Theoretically, this is the time of year to show a little more skin and flaunt a golden glow. The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park understand this only too well, and to celebrate the season, they have put together a bespoke spa experience called 'Bloom into Summer', designed to help shed winter skin and rejuvenate body and mind.
I left the world behind as I descended the stairs from the hotel down into the spa. It's best to arrive early here to indulge in the experience with the Vitality Pool, Amethyst Crystal Steam Room and even enjoy a nap in the relaxation room to forget daily stresses.
My treatment began with an introduction to the Bloom infusion which is a unique blend of sensuous oils bespoke to the Mandarin Oriental, including ylang ylang, precious rose and chamomile to encourage joy, intimacy and emotional release. The treatment itself is an 80-minute Swedish meridian massage focusing on the balance of yin and yang energies to ensure your relaxation is as much about the psychological as it is the physical. After a few deep inhalations of the Bloom infusion my therapist Rebecca began the massage which focuses on teasing out muscular tension in specific problem areas. In my consultation I mentioned that my shoulders and upper back were areas of extreme tension, so this is where the massage began. Not for the fainthearted, Rebecca dug her thumbs into every muscular knot until my back felt like it had levitated from my body as all the stress was drawn out. I drifted in and out of a dreamlike euphoria as the massage moved to my head, arms, legs, feet, chest and stomach. At the end of my treatment, I was encouraged to take a nap in the relaxation room. I awoke refreshed and revitalised.
I emerged onto the Brompton road two and a half hours later feeling elated, lighter and glowing. The Mandarin have released me from my Winter shell, and if the sun would only shine a little longer, you might be able to see how my skin is beaming with health.
"Bloom into Summer" therapy at the Mandarin Oriental London, £155. Quote "BLOOM" when booking this treatment and you will receive a complimentary Elemental Bath and Shower Oil Set (value of £22.50). Offer valid Mondays to Fridays throughout July and August 2012.