Flowers are so 2014. If you really want to declare your love for somebody, it doesn’t get much better than the Chuan Spa at London’s Langham hotel. With prices starting from at £90 they’re not cheap but by god are they worth it. I visited the Chuan spa on a nippy afternoon in January. With it being the new year and all, I wasn’t exactly in need of a spa break but considering how much I love the Langham I couldn’t think of a better way to start the year .
I took the long way around through the Langham as the hotel itself is divine, very old world; although there is a private Regent St entrance for the regulars, or those being pampered on the down low.
Upon entering beneath the grand arch that distinguishes the spa from the hotel, I walked up to the reception -where the receptionist greeted me with a warm smile and firm handshake. Already chuffed from the excellent service, I was invited to take a seat and fill out the requisite health enquiry form and was then taken on a tour. I was personally guided through the circular foyer style waiting room, fit with reclining chairs, personal radios and stacks of magazines, down to the more active space fit with gym, heated swimming pool and a bevy of hot and cold refreshments-complimentary of course.
Next stop was the ladies changing room, fit with digital lockers, robes, ghds, fluffy towels and stacks of monogrammed slippers; as well as the sauna, steam room and swimming costume drier. After my tour I was asked to pop upstairs in my robe to the lounge room to await my treatment. My therapist Gosia came out to meet me before I had a chance to get stuck into Tatler’s most eligible 30 under 30.
Gosia guided me into my therapy room aptly named ‘heaven’, where she explained the treatment I would be getting ( a two and a half hour detox package), their therapy method-(Chinese herbology) and what I could expect: a full body scrub, followed by a quick shower, an algae body wrap, followed by another quick shower, and then a back, neck shoulder massage and facial.
Before we got started Gosia asked me to select my favourite scent from a number of aromatherapy oils, which came in little wooden jars, instantly transporting me back to my tiki hut hotel room at the Banyan Tree in Phuket. As they practised Chinese herbology, the scent I selected would feature throughout my treatment and be used to ascertain whether I was a fire, wind or water sign. It turns out I was water, meaning I liked salty food and to wear navy and black; pretty apt I’d say.
So rearing to go I lay face down, inhaled my selected sage and jasmine scent before Gosia began to rub my body with her oily exfoliator. If she had stopped there I would have been a happy bunny, but that was just the beginning.
After I had a quick shower to unveil my now impossibly soft skin, Gosia spread what she called ‘refreshing’ and I perhaps would call at best ‘awakening’ cool gel, which was meant to help my skin absorb the two different types of algae quicker. I must admit, it was a very strange sensation lying on plastic and being covered in a cool gel and then in the very warm mask-like algae, before being wrapped up like a mummy with my hands crossed atop my chest, in glorified cling film; strange, but surprisingly thrilling.
As I lay on my back listening to the soothing sounds of birds singing somewhere, trying not to smell the overwhelming stench of seaweed, Gosia placed a warm lavender infused mask over my eyes, and gave me a whiff me of my signature scent. The subsequent head massage instantly made me forget about the algae and never want to leave.
After failing miserably to avoid the temptation to nap, I awoke to shower time. The sensation of being unwrapped is a pretty freezing one which instantly makes you ready to jump into the room’s hot power shower.
In the meantime Gosia had re-prepped the room and it was time for my back and neck massage. As my back was kneaded and unknotted, the soothing smell of the oils I picked and the sweeping strokes across my back were so lulling that off I drifted again. Luckily I returned to consciousness in time to be flipped over and experience my favourite part of massage, the neck and shoulders. As I lay drifting in and out of blissful slumber, a face mask was applied to my face, leaving me mummified once again. After the massage was complete, Gosia unpeeled the mask to unveil soft skin that glowed for days. As she whispered that my mammoth session was over, she left to prepare a tray of tea and fruits to keep me balanced. Rejuvenated and relaxed I wrapped in my Langham robe, and accompanied by Gosia, I made my way back to the lounge area, where she talked me through the tray of treats she’d prepared for me. After being invited to help myself to the facilities, I was left to enjoy my blueberries, grapes and herbal tea and have a read of my Water sign card, before switching on the radio and returning to Tatler.