Rain-drenched London has an exotic new getaway. The Aman Resorts group recently opened a spa in the Connaught hotel in Mayfair.

The chicly minimalist five-room spa offers Aman's signature "experiences," or themed treatments inspired by traditional techniques from around the world. The Americas-inspired experience, for instance, comprises a foot bath using Navajo herbs; cedar smudging; foot-and-leg grounding massage; a red clay body wrap, which also incorporates Navajo herbs; a river rock stone massage, and crystal clearing. Other treatments are inspired by India, Thailand and China.


Since the incessant London drizzle had put a damper on my mood, I figured my qi could use a boost and opted for the Chinese experience, which works on acupressure points to relieve stress. While I sipped some lemongrass tea, Korn, my therapist, prepared a green tea footbath. An invigorating full-body scrub followed and a massage, which was the acme of the experience. Korn pummeled, pinched, pushed and pounded my limbs and back into a near-jellified state before turning her attention to my face, where her movements were - thankfully - significantly softer.

The two hours and 30 minutes later, my qi was improved and the prospect of another downpour didn't seem quite so dreadful. The "experiences" treatments are each priced at 280 pounds, or about $427.


— Brid Costello

Aman Spa at The Connaught, Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL + 44 (0) 203 1477305/6.