Spa Hotel Review: K West Hotel & Spa, Shepherd’s Bush, London
This former BBC recording studio building has been transformed into a minimalist, contemporary hotel and spa; a sleek transformation that now seems strange to think you are treading the same floor boards as legends such as Bob Marley, and the Kinks did back in the day, when you retreat to your room at night.
Situated in Shepherd’s Bush, a stones throw from the tube station, shopping destination Westfield, and the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, this modern, glass fronted building really stands out with it’s chic, shiny exterior, making this a cool, urban overnight destination. The hotel features 4 floors, 2 of which are below ground level; the spa and club reception. 2 eatery’s; Studio Kitchen and Kanteen and a totally hipster cocktail bar.
After a very friendly check in I made my way to my room on the 4th floor. A very spacious Embassy Suite with large twin beds, a desk including i-pad, plenty of wardrobe space with fresh waffle robes and slippers awaiting. The huge windows made the room light and airy and this theme obviously carries through to the bathroom with clear transparent panels in the door which was quite odd as we had a twin room – a room you would request presuming you don’t usually share a bed with this person, in my case my guest for the stay was my old uni friend Jane and as much as we are used to sharing a house and indeed a bathroom in our student days, we still don’t really feel the need to share a bathroom with see through doors! That aside we had plenty of room for several bags of weekend attire to be strewn around the room and still feel totally spacious.
We headed down to the spa, which was indeed a holistic haven, where i had booked on the Spa manager’s recommendation, a Candlelight Massage. I did think this was simply a massage by candlelight as the treatment name would suggest, however it was much, much better than that. After changing into a spa robe and flipflops, I was guided to the spa lounge to fill out a consultation form and sip on iced lemon water, there were also large bowls of fresh fruit at the refreshment station should you have skipped breakfast.
My therapist today was the very lovely Spa Manager, who collected me and took me to my tranquil treatment room where relaxing aromas infused the air from heavenly scented candles that filled the room. However these were no ordinary candles, these were massage candles; a specially derived solid oil candle that when lit melts into a rich, nourishing oil with the warm temperature making this the perfect massage accompaniment; so this was to be used in my Candleight Massage. As i took a seat in the treatment room I was brought a tray of 3 Germaine de Capuccini treatment candles and i was given one by one to choose by my preferred scent with my nose rather before knowing what fragrance was in them.
The pressure and stroke variation was perfect and tension was massaged away from points i didn’t even realise i was holding; calf’s, hands, arms and the most common; back, neck and shoulders. I’ve reviewed a million and one massages and beauty treatments over the years but this was up these with the very best – utterly relaxing, soothing and stress reliving, so much so that even though it was ony 11am I may have ‘shut my eyes’ for a few moments. I wouldn’t hesitate to re-book this treatment on a regular basis.
When I had managed to bring myself round to stand up without being in a post-massage haze, I was taken to the post-treatment relaxation suite – a dim lit room with soothing, serene music piped softly through in-room speakers and on individual headphones – which are next to every bed should you wish to be retreat into your own world for a while. Day beds are divided by white sheer drapes, which give a little privacy ,while lemon and orange infused jugs of iced water are stationed around the room. Plenty of magazines also lay on side tables for perusal. It was surprising how truly chilled a little time spend in this room can make you feel.
After we managed to drag ourselves away from serenity, we headed to the spa’s thermal experience. The only downside of the spa is there are combination locks with different codes and cards on almost every access door to anything! Which is kind of understandable considering use of the spa is an additional cost to hotel guests, however it does make it quite annoying for guests who have paid and require to easily access to the facilities. We had to ask a couple of people for assistance when our cards / combinations wouldn’t work (like the most annoying thing in the world, right?) even more so when your stood in the corridor in a bikini.
However this aside the spa was nothing less than lush. Like an underground hideaway, the space is indeed compact but as is wasn’t very busy on our visit this didn’t matter in the slightest. It was like a cool secret bolt hole featuring twinkling soft lighting throughout. There is a Hydrotherapy pool, saunarium, sauna, stream room, foot spa station with jars of salt soak and our favourite; the Snow Room – yep you guessed it – filled with snow – a take on the usual crushed ice ritual that is often a recommended following the heat experiences in spas, the Snow Room is designed to be used last in your thermal experience spa circuit. Benefits are to boost circulation, close pores and quite frankly, feel invigorated. Just rub the snow into your skin – vigorously (or roll around in it if you so desire) , as lets face it its not that pleasant an experience but totally reviving all the same.
Following an afternoon in the spa we headed out into central London for the eve and returned around midnight to find the hotel lobby has been transformed into some kind of bar/club with live DJ – my first thought was i hope the noise doesn’t rob us of our slumber (after all we are no longer 20-something’s partying all night long) but as we made our way top our room which was thankfully on the top floor and very other side of the building, we headed into peace and tranquility. Party lovers you will in your element here on a Saturday night but we were tucked up in bed by 1am with a catch up of BGT and despite the party venue downstairs (which we heard nothing) we had a peaceful, and very comfortable nights sleep.
We got up early doors for breakfast, for which you had 2 options; you could take the continental version on the ground floor or the made to order cooked selection on the 4th floor in the Studio Kitchen. I opted for fresh fruit, grapefruit juice and croissant followed by Eggs Royale. Jane opted for pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup followed by a copious amount of pastries and muffins. An absolutely delicious start to the day and the service was super friendly.
Overall this contemporary hotel lacks a little in character and the spa access issues are a little annoying, but the staff throughout were wonderfully accommodating in the hotel and spa. Our room was spacious and the location is really not to far from the sights of central London. The Kspa really is the gem of this building and while you are here you really must book a Candlelight Massage for the ultimate relaxation treat.
K West Hotel & Spa
London W14 0AX
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8008 6600 / Fax: +44 (0) 20 8008 6650
Embassy Suite from £255 per night.
CANDLELIGHT MASSAGE: 55MINS, £95-£100