Nestled underground the Grange Hotel in the twinkling lights of St Paul’s, Ajala is a haven of pure indulgence. It’s literally beneath the beating pulse of the City; and the juxtaposition of relaxation versus the heady smell of naked ambition of the City is almost tangible.
Luxury Ajala offers an almost unlimited list of treatments, from fruity massages to the usual facials, and pedicures to the ultimate in chilling out: the hot stone massage. It’s massage so relaxing it’s pornographic. Lasting a solid hour, large smooth pebbles, heated up and smothered in a warm oil, are rubbed along your back, your arms and your legs, leaving a filmy layer. Tantalizingly, the stones are laid, warm, on your back while the masseuse works on unknotting your shoulders and joints. (Needless to say, my shoulders were knotty and hag-like – but this all disappeared in the first three minutes of slumping on the bed.)
Interestingly, there are two massage beds in the main spa room: one for you, and one for the missus/mistress, if that’s your bag: sure beats an evening out down the Jamaica Wine House.
An hour later, emerging in an almost post-coital glow, I was ushered into Ajala’s wet spa facilities. There’s a small pool (all very underground and City – it was full of Middle Eastern businessmen chatting fast Arabic), plus a hammam, sauna, steam room and cosy Jacuzzi. Finally, there’s a ‘sun room’ – with magazines, juices and cake – with light that can be altered depending on where you want to be on the globe.
Even the changing rooms are five-star luxe, with soft fluffy towels and lounge chairs. What else did you expect from the City? Back to booze on Thursday, readers…
N.B: Before you suits start spouting ‘spas are not for men’, consider this. I bought IT guy a spa trip for two for his 31st birthday…and he LOVED it. It might not be booze – but that’s okay.