The pronunciation, spelling and meaning of ‘Hygge’ has had the nation perplexed all winter. Put simply, Hygge (or Hue-Gah) is the art of ‘creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.’ With so many of us suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the winter months due to lack of sunlight and outdoor activity, a good dose of Hygge could be exactly what we need to pep us all up. So when I received an invitation to try out some Hygge therapy at west London’s K Spa in the K West Hotel, it seemed an offer too good to refuse.
While the hotel may not look much from the outside, it is mightily impressive on the inside. Housed in an ex-BBC building and recording studio, there’s a huge selection of contemporary art on the walls of the lobby bar and Studio kitchen, and there are hat-tops to the many artists who have roamed the corridors dotted around every room. The Studio bar is a favourite for A Listers and after-parties, but what I didn’t know until now is that the building also houses a sprawling spa in its basement.
On offer in K Spa is a little dose of sunshine to brighten up a winter’s day, offering the opportunity to indulge in some serious relaxation and top up vitamin D levels, leaving you feeling fresh faced and full of energy, ready to take on the world.
I arrived at the K West one dreary afternoon last week and was shown to the changing rooms where a towel and robe were provided so I could enjoy the wet spa with its sauna, steam room and hydrotherapy pool before embarking on my Hygge overhaul. The afternoon went like this:
Step 1: Relax in the wet spa
The underground wet spa offers a variety of hydrotherapy options to ease you into your afternoon. Unfortunately by the time I had been checked in I only had about half an hour to spend in there, but I enjoyed every minute.
Step 2: Cool down in the Snow Paradise
K Spa’s Snow Paradise mimics the Finnish experience of alternating between freezing and steamy environments. Guests can truly relax and cool down in snow made exclusively of air and water, free of any unnatural chemical additives. Filled with the finest natural snow powder, the spa is set to an icy temperature of -15 ºC. To maximise the health benefits, guests are advised to alternate between steamy and icy environments, known as a hot-cold therapy. As well as health benefits for the immune and respiratory system, this also improves circulation and at the same time works natural wonders for cellulite. A word of warning: while undoubtedly good for the body and mind, this experience is not for the faint hearted!
Step 3: Catch some ZZZZZs
There’s no experience more Hygge than a Dry Floatation at K Spa. Sady this wasn’t available when I visited, but I’m hoping to head back to try it out very soon. The Dry Floatation experience promises guests the equivalent of 8 hours sleep in only half an hour – something my toddler-addled mind is crying out for! A key word to describe the Hygge trend is ‘indulgence’, which also perfectly describes this sought-after treatment. Guests are encased in a deep waterbed which offers a floating sensation. This magically eliminates all of the tension from the body’s pressure points.
Step 4: Enjoy a Hot Stone Massage
This wonderfully relaxing massage utilises warm stones to relax muscles and release tension, leaving you feeling balanced physically, mentally and spiritually. My male therapist used smooth, heated stones as an extension of his own hands for what was one of the most incredible massages I have ever had. The heat from the stones really worked its way into my aching shoulders, and the use of Aromatherapy Associates essential oils was deeply relaxing. My therapist asked about any problem areas before he began, so concentrated on particular parts and really left me feeling revived and energised by the end of the 50 minute treatment.
Step 5: Stimulate your senses in Sun Meadow:
K Spa’s Sun Meadow Treatment Room mimics natural daylight, which is essential to ensuring an all-over sense of well-being. The purpose built room uses the latest technology in light therapy, to encourage the body to relax and rejuvenate away from the stresses of the outside world, creating the ultimate Hygge space. The meadow is an open-plan room with low lighting, gentle sounds and woodland wallpaper, with a sunken double bed in the middle. It is a perfect size to be able to enjoy with a guest, allowing you to benefit from togetherness – a popular Hygge buzzword.
- If you’re looking for pure indulgence and total relaxation, then K Spa is the place for you. It’s a holistic haven where mind, body and spirit converge to create an unforgettable and deeply pleasurable moment in time. To see full price lists or to book your heavenly hygge afternoon, see www.k-west.co.uk/k-spa