When you think of Mong Kok, “relaxing oasis of calm” probably isn’t the first phrase that springs to mind; in fact, “crazy-intense shopping insanity that sets my teeth on edge the minute I arrive at the MTR station” is probably a lot more apt. But the second you step out of the crush and into Chuan Spa, the stress all just melts away.
Located in Cordis Hong Kong – the hotel formerly known as Langham Place Hong Kong – Chuan Spa is a pampering destination with a difference, being one of the only fancy hotel spas to concentrate more on traditional Chinese medicine. This manifests itself both in the décor, which is all dark wood, jade and Asian antique design touches – I loved the gorgeous medicine cabinet in the waiting room and the trickling water feature in the corridors between therapy rooms – and the treatments themselves, which have been designed to balance the traditional five elements of water, earth, fire, wood and metal.
I was invited to try the Chuan Tao of Detox treatment, a bumper 150 minutes of pampering bliss. But before hitting the massage bed, there’s a short questionnaire to complete in the spa’s serene contemplation room – which boasts some pretty cool views over Kowloon to boot – to discover what element you most identify with, which in turn matches with one of five custom Chuan Spa oil blends. I did this, discovered my element then swiftly went off-piste to pick whichever one featured my beloved lavender instead (wood, by the way)!