Answers from Our Experts (2)
If you want the best spa in Shanghai, make an appointment at The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, Shanghai. It’s the city’s only Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa. Inside the navy-and-cream neoclassical space, try Eastern-based treatments like the Oriental Thermal Infusion, where a warm poultice of Chinese herbs is rubbed into the skin to boost your energy centers and relax the muscles. Make sure to leave time post-treatment to indulge in the separate his-and-hers thermal suites, which come with rain showers, saunas, steam rooms and more.
You’ll find a slew of excellent Four-Star spas as well. For atmosphere, try the quiet Chuan Spa at The Langham, Xintiandi, Shanghai. It’s otherworldly with its austere all-white décor. Spa InterContinental gives off a Zen garden vibe with driftwood sculptures, plants and flowing water in its lounge area. Drenched in black, gray and red, the modern Qin The Spa offers nap pods with built-in TVs. One of the best things about futuristic-looking The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong Spa by ESPA is that you’ll get a nice view of the Pudong cityscape from every room in the 55th-floor Shanghai spa. Though if you want a view, you can’t beat Water’s Edge, Shanghai, which sits on the 85th floor of Park Hyatt Shanghai.
Spa-goers who seek unique services should visit the Four-Star Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Peace Hotel. Among the standouts is the Willow Stream Wisdom, featuring a scrub made of blue lotus, poppy seed and Sichuan peppers with herbal extracts harvested in accordance with the lunar calendar. Anantara Spa at The PuLi Hotel and Spa incorporates tea into its treatment menu, from the green tea wrap to the signature facial that uses chamomile. While JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square's Mandara Spa is decked out in Balinese décor, the spa menu is full of Chinese treatments like the Ying and Yang — a simultaneous foot massage and facial that you'll only find in Shanghai.
Visitors to Shanghai will find that spa treatments here cost a fraction of what you’d pay in a comparable city in North America. Many of Shanghai’s best spas are inside hotels—we’re partial to the impeccable Peninsula Spa by ESPA—and there are also a handful of independent spas catering to Westerners.
If you’d like to get a treatment at a hotel spa, we recommend checking out our top-ranked Shanghai spas—all tried and tested by Forbes Travel Guide editors.
If you’re keen to get out of your hotel, try China-wide chain Dragonfly; you're likely to find branch within walking distance. Dragonfly is enormously popular with expats, and with good reason—service is excellent, spaces are clean but far from clinical, and English is widely spoken.
American-owned SkinCity 5.5 has two locations and offers all the usual spa treatments, including waxing, manicures, and pedicures, in a space that strikes a nice balance between hip and Balinese-serene.
Green Massage has five locations in Shanghai—three in downtown Puxi, one in Jinqiao, out towards Pudong Airport, and one in the Lujiazui CBD. The Xintiandi branch is the most popular and consistently packed, so be sure to make an appointment.
At Subconscious Day Spa, you can feel good about what you’re putting on your skin; all skincare products here are organic. The spa also offers yoga classes, so you can loosen up even further after your massage.
If you’re after a manicure or pedicure, visit Helen Nail Spa, located on a lovely, local tree-lined street smack dab between the Huaihai Lu shops and Xintiandi.