K West Hotel and Spa, London: A body boost with the latest superfood

A pregnant Helen Warwick enjoys a soothing African-inspired baobab treatment in west London Wednesday, 7 October 2015

By Helen Warwick

Kale? Chia seeds? They're so 2014. There's a new craze sweeping across the country and it's all about the baobab — the African fruit that fans claim contains six times more vitamin C than an orange, twice as much calcium as a glass of milk, and more iron than a steak. Impressive, eh? It's also packed with potassium, magnesium and fibre, and has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any fruit in the world.

With that in mind, I hot-footed it to west London to K West Hotel & Spa, whose subterranean spa — with its hydrotherapy pool, ‘snow room' and sauna — offers an African-inspired baobab treatment.

Six months' pregnant, I'd confirmed with the spa manager beforehand that it was suitable for an antenatal treatment. “It's perfect for pregnant women,” said my therapist. “It's the best kind of remedy for tired bodies and dulling skin. It breathes a bit of life into you.”

I lowered myself, face-first, onto the pregnancy pillow — bump and boobs in their own slot so I could let it all hang out… literally. My therapist smoothed and scrubbed my body all over with an exfoliator before moving on to a pummelling massage with oils.

She paid extra attention to my lower back and hips — achey from the weight of the baby — before applying a cooling lotion to my legs, which left them feeling sprightly and stimulated. This was all topped off with a baobab smoothie drink in the relaxation area.

Whether it was this new, raved about ingredient or the revitalising touch of my therapist, my body had definitely been given a good lift all over, and days later, my skin remains super smooth.

Unfortunately, pregnant women are advised to steer clear of saunas, hydrotherapy pools and the like, so having finished my treatment, I popped straight upstairs to my room for the evening.

A self-proclaimed rock 'n' roll hotel, K West is all about the quirky touches, from crème egg burgers at Easter to the ‘Smoked Old Fashioned Burger' — based on the classic American bourbon whisky-based cocktail — to celebrate National Burger Day (27 August).

Subtle hints of its former incarnation as a recording studio can be sniffed out, such as the abstract prints of rock 'n' roll's elite in the reception area, plus there's a very good chance you'll spot a celeb as you pop down to breakfast — it has hosted names including Alexa Chung, Kelly Roland, Rihanna, Jared Leto, Lily Allen and Adele.

Alas, my stay didn't coincide with any star spotting. But I did have a cracking night's sleep in my super-king bed, and with my body re-energised after the baobab treatment, I couldn't help but feel like an A-lister.


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