Ironically, finding time for a manicure can be stressful. More often that not, self-conjured guilt prevails along with the belief that I couldn’t possibly dare to be so self indulgent. Ultimately, I’m left with Eliza Doolittle nails (before she becomes a ‘lady’) and a feeling that I’ve been robbed of some well-deserved R&R. Either way, I can’t win. However, (and this is one of those good types of conjunctive) when I was invited to try out the K West Hotel and Spa’s latest manicure offering, the SOL Luxury Manicure, I felt simply obliged to go along. For work purposes, obviously.
Promised a hand and nail treatment to rival even the most indulgent of facials, I was keen to find out exactly what made this £55 mani worth £55… and of course my precious time (I quickly realised my guilt was now a misty notion, almost forgotten at the door).
In the interest of getting a good look around, I was told not to forget my swimwear; so I could use the wet spa of course, before my deliciously indulgent manicure… as you may have guessed, by now all sense of guilt had entirely diminished, praise sweet hypocrisy.
Stepping into the state of the art facilities, my complimentary robe, towel and footwear were quickly thrown aside in favour of a seat in the sauna. Baking like a sweet potato, I sat in pure solitude, wondering about the snow room I’d been told about and just how long I should sit in the sauna before daring to enter it. After the sand timer had expelled about 10 minutes worth of sand, my curiosity got the better of me and I dashed across into the snow room…
I was delighted and enchanted to walk in and find a small cabin covered in the softest snow. I’d been instructed to rub the powdery snow directly onto my skin, assured that the heat from the sauna would render the cold temperatures unnoticeable. Quite right; the feeling was utterly bizarre but surprisingly enjoyable. Just before the -15 degrees threatened to become detectable, I slipped out and took my place on an underwater recliner in the hydrotherapy pool.
Like the most intense massage, without the unnerving feeling of a stranger’s hands pommeling your naked flesh (just my personal feelings) , the water vigorously bubbled from underneath making me float weightlessly above my recliner. Looking toward the ceiling, a charming array of twinkling lights dazzle like a night sky; utter bliss. Afterwards, be sure to take a minute to stand under the water shoot, where the water hits your shoulders with all the strength of a shiatsu.
Coming out of the women’s changing room, I felt as though I glided all the way to the Vanity K Nail Bar. Taking my seat, iced lemon water in hand and a cup of ‘beautiful skin’ herbal tea brewing, I eyed up the neatly stored LCN natural nail care products. The LCN brand hails from Asia, where nature’s elite beautifiers like orchid, water lily, avocado, hibiscus, cocoa, and bamboo provide their delicate effects for the most pampered outcome.
The beautician informed me that the SOL Luxury Manicure is an utterly delicious anti-ageing treatment for your hands: ‘a luxury vacation’ for those little mitts that are so tired of being taken for granted. It’s no secret that you can tell a woman’s age by her hands, so anything to stop the aging clock is fine by me. The SOL treatment protects the skin from future sun damage, rejuvenates the skins’ natural glow and leaves hands feeling peachy soft.
As my hand’s and I were practically whisked off to Neverland, it wasn’t the easiest task to concentrate on each step of the manicure. But, duty must not be neglected, no matter how relaxing the pursuit may be…
The treatment began with a delectable avocado nail butter massage, before my shabby excuse for cuticles were neatly trimmed and my nails shaped and left to soak in a nail bath. An enzymatic hand peel followed, used to gently remove dry and dead skin cells while a relaxing hand massage took place. Once the enzyme peel was removed, a skin-repairing overnight hand mask was slathered on to replenish moisture and nourish the skin. With my hands gently enveloped in a warm towel, the beautician performed a head and shoulder massage which I though would send me to sleep once and for all. Finally, a SOL SPF15 hand-cream enriched with vitamin C and E was applied to protect and revitalise my new and improved paws.
Before I was sent on my way, back out onto the streets of Shepherd’s Bush, I was admitted into the relaKs zone; a dim-lit quiet room dotted with curtain draped beds and an array of fashionable literature (Vogue, Elle and the likes…). Almost falling asleep I remembered that guilt that I knew would pervade my conscious when I got back to the office. And so, delicately painted nails in tact, I left feeling utterly indulged; a real lady of leisure.
The K West Hotel and Spa, Richmond Way, London W14 0AX
Telephone: +44(0)20 8008 6600
Written by Jodie Jones
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