Stepping off the streets of Piccadilly Circus into the W hotel is a relief; the hotel chain is one that is continually recommended around the world, as is the AWAY Spa—their own spa brand, fully equipped with sauna, steam room and fitness suite. After asking reception where to go, they guided me up to the fourth floor, encouraging me to try out the newly refurbished bar that had just opened on the way.
The spa itself is quiet, the staff are welcoming and restrained, which calms you before your massage has even started.
I met with my therapist, Gloria, who showed me to a room and talked me through the process and my target massage areas. Being reasonably stressed from work, I had a few areas that needed attention, and Gloria was happy to help.
I was slightly daunted by the idea of a hot stone massage (it was my first one) as I was not sure what to expect, both heat and pressure-wise. However, once on the table, Gloria made sure to constantly consult with me to make sure everything was fine—which it was.
The massage itself was a whole-body experience enhanced by a heated massage bed and essential oils. There was a focus on the areas that my therapist felt were tighter than others, and slowly but surely the stress melted away.
As with most massages, it felt as though it was over before it began and I was left to re-adjust back to reality.
I left the spa feeling a sense of lightness and less stress than I had gone in with, the sign of a good massage. The only negative was that I then had to get myself home to bed on the tube!