Spa Review: Le Spa
What: Balinese Massage (90 min)
Where: Le Spa at Le Meridien Hotel. 10F, Le Royal Meridien Hotel, 789 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Xizang Zhong Lu. Tel: 3318 9999 ext 7900. Web: www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien
Why: Who can deny a massage with the right touch?
How much: RMB 950
Walking into Le Spa, one is greeted with a smile and a cup of warm tea to prepare you for a traditional Indonesian-style massage of special aromatic oils. The Balinese treatment that I received, which relaxes the muscles using distinctive thumb and fingertip techniques is said to increase blood flow and sensitise the nerve endings, and was recommended as one of the spa’s best offerings.
My massage began with smooth, even kneading on my legs, arms and back. My masseuse rid my feet of tension by pulling on each individual toe, paying extra attention to the arch of my soles, thus undoing the soreness from the many steps I’ve trekked through the former French Concession and the Jing’an Temple areas over the past month.
Having requested a strong-pressure treatment, my masseuse relentlessly rubbed with meticulously practiced techniques, allowing no point of tension to be left untouched. As she changed from palm strokes to finger movements, she incorporated warm outbursts of friction into the mix with rapid turns of the wrist and intense rubbing against the sore small of my back - a very impressive trick that was much appreciated.
The treatment came to a gentle close as I felt staccato-finger taps across my face and temples to stimulate my facial muscles and energise me after my peaceful hour and a half of rest. I sat up feeling refreshed and serene, feeling healthy and robust, ready to face the world with a newfound zest for life.