovered a gnarled muscle in my shoulder and I had to bite the pillow as she went to work on it.

In general, though, the massage was was an unalloyed delight – legs, arms and neck were all rubbed to perfection causing me to lapse into a vegetative state.

Then came my facial – and let me make this quite clear; there is nothing more masculine than a facial.

It was pretty indulgent I have to say – a series of soothing creams were applied, then softly removed before an extremely relaxing scalp massage.

I really hope I wasn’t snoring, or indeed drooling, because I am fairly sure I nodded off and only awoke as the electric bed moved me to a sitting position in readiness for my wet shave.

Sinead seemed quite calm about the whole affair and began to apply a liberal amount of foam.

I have to confess for something of a penchant for having someone do my shaving for me – which I appreciate makes me sound like I am some kind of prince – but this was the first time I had been shaved by a lady.

I came away with a beautifully smooth visage and not a red mark in sight.

Best of all, after this most relaxing of treatments, I just had to float upstairs to my apartment, rather than negotiate a night Tube busy with drunken revellers.

The Spa at Dolphin Square is a cracking fusion of old- world Moroccan relaxation techniques that have been around for donkey’s years set in the heart some modern city living.

And with tennis courts, croquet lawns, gardens and the full gym facilities all in the grounds, a stay there is like a weekend in a country club, despite being no further than Zone One.

Latest Stories

3 minutes ago
Craig Gourlay (left) took 5-23 for Highgate. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Craig Gourlay’s all-round display maintained Highgate’s maximum record this season as they beat Harrow Town by four wickets to stay top of the Division Three table in the Middlesex County Cricket League.

30 minutes ago
Islington Town Hall

ICO finds fault with some of town hall’s data practices but say holes in system are being rectified

33 minutes ago
Hornsey's Chetan Patel was frustrated by Brentham's negative tactics. Pic: Max Flego

Sean Solia equalled the highest score by a Hornsey batsman in league history – but his side were left frustrated as Brentham ground out a draw in Division Two of the Middlesex County Cricket League.

Most read

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder