Do You Dream in Chocolate?
This week, I swam in chocolate. Well, that’s how the Hot Chocolate Body Wrap treatment at the Montcalm Spa felt anyway. The Montcalm Hotel is perfectly situated on a quiet crescent just north of Marble Arch (there’s a poignant statue to Swedish WWII hero Raoul Wallenberg right in front which is worth a look). You enter the chic boutique hotel through a glittering lobby, all cool white marble and twinkly chandeliers, and descend to the spa (why are hotel spas always in the basement? Beats me...) First you choose which oil and salt you’d like to have used in the treatment. There are two detox oils available – lemon myrtle to cleanse and boost, or a stimulating pink oil, which I went for – and a choice of lemon myrtle sea salt or wild rosella sea salt (my pick). The oil is slathered all over your skin and followed by a bracing scrub with the salt to slough off all dead skin. This was particularly handy for me as I’ve been plagued by dry, peeling skin ever since a foolishly enthusiastic sunbathing session the other weekend (you know the one – everyone was sporting ridiculous tan lines and pink tender flesh on the Monday!) And then... it’s time for the chocolate. Oh yeah... Seriously, warm, melted chocolate, smeared – nay, smothered – all over the body. Sheer unadulterated heaven. The smell was unbelievable, and the chocolate is actually used for its hydrating properties and anti-oxidant properties. You’re then swaddled in towels to let the chocolate do its thing (this is not for the claustrophobic as you are literally mummified, but a relaxing head massage distracts you from the fact you can’t move), and then unwrapped and told to shower off the choc. A final – blissful – touch is an all-over massage with chocolate-orange mousse cream. Sigh, my mouth’s watering just thinking about it. The spa itself is lovely too – there’s a roomy Jacuzzi (which I had all to myself), exercise pool, steam room and sauna plus a relaxing area with plenty of mags and Elemis goodies in the changing rooms. Hotel spas are a clever choice if you’re in a new city – they tend to be quieter than the most popular day spas, but still offer the same level of service. And if you’re a chocoholic, this treatment is a seriously indulgent treat. The Chocolate Body Wrap costs £85 for 60 minutes. Montcalm Hotel, 34-40 Great Cumberland Place, London, W1H 7TW 020 7958 3200 www.montcalm.co.uk phoebe frangoul is the beauty editor at cultbeauty.co.uk