Ahead of our holiday in a few weeks (can’t wait!) I decided it was time for a touch of pampering, so I dusted off my credit card and booked a treatment treat for my sisters – Scrip’s aunties – and me, last Sunday. Leaving Scrip in her Daddy’s capable hands, we went for a luxury pedicure at the Renaissance Hotel in King’s Cross, and planned to arrive an hour or so before so we could make use of the facilities and fully relax for a precious afternoon.
The building certainly didn’t disappoint. It’s incredibly grand, belying its former life as the imposing Victorian 150-room Midland Grand (which was also the backdrop for the Spice Girl’s career-launching Wannabe video, apparently!) and new incarnation as a luxury hotel. We entered through the old station Booking Office (now the high-ceilinged hotel reception and lounge) which is just off St Pancras station, and headed down to the basement spa.
Formerly part of the hotel kitchen and storage rooms, the downstairs reception area is as cave-like as the upstairs is palatial. Luckily it opened out into a larger area where the gym, pool and changing rooms live.
The pool area is very atmospheric, with low lighting, replica Victorian tiles and a deep blue lagoon-like pool. It’s not large, but has a decent-sized jacuzzi area at one end and there were some lovely hot showers moulded into the walls of the room. Because of the layout of the area, the pool-side seating isn’t actually at the side of the pool but through some tiled arches, so you only really get a glimpse through, which I found a bit strange and less relaxing than if you were looking out onto the water.
It also would have been good to have had some refreshments – there wasn’t the option of anything but water, which was a shame for a 5-star spa. When we went, far from being an adult-only sanctuary, there was actually a mother and toddler in the pool splashing about – a bit incongruous but I suppose they were hotel guests (and the little girl was very sweet).
Anyway, we luxuriated in the pool, steam room and sauna and then dressed and popped upstairs for some tea and cake pre-treatment.
We were lucky enough to have our pedicures at the same time in three separate rooms. Mine was a lovely experience – complete with exfoliation, moisturising, touches of head, hand, calf and foot massage and heated boots put on my feet. I’m pretty sure I drifted off to sleep at one stage. My pedicure was well done and I floated my way to the relaxation area afterwards to drink rosehip tea (which was lovely) and read magazines.
Unfortunately, one of Scrip’s aunties didn’t have the same good service and had to have her pedi re-done. A real shame, but they did take some money off.
All-in-all, it was lovely to have a few hours’ break in a great setting. There was less massage involved in my treatment than I expected, but I did leave with much more presentable feet – the challenge now is to keep them that way as I run around after Scrip pre-holiday.