Yuan Spa at Hyatt on the Bund
Add: Hyatt on the Bund 1/F, 199 Huangpu Lu, near Qingpu Lu / 黄浦路199号1楼, 近青浦路
Tel: 6393 1234
Price: Yuan Massage 60 min. 780RMB
Visited on: 2012-03
I had never been down to the lower lobby of Hyatt on the Bund, and as I descended the spiral staircase in search of Yuan Spa, I wondered why I didn’t discover this calming space earlier. The open plan design, with a boulder-lined river that spanned the entire length of the vast atrium, literally has “water, water everywhere”, which makes perfect sense for a spa that’s named “Yuan” (源), the Chinese character for “source of water”.
After checking in with the receptionist, I was led to the locker room area with access to the spa’s saunas, whirlpool, and showers. The space didn’t feel very private as there were quite a few people coming in and out of the pool, so if you prefer more privacy, you can choose to change and shower in the private spa treatment rooms.
My therapist led me across the hall through a four-cornered waterfall corridor (yes, more water) and into my spa room, which is minimally decorated in subdued earthen tones. The space is natural and modern, and I especially liked the window design which allowed in some natural light from the atrium while still guaranteeing privacy.
I was scheduled to receive the Yuan Massage (60 min. 780RMB), which began with a Chinese ‘foot soak’ harnessing the cleansing and antioxidant benefits of oolong tea. My therapist then used a pair of jade massage rollers to give me a food massage, and the cool sensation of the jade massage roller was instantly calming. Perhaps I need to get a pair of these to use at home!
Yuan Massage draws on the traditions of Chinese medicine by targeting acupressure points and meridian lines for full relaxation and renewal. My therapist used hot towel compresses and a Jade stone baller during the massage, which are supposed to restored the vitality of the body. The 1-hour massage ended rather quickly – time always flies when you are in a state of bliss – and my therapist retrieved me back to my state of consciousness by offering me a cup of hot tea brewed from luohanguo (羅漢果), a medicinal sweet fruit grown in Guangxi, China.
As I exited Yuan Spa, it was already turning dark. The atrium was subtly lighted, and the ambiance made surreal by the enchanting tones of a guzheng (古箏) and a pipa (琵琶) live performance. If Hyatt on the Bund weren’t so out of the way for me, I’d really love to come more often…