Right after the opening, It was great to catch an available slot on a Sunday afternoon. Unexpected between big blocks of the new estate, the spa `s doors literally lead me to a hammam in Morocco.
The warm welcome started with a kind voice on the phone. The team was patient and helpful all the tree times i called to change my appointment. The warm welcome of the Spa Manager and the tea on our arrival - well learned how to serve - completed the picture. Brand new, fresh team with a brand new decoration appealing every eye and the size making you feel in your own private wellness club justifies the price. This place is made for exclusivity. After the Bentley Hotel, Crystal Palace, Casa Spa and Pasha I am happy to see this here as well. The treatment was well applied (Thanks Jane again) but many people probably will ask to have it warmer there.
Lastly i want to mention a small detail in the generosity with pistachios and dried apricots which won`t be forgotten. Al tough fresh fruits like orange are more suitable after dehydration in the hammam and as a tradition, fresh mint tea was made always available and the teams hospitality was 5star throughout the experience.
Porchester Spa is meant to be the oldest Spa Facility in London and is still serving with high capacity with all the amenities built around it to keep fit a big community. We have visited the Baths section specially to try the Turkish Bath experience...
Actually, looking at the architecture, it is clearly an ancient style bath but the same confusion again - it is a Victorian Turkish Bath... With the separate Dry and Wet Hot rooms, low and high steam rooms it has almost all the features of a Roman Bath and its rituals... I am happy as a Turkish person that these add to our reputation but actually they are not our invention at all. Anyway, back to the subject.
From the resting and dressing area as depicted in the images, as if you are getting ready for the lion fight at the Colosseum, you go trough some labyrinth like rooms to find your way downstairs. It works like a time machine trowing you to a beach front. The only think missing is the Sunlight !
The body brush experience is exciting to wait for if you do not know what will come. You see the special wet room (you wish it would be warmer) and you get your first black soap on your body. Zsolt, a Hungarian Therapist is bringing all his effort to make you feel in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Being a pianist himself, he has strong hands and can unlock all knots on your back with swift movements. Compared to magnificent Hungarian Turkish Baths - this place is of course just tiny. But honestly - we all know that black soap is not the Turkish ritual neither - this is purely Moroccan. What comes next it more interesting... He takes his bath brushes and washes you... That is washing and polishing in one go... Very surprised. That i have seen for the first time but not different how it was explained. I just learned a new style... and that is not the only new think you would learn at Porchester. They are also offering a special Shim-see Soap Massage done by a Jewish Therapist, told that this is a Jewish tradition...
So if you go for the results, rest your body and are ok to mix in the crowd, Porchester is a must see one of the last 6 historical Victorian Turkish Baths in the World... For the city-guys, there is a fully equipped gym and a semi-olympic swimming pool as well. Strongly recommended for fit-spa explorers..
Very glad visiting a new Turkish Bath in London, this is really the best in its authenticity and comfort of its facilities. Crystal Palace has achieved the highest end in architecture and managed to put an original marble wet room, a Moroccan bath room and a separate steam room together under one roof. Depending on your level of your heartbeat you can enjoy different levels of temperature and humidity.
Orhan, one of the best head hamam therapists in London is delivering the original Turkish / Ottoman ritual he learned from his mother for generations. It is just completing the experience to a truly Istanbul journey. Must be taken !
Very near to Pasha, these courts are always used by good players, classes and tennis lovers. Cherful and helpful team, basics are there, easy acess. If you are living nearby, what else would you need ?
I was lying on the same marble where Kate Moss has been shortly and probably the Sultan`s of Ottoman Empire a little while earlier... What would you expect. If the walls could express what they have witnessed...
As these ancient facilities are centuries old and some corners are apparently remained untouched for so long time you do not have tip top modern spa environment. You can have the ancient shoes and see yourself hundred years ago in a public bath instead and You are being cleansed trough your body and soul. Tough, deep and life changing... The real ottoman body scrub and soap massage, since centuries, passed know-how from generation to generation...
The treatments are life changing. Definitely a must go before one dies...
The Ironmonger Row Baths are under construction till late 2012 !
My ultimate Turkish Bath Treatment experience has been eventually on our most famous Bath in Istanbul. Like many people in my ow culture. This has been a life changing experience. Not the scrub like a mum would do to her child but the relaxation and lift you get to your body is the unforgettable experience. You feel taller, cleaner, lighter and brigher...
Member since: 17-Nov-2010