Holiday season is in full swing now and whilst our own British weather might not be up to scratch, we've got our eye on sunnier climes and far flung destinations. This does however require a decent amount of prep what with all the tanning, waxing, laser, you name it! But most of all it's all about getting that bikini body ready isn't it? In between some serious Heartcore pilates sessions and a few laps of Hyde Park (yes we're feeling smug), we've also been testing out some of the hot new massages out there that are focused on helping you be beach-ready as well as be a little indulgent too. We've picked our top nine...
Ushvani Day Spa in Chelsea
A Month Before
A month or so before you jet off on hols you want to book in a massage that is going to stimulate any stubborn fat under the skin's surface. Deep tissue massage and lymph drainage techniques are brilliant for this so try and book in for a treatment that will give results as well as being relaxing. Now is your chance to work on stubborn areas such as the thighs, bum and love handles to stimulate any fatty deposits, leaving you lump and bump free when you're sitting poolside in your bikini.
-Carita Intense Refining Contour Treatment at the Richard Ward Metro Spa, 90 minutes, £115 - 0207 730 1222
This remarkably effective treatment targets troublesome areas like the tummy, thighs and bottom. After a skin-smoothing exfoliation and all-over body mask which is rich in toning liposomes (they breakdown fatty deposits FYI), you'll get an invigorating massage that helps with draining and stimulating and uses the eponymous Carita products packed with fat-busting caffeine and clover amongst others. Whilst a course of 8 is recommended, we noticed results after just one so session but if you could have one a week for a month before you jet off, you'd be laughing.
-Ren Moroccan Rose Ritual at Lomax, Fulham Road, £150 for 120 mins - www.lomaxpt.com
Using all of REN's gorgeous Rose range, this treatment is a real treat if you've indulged in one of Lomax' Blast Classes prior to it. In fact, we saw it as a bit of a post workout reward to go and indulge in the newly opened gym’s spa after an hour of intense exercise. The massage is great at relieving any tension from fitness sessions and workouts you might have been doing pre-holiday, so a deep tissue treatment such as this will keep any aches and muscle pain at bay. With a month to go you want to up the amount of cardio you do as well as focus on a clean and lean diet, so a massage such as this is definitely a worthwhile reward.
-Blissage 75 Massage at the Bliss Spa, £102 for 75 mins - 0207 590 6146
When you always see the Bliss Spa pop on on TV show Made In Chelsea you know that it must be worth it's salt. A month before your hols you need to get your butt down to their premises and book in for a deep-tissue treatment that's going to help start shifting any sluggish fatty cells (that'll be all those Winter roasts and pies then). Make sure you ask for firm pressure so that you can be sure your lumps and bumps get a good seeing to. Although they are a little on the spenny side, try and get in at least 2 or 3 before you head to the airport to really see a difference and top up with their Fat Girl Slim range back at home.
A Week Before
With a week to go before you board the plane you still have time to have a results-driven treatment that's going to help you both look and feel good. Now's your time to up the ante at home too with a short daily dose of self-massage on problem areas. Go one better and use a cellulite or firming body cream twice a day to really give your body a pre-beach boost.
-Hot Oil Massage at Ushvani Day Spa, £180 for 90 mins - www.ushvani.com
We really don't think we have EVER been anywhere quite as amazing as this day spa in Chelsea. It's nothing short of incredible, in fact it's possible what heaven on earth would be like. Hot oil is great for dehydrated skin and really penetrates the epidermis when massaged in properly. Whilst this treatment is totally relaxing and wonderful it is also great for stimulating blood flow due the long massage strokes that are used, always towards the heart to help lymph flow. Follow this up with a great body oil at home such as Weleda Cellulite Birch Oil.
-Clarins Melting Honey Hot Stone Massage available at Clarins Skin Spa's nationwide, £60 for 60 mins -0800 036 3558
Whilst this might sound like the most indulgent of treatments due to the hot honey, this is also brilliant at removing toxins and easing aches and pains from any pre-beach workouts you've been doing. The therapist uses her hands along with 9 heat-releasing stones to reboot your energy flow and get all the blood flwoing properly around the body. She'll quite literally leave no stone unturned and along with Clarins' unique Honey Massage Gel that's packed with plant extracts and essential oils, your skin will feel as smooth as a baby's.
-Away Body Rebalancer Experience at the W Hotel, £186 for 115 mins - 0207 758 1071
An invigorating mineral rich exfoliation and Japanese Tsubo pressure point massage, this left our skin moisturised, toned and renewed. The great things about a pressure point massage is that it really targets any knots and out of line points you might have so that you are rebalanced before you set off on your hols. Oh and the treatment uses all of REN's gorgeous bio-active products which make it even better. Add to that you'll be spending a couple of hours in the W Hotel's blissful surroundings and it will put you in the perfect frame of mind.
Away Spa at the W Hotel
A Day Before
With only 24 hours until you hit the beach, it's too late to worry about cellulite and orange peel so opt for a treatment that will get you in the holiday mood and transport your mind and senses onto that sandy beach. Leave all your wobbly woes at the door and just enjoy these truly luxurious treatments.
-Thalgo Polynesian Massage available nationwide, £75 for 90 mins - 020 7512 0872
"It's inspired by the know-how and wisdom from the Pacific islands of French Polynesia" is what Thalgo's Export Director Michael Gras told us about their new massage on offer. "It's taken island-isnpiredvanilla and tiare flower to bring your senses into the world of white sand beaches and crystal clear blue lagoons." Ah, yes please! Just the right mix of deep tissue massage and sleep-inducing strokes, the treatment will leave you relaxed and in the best frame of mind possible for your oncoming holiday. Don't forget to check out the brand's amazing body products too for a little at home top-up.
-Micheline Arcier at the Spa at Bluebird, £95 for 60 mins - 0207 351 3873
Tucked at the back of the trendy Kings Road store is the Bluebird Spa, one not to be overlooked. Their Micheline Arcier treatments are unique in their ability to work on your autonomic nervous system as well as reflexology points around the body. We were lucky enough to experience the magical hands of therapist Claudia who was beyond amazing. "It's important to be present in the treatment," she told us, "I have to have my own mind completely focused otherwise the treatment is in effective and that goes for any decent massage." Makes sense really (and probably explains why we felt like we had been into a wonderfully deep transcendental mediation post-treatment.) This is the ultimate stress-relief treatment and just what you want before getting on a long or short-haul flight so try and book in the 24-48 hours pre-holiday.
-Aromatherapy Associates Detox & Revive Massage at Aromatherapy Associates Knightsbridge, £50 for 60 mins - 020 8569 7030
Try and ask for lovely Michelle and you'll be truly impressed. The spa itself is a little haven tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge - you honestly will not want to ever leave. Not only does the treatment use all the brand's signature oils but there is a huge focus on your feelings and emotions on the day which makes a real difference. The treatment works at getting a sluggish system back up and running, keeping cellulite at bay and using exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and renew the skin just before you board that plane.
Aromatherapy Associates spa & shop in Knightsbridge