Here’s a no-brainer for point-of-purchase marketing: put an on-site spa where stress and tension reign. At London’s Heathrow Airport, brand new, long heralded £4.3 billon Terminal 5 (British Airways flights only), three new Elemis spas are models for soothing stressed-out passengers ready to fly home and reviving tired ones just arriving in London.

Intelligent Massage Chair at Elemis spas in London's Heathrow Airport

The three luxury spas—one at Arrivals, and two in Departures (one each in Terminal A and Terminal B)–are state-of-the-art travel facilities in a pioneering spa environment. British Airways and Elemis, with London design consultants Davies & Baron, created calm, relaxing hideaways with natural materials such as wood and slate, waved limestone walls, subtle lighting, warm colors, and intimate treatment spaces dubbed SpaPods, all within Terminal 5’s handsome new ‘Galleries’ Lounges.

“The concept is cool urban chic,” said Oriele Frank, Elemis’ Director of Marketing. “Walk-in SpaPods within a free flowing open space, for male and female business travelers to unwind and relax. They are cocooned in the privacy of curved dividers that support lavish swaths of sheer metallic gauze curtains– blue, red and silver for departures, amber and gold for arrivals.”

Elemis spas in London's Heathrow Airport

The mantra of this spa experience is “maximum results in minimum time.” That translates into four 15-minute travel therapies designed by Elemis’ Noella Gabriel for British Airways, all performed as you recline, fully clothed, on the state-of the-art Intelligent Massage Chair (more on the chair later). The departure treatments focus on sleep and relaxation, calming customers for their upcoming flights; arrival treatments energize post-flight passengers.

Here are the four travel and skin therapies:

  • Customized Flying Facial. A deeply hydrating therapy to rejuvenate the skin, geared to individual needs.
  • Stress-Away Shoulder to Scalp. A relaxing massage sequence, from tense shoulders to the top of the crown, that opens up the shoulders, stretches the back of the neck, and loosens the scalp.
  • Flying Feet. The feet are gently cleansed with warm Lime mitts, before Instant Refreshing Gel and Soothing Musclease Active Body Concentrate are applied and massaged into the soles of the feet and between the toes with hot stones.
  • Exotic Hand and Arm Re-Energiser. From finger tips to the upper arm, a Thai massage sequence combining the Exotic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt with hot stones to increase circulation, deeply hydrate, and nourish the skin.

Elemis spas in London's Heathrow Airport

These four treatments are administered by Elemis therapists while you sit in the Intelligent Massage Chair, but, for customers who want to be left alone, the brains inside allow it to deliver specific massage treatments without any help from a therapist. Look, no hands.

The secret is the chair’s automatic body scan that detects different body builds and pressure points. By locating the shoulders, for instance, its massage rollers can glide along the length of the back to deliver a more personalized massage. Uniquely designed airbags can deliver a hands-free “air” massage right to the calves, ankles and feet, soothing and relieving aching muscles and easing tiredness. In short, the chair can deliver a targeted acupressure massage to every area of tension in the feet, calves, buttocks, back, shoulders, and neck.

Add an integrated surround sound system for Elemis’ specially composed mood music to encourage relaxation and reduce stress. Or you can plug in your own MP3 player and listen to your own faves.

The Intelligent Massage Chair is programmed with two different sequences.

  • Relax and Sleep-Easy, designed for departing customers, softens the body, teases out stresses, strains, and tensions, preparing the body for a restful flight ahead.
  • Recharge and Stretch-Out, for tired arriving passengers, warms the body before delivering a targeted massage to stretch muscles and invigorate the body from top to toe.

Elemis spas in London's Heathrow Airport

Both massages start with a spa hostess applying a Hot Lime Compress to cleanse your hands and face. Select an aromatic oil, and she will put a few drops on your palms, then warm it for you to inhale its aroma. Last, a touch of Instant Refreshing Gel on your temples. Now recline, fully clothed, and let the chair works its magic, as the vibrating massage stimulates vital acupressure points and soothing heat from the backrest and the seat relieves aching muscles, reduces stiffness, and improves circulation.

You’ll probably recognize the more familiar ergonomic massage chairs at Elemis, the ones on which you kneel and hug the slanted chair back and a warm pillow cocoons your neck and shoulders. These 15-minute sessions, called Spot-On Power Back Massages, tease out and soften tension in your lower back, neck, arms, and shoulders, while you inhale your choice of aromas: lime for lifting your mood, lavender for calming it, and rosewood for balancing it.

All the Elemis spa therapies are complimentary to First Class and Club World (BA’s business class) passengers, plus Gold and Silver members of the Executive Club flying long-haul. In addition to the three new spas at Terminal 5, there are Elemis travel spas in Arrival and Departure lounges at Heathrow Terminals 1 and 4, and Departures at Terminal 7 New York JFK.

At Heathrow’s Terminal 5, the setting for all this pampering is the £60 million spacious and elegant ‘Galleries’ Lounges, six of them, that occupy three floors. They include Swarovski crystal chandeliers, private cabanas, luxurious steam/shower pods, and a concierge in the Concorde Room. A Gold Bar covered in gold leaf, two Silver Bars, a wine gallery, and more imaginative Swarovski, as in bubbles over the Champagne Bar.

No need to feel excluded from T5 fun if your Economy ticket won’t admit you to the ‘Galleries’ Lounges. You can while away your waiting time at a wide variety of eating and drinking spots, from Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, the Michelin-starred chef’s first airport-based restaurant, and Caviar House & Prunier Seafood to Wagamama and even Starbucks. As for shopping, there are all the usual standbys plus some iconic Brit boutiques— Smythson (leather), Kurt Geiger (shoes), Thomas Pink—and the first Europe-only outlets of Coach, Gucci, and Prada. Oh, yes, a Harrods with a personal shopping service.

For more information about British Airways, log on to ba.com or call 800-247-9297.

Leisure Pass Group Director of Product Marketing Amanda Truman being charmed by Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace.

Leisure Pass Group Director of Product Marketing Amanda Truman being charmed by Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace

Addendum

Henry VIII liked getting married so much that, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of his succession to the throne, he has decided to do it again. In fact he’s going to do it every day this summer – and ladies, you could be his next bride!

It’s a problem isn’t it? Apart from Harry, there are just so few eligible royals around these days. What’s a gal to do?

Well, if she had a London Sightseeing Pass in her pocket she could pop down to Hampton Court Palace and get married to Henry VIII – and get to keep her head.

It’s all part of a great celebration at Hampton Court Palace this summer where the whole palace will be made ready for the wedding banquet. London Pass holders can follow the whole of Henry’s London story, from his boyhood home Eltham Palace, to the “Henry VIII – Dressed to Kill” exhibition at the Tower of London (where he accidentally lost two wives), via a regal trip on the river – pretend you are just moving to your next palace – and ending up at Windsor Castle where the old boy is buried. All these attractions and over 50 more are included in the London Sightseeing Pass. www.leisurepassgroup.com/pressNewsletters20090511.asp.

The London Pass is a pre-paid sightseeing pass offering free entry to your choice of over 55 top attractions in London including the Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Windsor Castle, Thames River Cruise and more. Visit www.londonpass.com.