Dive in: London’s coolest swimming pools

Dive in: London’s coolest swimming pools

When the temperature in London soars, make a splash in a swimming pool. Kohinoor Sahota dives into some of the city’s coolest ones

London – the bustling metropolitan city – might not have a beach, but it certainly has lots of pools, from rooftop spots to private offerings.

The Langham’s Chuan Spa was refurbished last year, and its pool is one of its most dramatic features – in fact, it used to be a large bank vault. Located at the top of Regent Street, the spa specialises in treatments based on traditional Chinese methods and medicines. The 16m-long, basement-based pool (pictured below) boasts a beautiful, oriental mural and steam and sauna rooms to help you unwind when you need a break from city life. If you’re looking for a bit of privacy, the Chuan Spirit VIP suite has its own Japanese square bath (pictured bottom), which is perfect for couples to bathe in together.

Kohinoor Sahota

Jul 28th 2019

Who knows who you might bump into at the Bamford Haybarn Spa in The Berkeley hotel? The spa and the luxury brand behind it have always been in fashion. Late designer, Alexander McQueen, was a regular at The Berkeley, while model Kate Moss loves the Cotswolds branch, and there has been a whole host of famous faces seen at the most recently opened Bamford Haybarn Brompton Cross Spa. What The Berkeley hotel pool (pictured below) lacks in size – it is only 10m long – it makes up for with its postcard-worthy views over the Royal Parks and its limited-edition, lemon tree-lined ‘La Dolce Vita’ haven. Bringing the Amalfi coast to London for this summer only.

The secluded garden (pictured below), usually reserved for hotel guests, has Italian-inspired spa treatments and an aperitivo hour complete with Bellinis, Aperol spritzes and Negronis, classic Italian pizzette and arancini if your swim has worked up an appetite.



The closest you can get to a beach in the capital is at one of its numerous ponds and lidos, which are beloved by locals. Hampstead Heath Ponds is a magical setting: stumble upon the lakes hidden by trees and you’ll feel as though you’ve found a secret spot. There are men’s, women’s and mixed ponds. Other outdoor pools include Tooting Bec Lido and the Serpentine Lido in Hyde Park.

The Landmark London, which is more than 100 years old, is one of London’s most luxurious hotels so it’s no surprise to find its spa is so special. Its chlorine-free pool is a rarity in London. If you’ve had a full day of sightseeing, dip into the Jacuzzi – it simulates a massage, preventing stiffness and releasing endorphins.

At the Bvlgari hotel, you’ll feel like you’re in Italy. There are glittering Byzantine mosaics made from the Venetian and Vicenza stone commonly used in Italian architecture. There’s a vitality pool – decked in gold-leaf tiles, of course – that gives you a full-body water massage. And, as the Bvlgari won the Good Spa Guide’s award for Best Spa in London, you know you’re in safe hands. It’s time to dive right in! |
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Luxury Spa Spots

Aveda Institute
This three-storey salon offers cuts, colour, blow dries and botanical treatments using Aveda’s plant-based products. The Express Beauty Bar has a range of quick-fix treatments, including facials and waxing, taking 15 or 30 minutes.
174-177 High Holborn, WC1V 7AA
020 7759 7355 |

Chuan body+SOUL
Step inside this recently refurbished luxury spa in The Langham and allow the principles of Chinese medicine to rebalance your mind, body and spirit.
2 Cavendish Place, W1B 3DE
020 7973 7550 |

Elemis Day Spa
This spa specialises in facials that tackle ageing, pigmentation and blemishes. Feeling sociable? There’s a private suite for two so you can share the experience with a guest while sipping a glass of Champagne.
2 Lancashire Court, W1S 1EX
020 7499 4995 |

Mandara Spa
The spa’s luxe Asian décor includes a bamboo forest, Mondrian paintings and Japanese Shoji screens. Try the warm bamboo massage, which uses bamboo stalks soaked in essential oils to reinvigorate the body.
Park Plaza Hotel, 200 Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7UT
020 7620 7300 |


Mandarin Oriental
A luxury hotel spa inspired by traditional Chinese medicine. The relaxation spot has undergone a major upgrade recently. Facilities include a 17m-long pool and a gym for personal-training sessions.
66 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LA
020 7235 2000 |

One Aldwych
A contemporary spa offering a vast range of treatments using luxury brands including Natura Bissé and British skincare brand, Oskia. The pool, meanwhile, is chlorine-free and has underwater music to keep you entertained while you swim.
1 Aldwych, WC2B 4BZ
020 7300 0600 |

The Refinery
A men-only spa which offers everything from a traditional cut-throat shave to a sports massage. Want to master a wet shave? Then book a Principles of Shaving lesson. Also available at Harrods and Knightsbridge branch.
18 Grosvenor Street, W1K 4QQ
020 7409 2001 |

The Spa at Brown’s
This oasis of calm in Brown’s Hotel boasts a premium selection of treatments and a 24-hour gym. The spa’s treatments include an age-defying gold facial and a primrose and peony pedicure.
Albemarle Street, W1S 4BP
020 7493 6020 |