The very best massages in London to treat yourself to

The best massage for you depends entirely on your predilections, and from gentle aromatherapy treatments to posture-altering muscle work, there’s a whole host of bookings to deliberate between.

For weary limbs and an even wearier mind, head straight to one of the capital’s famously good spas and settle in for a day or evening of pampering. If firm pressure and problem solving rank higher on your list of demands, consider a vigorous sports massage, or, for total realignment that lasts much longer than those 60 horizontal minutes, consider upgrading to an osteopath appointment (a smart move for anyone who has spent the past 18 months hunched over an at-home desk).

Here, see the Bazaar team’s verdict on the very best massages in London.

The Ned, for targeting deep tension

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While the Ned’s Club Spa has always carried a list of classic Cowshed treatments, 2022 sees the addition of two blissful new Akwaterra treatments from La Sultane de Saba; a massage and a facial. Rather than using their hands, the therapist will apply pressure using specially designed Akwaterra sandstone pods (ergonomic ceramic tools that are gently heated from within), which glide seamlessly over your skin and provide a continuous flow of heat. Inspired by the synergy between earth and water, the treatment not only targets deep tension and relief from aches and pains, but will leave you feeling utterly and overwhelmingly relaxed.

Akwaterra body massage at Ned’s Club Spa, from £160 for one hour.

Masaj, for truly modern massage

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Masaj’s brand-new home on Charlotte Road reflects founder Scarlet Crawley’s mission to provide a “functional, comfortable and beautiful” space for clients to truly switch off from the outside world.

Here, you’ll find a modern approach to massage therapy, with a small selection of outstanding treatments performed with one of the brand’s house-blend aromatherapy oils. The team excels at targeted problem-solving, with full body deep-tissue, targetted bodywork and sports relief all on the menu. With the best (and friendliest) therapists in the city, there’s a reason this burgeoning business is thriving.

Masaj, from £75 for one hour.

Harrods, for total luxury

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The iconic Harrods hair and beauty salon recently underwent a total revamp, with pink marble and gilded rose gold paying homage to the store’s original 1894 salon.

The treatment to book has to be the Aromatherapy Associates City Serenity experience, which involves a full head-to-toe massage using a rejuvenating body brush and an exclusive blue-tansy essential oil blend. Combining soothing aroma and long, calming strokes with targeted, problem-solving musclework, you’ll emerge feeling as light as air.

Aromatherapy Associates City Serenity, £150 for 90 minutes.

Agua Spa, for home-grown herbalism

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Agua Spa has always been a go-to for seriously good massage, but now there’s even more reason to book. The spa recently launched its own in-house line of products, Hedgerow, which pays homage to the brilliant array of plants that grow on our shores. In Summer, lime, elderflower and chamomile take centre stage, while the cooler months will welcome yarrow and thyme.

The signature Advanced Bodywork full-body massage is performed with a seasonal, sustainably produced herbal compress and heavenly batch-blended salve, which enhances the deep-relaxing effects of the skilled therapists’ work.

Agua London Advanced Bodywork, from £110 for one hour.

Cloud Twelve, for laser-focused muscle work

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West London’s wellness destination Cloud Twelve is known for its forward-thinking treatment menu, and the Signature Deep Relief cbd gummies Oil Massage is a real highlight.

The hour-long experience works on a mental and physical level, combining a soothing sound bath with astonishingly good muscle work, focusing thoroughly on areas of tightness and pain to ensure the benefits truly last. The Kloris cbd gummies balm is more than a buzz-worthy choice: studies have found cannabidiol to have strong potential to ease muscle aches and pains.

Even better, the beautiful relaxation area – complete with steam, sauna and Himalayan salt rooms – will ensure you’re completely blissed-out by the evening.

Cloud Twelve Signature Deep Relief cbd gummies Oil Massage, £180 for one hour.

