Perfect for a post-work pampering
Oxford Circus is not usually a place for rest and relaxation. But somehow Chuan Spa just up on Regent Street manages to be that very rare thing, an urban oasis.
As soon as you walk in through the doors, tucked discreetly next to the grand Langham Hotel, you're already far from the maddening crowds. The philosophy of the spa is based on traditional Chinese medicine and the whole experience, from the décor and ambience to the treatments themselves, is meant to rebalance and recharge you
The staff are attentive and enthusiastic, poised to instantly make you as comfortable as possible. We went for the hour and a half Obsidian Chuan Nurturing Ritual which is the ultimate antidote to a stressful day. After being ushered into a treatment room appropriately called ‘heaven’ made to do some deep
inhalations, scrubbed down with baobab seed oil (meant to soften the skin) before being slathered in oil and rubbed with hot, and then surprisingly cold, onyx stones. It might sound strange but it feels delicious. The massage was so methodical and well rehearsed that at times it almost felt like you were part of a dance! Afterwards your whole being feels well and truly nurtured. It ends on a speedy facial, which also incorporates the hot stones, and finally you’re doused in perfume and then given tea and fruit on a nearby lounger. It's bliss. But it gets better. If you book in for a treatment, make sure you have an extra two hours to spare before or after to make the most of the rest of the spa facilities.
There's a 16 meter sunken swimming pool which feels decadently large for a hotel spa, a brilliantly warm Jacuzzi or ‘vitality pool’ as they call it, heated lounging chairs and a relaxing Himalayan sea salt sauna which glows with a warm orange hue. There’s also a Finnish sauna, steam room and a substantial gym if you’re feeling more energetic. We went down on a weekday evening and had the place pretty much to ourselves.
If two hours just isn't long enough, they do offer day, week or month memberships but that's where things start to get even more expensive – it’s £200 per month to use the health club facilities, which is a pretty pricey gym membership!
A treatment at Chuan Spa is an indulgent treat (the Nurturing Ritual costs a heft £130 off peak and £156 peak) but the delight of being able to bliss out in a central London location is such a well-needed novelty that it's most definitely worth the occasional splurge