Part of the prestigious Maybourne group, The Connaught takes pride of Carlos Place in the hub of Mayfair Village. In 2007 a 70 million pound facelift saw the 19th century building revamped with the addition of a contemporary new wing, a Japanese garden, a Michelin-starred eatery by Hélène Darroze and a state of the art Aman Spa...
Royalty, dignitaries and Hollywood a-listers regularly grace the Connaught's doors, many returning year after year, and it's easy to see why. On entering The Connaught the first thing that hits you, aside from the truly delicious aroma (British master perfumer Roja Dove have created a bespoke perfumed candle especially for the hotel) is the warm and welcoming ambience. Over 100 rooms and suites dot the iconic hotel, yet it still retains the cosy feel of a boutique residence.
Hidden in the basement of the shiny new wing is Aman Resorts' first urban spa. Retaining the first class Aman Spa qualities and wonderful ethics of embracing nature, the chic space is styled in dark, natural woods with a tranquil Asian influenced ambience.
The Spa has five low-lit treatment rooms (one double and four singles) each featuring a dressing area, treatment area and steam room, as well as individual music systems. Head to the spa hub and you'll find the beautiful pool fringed with day beds for pre and post treatment lounging and an aromatic steam room.
The Spa Signature Treatment from Thailand is a richly aromatic and holistic experience that combines Thai massage with the use of steam and Thai herbal heat compresses (Luk Pra Khob). A deeply warming treatment which purifies the skin, the treatment is recommended for deep-seated muscular pain, detoxification and re-energising. All treatments commence with the renowned Aman foot ritual to encourage immediate relaxation.
Kitted out in traditional Thai pyjamas my treatment began with extensive assisted stretching and pulling techniques to loosen and stretch my stiff muscles. Therapist Candy (who is INCREDIBLE btw) then performed a shiatsu pressure point body massage combined with reflexology. Already feeling longer and completely tension free I was sent for a private steam followed by a invigorating shower to set me up for round two of the treatment - an aromatherapy full body massage using herbal heat compresses infused with citrus oils, which are kneaded in to the skin to work on deep seated tension. Completed with a face and scalp pressure point massage, I literally felt like I'd had a complete body overhaul. This was, without doubt, one of the best holistic experiences I've had - pure and utter bliss.
Treatments at the Aman Spa are inspired by China, Thailand, India and the Americas and draw on renewing traditions and ancient techniques from around the world:
China: Invigorating - an energising Himalayan salt scrub and traditional Chinese body and face massage.
Thailand: Unwind - to release deep seated muscular tension using authentic Thai massage and Thai herbal compress.
India: Balance - a harmonising Chakra balancing treatment with crystals and essential oils and Samadara facial massage.
The Americas: Purifying - a cleansing sage and cedar smudging and body wrap followed by grounding hot river stone massage.
Rooms and suites range from traditional in the original building to contemporary in the new wing. We stayed in the incredible Library Suite. Designed by renowned architect Michael Blair the suite comprises of a master bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, a guest cloakroom and library-style sitting room - with a hidden door in one of the bookcases!
The contemporary living space in The Library Suite is filled with natural light and styled with modern artwork, with the layout arranged around a cosy coal-effect gas fireplace. In the bedroom you'll find an incredibly comfy king size bed, and a huge TV hidden within a mirror. Peek in the closet and you'll find his and hers Burberry macs to use during your stay. Yep they've literally thought of everything...
With standard rooms there's a choice of a classical or contemporary style. All rooms feature the latest in modern technology with the best in-room entertainment and flatscreen TVs. All room types have luxurious Bamford toiletries and Nespresso machines.
Hélène Darroze heads up the Michelin-starred cuisine at The Connaught, with a menu that earned her a second Michelin star.
The Coburg Bar serves up light lunches and snacks. Internationally renowned French Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten is to open a new restaurant at The Connaught in Spring 2017.
The fitness centre is well equipped to meet cardiovascular and core training needs, offering Technogym equipment, kinesis, free weights and core focus areas. Personal training and sports massage can be arranged by appointment.
Don't miss lunch at nearby renowned fish restaurant Scotts, followed an early evening stroll in Hyde Park.
A mooch around the designer shops (many designers have their flagship stores just a stone's throw from the hotel).
Words: Lisa Brown
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