The Sanctuary Spa, Covent Garden refurbished

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The much loved day spa exclusively for women, The Sanctuary, Covent Garden, has been treated to a sumptuous makeover by Charles Leon Associates. The interior design company has transformed the previously dated schemes by re-interpreting the extravagantly styled interiors for which The Sanctuary is famed in a series of concepts encompassing the spa’s reception, lounge and dressing room. The á la carte Restaurant and iconic Koi Carp Lounge have also been refreshed The design moves The Sanctuary away from its underlying oriental theme towards a more English and eclectic vernacular. In reception, beyond the street level retail area, visitors are now greeted by a joyful confection of boudoir-style elements, such as three extraordinary cabinets, upholstered in deeply buttoned mushroom satin vinyl with mirrored doors and crystal doorknobs. These act as gentle crowd control, filtering guests towards a long, open and rather surreal reception desk, constructed with heavy gilt Baroque framed mirrors that seem to float above a layer of filmy sheer. The oversized Baroque pattern behind the reception desk is a design feature that reappears throughout the spa in varying scales and treatments – from wallpapers and fabrics to tiling and fretwork screens – as do delicately feminine crystal lights.

    It was key that the Lounge, located just above reception and adjacent to the internal retail area, remained clearly visible and welcoming to all visitors; however, it was also to serve a variety of needs from socialising to private relaxation and even sleeping. It has therefore been subtly ‘zoned’ into three areas, with screens and sheers building up gentle layers of privacy. While each area is distinct, they flow naturally into one another, creating a procession of subtle shifts in mood that become increasingly hushed and peaceful.

    The first area, furnished with comfortable armchairs and coffee tables, offers something of a café experience. Two playful fretwork screens on each side of this space mark entry into the Lounge and the beginning of the second area, which is more subdued and sumptuous than the first, softened with walls of bronze sheers and low lighting, a deep pile carpet and velvet upholstery fabrics. A partition of bronze shear marks entry to the third space lined with deep day-bed sofas where guests can recline and sleep. Food and drinks is served throughout the Lounge.

    Daniel Fountain / 28.06.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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