Eastern luxury in central London
6 Treatment Rooms
A converted bank is the last place you’d expect to find a temple of relaxation and wellness, but Chuan Spa at Forbes Four-Star The Langham, London is just that. From the soaring ceiling of the spa’s grand reception and pre- and post-treatment area to the swimming pool in the former vault, Europe’s first Chuan Spa makes the most of its unique location. You’ll even find the bank’s original antique clock keeping watch over proceedings.
The beautiful timepiece also serves as a reminder of the importance of history and tradition at the spa. Chuan spas the world over draw on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine and the 9,000-square-foot London outpost is no exception, with décor and treatments inspired by the five elements of Chinese philosophy — fire, water, earth, metal and wood. It’s not what you expect to find in a grand old building on one of London’s busiest shopping streets, but there are plenty of surprises in store at the Chuan.
From the airy former banking hall — where you can relax before and after treatments on decadent loungers — descend one level to reach the spacious changing areas, well-equipped fitness center and luxurious wet spa zone. Men’s and women’s changing areas each have their own saunas and herbal steam rooms, but it would be a shame not to enjoy the benefits of the stunning salt sauna in the main spa. It’s beautiful to look at as well as good for skin complaints such as acne and psoriasis. Heated day beds and a large vitality pool complete the picture, while one story down you’ll find the 52.5-foot pool in a strikingly modern environment, all slate, steel and beautifully etched glass.
Six treatment rooms, including the Chuan Spirit VIP Suite for couples, are located in the bank’s former meeting rooms and offices. Eastern influences can be found all over, from carved wooden door handles to touchable textiles adorning the massage tables. The VIP suite has its own showers and changing area, plus a private Japanese square-sided bathtub that’s just perfect for couples bathing.
Blending ancient Eastern medicine with a range of more modern wellness options, the London spa’s treatment menu has something to suit every traveler. Twenty-minute pick-me-up services on the express list include scalp, hand and arm, and foot and leg massages, while those in need of more intense relaxation can opt for packages like the Serenity Shen, a combination stone therapy massage, essential oils facial and refreshing foot treatment.
Chuan’s own products, created with help from a Chinese healthcare expert, draw on the five elements to bring stressed bodies and souls back into balance. Thalgo services, meanwhile, channel the healing power of the ocean with products derived from marine algae. Traditional Chinese massage, acupuncture, moxibustion — where an herb known as moxa is burned close to acupressure points to bring about healing — and cupping are all available, courtesy of qualified traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.