One of London’s great assets is its multiplicity of locations resulting in a wholly different experience from one area to the next. Of course, water always seems to have a particularly calming influence, which will explain why Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour takes great pride in its position on the banks of the Thames.
Who Went? Spabreaks.com Editor, Bonnie Friend
The area around Imperial Wharf train station is a peculiar one, with supremely modern and incredibly quiet but nonetheless industrial overtones … step over the road and up a flight of stairs however and you are confronted by the aptly grand exterior of the Wyndam Grand Hotel looking out onto the marina at Chelsea Harbour – a waterfront location that dictates the theme throughout the spa.
The design of the all-suite hotel is striking from the moment you walk in – just when you think it is classic contemporary there is a shock of pop culture in the form of a Tupac portrait here, a John Lennon image there … for the most part however we are talking high ceilings, large open spaces, clean lines, and an eclectic range of interior design details.
The spa is an equal balance of leisure and relaxation, with a sizeable gym next to the reception, and a large pool suitable for lengths, but complete with loungers and lots of natural light should you wish to recline with a book post treatment. Embracing guests of all ages, it is a family friendly venue, and it is with youthful exuberance that this becomes evident around the pool. The spa area is rather neatly laid out so that you walk from the changing rooms (where there is a sauna and steam room), to the pool area and then round to the relaxation area and treatment rooms – here the vibe shifts to a low lit, aromatherapy oil scented adult domain of peace and quiet. The spa uses organic VOYA products whose magic ingredient purports to be unadulterated seaweed, known for its restorative and detoxing properties, which is not only a nice thematic touch, it also produces really rather decadent treatments – as I found out during my VOYA Seaweed Massage – essentially a full body massage with oils that contain said oceanic plant. It is the therapists however who are the greatest asset to the venue – eternally aware of your comfort levels, ensuring treatments target your own particular concerns and asking questions with just the right level of regularity – which if you are not the sort of person to mention whether you are cold/ uncomfortable/ have an itch on your big toe, is really rather useful.
Dominating the Chelsea Riverside Brasserie is the view across the harbour: an entire wall of glass ensures that you take in as much of it as possible. It is light, bright (obviously) and blue … and while elegant and appropriate for meetings and meals at any time of the day, the menu remains an unfussy collection of British favourites. Similarly, the bar which occupies the neighbouring space serves teas, coffees, cocktails and light bites in what is an understated and welcoming, chic environment.
In terms of public transport, Wyndham Grand is extremely accessible – one stop on the overground from West Brompton to Imperial Wharf and then over the road if you go through the car park (although if you are more of a taxi kind of a girl/boy, there is always a black cab and a porter waiting outside the hotel doors). The venue is quite self-contained in terms of entertainment – The King’s Road and Fulham are within close proximity, but you might wish to take up the offer of one of those taxis to get there!
What’s The Verdict
The overall atmosphere at Wyndham Grand is one of understated confidence that signifies its membership within the global Wyndham brand – the design inspires confidence, but is not over the top and the levels of service are high. In terms of the spa, it does feel like a game of two halves: while aesthetically pleasing, the pool is something of an activity hub in contrast to the treatment area which is supremely relaxing. As I said before though, the therapists and treatments are the venue’s Koh-i-Noor – the use of VOYA products not only reflects a growing demand for organic products, but is also inspired attention to detail that reaffirms its other great asset – its waterside location.
– Robes, towels and slippers are provided, thus removing a niggly element of fuss from the pre-spa process.
– Not only do VOYA provide topical products, they also make herbal teas which include the all-important seaweed (which doesn’t affect the taste I hasten to add) … and makes a nice alternative to all the post-treatment water you are invariably advised to drink.
– Check the train times from West Brompton before you go – they are not infrequent, but timing is sporadic, and you should be aiming to arrive fifteen minutes before your treatment to fill in consultation forms and get settled.
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