When dreaming up the concept for a new members’ club, Jenya Emets wanted to create a sanctuary for busy urban families, a third space between home and work that offered a holistic approach to wellness and lifestyle. “The idea was to create a haven for people with or without kids to spend quality time alone or with friends and family, to eat well, be well and learn all the wonderful concepts we’re so passionate about”, says Emets, founder and chief executive of Cloud Twelve Club in London’s Notting Hill.
A professional naturopath, Emets is passionate about mindfulness, sustainability and a holistic approach to health, encompassing the emotional, mental and physical. “The philosophy that holds everything together is what I think is going to make this work”, she says, of the 10,000sq ft, three-floor club that brings together a children’s play and learning zone, five-treatment room spa with thermal suite, hair and nail salon, brasserie and wellness clinic, where therapies such as acupuncture and herbal medicine will be practised.
“Everything we do, we believe should be about balance between the mental, physical and emotional, and all those elements are under our roof.
Anyone can open a spa; the key here is the implementation and the team behind it, says Emets. Cloud Twelve Club is what it is because of the roster of specialists Emets approached to infuse their expertise into the project. Spa consultant and vice chair of the UK spa association Lisa Barden oversaw the development of the spa and salon space, nutritional therapist and author Eve Kalinik is lead nutritionist, acupuncturist Ross Barr has a residency and leading plant-based chef Stu Henshall is on board as food and beverage consultant.
The right balance
The club’s connection to the earth doesn’t stop there. Wherever possible without compromising quality, ethical brand partners and sustainable sources were sought out; from organic treatment brands to breathable, “free-from” nail products, ammonia-free hair colour and Scrummi eco-friendly disposable towels and sheets in the spa. “Everything has been chosen to reduce toxicity and boost health”, says Emets.
Emets is also passionate about instilling the values that built Cloud Twelve into the next generation, hence the ground-floor play and learn space with a magical forestthemed interactive sensory play zone, play rooms stocked with books, toys and not a digital device in sight; learning development programmes and crèche. “We’re trying to bring togetherness back; people are losing the ability to communicate”, says Emets. “Kids are playing games on apps rather than interacting with each other, so we’ve created a space where children and adults alike can can leave their devices alone and be with each other having fun. We’re focusing a lot on education and learning because I believe if you really want to make an impact and make the world a better place, you have to educate your kids and they will carry it on.”
Children can take classes in mindfulness and kindness while their parents visit the upstairs salon or spa for treatments ranging from nail services and hair colouring to Ayurvedic rituals and high-tech, non-invasive facials, or a cryotherapy session.
“People have asked why we have a salon – they say we’re a wellness institution and that having a beauty salon isn’t healthy”, says Emets, “but we embrace all beauty. Of course inner beauty is important but at the same time, sometimes all you need is a blow dry to boost your confidence.”
Lisa Barden says it was this commonality with Emets that in part sold her on the project: “The understanding of Asian wellness philosophy, but also that a mani-pedi can be just as therapeutic”, she explains.
One of the core elements Barden wanted to bring to the spa was an authentic treatment experience, especially given the blend of eastern and western philosophies on offer. “It really does start with that energetic connection, that space you feel between you, and how the therapist is able to read what you present to them in that moment”, she says.
Fit for purpose
Barden was also inspired to get involved after learning that the designer behind the project – Melt managing director Jean-Paul Blissett – designed Thailand’s famed Chiva-Som 30 years prior. However, she says the long-term goal is “to have people come back to Cloud Twelve rather than spending thousands darting back and forth to Asia or Europe for wellness retreats.” Instead, the product-based spa treatments have been painstakingly chosen to work synergistically with the Ayurvedic offerings, to treat members holistically on UK soil.
“The body treatments are in place for a purpose. For example, a sleep ritual or sculpting treatment marries up with something in the Ayurvedic offering”, explains Barden. “It’s about achieving an objective rather than someone just coming in to have a treatment”, she says. Core product brands Comfort Zone and The Organic Pharmacy were chosen for their sustainable and ethical credentials – “one of the most important elements we were looking for”, says Barden. “We could have gone with more well-known brands to be a draw, but we wanted Cloud Twelve to be the attraction.”
Barden is, however, proud that Cloud Twelve has the first Softmesology device in the country, having tracked down and sourced the machine from Paris.
The machine combines needle-free mesotherapy (microphoresis), electrophoresis, cryotherapy, LED and radiofrequency, and Barden is predicting the treatments to be a big hit with clients after trialling them herself and deciding nothing she had tried before in her more than 20 years’ experience gave the same results. “Achieving such high levels of all the elements has been a real challenge”, she says. “What’s crucial now is not to fall short of any of it.”
Size: 10,000sq ft
Brands: Comfort Zone, Organic Pharmacy, Tri-Dosha, Bio Sculpture, Kure Bazaar, Nailberry
Therapists: Five (on opening)
Facilities: Sauna, steam and Himalayan salt rooms, relaxation room, cryosauna, colonic hydrotherapy suite, vitamin infusion lounge