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“Not What I Expected”
Review of The Refinery

The Refinery
Ranked #118 of 741 Spas & Wellness in London
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Owner description: Stop in for a “pick-me-up” at one of London’s premier one-stop grooming emporiums for men, offering barbering, skincare, bodycare and spa treatments.
Reviewed 29 September 2016

being a man, hair is very important to us. so i decided to treat myself being down in London to a haircut, being a barber myself and giving the best haircut and customer service experience possible i expected the same, i was very much wrong. i was greeted with a warm welcome but was not offered a drink which i thought was weird. sat down and waited 10 minutes over my appointment time once sat down i explained what i wanted doing with my hair and asked the barber what he recommended, but he seemed to brush off his opinion almost not caring and said 'ill just do that'. the fade i got was not a decent enough standard for a barbers in Mayfair and the pricing of the haircut. i asked for the ends off and once dried for weight to be taken out, i had to remind the barber twice to take the weight out and he didn't take the ends off so i left with split ends still in my hair. to top it off he was slamming the characters of certain wealthy clients he has, which made me feel very uncomfortable and was very unprofessional. i left the chair unsatisfied, when going to pay i was charged 70 pounds not 50 pounds which i understand is for the director but i was not informed of this. if informed it would have been no problem. as an overall for the standard of the spa and the haircut and pricing and the experience, i expected top service and a top haircut and a great experience but was very let down. quality of haircut needs to improve and customer service and also the general experience. i cant say that i would go back if i can go somewhere for less money and get a better haircut.

1  Thank Sarah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 7 of 15 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2016

I have a rather "sparse thatch".. OK, I'm bald! Pretty much all fell out at the age of 23, which means I lasted a cool 9 years longer than my dad, however left me with a quandary - do I shave what remains off? Or do I turn into one of those weirdo's in denial who swoop and comb and gel their stragglers into a kind of birds nest arrangement to cover the barren land?.. A no brainer - my head is a near-perfect sphere, so no risk of shaving it and looking like Kryton from Red Dwarf!

I had a few hours to kill around 6 years ago and popped in on the off chance for a wet-shave (everything above the shoulders, excluding the eye-brows!) as I was looking a tad fuzzy after a week on the road to/in/around and returning from Germany. I had always fancied a wet shave, and this seemed the perfect plan before meeting some acquaintances for dinner. I am not a London guy, and living in the middle of nowhere in the country and not used to busy places at the best of time. Stupidly I thought I could pretty much walk in off the street - WRONG! Despite the place being busy the young girl on reception said she might be able to fit me in, and had a word with her friend out-back who agreed to stay on and do the business.. I think after a week of wearing a helmet and a balaclava they agreed the trampish-ness coming over me was not going to work at a london dinner table!

Anyway, on to the shave...

Hot towels, cold towels, bottles of smelly things, water, and then WOOAAAH!! I don't think I'll ever get used to the first time that shiny blade passes across your eyes and heads towards your throat!.. I need not have worried though - an hour or so later, I dropped two big tips (reception and the razorista) left refreshed, and with a head smooth enough, one would imagine, to rival that of a baby dolphin. I also promised myself "I will do this again some time.. ..soon!"

Long story short, I've been to a few places since for shaves, including a local barber shop which set-up in the town near to home, however I've never been treated as well as by the people in this place..

Now, you're probably thinking; aren't reviews are supposed to be from the last 12 months? Right! Thing is, I went back recently, and wanted to set the scene re: how I got into having wet shaves (when I say "into" we're talking maybe 10 in 6 years) in the first place, because some times people have rose tinted memories of places..

Thing is, this time around it was just as good as the last visit all that time ago - superb shave, fantastic staff, and an all around great experience!

Pro's - Really great experience which is just as good now as my first visit!

Con's - They put something on my face which I think had mint in it. When I went outside afterwards it felt like someone was blasting me with ICE!! (not really a CON just a shock!)

Overall - I love it and hope to return for another shave within the next 6 years!

Just a note on some of the other reviews:

There's a few negative reviews from people talking about manicures and "other stuff" that I don't understand - I can't comment on those things as I bite my nails and spend 1/2 my life working on race cars.
I'm not a cave man, but I am a man, and this whole metro-sexual thing just doesn't make sense to me - I literally do not get it! I don't care that other people do, that's fine, what I'm trying to get across is that I don't have a lot to compare The Refinery against and so I can only really comment on the wet shaves. That said given the super-high quality of the shaves I find it hard to believe some of the other things they do aren't up to the same standard

Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2015 via mobile

I booked into the Harrods branch. Tyson did my hair and beard trim. I can honestly say this was the best haircut and beard trim I've ever had. Tyson did not rush and did a thorough professional job. The surroundings are airy and comfortable. I highly recommend this place.

Thank Gavriel5778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2015

Maybe I went there for the wrong thing. I had a manicure and pedicure (my first) and the technicians were very nice, but it just felt so rushed. Realized I could go to some nail place, pay half the price and get the same quality. It was not a special experience or one I would ever repeat. Especially not for £140 (That's roughly $220!!)

Save your money.

1  Thank DAVID C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 August 2014

I have been using The Refinery for a number of years now and always find it to be friendly and professional, with a good standard and range of treatments this weeks visit was no exception.

1  Thank Jcotta1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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