2008-07-28 07:43:36 GMT 2008-07-28 15:43:36 (Beijing Time) City Weekend
A trip to the spa is a luxury our paychecks only rarely allow us to indulge in back home. Fortunately, that's far from the case in Beijing. The capital's blissful and surprisingly inexpensive spa options allow expats and tourists to spoil themselves rotten the entire time they're here.
While the tropics may be miles away, Long Island Massage & Spa delivers a quick and affordable exotic getaway right here in Beijing. A branch of its parent spa in Samui, Thailand, the Gongti location boasts a serene, Thai-inspired décor, flush with scented candles, pebbled walkways and canopied beds. The 90-minute Aromatic Herbal Heat Massage (¥388), performed according to Ayurvedic principles from Bangkok's Wat Pho Temple (the birthplace of traditional Thai massage), is an expat favorite and includes a hot-oil body massage, herbal body scrub and plai moisturizing treatment. For those who can't spare the time, the hour-long Professional Foot Massage (¥238) will also do the trick.
For the spa-goer in search of some of the best trained local masseuses, Aibosen Blindman Massage is the place to go. A hit with all of its guests, this spa lives up to its nine years of experience, specializing in potent, deep tissue massages for a mere ¥88 per hour. We suggest investing in a ten-massage card (¥700) since one visit might not be enough. After all, what could be better treating yourself to a well-deserved pampering after a long day of sightseeing?
For the truly luxurious retreat within the city, make a trip to Zenspa, located right off East Fourth Ring South Road. Featuring decadent surroundings inspired by Beijing's traditional courtyard houses and interior design by the award-winning David Ng, the spa has been featured in Elle Decoration, as well as in advertisements for the Beijing Olympics. Fortunately, the spa's divine treatments and packages are a worthy match, such as its two-hour Summer Detox Package (¥980) featuring a cane sugar aromatherapy scrub, Thai herbal bath and aromatherapy massage with detox formula. Next, don't miss the four-hour-long Royal Jasmine Indulgence package which uses jasmine flowers and imported Thai products in each of its four treatments. Originally designed for Indonesian royalty, the ¥1,680 price tag is a real steal.