Urban Retreat | 2 Hans Crescent, London, SW1X 0LH
Review: Kathryn Lewsey
Rather than having to visit multiple places for beauty treatments, hair makeovers and wellness sessions, Urban Retreat has kindly given us everything in one roof. Ideal for escaping the hecticness of London, this Knightsbridge-based venue is a tranquil haven where you can really switch off.
Describing itself as a place where ‘beauty meets hospitality’, you could spend a whole day here having some serious pampering. Unwind with some yoga, treat yourself to a new tattoo or indulge in a soothing facial – there really is everything on offer.
I stopped by one Saturday morning to revive my desperately-needs-a-cut-and-colour hair. Greeted at the ground floor reception, I was led up to the first floor where multiple award-winning hair stylist, Angelo Seminara, runs his salon.
Kicking off with the colour, I was led through to one of the cutting rooms where I met John Spanton. Working as Master Colourist at the salon, he has a wealth of colour knowledge and a whole heap of industry awards under his belt.
The salon has a light and airy ambience with chic decor, making it the perfect place for some hair TLC.
Chatting through my hair woes, I explained to John how I’d had full-head highlights for some time, but while I loved the blonde, the high-maintenance of it was putting me off. I’d been debating balayage but was still on the fence about whether I actually wanted to go down that road.
So John came up with a solution, freshening up my roots with a few highlights, but not the full head of foils that I usually get. This means, if I do decide to go with balayage, the foundations will be in place. But if I don’t, I can easily go back to a full head next time. Clever, right?
Mixing up a creamy blonde shade, John got to work, expertly applying the dye to pieces of my hair with expertise. To make sure my blonde was still vibrant at the front, John added in some extra blonde strands to brighten up my face. As we chatted away, he also added a root smudge, to create a softer transition between the roots and blondeness.
Taking just a speedy 20 minutes to develop, I was led over to the basin where John rinsed out the dye and then worked a toner through my locks. Once that had worked its magic, he used Goldwell shampoo and conditioner on my freshly coloured mane, before passing me over to Carolos Rodrigues who was ready to snip off my dead ends.
Carlos – who is an expert stylist at the salon – cut off the straggly strands, whipping my barnet back into the long bob shape it used to be. He then blow-dried my newly chopped hair into a voluminous bounce, before using tongs to create some tousled waves in my locks – the kind of cool, glam style that every girl dreams of (but I can never achieve on my own!).
He spritzed my new ‘do with some hairspray and I was ready to take on the weekend with my freshly trimmed, bright and blonde barnet.
The service I experienced here was incredible. Both John and Carlos really listened to what I wanted and were able to find a solution to my hair debacle (first world problems, I know).
I walked out with that ‘good hair day’ feeling we all want. Urban Retreat must have struck up a deal with the hair gods (or they just have very good staff).
Urban Retreat | 2 Hans Cres, London, SW1X 0LH