Sofitel So Spa: simply spa-vellous

Want to look younger? Forget Botox, nips and tucks... a Japanese ancestral ritual technique called Ko Bi Do offered at central London’s So Spa can guarantee results - naturally

All eyes may have been on Stratford this summer, but it’s the West End that is the centre of London life. Don’t believe us? Just ask the London Evening Standard which last month introduced a new regular West End page for, as the paper put it, the West End is “the hub of London’s life.”

Heading to the West End in the run up to Christmas? A couple of hours hidden away in a seriously good spa should feature on everyone’s vacation list. The West End is hardly short of places to be pampered, but So SPA gets my vote. An important part of the Sofitel St James hotel, this French pamper palace combines zen like serenity with delicious opulence.

Step through the door of the original grade 11 listed building and cross the bridge to the spa, to be greeted by the soothing sound of soft music and welcoming staff. The manic buzz and neon lights of Piccadilly Circus is soon forgotten as you’re bundled up in a bathrobe and slippers and talked through the extensive treatment list. The menu of treatments could leave even the most seasoned of spa goer lost for choice but wanting to look younger (who doesn’t?) without going down the ‘freeze and fill’ option that so many celebs turn to in their bid to keep ageing at bay, I opted for the Youthfulness Ko Bi Do Ritual - aka 60 minutes of anti-wrinkle care.

I’d love to be able to describe the treatment in depth for you but alas once I was horizontal on the treatment table, relaxation took hold and I spent the next hour drifting in and out of sleep as layer after layer of heavenly Carita products were slathered all over my (increasingly lined) face. While my skin was soaking in goodness, my therapist delivered long, smooth, stress relieving strokes around the most fragile areas of my face (the eyes, forehead and lips) as well as my neck and shoulders – a sublime experience that left me feeling suitably blissed out.

And when it’s all over, you can head to the relaxation lounge and enjoy a cup of complimentary cup of cha (I went for white tea) and continue chillaxing. Some time later, I finally made it back to the changing room and was ecstatic to find that the facial had delivered the desired results: namely a firmer, fresher, flawless face. I left sparkling like a star, ready to sample Soho’s infamous nightlife and - hand on my heart - received compliments from friends about how well I was looking. Job done!

True at £90, the Youthfulness Ko Bi Do Ritual isn’t the cheapest treatment in town but for better, younger looking skin - achieved naturally, without any needles - it’s well worth the wedge. Simply spa-vellous.

The Youthfulness Ko Bi Do Ritual at the Sofitel’s So Spa costs 60 minutes for £90. For more information or to make a reservation, visit