Last week I visited the Harbour Club and Amida Spa in Notting Hill with a friend for an afternoon of relaxation and pampering. It was a more modest venue than anticipated; a community gym of sorts come spa, and not the luxury expected. We opted for the Heavenly Spa Day for two, a special deal we bagged at a discounted price via Wahanda.
This deal entitled us to a 30 minute massage, express facial, mini pedicure and a light lunch, plus full use of the facilities. The facilities however were 'compact', so this basically meant use of the gym and the wet area, which included a tiny steam room and sauna.
After accepting the mediocre fate of our pamper afternoon, the treatments started off with a hitch; they only had one pair of slippers available that were clean. To be honest the pair of slippers they did have looked like they needed a good clean... In the end, we were issued make-shift flip-flops, the ones used to help transport freshly painted toes from the treatment room to the lounge.
But then came a positive worthy of note; the staff - so apologetic and lovely that I couldn't stay vexed for too long. And the treatments despite being super speedy were very thorough and performed to an excellent standard. The therapeutic massage did well to ease the niggles in my neck and shoulders, whilst the Elemis balancing facial was perfect for giving my skin a quick shot of hydration. The pedicure was great (the polish still looks good as new today). And the lunch was a wholesome grilled burger and chips (not exactly healthy but it was yum).
I've since learned that the package which cost £140 could have been experienced more indulgently for the same price at the Harbour Club, Chelsea - it's high-end counterpart. In reality, I suspect that the Harbour Club, Notting Hill is a place where locals pop in for essential waxing and a quick polish rather than a fully fledged spa day.
The result? I felt a little deceived; the photos of the facilities online looked lush, but I quickly understood from the staff that it was all down to fancy camera work. The phrase 'don't believe hype' comes to mind.
1 Alfred Road
London W2 5EU
Tel: 0845 125 7017