As anyone who works there already knows, Canary Wharf is so smart that there are no hoodies to be seen in its shopping centre, just pinstriped suits, PDAs, and five-inch stilettos. And that's the boys (I jest, obv). This is one high-maintenance environment in every sense. But as the City girls who work there also know, places to achieve that highly groomed, high-gloss finish are awfully thin on the ground. Salvation is to be found in the slick new Six Senses Spa at Pan Peninsula, which has brought its delicious Asian-influenced holistic spa rituals to the beauty-parched denizens of E14.
Readers, I checked it out. The tone of my visit was set when a Maserati pulled up as I was walking in the front door; inside the lobby a cleaner was polishing the already impeccable marble floor; the flower displays were as tall as me. There might as well have been a sign on the door saying, "Tycoons live here". And the spa? A deluxe, third-floor, eight-treatment-room sanctuary centred round its Bio-Thermal Suite, which has the ideal facilities to soothe furrowed hedge-fund brows: an aroma steam cabin (scented on my visit with orange blossom); a laconium; a Finnish dry sauna; a hydrotherapy pool with jets and ‘air seats'; and, my favourite, a sensory shower, where I played with the dials to take the shower by turns from a jungle-warm tropical downpour to a cool rainforest mist. As I gazed out of the windows at the bamboo garden outside I felt I was in Hong Kong, or Singapore, or Bangkok - but definitely not in London.
A full menu of massages, acupressure, reflexology, wraps, polishes, facials, manis, pedis, lash tinting, threading, waxing and so on is available, using Aromatherapy Associates' and Ilya's cult products, plus a speedy ‘express' mani-pedi-grooming menu for girls in a hurry. But I recommend booking Matthew for an off-menu Thai-Shiatsu massage (in truth, every treatment here can be customised) and giving yourself over to the fusion of the yoga-like stretches of Thai massage combined with the palm-pressure work of Shiatsu. Matthew managed to persuade the knots that had taken up residence in my shoulder to leave home - and they haven't dare return.
So if you can't actually get to Thailand this year then this would be a blissful substitute. Your ‘souvenir'? Make it one of the spa's cool red-check Turkish hammam towels. At only £10, they're a beauty bargain, too.
Six Senses Spa at Pan Peninsula, 2 Pan Peninsula Square, London, E14 9HA. From £12 for nail polish. Thai-Shiatsu massage, £90 for 50 minutes (020 7531 2320; sixsenses.com).
By Kate O'Donnell