That's the Spot: Spas and Massages in Xi'an

That's the Spot: Spas and Massages in Xi'an

A pair of trained hands can knock anyone out – I’m talking about masseuses. Getting a good back or foot rub can do wonders after a busy week and the Chinese are world renowned for their traditional art of massaging. Whether you want to untangle some knots and unblock pressure points, or just want relief from a build up of stress or muscle pain, then one of the following massage spots in Xi’an should be your first port of call.

1) Grand Noble Retreat豪门养生馆
Located on the 3rd floor of a luxurious 5-star downtown hotel, the Grand Noble Retreat is a recent addition to a well-established name in Xi'an. Opened in 2009, the retreat is a high-end, albeit small massage parlor. Being mostly for the hotel guests, the masseuses deliver a wide variety of massages in guests' rooms. However, they also have four beds available 24-hours to welcome drop-in customers.

Well-versed in both English and Mandarin, the concierge upstairs can introduce you to the different styles of service, ranging from Traditional Chinese Massage (218 RMB/90 min) to Swedish Massage (298 RMB/ 90 min). Those who are experienced may wish to enjoy a heavier style, such as the Paris Island Massage (298 RMB/90 min), while first-timers may want to begin with the Full-Body Reflexology Massage (218 RMB/90 min), which is designed to improve blood circulation via pressure points.

Clean and classy, the Grand Noble Retreat is an easy choice for anyone who is willing to splurge for comfort. The hottest choice lately has been the Rejuvenating Massage (298 RMB/90 min). It supposedly helps your body to release toxins by stimulating your lymphatic system. If you're eager to find out what that means, book an appointment in the morning of your visit.  

Grand Noble RetreatView In Map
Add: 334 Dong Dajie, Xi'an
地址:西安市东大街334号
Tel: 029 8769 0008
Opening hours: 24hrs
Price: 200-300 RMB per hour
Website: www.gnhotel.com

2) Hong Jing Tian Health Care红景天
Casement windows with circle top, Hong Jing Tian has a low-key chicness to its exterior. It's located 10 minutes away from the Shaanxi History Museum and has a decade of smooth operation under its belt. On the cheaper end of the scale, Hong Jing Tian offers Chinese, European and Thai styled massages for less than 100 RMB per hour. Foot baths come with a foot massage and for 48 RMB you can enjoy either a Summer Ice Treatment or Tibetan Medicinal Mud Bath.

Along with massages, Hong Jing Tian also serves its guests a variety of teas. From jasmine to Longjing, you can try them for as little as 25 RMB per kettle. All and all, it's a plain little 2-story health care centre with a reasonable price for its service.

Hong Jing Tian Health CareView In Map
Add: 26 West Yanta Lu, Xi'an
地址: 西安市雁塔西路26号
Opening hours: 11:45-23:45
Price: 40-100 RMB per hour

3) Tian Yuan Bathing Spot天源浴场
Here's a revolutionary concept for backpackers and businessmen alike: instead of hostels, live in a bath house. For 78 RMB, you get a breakfast, free movies and back rubs in the bath. Tian Yuan is a 5-story bath mansion, featuring everything from internet cafes to fruit platters. Having been in business for 10 years, Tian Yuan grew significantly and diversified their service to include a fair selection of massages and treatments. A regular full-body massage costs 108 RMB per hour, and so does the Traditional Chinese style. Adventurists can try out their Delux Chinese-Thai Combo (198 RMB/hr) or the Oil Massage with Heated Jade Acupressure Treatment (398 RMB for 2 hours).

All the masseuses are trained by in-house experts, and Tian Yuan offers a women-only floor, where they focus on skin treatment. Salt, milk, honey, ginger – I wouldn't be surprised if their skin care centre shares a stockroom with their kitchen. For 30 RMB you can receive a pedicure, and for an additional 88 RMB you can soak all day in a tub of milk. Finally, when you are all tenderized and ready to crash, you can take a free bed in the common room or rent a private lodging for about 100 RMB.

Tian Yuan Bathing SpotView In Map
Add: 91 Youyi Xilu, Bei Lin District, Xi'an
地址:西安市碑林区友谊西路91号
Tel: 029 8207 7777; 82377777
Opening hours: 24hrs
Price: 100-200 RMB per hour

4) Blind Massage
Jammed in between a trinket store and a halal restaurant, "Massage by the Blind" is definitely the least expected shop sign on the famed nightmarket street, Beiyuanmen. Mr. Yang, who was blinded at the age of four, graduated from Baoji Massage School for the Blind (oldest in the country) then travelled all over Shaanxi on his own, and subsequently founded this parlor in 2003. It's a small two-room flat that seems rather shabby, but Mr. Yang is beaming proud. Holding up a successful business in China is hardly something a blind man dreams of, letting alone realizes.

They focus on all traditional techniques. With a price range quite low for Western standard, the masseuses offer both area-specific treatments as well as full-body massages. There is also an acupuncture specialist beside the four blind masseuses to provide other traditional Chinese cures, such as guasha (scraping of skin to improve blood circulation) and fire cupping (an acupressure technique in Chinese medicine). Finally, the female masseuse here is a minor local celebrity on account of her excellent self-taught English. The Xi'an Evening News even featured her in a recent story. All the better for those who wish to strike up a conversation while getting your chi sorted out.

Blind MassageView In Map
Add: No.118 Beiyuanmen, Xi'an
地址: 西安市北院门118号
Tel: 029 8151 8576
Opening hours: 08:00-24:00
Price: 100-200 RMB per hour

5) Maryanna Health & Beauty Spa
In the High-Tech region of Xi'an, the word Maryanna is synonymous with luxury. As the founding branch of a chain spa, this location won't be passed unnoticed for all its rosso corsa curtains and red wood floor. In rooms divided by Chinese wooden paper screens, Maryanna offers first-time guests a private consultation that would determine their needs and interest. But ornate chairs with white leather cushions are only the tip of the iceberg: occupying 2000m2 and open 365 days a year, Maryanna has 16 rooms with 60 masseuses and skin care specialists. The run-of-the-mill services such as foot rubs and full-body massages are popular but long overtaken by the newest trend in Xi'an – weight-loss through massage. Combining a physical program with a recommended dietary guide, the experts in Maryanna promise visible results within just a few sessions. For their mostly female clientele, Maryanna also features anti-aging treatment. The consultants boast cutting edge technology, which will improve skin elasticity through a facial massage. If that's what you're looking for, be ready to spend. These experts cost up to 1200 RMB per session and 10,000 RMB per year.

Maryanna Health & Beauty SpaView In Map
Add: 4 Gaoxin Erlu, Xi'an
地址: 西安市莲湖区高新二路4号
Tel: 029 8847 9238
Opening hours: 09:00-21:00
Price: 380-1200 RMB per session

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