London Serenity, for luxury mobile massage

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London Serenity has been in the mobile beauty business for over 13 years, gathering the crème de la crème of therapists who also service some of London’s most luxury hotel spas, from Four Seasons to Claridges and The Dorchester. For a five-star worthy treatment at home, they offer various massage therapies – including specialist options such as pregnancy massage and lymphatic drainage. In the divine deep tissue massage indulgence meets remedial where the therapist’s hands, arms and elbows work to target tension, successfully relieving pains and improving posture. In a bid to remedy some of the stresses we’re all carrying right now, we recommend booking imminently.

London Serenity Deep Tissue Massage, £75 for one hour.

Sarah Jane Watson, for a truly special treatment

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It’s easy to wax lyrical about the soothing effects of a really good massage, but Sarah Jane Watson’s 90-minute treatment will truly leave you feeling transformed. Practising privately with over 20 years of experience (as well as training from the pioneer of massage therapy, Clare Maxwell-Hudson), Watson has a remarkable talent for quietening the mind while working out every last trace of tension with a continual, rhythmic flow. She’s astonishingly intuitive, so all you need to do is switch off and relax.

A typical treatment combines several disciplines, from Swedish and Balinese techniques to Indian head massage, and beautiful aromatherapy oils from Michelle Roques-O’Neil enhance the pampering appeal.

Watson offers home visits across the city, and also works from her own blissful home in West London.

Sarah Jane Watson Signature Treatment, £350 for 90 minutes.

Cowshed, for a girls’ day

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Every one of Cowshed’s London outposts is perfect for a day catching up with friends or family. Famously cosy and inviting, these pampering hotspots come with a brilliant menu of massage treatments, from the classic Signature massage to the new cbd gummies Massage, which uses heated Thai compressors to alleviate aches and pains.

Clear your diary for the day and catch up over a coffee after (or even a mani/pedi).

Cowshed Signature Massage, £65 for 45 minutes.

Elemis, for a shopping pit-stop

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Nestled in W1’s Lancashire Court, Elemis’ much-loved flagship spa is perfectly located for slipping into after a day of shopping. The edited menu offers a treatment for all: the Wellbeing Deep Tissue Massage is restorative and relaxing, while the Deeper Than Deep Hot Stone Massage really targets tension, and for expectant mothers the intuitive Peaceful Pregnancy Massage will nurture the skin and soul.

From £95 for 60 minutes.

Linnaean, for osteomassage

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Linnaean’s resident osteopath, Estivaliz Inigo Torres, breaks the mould of traditional treatments by offering extended, forensically detailed consultations that allow her to truly understand how best to treat each client. Whether you’ve been standing in heels or sitting behind a less-than-adequate desk at home, she’ll identify your posture issues and ease any tension with a combination of massage, acupuncture and invaluable advice.

Linnaean Osteopathy, £180 for 60 minutes.

Aveda, for stress relief

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Combining a Swedish massage with foot reflexology, this massage is truly one of the most relaxing treatments we have ever experienced. Aveda’s Stress-Fix Aroma Blend products are used throughout, and the soothing scent of lavender adds to the ambience and leaves skin smelling divine for hours afterwards. For anyone who is feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, this is the ultimate mind and body relaxation. (Note: They do a stellar pregnancy massage, too.)

Aveda Stress-Fix Massage, £90 for 60 minutes.

Clarins, for re-balancing

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Clarins is a regular winner in our annual Beauty Best of the Best awards, as we have yet to find a brand that can trump its relaxing, yet results-driven menu of body treatments. The Rebalancing massage is a winner for us, as it works to boost lymphatic drainage and release muscle tension, while using the brand’s famously good aromatherapy oils to either awaken or relax.

Clarins Rebalancing Essential Oil Massage, £67 for 80 minutes.

KX Gym, for sports massage

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For a post-workout massage, head to KX Gym, where the therapists make light work of muscle knots and tense shoulders. Here, you can request a personalised massage, in which your therapist will focus on your back, shoulders, legs and so on, depending on what kind of exercise you have been doing.

Deep Tissue Massage, price on request.

Twenty Two Training, for focused relief

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If stress can manifest as migraines for you, consider the Migraine Rescue Remedy treatment at Twenty Two Training. A clever antidote, it treats the small muscles at the back of the head and top of the neck to improve mobility and reduce painful tension.

Migraine Rescue Remedy £60 for 30 minutes.

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