Chuan Spa at The Langham London

The lowdown

Chuan Spa at The Langham London offers an oasis of calm in the heart of the capital, just a stone’s throw from Oxford Street and Regent Street. With an extensive spa that focuses heavily on traditional Chinese medicine, Chuan Spa has a great range of appealing Signature Treatments and facials by Zelens and Ashmira Botanica.

Spavellous for

Luxurious treatments in the heart of London, traditional Chinese medicine, a splurge-worthy spa day with use of the pool, sauna and steam room, Signature rituals that make you feel like royalty, a solo spa escape, a relaxing and restorative romantic city break.

Spa info

There are four neutral-toned treatment rooms at Chuan Body + Soul: Earth, Fire, Spirit and Lake.

The spa also has a serene 16m swimming pool and separate saunas and steam rooms in the women’s and men’s changing areas.

Treatment rooms are accessible, and there’s a lift down to the pool, but the steps into the pool are narrow and the pool doesn’t have a hoist.

Treatment highlights

Chuan Spa has a comprehensive treatment menu with a great range of Signature Treatments, specialist facials, including using gua sha, cupping therapy, plus other wellness experiences and therapies founded in Traditional Chinese medicine.

Treatments are based around the Five Element theory at the heart of Chinese Traditional Medicine. Before the start of any treatment spa guests are given a questionnaire to complete to guide the therapist’s choice of element and ideally suited Chuan treatment. Alongside Chuan Spa’s popular Signature Chuan Yu Facial with Gua Sha, bestselling facials include Zelens’ hi-tech facials, and a multi-sensory facial by Ashmira Botanica which includes sound healing and a cup of ceremonial cacoa.

On the massage front, the meridian-stimulating Chuan Harmony Massage is popular for guests seeking calm, and the Signature hot stone massage is another established favourite.

The spa also offers OTO’s Balancing CBD Massage and Sleep Soundly treatment, which uses warmed Himalayan salt stones, a powerful soundscape and the brand’s signature sleep scent with high levels of CBD to promote relaxation and sleep.

And, for the ultimate ultra-luxe experience, there’s the 24Kt Golden Opulence by Amra which contains crushed gold and gold plated hot stones.

IV vitamin infusions are also available.

Wellness extends beyond the spa at The Langham, with a sleep programme, Sleep Matters by Chuan, that combines a relaxing spa experience and treatment with bespoke room packages and sleep-inducing in-room wellness items.

Anyone who books a treatment at Chuan is given two hours’ access to the pool and gym facilities, making the experience more of a spa day than just a treatment visit. And there are several enticing dining options too for anyone wanting to extend the treat.

Chuan Spa is reached via a warren of corridors and you get a glimpse into the luxurious world of the Langham, passing marble pillars, fresh floral displays and blossom-etched mirrors before you get to the lift that takes you down to the subterranean spa. The spa also has a private entrance in Cavendish Road.

I was greeted at reception by the spa team and, once I’d signed the consent form, one of the therapists took me to the changing room to get ready for my treatment. The level of luxury is evident as soon as you enter the spacious changing room. I was given a wrist band to access my allocated my locker, which continued a selection of thoughtful shower amenities, as well as a top-quality spa robe and logoed slippers.

Once I’d changed, I headed to the relaxing lounge where I was collected by my therapist and shown to one of the large, low-lit treatment rooms.

I was booked in for the Chuan heavenly Jing Lao Signature treatment and my therapist, Ernestina, advised me that she was going to be using the Earth element products, based on the answers I’d given in my health questionnaire. Earth is apparently associated with the muscles, spleen, sense of taste and a seasonal preference for late summer. I was intrigued. Ernestina explained that the body oils have been specially created by Chuan to fit each element and address specific needs of body and mind.

The Chuan Heavenly Jing Lao treatment focuses on the feet and has been designed to promote equilibrium by optimising blood and Qi flow. The treatment involves acupressure and pressure point massage plus some lymphatic drainage.

The treatment room was a good size, very comfortable and simply furnished with Asian styling elements and flickering tea lights. The massage table had luxury comfy bed vibes, with crisp cotton sheets and light duvet type cover. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was going to be a struggle to stay awake for long enough to write a convincing description of my treatment.

