The British summertime has well and truly gone and with it my weekends spent dining al fresco, kicking it in one of London's many beautiful parks and moseying around the West End with my girlfriends. While swapping Oxford Street and Bond Street for jam-packed shopping centres is an option, the mere thought of this stresses me out. And the crowds are only going to get worse as we draw closer to Christmastime.
So to steer clear of the crowds but avoid turning into a hermit this winter, I decided to arrange a relaxing girly catch up at Spa Verta, part of Hotel Verta by Rhombus in Battersea. Luckily there were just two of us; the spa is much smaller than it looks on the website and is not a great choice for a group any larger than a two- or threesome.
But for us it was perfect. The pool is not a swimming pool but a hydro pool littered with various therapeutic experiences including two powerful shower streams and a couple of bubbling chairs – a bit like individual Jacuzzis. The foot spa was disappointing and should have been named the 'foot bowl' as that's all it was; the term 'spa' was a little misleading and I was expecting some rejuvenating bubbles and water jets at least.
The spa's hydro pool. Photo courtesy of Hotel Verta
But while the foot spa left a lot to be desired, Spa Verta certainly gets it right with its soothing heated mosaic-tiled beds – there are only two so this is ideal for a couple or two friends – and intimate sauna, steam room and samarium space.
For a change of scenery, and added spot of luxury, head upstairs to the brighter green, brown and cream treatment area. Here you can indulge in one (or more) of Spa Verta's extensive treatments before re-hydrating yourself with chilled water and healthy snacks (including nuts and dried fruit) on one of the three beds located across the hall behind a floor to ceiling-length curtain. The massage rooms themselves are large, complete with wall-length oil and linen cabinet, shower and wardrobe.
The treatment rooms are surprisingly spacious. Photo courtesy of Hotel Verta
Despite its size, I managed to spend six restful hours at the spa, making full use of the hydro pool, soaking my feet in the foot spa, dozing on the heated beds and reading a book in the samarium. I treated myself to an hour-long Sacred Nature Body Ritual (one of the cheaper treatments at £75) and, after being told I was "harbouring a lot of tension in my shoulders" by my masseuse, thought it was only right to lie on a bed, stick in some earphones and relax some more.
Kick back on a comfy bed. Photo courtesy of Hotel Verta