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Urban Retreat

The Blurb

“Acknowledged by many as the ultimate hair, beauty and spa destination, Urban Retreat is a wellness paradise with a range of luxury treatments and services, as well as premium retail products from the world’s finest beauty houses. With over 20 years operating in the U.K., and successfully running a 20,000 sq. ft. beauty haven situated on the 5th floor of the world’s most famous store, Harrods in London, Urban Retreat is excited to now launch The White House” it’s new premises.”

The Process

On my arrival at Urban Retreat, I’m asked to fill out a COVID questionnaire and encouraged to use the hand sanitiser provided which I find reassuring during these strange times.

Stepping inside, I’m shown up to a seating/waiting area where the decor is fresh and effortlessly stylish: plush velvet lounge chairs and low marble tables shot through with gold feel modern and inviting. There is also a lovely looking terrace that I imagine would make a good spot for lunch or a coffee on a day less miserable than today. I’m offered still or sparkling water and plenty of top-ups.

I’m here for a manicure and pedicure so I have two lovely technicians, Chinmai and Cami, working on me at once. My feet are soaked, scrubbed and massaged before having a couple of coats of “Leather Satchel”, a bronzey autumnal colour, slathered on artfully. Simultaneously, my hands are massaged, nails are filed, and a beautiful nude polish applied. Chinmai, Cami and I chat easily throughout, and the treatment has a utilitarian rather than spa-like luxury feel to it, but that’s not a bad thing, I appreciate the efficiency of it all and the whole appointment takes less than an hour, perfect for a busy Londoner like me.

I’m very pleased with the finished results, my feet are flawless and my hands look fresh and clean. The real test for any manicure or pedicure, however, is how long the results last…

Unfortunately, I get off to a bad start with the pedicure as I haven’t bought any flip flops with me. We wait for a while, but eventually, my toes are wrapped in cling film and my boots go back on as it’s closing time. Sadly, the flawless finish that I’d so admired in the salon does not survive the 15-minute walk back home and when I remove my boots and the cling film, I’m sad to see that the polish has smudged and smeared. A word of warning – bring your flip flops!

The manicure stays looking fresh for at least a couple of weeks, and I receive numerous compliments on how my nails look. All in all, I would have hoped for slightly longer-lasting nails, but the results are very pretty for the time they do last, and I’d be intrigued to spend more time at venue which looks like a wellbeing-nut’s paradise.

The Details

Urban Retreat, 2 Hans Cres, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 0LH; 020 3897 0400; www.urbanretreat.co.uk

Mani-Pedi £90

Tried & Tested |