Finding your way to The Langham’s spa will require some nifty navigation on your part, as in keeping with its minimalist decor, there are no obvious signs. But once you enter the building – adjacent to The Langham London, which is currently celebrating its 150th anniversary – where this pampering haven sits, you’ll be instantly be lured in by the billowing wafts of specially scented incense, essential oils and candles. The contrast of the dark wood and the pristine white walls create an atmosphere that only The Langham can get away with: discreet class.
Specialising in Oriental techniques, Chuan Spa offers a host of traditional Chinese treatments but Haute Time’s exhausted body was begging for a massage and after carefully studying the menu (there’s a tendency to sit and read it like a teenager absorbed in Twilight) we eventually chose the Chuan Harmony massage – a full body oil massage said to stimulate wellbeing and relaxation.
Before the treatment commences, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire. This is a common practice in most spas but at Chuan Spa it’s used to determine which element (fire, earth, water, metal or wood) you need to harmonise so that your massage can be tailored to suit your body.
This 60 minute signature treatment is essential for anyone – like the Haute Time team – in need of an energy kick after a full on festive season of social engagements.
The sole purpose of the Chuan Harmony massage is to knead any tension from your muscles. The tranquil music whispering from the speakers and the aromatic oils (it’s a good idea rot refrain from showering afterwards so as to allow the oils to penetrate skin properly) used make your experience an incredibly soothing one as the therapist (we recommend Amber) gets to work, piece by piece, on your entire body.
Magic fingers alternate between pummelling your pressure points (if you tell your therapist your problem areas, she’ll squeeze, thumb and massage them until you fall asleep) and flitting across you in relaxing butterfly movements. This in turn means that at times you are fully aware of the beneficial work taking place and at others you can’t stop yourself drifting off into a blissful sleep. Weary left are brought back to life and aches and pains miraculously dissolve into thin air.
Afterwards you’ll be shown to the opulent (well this is the The Langham) relaxation area where you’ll be served Chinese tea and fruit and left to peruse the carefully curated edit of magazines before returning to reality.
A pleasure for all the sense, the Chuan Harmony massage is quite simply divine.