Destination Relaxation: Shanghai’s Best Spas

Destination Relaxation: Shanghai’s Best Spas
By Andrea Scarlatelli ,

Shanghai is a fast-paced city, and every so often you need to step back, take stock, and relax. You deserve to be pampered. And what better way to do this than at one of Shanghai’s spas? Take a look at the list of spas below to find the one that suits you best, then oil, lotion, and massage your way to a very happy new year!

The Chi Spa combines Chinese and Himalayan healing rituals to balance your own unique qi. Each therapy utilizes one of the five Chinese elements (earth, wood, water, metal, and fire), based upon which element you are on that particular day. How do the therapists determine which element you resemble? Each time you visit you’re required to fill out a questionnaire since your individual mood, and even the time of day, can influence your body’s chemistry. There are a variety of different treatments to choose from, including an invigorating hot stone massage and a calming balance massage. Prices prove to be a bit steep (around the 1,500 RMB range for an hour and a half massage) but totally worth it.

The Chi SpaView In Map
Add: 6/F, Tower 2, Pudong Shangri-La, 33 Fucheng Lu, near Dongchang Lu, Pudong, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5877 1503
Hours: 10:00 – Midnight

The Chuan Spa, housed in the Langham Hotel, focuses on traditional Chinese treatments. With branches in Auckland, Melbourne, and Hong Kong, in addition to the one in Shanghai, this spa has a loyal group of followers. They have four private treatment rooms that are guaranteed to make you feel special, along with both wet and dry saunas. Try their infinity baths for a skin-softening treat.

The Chuan Spa 「川」水疗中心View In Map
Add: 3/F, The Langham Yangtze Boutique Hotel, 740 Hankou Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6080 0722

For a more clinical take on the average spa experience, try Evian Day Spa. Before each visit, you’re asked to fill out a questionnaire that aims to discover any aches or pains you’ve been experiencing. While traditional treatments such as exfoliation are available, this is the place to go for you more hardcore spa groupies out there. You can take advantage of more drastic treatments like cellulite reduction and contouring facials.

Evian Day Spa 依云水疗View In Map
Add: 3/F, Three on the Bund, 3 Zhongshan Dongyilu, near Guangdong Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6321 6622

You’ll be impressed with Mandara as soon as you enter its Old China-styled rooms, with stone, ceramic, and wood furnishings creating a traditional oriental feel. Cross over the wooden bridge as you enter the impressive antique doors to begin a day of luxurious pampering. You’ll feel like absolute royalty as you take advantage of their exotic treatments. This includes a facial with pearl powder (who says diamonds are a girl’s best friend?) or a session with two therapists who will work with a total of five different massage styles.

MandaraView In Map
Add: 6/F, JW Marriott Hotel, Tomorrow Square, 399 Nanjing Xilu, near Huangpi Bei Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5359 4969 ext.6798 

For those who literally want to stop and smell the roses, La Spa is the place for you. Their muted lighting is the perfect accompaniment to the soft music you can hear in the background while steaming off your daily dirt in a hot shower. Choose your scented oil and relax as you’re massaged and swaddled till your heart’s content. You’ll leave smelling exactly like those roses you had wanted to stop and smell.

La Spa御美会View In Map
Add: 499 Fuxing Zhonglu, Luwan District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6387 7708

The Spa at the Hilton makes you feel as exclusive as its name implies. This place has a reputation for being ultra female-friendly, mostly due to their treatments that target specific female, problems. This includes focusing on parts of the body known to relieve ailments such as back pain, headaches and even menstrual cramps.

The Spa at the Hilton View In Map
Add: 4/F, Hilton Shanghai, 250 Huashan Lu, near Changshu Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6248 0000 ext. 2600

Inspired by the Himalayans, Banyan Treebases its treatments on the five Chinese elements (earth, wood, water, metal, and fire) in order to focus on easing muscle pain and stress. Dip into a rice wine bath and feel your muscles instantly relax. The black sesame scrub will reveal your skin’s inner glow while giving your body an all-over tingling sensation. Perhaps the treatment with the most “are you kidding me?” appeal is the stone massage that uses river stones, on which are carved the eight symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. These symbols, which are hand carved onto the stones by monks from the Kopan monastery, are supposed to unblock the flow of qi. Try getting that kind of service anywhere else in the world!

Banyan Tree万悦休闲健身View In Map
Add: 3F, 88 Henan Zhonglu, near Sijing Lu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6335 1888 ext. 7272

One of the most popular spas in the city, the multi-branch Dragonfly Retreatpresents a more westernized take on foot, shoulder, and body massages. This means that it’s the place to go for those who just can’t take the muscle kneading, punching, and poking that more traditional Chinese massage shops provide. In addition to the Chinese, Japanese, oil, and foot massages that are available, Dragonfly Retreat also offers facials, waxing, and nail treatments.

SkinCity 5.5 Spa is a spa that focuses entirely on skincare. Their interior subway design extends all the way to individual “treatment stations,” where you can choose your skincare package. All treatments use Babor products, a German brand famous for its completely natural ingredients. Enjoy your facials in one of six private rooms, where you’re able to choose your own music before the session begins. When you’re done, jump into the steam showers for a soothing end to your day.

SkinCity 5.5 Spa
View In Map
Add: 476 Dagu Lu, near Shimen Yilu, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6340 1235
Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 daily

Located within the InterContinental Shanghai Pudong Hotel, I-Spa caters to the city’s stressed out businessmen and businesswomen (and by the looks of it, there are certainly a lot of them). A fusion of East and West, each of their 10 rooms focuses on a different treatment. These include body massages, facials, foot reflexology, Vichy showers, and tanning. Their most popular treatment is their combination of Western scented body oils with the Chinese massage style that is intended to soothe muscles that have been overworked.

I-Spa洲际水疗馆View In Map
Add: InterContinental Shanghai Pudong Hotel,777 Zhangyang Lu, Pudong, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5835 6666

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