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We tried one of the ‘CBD experiences’ on offer – this is our verdict

Ruby Deevoy tries an OTO CBD massage at the five-star Montcalm East in London.



We tried one of the 'CBD experiences' on offer at a London hotel - this is our verdict
the five-star Montcalm East in London recently started offering CBD experiences in its Bokeh Spa. Photo: Matthew Shaw


The five-star Montcalm East in London, recently started offering OTO CBD experiences in its Bokeh Spa. Journalist Ruby Deevoy gives us her verdict.

Are you overdue a little luxury or looking for a high-end space to rest your head for the night while on a trip to London? Look no further than Montcalm East – who not only have your accommodation needs covered, but your CBD too.

After attending the Drug Science event ‘3 NHS Prescriptions in 3 Years’ I was lucky enough to stay in this art-fuelled Shoreditch hotel and was treated to one of their OTO CBD massages. 

The hotel

It took me a while to master the lift situation (I was tired) – in true Montcalm style, utilising an array of contemporary touches, you have to hold your room keycard on a sensor to gain access to the guest room floors. A nice safety touch. As it so happens, I had been upgraded to a ‘sky high’ room, so I was in the wrong lift entirely. 

We tried one of the 'CBD experiences' on offer at a London hotel - this is our verdict

When I managed to make it up to the dizzy heights of the 16th floor, the corridor walls were streaked with glowing lines of light giving the whole place a very artsy sci-fi feel, while the water stations (that offered both still and sparkling water on tap, to fill the glass bottle provided in the rooms) were dotted along the side as a welcomed consideration for guests.

Inside the room, I was met with wall to wall windows and a sprawling city view, as well as an impressive number of buttons on the wall that I spent some time playing with – one to open and close the blinds, one for the bathroom’s underfloor heating, one for the night lights, the air-con, one to alert someone that your room needed cleaning. I could go on.

They had certainly found a way to provide everything they could at the touch of a button. They had them all above the bedside tables too, so I had complete control of the lighting from the comfort of my bed.

The overall style is what I would describe as ‘city slick’ – greys and blacks, fairly minimalistic, with the addition of some contemporary artwork on one wall and a very large bed-facing TV on another.

The waterfall shower, stocked with luxury shower products, was lovely, although to get there I had to hop like a lizard on hot sand as the floor was bizarrely hot. Perhaps it had been left up high by accident – I never did quite figure those buttons out.

We tried one of the 'CBD experiences' on offer at a London hotel - this is our verdict

Photo: Matthew Shaw 

The massage

After a restful night’s sleep, I caught the lift right down into the basement of Montcalm – home to their luxury pool and Bokeh spa. A low-lit cavern of wellness, hidden below the eternal buzz of the London streets above. 

After browsing the OTO menu, which boasted a number of massage options including Focus (incorporating reflexology) and Balance (boosted with rose quartz) I was feeling tired, so decided to brave the Amplified. I say ‘brave’, because (as it turns out) this is not a massage for the fainthearted.

We tried one of the 'CBD experiences' on offer at a London hotel - this is our verdict

Photo: Matthew Shaw

The results after the 55 minute full-body session felt more like I’d just had a workout than an indulgent treatment. But that’s not to say it was bad, just different.

The massage therapist did explain this one in particular is more about really getting deep into the muscles rather than soothing the mind, so if that’s what you’re after this is the one for you.

Of course, each massage uses a corresponding CBD-fused OTO body oil – in this case, the it was the OTO Amplified oil, which contains an invigorating blend of Bitter Orange, Grapefruit and Juniper Berry orange in a grape seed and coconut oil carrier, although the smell is barely there.

We tried one of the 'CBD experiences' on offer at a London hotel - this is our verdict

In addition to an intense pummelling, a bamboo stick was brought into play – rolled up and down my legs, back, traps and sides to work out deep-seated knots. It was not gentle.

If anyone had been able to see some of the faces I was making as I lay eyes-down on the massage bed they might have been quite alarmed. But, although it took some ‘mind over matter’ work to relax my muscles into the technique, it felt pretty good in the end.

I was devastated that I hadn’t thought to bring my swimming costume, so sadly I didn’t make it into the pool, Jacuzzi, steam room or sauna. But I wish I had! It looked blissful, like the perfect place to help you rest and reset after a hard day. I’ll be sure to give it a go next time.

A creative streak

In addition to the usual hotel offerings, Montcalm East also has a strong focus on art, priding itself on being a creative hub for the Shoreditch crowd. Artworks curated by Culture A line the walls throughout and imaginative quirks can be found around every corner.

Find out more here 


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