I do treat myself to a nice day at the spa from time to time and Porchester is my top choice. I love the fact that it has nothing to do with the modern, corporate spas but rather kept its old time appeal. I feel really comfortable there as most of the visitors are of my age and like the fact that it is single sex. Furthermore the people that go there are quite friendly which helps me relax and really enjoy the experience.
I do not usually read reviews because I prefer to make up my mind for myself. I have never written a review either but after the events of September 7th 2011, I had to write this to warn people.
I paid £23.60 for my ticket and was given 2 towels and a quick tour of the facilities. I used the sauna, steam and plunge pool. I would not say the facilities were in the best of conditions I would say it was a scene of Grime and Crime!
Anyway after completing a few circuits of sauna/steam I thought it was time to get my own shower gel from my locker. My shower gel was called Joop and came with an aftershave set.
I left the gel for 60 seconds in the shower to go and get my second towel to dry off. On returning it had vanished! When I asked the men if anyone had seen it they all laughed and said it was a natural occurrence for things to go missing there. I attempted to complain to the attendant who just said that you have to watch your stuff like a hawk there. I was also informed that the council accepted no responsibility for stolen items although there were no signs written anywhere stating this!
To make matters worse whilst this conversation was taking place a regular visitor called the attendant by first name to come over to his locker. His locker had been smashed in broad daylight, his trousers had been stolen! The poor man had his wallet in his trousers containing £400! I just felt really sorry for him standing there with no trousers. How was he going to get home it was not at all funny.
It appears that the place is infested with some low life thieves so go there at your peril. The establishment has a very real security problem and I for one will never visit that place again!
Booked myself for a body scrub at the Porchester Spa for 15GBP and it fealt like I stepped into another world.
When I walked in there was a guy in a kitchen openly preparing a fried fish. Reminds me of some backward Eastern European country. Then when the doors swung open I look upon a gloomy hall with old naked men.
Overheard men talking about money and scams and it seemed like a gone back to the Rachman era when Westbourne Grove and surrounds were pretty run down.
Despite every corner of the place looking like a crime scene, the staff were friendly and the scrub itself was novel. I don't think I've ever been quite so emotional about pain, embarrassment and smooth skin since I was a virgin.
5 stars if you like odd London experiences. 1 star if you're a man like myself who thinks they should be in a bright Californian "ClubSport" being rubbed down by a young latina.
I only came for the Turkish baths and steam room. If you have ever watched the movie Eastern Promises, this is what the facilities remind me of. Lots of old green and white tiling. The relaxation room looks like it was very grand at one point - now adorned with various pieces of plastic furniture, it has been now relegated to a life of shabby functionality.
The facilities are constantly cleaned by the staff there, but I was a little bit grossed out by all the signs explicitly saying "no exfoliating with mitts and muds in the facilities", and tons of women not heeding these so-called rules.
There is a menu and a little cafe - unfortunately I didn't try anything. I hope to come back for one of the services (exfoliation, massages)
Facilities are a bit old, but overall clean. Only £13.50 with a MyWestminster card, otherwise around £23. Quite a steal for Central London, and a unique experience.
My mum booked us in for the women's day spa (Thursdays) for my birthday. I had a fantastic day and could not believe that the day costs only £30 and includes use of the steam room, cold plunge pool,, sauna and swimming pool. She also booked us in for a full body scrib which was great and a bargain at only £10. In between treatments we chilled out in our white robes on loungers in the green tiled relaxtion room. I would definately recommend Porchester Spa and the prices are unbelievable for a Central London location.
Went there for a swim today. Good value and staff could not have been more friendly.
On the one hand I don't know why I'm doing this, this is my absolute favourite place in London and I don't want too many people knowing about it in case it's difficult to get into! This is an old victorian spa with russian dry rooms, turkish baths, swedish sauna, beauty treatments, a cafe, and all in the most amazing surroundings - green and white tiles, a blue mosaiced plunge pool etc etc. On entry you receive two towels and a gingham wrap and for the next few hours you'll be in heaven, make sure you bring face packs etc to pamper yourself with. The moroccan scrub is great value as is the whole experience, particularly if you have a Westminster Residents card which gives discount on entry.
A great place to unwind, but it is not a clean environment, which sadly lets it down. On the plus side, I had a wonderful massage (which is available to everyone, price reasonable for central London).
However, one thing lets it down. The hall itself could be restful but it is actually rather noisy, the sound echoing around the hall due to the tiled floor. I visited with 3 girlfriends and we enjoyed ourselves in spite of this. A group of 12 women arrived who had been obviously drinking prior to their visit in the afternoon so gone was the restful atmosphere. It tends to attract large groups who do not pay regard to others, having heard from people at work who have visited previously. Of course, the Porchester will always be known as a place where one can rest away from the hustle and this is true, it is indeed an institution and hopefully will stay that way. It is lovely to take tea in the afternoon after a massage and plunge pool. It is quite easy to spend £100 here if you spend the day, on various treatments!
However, I picked up a foot rash when last visiting so I don't think I would return just yet. And I was wearing flip flops!
not overly impressed with this place. let me start out by saying i am a spa goer. i've been to some world-class spas, and i've found that you can really get a flavor for an area at these neighborhood bathhouses. i go to korean bathhouses in LA and orange county all the time, so i'm accustomed to a utilitarian aesthetic.
so i knew what i was getting into before i even entered the place, and my expectations weren't high as far as the facilities. it's old. it's moldy. it's not the cleanest place, but i can live with that. what really bothered me was the customer service. i booked a 90 minute massage, and it was confirmed. when i got there and checked in, it had been somehow downgraded to a 30 minute massage. luckily that was fixed. the facility is two floors, so i asked the attendant where i should wait for my massage. all she said was 'they'll call your name.' okay -- fine. so i fell asleep on one of the plastic chaise longues on the second floor and awoke to two women calling my name. it was now 10 minutes into my massage appointment, and apparently you had to be waiting downstairs. the massage therapist was kind of bitchy about my lack of understanding about the protocol. i had to go to the bathroom and then she had me fill out paperwork -- this should have been done when i checked in. so now i'm almost 20 minutes into my appointment. the massage therapist decided to interrogate me about why i needed a 90 minute massage. what difference does it make? i'm paying for it, so just get on with it already. at this point i was so annoyed that i almost walked out but i calmed down and the massage itself was serviceable. the bed was sort of hard and the massage therapist was wearing shorts and a tank top. personally, save your money and go to a nicer spa. between the spa admission and the price of the massage and the tip i dropped more than 100 pounds. spend your money elsewhere. it's not worth it. they don't even have a jacuzzi. i'm going to try sanctuary spa at covent gardens today to make up for this disappointing experience.
Stunning art deco Turkish baths with arches, tiles and decadent spaces to lounge about in with mint tea, fruits and scones. A green mermaid overlooks the icy cold plunge pool (so cold it is hard not to scream, though you will be frowned upon if you do!). Start by taking it easy in the frigidarium (least hot room), move into the tepidarium to sweat, or if brave to the laconicum - very hot room - if you can bear it, and sweat away your worries. I would recommend taking flip flops as the floor is so hot you end up hopping otherwise. One steam room is so steamy you can't see anyone in it. There is a roomy sauna too. Most people go naked (there are alternate days for men or women, and one mixed day when swimwear is worn), although you are given a cloth and two towels to wrap around you. You can book massages and body scrubs there, and order food too. It is expensive but you can use the swimming pool too, and as you can spend three hours there it is worth it.
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