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“Don't go on a Saturday”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden - CLOSED

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Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden
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Owner description: Sanctuary Spa treats up to 60,000 women every year at our iconic home in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.A beautiful building filled with hidden treasures, the spa is a true Sanctuary away from the bustle of the City.The spa first opened its doors in 1977 and was created by a US Choreographer as a gift of love to his ballerina wife and it soon became a magical retreat for the dancers of the Royal Ballet to come and relax after training.For the last 35 years we have continued helping women to relax and rejuvenate whilst enjoying precious time together with friends and family. Sanctuary Spa is a fun place for enjoyment, whether you’re indulging in a glass of bubbly while lounging by the serene Koi Carp pools, applying a Moroccan mud mask or feeling aches and pains dissolve under the skilled fingers of our therapists.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Don't go on a Saturday”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

I have just visited The Sanctuary Spa today. On a positive note the spa and facilities are fantastic. I had a 55 minute sanctuary massage and a 25 minute oxygen facial and both treatments were excellent. The downside of the day was the sheer volume of people in there. At one point there was nowhere to sit in the koi carp lounge and it was very rowdy. A spa is supposed to be a relaxing experience not like being in a pub. It was so loud in the communal areas. Not really the relaxing day that i had in mind for 200 pounds! I think they need to section off 'quiet areas' for people to read and relax away from the hen parties. The food was really good but the service in the restaurant was appalling. I waited 25 minutes for a drink and every time I wanted to order something I had to get up and ask for it myself. It really put a downer on the day. If you can - stick to a weekday because apart from the treatments there was nothing relaxing about this spa day

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jojo L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuarySpa, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you for feeding back to us regarding your Spa Day. We are aware, like most spa's, that our weekends can be busier days for us. We strongly recommend our weekday spa experiences and our Sunday experience if you are looking for total relaxation from your day, espeically if you are coming alone for a total escape day. We do offer a relaxation lounge area away from any conversation which acts as our Snooze Zone.

We will pass your comments onto our Restaurant team so they can improve the service they are providing immediately as it is sad that this part of your day did not meet your expectations. We send our sincere apologies for this.

If you have any further queries or questions please contact us on info.uk@sanctuary.com.

Kind regards, The Sanctuary team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

267 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Peterborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Nice, but nothing special”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

Went today with a friend for a mini spa break - glad we got an offer and only went for the half day as 1) it is expensive for what it is and 2) Without lunch and treatments, you would be hard-pressed to keep yourself occupied here for more than 2-3 hours. I had a nice, relaxing time, but I would not suggest this is a place to go if you are on your own and looking for peace and quiet as the place is very large and can get noisy at times. The only place where it was possible to fully relax was the sleep treatment room, where we had a lovely guided meditation for 25 minutes in a dark, warm room on a lovely, vibrating bed! There was plenty of space to sit with friends and chat, read, eat etc but the place was lacking in warm, quiet relaxation rooms. The steam room and sauna (or sanarium and hamman as they are called in the spa!) were both very nice, although I can imagine on weekends they must get very crowded. There are two jacuzzis, one near the pool which is small and often full, and another bigger and deeper jacuzzi which is set apart from the pool which is usually quieter. The swimming pool was ok but it is rather tired looking and you can't relax round the sides as would be expected. It also has two rather large pillars in the middle of the pool taking up a huge amount of space - not ideal for swimming laps. The shower area and changing rooms are nice and large and they have a snazzy way of locking the lockers with your wrist band - no annoying keys to cart around with you. There were plenty of towels and robes on offer and a nice selection of sanctuary shower products and body/face creams. Nearly all the showers had broken shampoo/conditioner bottles which is not the sign of a well-maintained place. Shame, as such a small detail makes a big difference.

Overall, I enjoyed my time at the spa, but I'm not sure I would go back unless there was a very good offer. Given the size and layout of the place, I would say this is a good spa for large groups of friends, but not for solo spa goers.

As we were leaving, we discovered that the spa will be closing down in May next year so be warned if you have a voucher that is going to expire!

The free thimble of drink and the magazines at the entry were a nice touch.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank KAWJuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuarySpa, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to feedback to us regarding your experience at The Sanctuary. Firstly we would like to apologise for the shampoo bottles in the showers. Unfortunately there has been a long delay on the delivery of new fixtures but we are aware and rectifying this as soon as we can. We have been supplying Charles Worthington Shampoo & Conditioner in all showers whilst we rectify this issue.

We do have our Lavender relaxation lounge for escape from any noise in the Koi Karp lounge on busier days and can also receommend our Twilight or Evening spa experiences during the week until 10pm.

