Schooldays… the happiest days of your life, so they say. (‘They’ also say that possession is nine-tenths of the law, which is clearly a pretty dubious legal position, and so I wouldn’t set much store in ‘their’ advice, tbh).
Well, as any fule kno, the only people doing cartwheels about those ringing school bells are parents, long since exhausted by tending to their bored offspring’s every wish over the almost criminally long summer break. The kids are always considerably less amused at having their freedom rudely curtailed by boring old academia, but the Accidental Tai-Tai’s verdict was “Suck it up, kiddo!”, as I gladly accepted an invitation to an afternoon of pampering goodness at Langham Place Hotel’s Chuan Spa while my son was occupied in a suitably educational activity (against his will).
Focusing on TCM-inspired treatments designed to balance your five elements (metal, wood, water, earth and fire), Chuan Spa offers a mouthwatering spa menu of facials, massages, wraps and general maintenance services, all within a gorgeous space that draws heavily on traditional Chinese architecture and interior decor (think carved dark wood, jade and water features). The overall effect is pretty stunning, and perched high up on the 41st floor of the Langham Place Hotel, it’s easy to forget the teeming masses of Mong Kok shoppers down below for a while.
The Chuan Yu Facial is designed to revitalise and rejuvenate, using a healing jade stone to gently massage and scrape facial meridian points, improving circulation and promoting skin renewal. As such, this isn’t great for those with acne or really sensitive skin, who are advised to try alternative facials tailored to their needs. Luckily, the Accidental Tai-Tai’s face is made from rhino hide (so I’ve been told.. hmm, perhaps that wasn’t a compliment…?) and has weathered many years of fickle product use, and so I gladly hopped onto the plush couch to enjoy the next 75 minutes in comfort.
Starting with a thorough cleansing, my therapist examined my skin tone and texture under gentle light (forget the usual dentist’s-chair searchlight that many spas seem to deem necessary), proclaiming it to be dehydrated and in need of some intensive moisture. She then proceeded to apply not one, but two masks to hydrate and help with lifting all the dead skin cells respectively, all interspersed with lots of lovely massage, both by hand and also using a jade roller. So lovely, in fact, that I struggled to stay awake for very long and so I’m afraid the remaining details of the facial are a little hazy!
Suffice to say that when I finally emerged blinking into the light, my face was in considerably better shape than when I’d arrived. This was all the more surprising to me as the Chuan Yu Facial skips the steam and extraction that I usually really look forward to in a facial (masochist, moi?!). But the gentle upward strokes of the jade combined with nourishing Thalgo products really did the trick, leaving my face looking less grey, more awake and happy to head home bare-faced for a change.
If you do decide to pay a visit to Chuan Spa, do ensure that (unlike me) you remember to take your swimming costume on the day to enjoy a dip in their gorgeous rooftop pool, which offers expansive views across Kowloon and beyond. There’s jacuzzi and steam facilities in the changing rooms, along with a gorgeous relaxation room where you can kick back with a stack of mags and a cuppa post-treatment.
If you’re after a pick-me-up that will maximise those glorious school hours then I highly recommend a trip to Chuan Spa. Of course, the little blighters will assume you’ve been waiting anxiously at home for their return, and that your healthy glow is maternal delight in seeing their ink-splattered little faces, but then they really don’t need to know everything…
Chuan Spa, Level 41, Langham Place Hotel, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong; 3552 3510
Please note that this treatment was by invitation from the lovely folk at Chuan Spa.