If I was to choose a theme tune to my life, it would possibly be the Monty Python Life of Brian’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. Seeing the proverbial glass half full rather than half empty is something I try to do and think I manage it quite well most of the time. But I must admit the dark, cold, gloomy days of winter often test my sunny nature to its limits and that’s why I was more than excited when, just before Christmas, I was kindly invited to test out the S.A.D busting Sun Meadow in the Spa at west London’s K West Hotel…
After a feverish few hours of shopping in the huge glass retail maze that is west London’s Westfield, I began to feel weary – there was definitely no ho ho ho lurking within me. Even the thought of the champagne bar didn’t put a fizz in my mood, so as I ventured out into the cold, dark, rainy afternoon, I thought it would be the perfect time to take up the invite – especially seeing as the K West Hotel and Spa was only a 5-10 minute walk away in Shepherds Bush.
Tucked down a residential street where million pound properties stand side by side with council blocks, KWest Hotel and Spa isn’t your typical setting for a pampering resort but its location and sparkling glass and chrome facade does feel fashionably edgy. Ignoring the man going through the bins outside, I imagined Carrie and the girls from Sex and the City would probably love it here and I couldn’t wait to find out more…
Stepping inside the foyer I admired the stylish, low-key, black and silver bauble adorned Christmas tree – especially because my decorations were currently trying to sparkle underneath layers of builders’ dust! The hotel clientele consisted of a real mix of types, mostly sharply dressed bearded guys with even sharper looking iMacs and cool young women who looked like they probably worked in the music biz or some other glam profession. And me. But funnily enough, I didn’t feel out of place at this uber hip hang out because the atmosphere felt more anything – or anybody – goes rather than condescendingly elite, like some other London hotels.
A young concierge directed me to the Spa via the sumptuous library, proudly gossiping about the famous models, musicians and TV personalities that like to chill out here on the large velvet sofas reading the many rock star autobiographies on the shelves while admiring the Warhol inspired artwork of Amy Winehouse, which I coveted.
The Spa was on the same floor as some of the meeting rooms so I had to walk down the corridor in my fluffy white gown and flip flops. I didn’t mind until I noticed a hot, up and coming actor I’d seen recently on TV, heading my way. I was gutted I didn’t have my phone on me so I could’ve taken a secret snap to send to my daughters to make them jealous! Anyhow, he was too busy flicking his thick shiny black locks at his glamorous companion to notice me as I slipped into the Sun Meadow. This therapy, I was told by the Spa receptionist, is the perfect remedy to fighting winter blues and lacklustre skin… Just what I needed.
The Sun Meadow is a large spa treatment room with nature inspired wallpaper featuring calming illustrations of plants in cream and green and I was delighted to see the floor adorned with a large futon mattress covered with white towels and puffy pillows for me to relax on. As I got comfy, I stuck on the gold eye protectors, pressed a button on the wall beside me and a a panel of square lights in the ceiling switched on to flood the room with a bluey white light which gave the same effect as the disco light of years ago and made my body look deeply tanned and teeth blinding white. Remember that?
As I sank into the soft mattress, I allowed the warmth of the lights to caress my skin. It felt delicious – gentle and as perfect as a warm spring day. This sensation, when combined with the sounds in the room of birds tweeting and the tinkling of a running stream, really did make me float away to the ‘meadow in my mind’.
I found out that I was experiencing the latest technology in light therapy which uses a low intensity ultraviolet light that’s gentle enough so that skin can be exposed safely for 15 minute bursts every other day, yet can still effectively stimulate the skin’s melanin to help improve conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and arthritis. The light also encourages the production of Vitamin D and releases the ‘happiness hormone’ Serotonin, to help stave off depression. I was given the option to enjoy the K Spa signature Thai massage while in the Sun Meadow but after being surrounded by crowds of shoppers earlier in the day, I chose to go solo.
Feeling restored and relaxed after just 15 minutes in the Sun Meadow, I retreated to the Wet Spa and prolonged this wonderful feeling of wellbeing by chilling out in the large hydrotherapy pool, mesmerised by the twinkling ceiling lights which changed colour every few seconds. They were so pretty I could’ve stayed there all day. It was a lovely touch to have jugs of iced water with cucumber or orange pieces close to hand to hydrate. As I sipped my water and reclined in the warm bubbles of the pool under the starlights, I realised how much calmer and happier I felt than when I first arrived. My mood was lifted even further when I noticed that the K Spa stocked some of my favourite luxury brands such as Aromatherapy Associates and Priori Coffee Berry.
Not only did I find the Sun Meadow the perfect winter treatment for those who need a little pick me up, but it’s great for the ‘back at work blues’ which might be hitting some of us just about now. It costs £25 for non hotel guests to use the Wet Spa and Gym and £15 for 15 minutes in the Sun Meadow. I know I’ll definitely be making another trip to ‘sunshine’ and happiness soon!