LDN Experiences

Published on November 8th, 2014 | by Tatei Montejo


Lava Shells Massage, Knightsbridge

It’s not every day that one gets to review a treatment available at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. Whether you’re lucky enough to have been inside this luxury Knightsbridge hotel or not, you’re sure to have noticed its gorgeous exterior. An oasis of eastern wellbeing, its spa only offers trusted top of the range therapies, so as soon as I heard about Lava Shells I knew I had to try it! This heated massage is also available in other prestigious London salons such as the Kallima Spa at Hilton Syon Park, and what’s more, it also comes with its very own mobile therapists – The Lava Angels!

Mandarin Oriental Hotel

If like me (I’m embarrassed to admit), you had never heard of Lava Shells before, they’re the world’s first self-heating massage tool.  Originally from the Turks and Caicos Islands, Tiger Clam Shells are filled with a sachet containing a blend of food grade minerals and an activator, resulting after just five to ten minutes in eco-friendly continuous heat for over an hour, perfect for a seamless body massage! Don’t just take my word for it, lots of celebrities love it too; Ellie Goulding, The Saturdays and Stephanie Pratt to name a few! Men also swear by Lava Shells; Calum Best, Les Ferdinand and Marvin Humes are big fans, while Travis McCoy goes as far as to say it’s “made him a better man”.

My Lava Angel, Vanessa, is an incredible masseuse and a national Lava Shells trainer. Having been in the business for over 25 year she has extensive international experience not only in the beauty world, but also in holistic therapies and sports massage (for a professional football club). She’s a very busy lady so I felt very privileged that she had paid me a visit, after which she found out she’d be treating Millie Mackintosh, of Made in Chelsea fame, the following day.


Once all was set up I laid on the comfiest massage table ever to a soundtrack of Ibiza chill-out tunes — I’m a fan of Lava Relax before the treatment even starts.  Vanessa then prepared my skin by layering an amazing smelling green tea and mango oil and I was transported to warmer lands.  When she starts massaging my arms I’m pleasantly surprised by how similar the Lava Shells feel to her hands, you can only tell them apart by the heat that the shells give out. The shells have three different angles – crown, edge and hinge – which resemble the therapist’s palm, knuckles and thumb. Both natural lava shells and handcrafted shells, made of porcelain and crushed natural shells, are used on me and I certainly can’t tell the difference between the two either.

Tatei massage 2

I had the Lava Relax Luxury Body Massage,aka 90 minutes of heaven.  The slow deep moves helped to ease away all tension and knots and I could feel the stresses of the day slowly leaving my body and mind while I wandered out on a little cloud. Unlike most treatments that promise a whole body massage but only focus on back, shoulders and legs, Vanessa also paid attention to my tummy, which she assured me helps digestion. I felt less bloated straight after and it was very relaxing. At the end she also massaged my head for a few minutes, which left me feeling all dreamy and dazed for quite a while.

The whole experience took me back to my holiday in Bali seven years ago when I had the most incredible massages, and that’s not something I say often as it’s hard to recreate the same exoticness in London. If you’ve ever tried a hot stone massage and were disappointed when boiling rocks were merely placed on your back, this is just for you. The simplicity and beauty of it all completely won me over – Lava Shells is the future of heated spa therapy, it’s time to leave the ‘stone age’ behind!

Shared Beauty Secrets, exclusive distributors of Lava and Glacial Shells, offers a range of treatments available in a number of London spas including Lava Rescue, Glacial Detox and Lava Shell Therma Facial. The treatment reviewed, Lava Relax, costs between £65 and £155 for an hour-long massage.


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About the Author

Spanish by origin, Londoner by choice, Tatei has lived and worked in the City for the past four years. Lover of all things beauty she's partial to an indulgent spa treatment in the morning followed by a Real Madrid game in the afternoon and a Bellini in the evening

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