von Essen

The lowdown Hotel Verta, right next to the Heliport, opened last month and is part of the luxury von Essen chain. Overlooking the Thames, this really is a state of the art building and on entering the lobby prepare to be wowed by the double-height atrium with sweeping staircase up to the mezzanine level.

The spa is housed in the basement and is a veritable tranquil, subterranean oasis. Facilities include a hydro-vitality pool with under water jets, as well as a sanarium, steam room, sauna and gym. The four treatment rooms are decorated in calming pale greens and cream, and have fabulous power showers, fluffy bathrobes, slippers and soothing music.

The treatments We, along with Cheryl Cole, Carla Bruni and Dita Von Teese, are great fans of Anne Sémonin products, so we were excited to know that this range is used here. Prices for spa treatments start at £65 for a 30-minute express facial, just the thing if you are short of time but in need of a quick fix. But for a really luxe pamper, we recommend “London to Paris with Anne Sémonin” (£200), a two-hour face and body ritual.

To start with, your body is exfoliated with black sand from Tahiti mixed with aromatic oils - this leaves the skin wonderfully soft and silky. Next you lie down on warm bubbling seaweed to release tension and muscular aches and pains in your back while you enjoy a made-to- measure facial. The session also includes a foot and scalp massage. We can’t think of a better way to while away two hours!

Post spa After a little snooze in the relaxation area, the best way to round off a perfect afternoon is with a cocktail and a plate of tapas in the Vertilon Bar, while enjoying the stunning views across the river.

The details If you live in this part of town, annual membership starts at £115 per month. For a one-off visit, with use of all the fabulous facilities, a day pass costs £50 plus the price of your spa treatment. Or just book in for a treatment of your choice.

Get there Spa Verta, Hotel Verta, Bridges Wharf, Battersea, London SW11 3BE. Tel: 020 7801 3500


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Jeannette Arnold