We are glad you enjoyed your day and will take all your feedback on board and make any improvements we can to avoid any further disappointment from other guests. If we can assist any further please contact us on info.uk@sanctuary.com

Kind regards, the Sanctuary team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely Sunday treat”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I visited The Sanctuary on Sunday and had a lovely, relaxing time. Firstly, the Koi lounge was beautiful and what a surprise that this is hidden away in the middle of town. I had a lovely facial and an amazing muscle melt massage. We had a really tasty lunch and spent most of the day snoozing and lounging around. If you're expecting to be kept busy all day, then this place probably isn't for you. If you want to shuffle around, unwind and basically sit around doing nothing then I'd strongly recommend this place. It was lovely to take time out for a day. It is rather expensive but I think worth it.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank CatG66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuarySpa, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to feedback to us regarding your experience with us at the Sanctuary Spa. We all take great pride in our building and it is wonderful to read that our guests feel the way that we do about the Sanctuary. The team here are passionate about providing great customer service and want each and every one of our guests to walk away feeling great! We really hope we will welcome you again in the near future. Kind regards, The Sanctuary team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
52 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Nice relaxing day”
Reviewed December 4, 2013 via mobile

I visited the Spa with my two daughters and had a really nice relaxing day. The Spa has lots of steps so not ideal for the less mobile the treatments were good and lunch well cooked The pool was a little chilly but ok once you started swimming briskly! We all had a good time and for Central London it was reasonably good value

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
Thank ElsieLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuarySpa, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to feedback to us regarding your day. We take all guest feedback seriously and pass praise to our teams here. We are all very passioante about our roles at the Sanctuary Spa and thank you for your kind words. We hope we can welcome you again very soon. Kind regards, The Sanctuary team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not worth the cost....”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

My best friend bought me a voucher which covered a full lunch and a treatment for a recent birthday present. I went alone on Monday and I have to say overall it was very disappointing and wasn't what I was expecting for the cost. I left early as I was quite bored and couldn't find anywhere quiet to completely relax...I have so many things to say about my visit, probably best to list as positives and negatives...

Positives...

My check in was seamless and the receptionist was lovely - she explained how everything worked and walk me all around the spa which was really appreciated as I was on my own.

The changing rooms and shower area were clean - although a lot of the shower gel/shampoo/conditioner bottles were either missing or broken in the shower cubicles and the metal trays you stood on were loose. Plenty of clean towels everywhere though..

The guided meditation session was great - mainly because it was the only place, as someone on their own, where I could get complete peace. It's probably the only place I really relaxed all day!

Negatives...

The Lavender Lounge seems to be the only really quietish place to relax - it has some lovely large bed type sofas and blankets but it's right next to the shop and stairs and a thoroughfare for staff. So with no door you could hear everything that was going on in the shop and with staff. I have no idea why such a bad design error was made when there are no other quiet areas. Big disappointment for me - take headphones with some relaxing music if you go on your own.

Main Koi room was far too noisy for relaxation - I was even disturbed from reading. Great if you are in a group.

General design seems dated and a bit jaded (tables all scuffed in restaurant, tiles comes up etc..) I wouldn't say it was very luxurious the pool area was very plain.

I had the Environ facial - lovely friendly therapist but for £90 I expected a lot more and the room was tiny with the therapist bashing the bed every time she moved around. Also, even though I should have thought it through I think it would be a good idea to remind people when they check in that that they shouldn't really go into the heat rooms after their facial treatments, so they can plan to do them beforehand.

I had my lunch booked for 12.45 and was served quite quickly (but they had no idea I had a lunch voucher so had to go off and check details with reception) with my soup starter but then the restaurant filled up and I wasn't approached again. After being ignored for over 35 mins I had to get someone's attention as I didn't think I was going to have time to eat my main before my treatment. Quite a bit of choice on the menu but sadly my fish cake was extremely disappointing - I would say it was a potato/onion cake with a hint of crab. However, I did go back in the afternoon for banoffee pie which was lovely.

Receptionist on check out seemed confused about my facial upgrade and tried to charge me 60 instead of 45. She had to go through the treatments with someone else and then even I started to get confused about the overall cost.

Sorry Sanctuary, very disappointing and even more so in that this was an expensive present from a good friend which I was really looking forward to..... :(

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Clare A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuarySpa, Guest Relations Manager at Sanctuary Spa Covent Garden, responded to this review, December 5, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to feedback back. We will definitely take on board the suggestions you have made and address the concerns you have listed. As a team we are committed to delivering a quality experience and although not normal for us, we totally agree that some of the feedback you have given is relevant to the expected level of service. Because the Sanctuary used to be a dance studio and relaxtion retreat for London Ballerinia's and prior to that a banana factory, it is a challenging lay out as well as a graded building. We have worked to create a quirky but relaxing environment that has been successful for over 35 years and we do our very best to maintain the building to create a luxury spa day experience. We can definitely recommend bringing your own music along for the Koi lounge and a good book to read if coming alone. Thank you again for your time and feedback. Kind regards, The Sanctuary
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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