Vilma Darling eases away her stressful week, not at the bar where she usually resides, but at the beautiful Ushvani spa in Chelsea.
Have you ever had a working week from hell? When everything that could go wrong does go wrong, and you are even blamed for things you haven’t done, but no one cares about your explanation?
The only cheerful thought in my head at the end of THAT week was about my appointment at Ushvani spa in London, where I was booked in for the 90 minute massage.
Ushvani (usha means dawn in Malay and avani is earth in Sanskrit) is a tranquil oasis just around the corner from the busy Sloane Street in Chelsea. Set in a Grade 2 Listed Edwardian town house, the spa is a hidden gem, which I was struggling to find due to illogical house numbering typical to central London.
The spa had sent me a map with its location, but of course after my mad week in work, I had temporary amnesia and forgot to print it out…
When I finally did find it and was buzzed in at “No.1” Cadogan Gardens, most of my worries were left outside on the steps together with the city noise and pollution after the heavy door closed behind me.
The friendly, smiling staff, lovely smells, colours, dimmed light and the hot towel soaked in ginger and nutmeg to clean the hands immediately washed away some of my stress.
Founded by the Malaysian businesswoman Usha Arumugam, Ushvani Spa is an exclusive 3-story urban sanctuary with treatment rooms for both men and women, a suite for couples or families, a beautiful yoga studio and wet facilities for women only.
Hibiscus, the Malaysian national flower, features throughout the spa, and the beautiful dark wood furniture, original carvings and sculptures, that were all specially commissioned from local craftsmen in Malaysia, fit in the period building layout and the Georgian wooden staircase looks very natural with yellow silk batik curtains hanging in the middle.
Before my treatment I was invited to experience the spa facilities in the basement at Ushvani Spa. I was the only guest there and was told that unless clients come with friends or family they wouldn’t have to share space apart from briefly crossing paths in the changing rooms.
I tried every possible shower combination – monsoon, tropical and other names that I can’t remember (every one of them came with dramatically changing lights). I inhaled nutmeg and ginger scented hot air to clear my lungs in the steam room and was blissfully sitting in the hydrotherapy pool next to a cascading waterfall when I was told it was time for my treatment.
The lovely therapist listened to the stories about my stressful week and straight away adjusted the massage to the needs of my sore neck and shoulders. The knots in my neck were so tight that I did see stars when she was pressing them, but I knew I had to suffer for hopefully better health.
The best part of my treatment was the heated bed and also the advice the therapist had given me how to treat my sore neck and tension headaches – she demonstrated a few exercises and advised to apply balms on the troubled areas.
Ushvani Spa’s therapists say the spa’s philosophy is based on Asian culture that focuses on spiritual harmony and natural treatments. All products are bespoke and made of natural herbs, spices and flowers in Malaysia or inspired by the country.
After my massage I was treated to a cup of hibiscus tea to finish off the relaxing experience. The exclusivity and fabulous therapists come at a price, but it’s worth it – a 90 minute massage costs £180; a 120 minute massage costs £240; and a 30 minute body scrub costs £60.
However, Ushvani’s Vinyasa Flow yoga classes are at a standard price for £15 per 90 minutes. Private yoga classes are available upon request and the best thing about it is the Sentosa studio – the most beautiful and stylish yoga room I have ever seen. Various workshops such as ‘Boosting your Energy’ are organised there, and at £37 for two hours is an original and exclusive present.
For further information or to make a reservation at Ushvani Spa, please contact your concierge.
Address: 1 Cagodan Gardens, London, SW3 2RJ
Phone: 020 7730 2888
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Read some of our other spa reviews, including Ayanna Spa and Waterhouse Young clinic.