The treatment started with me sitting semi-reclined on the seriously comfy bed. The therapist placed a pillow behind my knees, and I was supremely comfortable under the freshly pressed, high thread count cotton sheet.

The treatment started with a foot cleanse and some inhalation breaths. The Earth Elements products used in my treatment contained geranium, frankincense and fennel and smelled amazing.

To kick off the treatment, the therapist applied the detoxifying fresh herb paste to my feet, which she proceeded to wrap in warm towels. At least I think she did, but by this point she had gently covered my eyes, so I couldn’t actually see what was going on, but it all felt very pampering.

While the paste was working it’s detoxifying herbal magic, the therapist begun to robustly massage my arms with circular, sweeping and almost scraping moves, using the heel of her hands to achieve greater pressure, gua sha style. This firmness was apparently to increase the circulation and energy flow and target the fascia, the layer of tissue that supports muscle and ligaments, to release tension. I appreciated the fact that that the massage was deeper than your typical relaxation massage as it felt like it was doing something beneficial.

Once the therapist had finished massaging my arms, she moved onto my décolletage. I had chosen to have an arm and décolletage massage in preference to back, neck and shoulders as it felt like a good option to complement the foot treatment.

About thirty minutes of massage later, the therapist removed the herbal paste from my feet, carefully re-wrapping them in towels before starting the next part of the treatment, a thorough leg and foot massage. I was surprised by just how relaxing this treatment was and could feel myself drifting off to sleep on more than one occasion, despite my best efforts to remain alert and at my journalistic best. The therapist again used several different techniques, targeting various points on my feet to stimulate circulation along the meridian channels and apply pressure to specific acupressure points.

The foot treatment was very thorough, and quite unlike the cursory five minutes or so that you sometimes get at the end of a standard full body massage. After what felt like a dreamily long time, the treatment came to an end, and I was left in the room to get back into my robe before my therapist returned to take me to the Contemplation Lounge to relax some more and enjoy a seasonal elemental tea and fresh berries. I felt wonderfully calm, relaxed and happy.

I really liked the novelty of having a thorough foot treatment as this part of the body is often excluded in full body massages in my experience, and feet are obviously subjected to a lot of action and pressure on a daily basis. And, as the feet are considered to reflect the whole body in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the treatment isn’t just designed to address tension in the feet, but to work deeply re-energise the body as a whole.

Changing rooms are a cut above, with dressing tables and GHD dryers and straighteners, plus Diptyque hand wash and facial products from the spa to ensure that you leave looking, as well as feeling, your best.

rooms

We didn’t stay at the hotel on this occasion, but checked out a couple of the rooms which are as plush as you’d expect from a hotel that pretty much invented the concept of the luxury hotel.

wining & dining

The Langham has some great options for drinking and dining.

Head to Artesian for a celebratory cocktail, enjoy a crème de la crème afternoon tea at the hotel’s decadent all day dining space, Palm Court. Or head to The Wigmore for posh gastro pub food or a bottomless brunch with build-your-own Bloody Mary and Mimosa stations.

why so spavellous?

Chuan Spa has a luxurious traditional appeal and offers some seriously top-end treatments. And the fact that it has such a strong traditional Chinese medicine element sets it apart from other 5-star spa hotels in London. So does the fact that it has an inviting 16 metre pool – a rare and fabulous thing in the heart of London. And the friendly professional staff will prioritise making your spa visit and treatments as enjoyable and luxurious as possible.

spavellous tips

If you’ve booked a treatment, make sure you bring your cozzie and arrive early so you can enjoy using the pool, sauna and steam room.

spa-goers say

‘I come every few months with a friend and we always treat ourselves to a cocktail afterwards because we’re worth it!’

‘You can’t beat the Langham for luxury and their spa treatments are probably the best in London.’

‘it’s the perfect place to come for a special treat and would make an amazing gift.’

‘Treatments are top-end expensive but not bad value if you use the gym and pool too.’

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The Langham Hotel, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, W1B 1JA

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W1B 1JA
Image: Langham Hotels
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