Mandala symbols, tribal embroidered textiles, Himalayan accessories. This 800 square-meter haven of tranquility, inspired by architectural aesthetics of Tibetan temples, combines Himalayan design elements with Chinese principles of harmony and balance. A mystical and truly enchanting space. Try CHI Balance (75 min, 1,280 RMB + 15%). Click here for details.
The entire PuLi Hotel oozes tranquility, but its spa area is in yet another world of its own. Internationally-renowned spa group Anantara has customized a special tea-inspired menu for the hotel, utilizing a selection of green tea, white tea, chrysanthemum tea, and rose tea to provide a complete sensorial experience for its guests. Try Thai Herbal Compress Massage (90 min. 1,080 RMB + 15%). Click here for details.
The one and only spa in Shanghai that made it to the “Conde Nast Traveler Hot List Spas 2011“. Arrive 30 minutes prior to treatment to relax and utilize the facilities at the spa – a steam room, a rock sauna, an ice fountain, and a “lifestyle experience shower” with 3 different settings of water pressure and corresponding aroma. Try Signature Jade Qi Yun Treatment (90 min. 1,200 RMB + 15%). Click here for details.
Evian‘s first and only spa outside of France. 35 metre high atrium, zen garden-like decor, grey carpet and large granite rocks…the space seems a bit worn in its current state, but what Evian Spa lacks in hardware is made up for by the professionalism of their very experienced spa therapists. Try Lomi Lomi Hawaii Therapy (90 min. 980 RMB). Click here for details.
The Ritz-Carlton Pudong, opened in June 2010, is located on the top 18 floors of Shanghai’s IFC Tower – a luxury shopping/office/residential complex. It’s got 258 guest rooms, all in sleek and modern design with hints of Shanghai Art Deco from the 1930s. Staying at one of its Bund View Suites with club access is a luxurious experience not to be missed. Click here (day 1) and here (day 2) for details.
The Waterhouse at South Bund, a 19-room boutique hotel reconstructed from a 1930s warehouse, is chic in the unusual style of broken tiles, exposed bricks, rough edges, and plenty of rust. Complete with eclectic furnishings and random phrases written haphazardly all over the building, The Waterhouse design is undoubtedly one of the most unique in town. Click here (public areas) and here (suite) for details.
The PuLi Hotel & Spa, gorgeously designed with grey bricks, bamboo screens, and elegant antiques placed in seemingly haphazard ways, is one of my favorite hotels in Shanghai. It is centrally located between Nanjing West Road and Yan’An Road, yet it holds its own as a center of calm in the dizzying Shanghai cityscape. An urban resort indeed. Click here for details.
HOTELS & SPAS AROUND SHANGHAI
The 39th W Hotel globally, W Taipei is a sensational swirl of high-energy interiors, vivid design, cutting-edge technology and uniquely modern amenities. Even if you are not staying here, drop by to sip at the WOOBAR, chill by the WET, nibble at Yen, and revel in the magnificence of W Taipei’s “nature electrified”. Click here (day) and here (night) for details.
The elegantly decorated suite at Wellspring Spa is thoroughly impressive. Furnished with materials imported from Bali and Europe, it is equipped with a giant bed, a window-side lounge, two massage beds, a changing room, a shower/steam room, a bathtub, and a separate bathroom. Try Traveler’s Perk (1 hr 45 min, 4,200 NTD).
Click here for details.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, currently the world’s highest hotel, is quite literally taking luxury to new heights. Perched between levels 102 and 118 at the ICC Tower, the hotel sits majestically atop floors of bankers, a train/metro station that directly links to the airport, and an upscale shopping mall. Needless to say, it all comes with unrivaled views of Victoria Harbour and the iconic Hong Kong skyline. Click here (day 1) and here (day 2) for details.
My stay at the Island Shangri-La Hong Kong was a short but sweet one. I was only there for one evening and didn’t have time to try any of the restaurants except for Cafe TOO for its breakfast buffet, but the experience was enough for me to understand why this hotel is ranked #5 out of 322 hotels in Hong Kong on Tripadvisor.
Click here for details.
Grand Hyatt needs no introduction. There is not much bedazzling about the hotel in terms of architectural design, but if you are looking for consistent quality and attentive service, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong would be it. This is an excellent choice especially for business travelers, and it’s also worth mentioning that the hotel houses Plateau Spa, one of the best spa spots in Hong Kong. Click here for details.
The landscaping at Plateau Spa – complete with fountains, pools, and a waterfall – form a peaceful oasis. The environment is perfect for a quiet escape, whether you are staying for the night at one of the elegantly decorated residential spa rooms, or are in it just for a few hours of day spa treatment – both will transport you to another state of mind. Try Plateau Massage (90 minutes, 1,380 HKD). Click here for details.
Hangzhou: Fuchun Resort (coming soon)
Hangzhou: Amanfayun (coming soon)
Hangzhou: Hyatt Regency (coming soon)