We’re well aware of the expertise of Koreans and Japanese when it comes to skincare rituals. After all, Korean and Japanese beauty products fill the vanities of many women, inspiring us to take better care of our skin for a beautiful complexion. Yet, little is known today when it comes to Chinese beauty rituals, even though Chinese history holds countless tales of the lavish beauty routines and ingredients that are used since ancient times. If you’re heading to Mainland China for your next trip and are in need of some self-pampering, look no further.
From brightening peony facials to bamboo massages, here are the most opulent and over-the-top spa experiences that utilise ancient remedies to rejuvenate you from head to toe:
Flowers of the Four Seasons, about $440 for 150 minutes, Hua Spa at The Four Seasons Guangzhou
Perched atop the 69th floor of the Four Seasons Guangzhou, Hua Spa is literally a haven amidst the clouds. Decked out in a modern and understated style, it overlooks the vibrant business district of Guangzhou, yet offers a sanctuary that’s a world away from the hustle and bustle down below. Spoil yourself by booking the Flowers of the Four Seasons, a decadent top-to-toe treatment that includes a body exfoliation, face and body mask and a body massage. As its name suggests, the ingredients used vary according to the seasons and the treatment begins with a relaxing foot bath that cleanses and detoxes your skin. Then, your therapist performs a body exfoliation using a body scrub made of lotus seeds to slough away dead skin cells and stimulate circulation.
Next, a mineral-rich marine algae mask is applied all over your body to deeply replenish skin with moisture. While your skin drinks it all up, you are treated to a relaxing scalp massage and an intensely nourishing face mask made out of peony petals which brightens and enlivens dull skin. Finally, feel your tension melt away as your therapist performs a customised massage to alleviate aches so you emerge feeling immensely rejuvenated. Plus, only nourishing plant oils are used to leave your skin soft and supple.
Bamboo Harmoniser, about $338 for 110 minutes, at The Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Shanghai
As one of only four spas in Mainland China to win the Five-Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide 2018, you know you can expect nothing less than top-notch luxury here. Perfectly situated along the historical Shanghai Bund, The Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Shanghai is a haven for busy urbanites looking for holistic treatments that marry traditional know-how with quality products to recalibrate tired minds and bodies. If you’re feeling sluggish after frequent travelling, treat yourself to the Bamboo Harmoniser, a specialised massage therapy that is aimed to stimulate the flow of Qi within the body to improve vitality.
A symbol of longevity and strength, bamboo sticks of varying lengths are used in gliding and rolling techniques to relieve sore and stressed joints. When combined with traditional Chinese massage techniques and foot reflexology, the flow of Qi and blood circulation are improved so that you feel energised and rejuvenated.
The Balance Qi Journey, about $500 for 120 minutes, The Bulgari Spa at Bulgari Hotel Beijing
Designed with worn-out and out-of-sync bodies in mind, this treatment harnesses the principles of traditional Chinese medicine to enhance the flow of energy to improve overall health and wellness. This holistic therapy begins as you luxuriate in an indulgent herbal bath to loosen tense muscles. As you feel more relaxed, your therapist then performs Tai Chi-inspired light stretching movements, followed by a full-body massage. Comprising pressure point stimulation and long, deep massage strokes, the deeply restorative massage releases muscle tension to soothe chronic aches and tension so you feel instantly revitalised.
Chinese Traditions, about $278 or 90 minutes, Banyan Tree Spa at Banyan Tree Sanya
Well-known for its highly-trained therapists, the Banyan Tree Spa at Banyan Tree Sanya is an experience like no other. With a special focus and emphasis on wellness, the villa-only property offers dozens of holistic treatments that are customisable to address any concerns you have. A trip to the spa is an event itself, as you can choose from therapies featuring massage techniques from different cultures, and it even features an impressive Turkish hammam. But if a private spa experience is what you’re after, each villa is also equipped with its very own open-air massage table and outdoor showers so you can embrace nature in privacy.
Try the Chinese Traditions, a 90-minute long treatment that includes a head and full body massage. Using Tui Na massage techniques, chronic aches and tension are kneaded away as a sense of balance and wellbeing is restored.