There was a time when hotels merely allocated a windowless room or two (usually in the fitness centre) with a simple bed set up, and then hired a masseuse, who waited around for the occasional request to ease one’s aching muscles.
These days with travel and stress factors at tremendous levels, the need to rejuvenate and return to wellness has led to urban sanctuaries that no five-star hotel worth its salt would be caught without. Boasting distinct branding and operational philosophies, a number of spa names have come to mean relief in capital letters for many harried corporates.
Below is a sampling of the growing choices in the market.
CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La of Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts
The concept CHI offers authentic natural healing treatments and massage therapies inspired and shared by many Asian cultures. Its working foundation, however, is set in the Chinese theory of chi and the Five Elements of metal, water, wood, fire and earth to harmonise the body’s energy.
Where is CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La available? Since being launched in 2004, 18 CHIs have sprouted in Shangri-La hotels in Sydney, Vancouver, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Cebu, mainland China such as Beijing and Shanghai (pictured above), Bangkok, Oman and Fiji, with six more to be introduced in the next two years.
Signature treatment Highly recommended are CHI Balance, Mountain Tsampa Rub and Healing Stone Massage, all designed to relax, rejuvate and restore well being.
Chuan Spa of Langham Hotels
The concept All treatments are guided by the pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Wu Xing (Five Elements), Yin and Yang and Jing Luo (Meridian System).
Where is Chuan available? Langham hotels in Hongkong (pictured above), Shanghai, Auckland, Melbourne and Koh Samui.
Signature treatment After a therapist takes guests through a “five elements” questionnaire to determine which element is out of balance, a special incense, oil and tea will be prepared for them, followed by one from the menu of 60 treatments deemed appropriate for their condition.
Devarana Spa of Dusit International
The concept Devarana, pronounced as “Te-Wa-Run” is a Thai-Sanskrit word, meaning “garden in heaven”. Pampering and healing treatments take place in a stress-relieving atmosphere, featuring interiors with a contemporary Thai touch and traditional Thai hospitality.
Where Devarana available? Dusit Thani hotels in Bangkok (pictured above), Pattaya, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Manila.
Signature treatment: The 90-minute Devarana Massage blends five techniques taken from Eastern and Western disciplines to help relieve muscle aches and tension. It is also accompanied by a bowl of ot water with freshly sliced kaffir lime and orange for respiratory cleansing.
Hyatt Pure of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
The concept Some 70 individual spa concepts are grouped in the Hyatt Pure collection, each embracing indigenous local healing practices to restore balance and well being. Each spa has its own name and character. The Damai (meaning “peace”) of Grand Hyatt Singapore (pictured above) brings together the therapeutic practices of Chinese, Malay, Indian as well as other Asian and European communities which live together in harmony in the Lion City.
Where is Hyatt Pure available? In major cities where Hyatt hotels are located, including Hongkong (The Plateau) and Bangkok (i.sawan Residential Spa and Club)
Signature treatment The 90-minute Ginseng Korean Body Polish, containing ginseng, which features saponin, known for its hydrating and rejuvenating properties.
Quan Spa of Marriott International
The concept Drawing from the restorative properties of water – Quan means “a source of pure water” in Chinese – the spa offers not only the expected massages but also water therapy through its Vichy Shower treatments. Staple features are the Foot Lounge and in-room Jacuzzi as well as the absence of the “locker-room experience” which does away with guests being seen walking around in bathrobes but has them changing in their suites.
Signature treatment Each spa destination adapts to its location and the local healing practices, but infuses them with Quan’s basic philosophy that water is at the core of the health experience. For example, China properties offer the Qi Fusion massage and Spice Body Wrap and in Manila, the Hilot (traditional Filipino massage). Quan also believes in offering fresh ingredients so in the Thai and Chinese experiences, products used are prepared no more than 30 minutes prior to the booked treatment. Two signature oil blends – lime-orange-lemongrass for day and lavender-sandalwood for night are available.
Where is Quan available? Marriott hotels in Beijing, Hongkong (Skycity Marriott, pictured above), Ningbo, Manila, JW Marriott hotels in Beijing, Medan, Mumbai, Shenzhen and renaissance in Bangkok and Shanghai among others.
Willow Stream Spa of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
The concept Sanctuaries inside Fairmont hotels have been created, reflecting their surroundings, the city, the desert, the sea, the lake, the mountains or the desert.
Where is Willow Stream Spa available? In 21 Fairmont properties throughout the world, including in Asia – Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan City (pictured above).
Signature treatment Each location has designed their own special therapy such as Fairmont Singapore, which offers the 60-minute Singapore Perfection, a cleansing and hydrating treatment that encourages the body’s own natural healing process while replacing essentials elements to the skin. A stimulating dry brush massage begins the treatment. This is followed by a deep cleansing mask of Neem, Carrot Root, Aloe Leaf Juice and Sesame Seed Oil.
Margie T Logarta