The Grade II listed townhouse could literally be any building. A private dwelling or an office space perhaps. It’s only a tiny gold plaque on the wall that gives away its secret. For behind the Edwardian door of this abode is the home of Ushavani – a luxurious day spa that offers Malaysian treatments in a tranquil and private environment. From the moment you walk in, you know you’re in the lap of exclusive luxury.
I was here to sample the delights of the spa together with a Balinese massage treatment. After being let in through a buzzer, I was greeted by a member of staff and handed a cool cloth to freshen up while a tray arrived with slippers and my own shoes taken away. I noticed that Malaysian wood carvings and decorative artwork sat alongside original Edwardian features in perfect harmony. A huge statement wooden staircase behind the reception area made the place look magnificent which made me feel I was in a real special place. The fact I was in the heart of Chelsea neighbourhood seemed surreal with the whole building closed to to the outdoor world thanks to the drawn out curtains.
Although the spa is open to both men and women, the two are kept apart on different floors keeping in line with the Malaysian culture. The lower ground floor is for the women only while a men’s treatment room called the ‘Palace’ upstairs has it’s own shower and relaxation area. However, a couples room, the Asmara Suite (meaning ‘love’), is a huge private space kitted out with Malaysian dark wood furniture, plump colourful cushions, two massage beds divided by screens and its own sunken stone bath.
Because the treatments here are timed so you can enjoy the hydrotherapy pool and steam room all to yourself, I was advised to come along 45 minutes prior to my massage. After a quick change into my bathing suit, I made full use of the facilities finding the jets in the hydrotherapy pool firm and the temperature just right. The steam room worked a treat on my aching muscles while the tropical shower on the cold setting further helped blast away any tension. Having the place to myself before the treatment was a real nice touch about this place.
After having my fill in this sanctuary, I was whisked away to the treatment room by my therapist Belinda. She explained that the massage is powerful by nature but if I wanted to I could request the pressure to be eased at any point. After taking three deep breaths, Belinda began working on my body one limb at a time, then the back, the torso, and finally the shoulders. Not one inch of my body was missed and the deep pressure from her hands left me uplifted and recharged even though it didn’t feel like it at the time. But that is what the treatment, which originates from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, is designed to do. It effectively balances the body and restores vitality by releasing tension in the body and boosting circulation.
Post treatment I was taken to a dimly lit relaxation room void of any magazines (deliberately to further relax the mind and body) was a joy to sit in and just reflect on the treatment I had just had. The hibiscus tea went down rather well as I relaxed and felt grateful to Belinda for giving me a massage that was much needed.
Ushavani really hits the spot if you’re after a jolly good pampering closed away from the outside world. The treatment was exceptional, the atmosphere total bliss and the service next to none. Just one trip and it was obvious why Oxford Educated owner Usha Arumugam shunned her lawyer life for her passion of spas. It’s obvious her knowledge of the holistic well-being world is exceptional.
For more information on Ushavani visit here.
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