Being picked up by a chauffeur, taken to a five-star spa and having a three-hour long treatment during the middle of the week on a workday, was more than a treat. It was a taste of heaven.
I was lucky enough to be one of the first to experience the luxurious Chuan Spa at the Langham, Auckland when it opened in April this year and it far exceeded all expectations.
The Chuan Spa is based around the guiding principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), so it was fitting that my experience began with a consultation to find out which of the five Chinese elements (essential for physical and emotional wellbeing) related best to me.
After answering a questionnaire it was determined that my current prominent element was “Earth” – meaning that I tend to worry and over-analyse. This was spot-on and I was glad to hear that the three-hour long, Five Elements Rebalance treatment I was about to enjoy would be personalised to bring all five elements into harmony – freeing my tendency to fret.
Next, I was led into the well-heated changing room to indulge in an array of wet facilities – the herbal steam room, sauna, ice experience and the snail shower. While the herbal steam room and the sauna are self explanatory, the ice-flakes did take me by surprise. The idea is to rub your hot body with the ice flakes after you have been in either the sauna, the shower or the steam room. The alternating hot and cold sensation is designed to balance the energies, stimulate the immune system, enhance blood circulation and promote detoxification.
As for the snail shower, luckily it was devoid of any slimy creatures, but instead called so for its curving shape. The rain shower overhead and the multiple jets at varying levels made getting out very hard, but it certainly was in a state of harmony that I found myself walking to my treatment room.
I was pleased to find that my water journey was to continue as the treatment began with a twenty-minute soak in a private bathtub infused with seaweed petals. Next came the all-over stone therapy body massage, which sent me into a complete state of relaxation. So much so that I was soon in a deep slumber. Afterwards I woke to my feet being treated to a lemon, peppermint and cypress scrub and heavenly massage.
Rather drunkenly, after the three hours of pure bliss were up, I made my way to the Dream Room to enjoy a Spa Cuisine snack of smoked salmon bruschetta and a pot of personalised herbal elemental tea.
I was glad that I was not having to go any further than across the hallway and into the opulent surrounds of the Chuan Serenity suite. This suite and the neighbouring one, Nirvana, are offered as part of a package to spa guests with the notion that you never need to leave the hotel. And thank goodness for that as all I was capable of doing was sinking into the sofa and thinking how nice it would be if I could be pampered like this every day.
By the morning I felt renewed and revitalised and when it came to leaving the hotel I could have sworn I had been on a week-long retreat. A far cry then, from the reality of what awaited me outside – the hustle and bustle of downtown Auckland and the fact that I had to go back to being a mere mortal again.