For an exclusive health getaway, there are few places as luxurious and exclusive as Grace Belgravia, London's only health, wellbeing and lifestyle club for women. With a focus on a balanced approach, its comprehensive offerings of treatments, food and everything else in between, allow for a stress-free environment to achieve optimal health and lifestyle. Buro 24/7 Middle East speaks with founder Kate Percival to find out what makes Grace Belgravia the ultimate urban retreat...
In a nutshell, share with us what makes Grace Belgravia stand above its peers.
There are women-only life-style clubs all over the world, but no others that take the approach to health and wellbeing in order to empower and support women, the way in which we do at Grace; our philosophy being that to thrive in today's society we need to invest in our greatest asset, our health.
Our 360-degree approach to wellness means we have created a very special place to be safe as well as to be nurtured and empowered. We have created a haven with the best of the best under one roof, from medical services to spa treatments, healthy eating to a holistic approach to fitness. In addition we have an eclectic events programme to complete the mind, body, soul circle. That's what makes us stand above our peers.
When it comes to the club's design and décor, what provided the inspiration for it?
My inspiration at the time was of the light reflections by the sea, hence the aqua marines, eau de nile, duck egg blue, creams, oatmeal and turquoise with darker colours to reflect the depths of the sea. Texture was really important, hence the mix of steel, limed woods contrasted with white voile curtain walling and finished with beautiful wallpapers by De Gournay and Cole and Sons. We believe we have achieved a colour scheme that, while being both relaxed and positive, reflects the amazing light from the oversized, south facing windows of this spectacular, Grade II listed building.
In a world where many health clubs boast hi-tech equipment and the latest treatments, how vital does service and the human element become?
Our team's mission is to be intuitive, to anticipate and respond to our member's every need. It is not just the equipment or treatments that count for us, but more the way in which these elements are presented. At Grace we aim to educate on and deliver our services in as an efficient, discrete and personable manner as possible. Knowing the kinds of services our members find helpful, we provide them. We believe our members should feel that they can have just one brief communication with our understanding and sensitive team and from there on their requirements will be fulfilled.
What are some of the popular treatments that Grace Belgravia offer and why so?
The Grace Signature Massage and Facial treatments in the hands of our specialist team are always popular; nutritional advice as part of a health and wellbeing regime is very much at the heart of our wellbeing advice. Grace Belgravia also offers the Grace Intensive Cleanse and the Grace Sleep Programme, both of which were launched as a result of members requesting treatments that would address a deeper 'mind and body' cleanse and by expressing their need for support with insomnia and sleep issues. We consistently adjust and innovate our services, tailoring them to the needs of our members.
What are some of the common misconceptions that people have about Grace Belgravia, or the health industry in general?
A common misconception is that we are all about women and as such, 'anti-men'. However, this is not the case as while male guests are welcome in the club only at certain hours, they do have full access to Grace Medical for treatment. We also boast a number of male staff; men that are incredibly passionate about the approach we take to wellness for our female members! These include the Grace Café Head Chef and his three talented support chefs in the kitchen, our Food and Beverage Manager and our Gym Manager who comes with a together with a PT team of three men and two girls. We also have visiting male practitioners at Grace Medical, carefully commissioned for their expertise in various fields; we source the best in the business and gender doesn't impact on our decisions to work with these experts.
Can you share five quick tips for better health specifically for women in the Middle East?
Women in the Middle East often have slightly different needs and priorities. More pronounced body hair is common and can be addressed very successfully with laser treatments for a more permanent solution than constant waxing or threading.
The harshness of the climate, particularly in summer indicates a need for careful attention to hydration, and if that hydration is nutritional in forms of natural juices or smoothies it may well help to stave off those hunger pangs. Water is essential no less!
The sun is also ravaging on unprotected skins, particularly the hands which are exposed to infra red rays through the windscreen while driving. A good sun block and regular application of it is highly recommended. Alternatively, soft white gloves for driving will protect the delicate skin, so prone to ageing on the backs of the hands.
On the other hand, sun blocks or full body cover may well see the woman become depleted of Vitamin D, a vitamin essential to the production of calcium in the body. As such a Vitamin supplement is suggested as an alternative to exposing about 20% of the body for 20 minutes of morning sunlight.
Finally we must turn to exercise. The ease of life for many women in the Middle East, along with high intensity hospitality, can see those extra sweet calories gathering around the body. The weather conditions and infrastructure also inhibits walking from place to place and so attention must be given to keeping fit and healthy by directly pursuing an exercise regime on a regular basis to remain in optimum health.
Can you name some celebrities that are regular visitors to the club?
We don't name names at Grace, preferring to respect the privacy of all of our guests. Suffice to say, we see a variety of successful women from the worlds of business, fashion, media and more gracing us with their presence!
What are the future plans for Grace Belgravia? Any expansion plans to this region?
Of course we would love to share Grace with the rest of the world! The long-term goal is to have a Grace Club in several capitals and major cities, but only when we are sure we have perfected the first will we be prepared to Grace other parts of the world!
For more information on Grace Belgravia, visit gracebelgravia.com