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“Made me fall in love with London again”
Review of Porchester Spa

Porchester Spa
Ranked #47 of 632 Spas & Wellness in London
Attraction details
Reviewed June 8, 2014

I needed some time out so did lots of searching for a good spa day. I was prepared to spend a bit of money on it as I wanted something really special for myself but I also didn't want to be rushed (or ripped off). The Porchester was ideal. I paid £65 and spent a whole day (6 hours) at the spa. I was welcomed really warmly and shown around, and given two towels for my visit.

You get access to the swimming pool (council pool) where the staff were so lovely they found me a replacement pair of goggles after mine broke (I didn't even ask, they just took the initiative). It wasn't a super swish pool but it was great.

The spa itself is beautiful. The Frigidarium is so lovely and very conducive to long lie downs for a nap or a read. And the Spa Cafe is great and really good value so you don't need to go anywhere, it is all there.

The hot rooms and steam bath are fine. They could probably do with a face-lift and if you are bothered about places being sterile clean then you might not like it. But just take a leaf out of the regulars book - take your flip flops and a cut-up yoga mat to sit on and you'll be just fine. Everyone is so friendly (but not in your face) it is a real pleasure to hang out there for a day.

I had the scrub (?) and full-body massage and I was really happy with it. I am looking forward to going back soon. Even getting home at rush hour during the tube strike couldn't take the smile off my face.

8  Thank Lucy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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47 - 51 of 68 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2014 via mobile

I was given the Time Out package for a birthday present and was very sceptical about going after reading the reviews.
The treatments were actually surprisingly good if you don't mind a scrub on a slab and a hosing down and the full body massage was very good too. The interior of the spa is beautiful in an historic way but is marred by exposed pipes, maintenance work that looks like it's ongoing while the place is open and a council run feel what a shame this really let's it down big time. It would not have been my choice of place to go but I enjoyed the experience and the swim.
I prefer an attractive spa experience not rough around the edges so would not go back when there are other much better places in London to go!

3  Thank TanyaStone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2014

The Turkish baths at Porchester have been going for quite some time and I never think of it as a SPA never mind the mostly unwelcome additions to nudge it in that direction. in the 1960s & 70s you would often not find a place free on a Saturday afternoon such was its popularity. Beds with a curtain to take a kip after a steam bath or schmeiss ,Card schools, people talking about everything from schmutter to Astral projection via the First Division and far too may impressions of popular crooners. Then on other occasions the place was asleep.. all now gone. Like many other baths that used to exist in London..if you had a hard day/night or were a regular the quality of steam in the back room and sometimes the front was hard to beat..cold plunges..cups of tea or juice.whole melons.. .relaxation on loungers with a place full of characters some famous some not was the order of the day. Much quieter and expensive today and not for anyone expecting a 5 star Hotel Spa....but for the decent steam (Victorian plumbing prevailing) relaxing ceiling height and an easy going atmosphere...its probably unique with the exception of the hard to enter RCA Club in Pall Mall which will cost you a lot more!!!...well worth a a visit if you know how to have a proper steam (not as daft as it sounds).

6  Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2014

This is a very subjective review. I have been going since the 90's, and just went again today. I like moomkin's review and this place will divide people into those who can turn a blind eye to certain imperfections and see the beauty underneath, and those who want an altogether smoother, maybe more packaged experience. Over the years I've taken the rough (a cockroach running across the floor, strange whirring noises, and even, back in the day, staff smoking on site) with the smooth but each time I go I leave feeling uplifted.
Today I had a " Time Out " package which hubby bought me for Christmas. That's body scrub followed by a full body massage. The scrub happened in a big room, on a marble slab, I was unceremoniously hosed down afterwards (my mind turned to recollections of Silent Witness). The massage was great- firm, not painful , professionally done and no tedious efforts to sell me products before, during or afterwards. After that, it's the ritual mosey between sauna, steam room, tepidarium and back upstairs to chill in the high ceilinged, comprehensively tiled ground floor room. The jaccuzzi was axed years ago (apparently because of sexual shenanigans therein. Ah well......).The plunge pool was closed for maintenance. I could have used the swimming pool but decided to be lazy today.
Many have lamented the tired looking fixtures, the odd missing tile, and let's be honest, at times an apparent lack of hygiene. I can say that today it really was clean. There's a difference between old (which this place is and I love it for it) and dirty (which it isn't, at least it wasn't today).
In a London which is increasingly commercialised, sanitised and corporate, there are fewer and fewer of these shabby- cosy places left. Long may the Porchester spa live.

10  Thank missmoneypenny_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2014

Being new to London, and not really knowing of any good places for a good massage at a very decent price, I decided on the Porchester Spa based on the reviews I read on this site. The overall impression I had from the reviews was that this was not a place with all the bells and whistles of your Typical "Over Priced" Spa , but a nice setting in a 1920's era building with tons of character, and that is exactly what I found. We went on Saturday, which is Male only day. The staff were very pleasant, the facilities are definitely dated but clean. and the massage was Magic!! thanks to the wonderful hands Of Zolt, a wonderful Chap who can really work out any kinks you may have. All in all I had a really enjoyable time, and will definitely visit again, next time I will bring flip flops to wear, as they do not provide this and you cannot walk throughout the facilities in your street shoes.

5  Thank Conrad T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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