The Curtain hotel and private member's club in Shoreditch has become a top meeting place for London creatives but few know of their small underground spa.
Creatives either flock to the public bar and restaurant down on the ground floor or buy their way into the exclusive members’ spaces – which boast a 24-hour gym, workspace, underground bar and dining area, club and live music venue, and the envy-inducing rooftop restaurant and swimming pool overlooking the City skyline.
But the small spa hidden downstairs is all-too often overlooked. It doesn’t offer a wide variety of treatments, only having a small space to work within, but what it does, it does oh so well. It’s very much the style of The Curtain.
What is it?
The Curtain’s wellness spa is located down on the third underground level of the hotel, right by the members-only gym.
Within the small space lies a row of lockers in a changing room shared by both men and women. Here there are a handful of bathrooms with large showers and the like for those not wanting to get changed out in front of everyone else. There’s also a steam room and sauna shared by gymgoers, hotel guests and those visiting for treatments.
Anyone is free to book a treatment in The Curtain’s spa and use the facilities – no need to be a member or guest to access this space.
The spa offerings are then split into three categories: relaxation, recovery and rejuvenation. Within each of these sections lies a small selection of massages, scrubs and facials.
How does it work?
When we went to try it all out for ourselves, we opted for the recovery treatment option. Sometimes a relaxing massage is just what the doctor ordered, but we often think a massage should be more than light rubbing. We want to work out all the kinks; pop out the knots in our back and shoulders; shed a few tears.
And the massage therapists used by The Curtain won’t hold back. First off, they’ll have a quick chat about what you want to get out of the treatment and hear about your troubled spots that will inevitably need extra attention.
Sadly, they don’t give an enormous amount of time to settle into everything and get changed. You walk straight into the small treatment room without getting any fun slippers, robe or the wonderfully embarrassing disposable underwear. It feels a little rushed as they focus on the treatment itself rather than the overall spa experience.
This isn’t entirely unexpected from a spa which forms but one small part of The Curtain’s extensive list of private and public experiences. This will surely get some more attention as time goes on.
Treatments themselves are ace. The team here know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to giving a proper deep tissue massage. If your body is creaking a little, they’ll crack it out. If you’re feeling tight, they won’t hold back when working away at your tendons and muscles. That is, unless you ask for less pressure.
And once you’re done, you’re taken right back into the changing rooms to either pack up and go or indulge a little further with some lounging in the steam room and sauna.
Again, there isn’t a huge focus on letting you unwind and slowly come back to the real world – you’re somewhat thrust back into it. A separate post-treatment relaxation room wouldn’t go astray down here. But, if you’re a private member, you couldn’t end the experience on a better note than by wandering up to the heated rooftop pool for a little swim and some leisurely lunch in the sun. It doesn’t get much more luxurious than that.
What are the benefits?
We all need to regularly pamper ourselves. Have a little me-time where we escape everything at home and at work. A retreat like this will give you all the mind and body benefits you need.
And as it is all tailored to the individual, what each person gets from the long list of treatments will also be different. Those opting for relaxation can expect full body massages that turn your body to jelly right on the table. Go in for a quick 30-minute speedy relax session or dive all in for 90 minutes of total self-indulgence.
You’ll emerge from this underground retreat, far more centred and prepared to deal with all those real-life stresses you forgot you had. It’s like resetting your body to factory settings.
But the deep tissue and sports massages will give you far more body benefits. Again, it all depends on what is irking you. Most of us office folk have a tight back and shoulders from sitting around all day doing little stretching and active moving. A deep tissue massage will help crack everything back into place and reduce stiffness.
The Curtain Spa treatments are super affordable with most 30-minute massages starting at £35, 60 minutes at £65, and 90 minutes at £90. It is not the most extensive spa service in London, but you get a whole lot for what you’re spending.
Where is it?
The Curtain, 45 Curtain Road EC2A 3PT.