Killing time at the airport? Then get some killer nails

Spa services aren't just available in executive lounges. Now Jo(e) Public can indulge too, says Simone Kane

When Terminal 5 launches at Heathrow later this month, special services in the executive lounges for British Airways' premium passengers will include new spa suites managed by Elemis. But what if you're travelling in the back of the plane and haven't got the magic silver, gold or platinum card that will get you inside one of these new pleasuredomes?

It seems Jo(e) Public need not despair. We too can set aside a little "me time" before boarding the plane, because pre-holiday pampering is available to everyone at airports around the UK – you just have to know where to look.

There are signs that outlets providing quick-fix treatments could be a growing trend. But for now, the biggest choice is at Heathrow, Gatwick comes in a poor second, and Glasgow and Leeds Bradford stand out from the airports outside south-east England.

London Heathrow
Terminal 1: Early February saw the launch of the Cocoon Beauty Sanctuary – a new departure for the run-of-the-mill offerings in the World Duty Free shopping area. The sleek stand-alone beauty store includes a Dermalogica treatment room offering facials to frazzled travellers. Prices from £15 for a 20-minute facial and treatments are on a walk-in basis, with booking to follow after a trial period. Outlets are planned for other terminals.

Urban Retreat opened its 5,000sq ft airside spa and salon last year to offer all passengers the chance to grab some premium pampering. The emphasis is on express holiday treatments, such as the Prepare to Fly Facial and Prepare to Fly Hair, both of which cost £15 for 15 minutes. Turn up and reserve a treatment and you get free entry to the lounge (open to all at £20), which allows access to a complimentary foot-reviving massage, relaxation chairs, refreshments and magazines. Urban Retreat (urbanretreat.co.uk) is next to Prêt à Manger and opens daily, from 8am to 8pm. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Terminal 3:
Give your tired eyes a lift at the Shu Uemura beauty counter within the World Duty Free shopping area, where trained beauticians apply Tokyo Lash Bar false eyelashes on a walk-up basis.

Terminal 4
If you're having a bad hair day, head for the innovative HairPOD, a freestanding capsule of futuristic appearance, and get a new hairdo while you wait for your flight to be called. Stylists give quick, quality haircuts and excess hair is vacuumed away, so you won't be wearing a hair shirt all the way to your destination. A cut and blow-dry starts at £11. HairPOD is in the International Departures Lounge area at Gate 1, opposite the BA Business Lounge. But watch out – it moves.

Terminal 5:
The new British Airways hub, T5, opens on 27 March, but much of the retail detail is still under wraps. Yet even economy-class travellers have been promised a "whole new passenger experience". Apparently, the beauty counters in the airside shopping area will treat travellers to an "interactive and theatrical" approach, where free makeovers will be performed by international make-up artists, rather than by beauty counter staff.

London Gatwick
North Terminal: If you're short on spends as well as time, you can revitalise your look by taking advantage of a free makeover at the Clinique and MAC beauty counters in the World Duty Free shopping area. Otherwise relaxation in this terminal is limited to coin-operated massage chairs around the terminal building.

South Terminal
The Clarins Studio offers a range of unisex treatments, from waxing and self-tans to massage and aromatherapy. But you'd better get in quickly, it is due to close in the coming months. Why? Because it tends to offer full-length treatments and the company has found that passengers no longer have enough time to indulge after clearing security. Consequently, the current most popular option is waxing (full leg, £23; 30 minutes) and the Fast-Track Face and Body Treatment (£26 for 45 minutes). Walk in on a first-come, first-served basis, or book in advance on 01293 507249. The Clarins Studio is a stand-alone outlet near the airside World Duty Free shopping area.

Leeds Bradford International Airport
Last year Ki 4 Health upgraded its treatment area and introduced new reflexology and massage therapies, as well as a treatment to help smokers to cope without the weed. Its popular Relax Me Now massage uses acupressure to boost energy, retune the body and calm the mind (from £5 for five minutes to £24.50 for 30 minutes). It doesn't involve using oils, so you can keep your clothes on. Open from Monday to Friday, from 9.30am to 6.30pm, you'll find it on the first floor of the departure lounge. Just turn up, or book at ki4health .co.uk or on 0113 250 9696 ext 2386, or 07890 155969.

Nasty nails are easily rectified at the Manicure Lounge nail bar, also on the first floor of the departure lounge. This place specialises in express services but also offers a full range of treatments from tidy-ups to extensions. Prices start at £16.50 for the 15-minute Express Manicure, which includes a clean, shape, cuticle tidy and polish. Open from Monday to Friday, from 9.15am to 6.15pm, and Saturdays, from 9.15am to 2.15pm. (Days and hours are subject to change with flight schedules, so it's worth checking.) Just walk up or call 0113 391 3279.

Glasgow
Pampering possibilities here are limited. There is a locally run independent operation, Nails by Inspirations, which can be found in the landside departures area – just walk in to get your nails spruced up – and there's also Airside, the Relaxation Station, in the departure lounge area which offers a walk-in massage service.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Casual Visitor Experience Assistants

    £7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To work within the Visitor Experience Departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

    Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

    Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
    Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

    Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

    No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
    How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

    Power of the geek Gods

    Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

    Perfect match

    What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

    Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

    Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
    Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

    Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

    He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high