The lowdown Located in the heart of St James in Waterloo Place, just off Pall Mall and few minutes walk down from Piccadilly Circus, this classic London building, once a bank and now the Sofitel London St James hotel, has retained many of its historic features but oozes French chic the moment you pass through the doors.
The spa Housed over three floors, the So SPA has retained many of the building’s original features - an elegant oak staircase, rose-coloured marble walls, decorative mouldings on the ceilings and marble columns. Yet the place feels very modern and light, with glass and metal panels and bright yellow, pink and purple velvet upholstered seating.
What I had Parisian women have been flocking to the Sofitel Paris Le Faubourg for Celine Claret-Coquet's new acupuncture facelift, and now she has brought this treatment to London on the first Tuesday of every month. Book in fast! This is what some are calling the alternative to Botox – fine gold needles are inserted into various points on the face to stimulate the platysma muscles. Since these muscles are closely linked to the skin, their stimulation helps tone the entire face. I’ll be honest…it doesn’t actually hurt but it’s not the most pleasant of sensations while the needles are going in. But after my therapist had finished (about ten minutes), I was left to relax for 20 minutes. I noticed a marked difference after my first treatment (a course of 4 is recommended to start with) – my skin was more radiant and firm and I’m sure I detected that the odd fine line had been smoothed! This treatment is recommended for more mature skins but can also delay the appearance of wrinkles and the first signs of skin slackening from the age of 25.
The details So SPA at Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Place, London SW1Y 4AN. To book call 020 7747 2204. The acupuncture facelift costs
£145 for a 45-minute session and appointments are available on the first Tuesday of every month. Visit sofitelstjames.com
By Jeannette Arnold