An oasis with traditional Asian health rituals
6 Treatment Rooms
While all high-end spas offer a respite from the outside world, CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, in the boutique-style Four-Star Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, feels particularly tranquil, removed from the bustle of Japan’s capital city.
The spa’s design, as throughout the hotel, features warm woods, rich earth-toned upholstery and Asian art. Stepping off the elevator that brings you up from the busy boulevards below, your first impression is one of quiet and peace.
Body massage, stretching and hydrotherapy treatments at CHI incorporate elements of traditional Asian health rituals and medicine, and many take advantage of local ingredients, such as rice bran, cherry blossoms, sake pulp and natural salts.
CHI has also partnered with Sisley for several types of facials. It’s the only Tokyo spa that offers treatments with the French cosmetics brand.
The spa provides its range of services for both men and women.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• Like the hotel itself, the Tokyo spa is a serene oasis in the middle of this often-frenetic city of 13 million.
• Every three months, the spa offers a new Kisetsu Ritual, which comprises a bath, body scrub, steam and massage with a theme appropriate for season. In spring, for example, the Kisetsu theme might be sakura, incorporating blossoms and leaves of the cherry tree, while the autumn ritual might highlight herbs with medicinal properties.
• Another unique treatment, the Omoiyari Ritual, or “Journey for Inner Peace,” derived from the Japanese word meaning “kindheartedness” and drawing on Buddhist principles, combines rhythmic body work followed by a relaxing body wrap using organic products from Ila, the British cosmetics company.
• Spend some time in the heated indoor swimming pool, which affords breathtaking views from the 29th floor.
• When checking in at the spa, you will have a consultation with a staff member to find your elemental sign and make sure that you chose treatments that best suit your needs. This ensures maximum benefits for you.
What to Know
• The spa advises arriving at least a half hour before your appointment.
• Take time before or after your treatment to explore the hotel’s 2,000-piece art collection. Also on property are more than 50 glittering chandeliers; a particularly dramatic one, suspended over the bar in the Lobby Lounge, is made of nearly 900 glass gingko leaves.
• Make it a spa day and stay for a meal. The hotel has two excellent restaurants: Nadaman serves traditional Japanese cuisine in the kaiseki style, while Piacere offers modern Italian fare, as well as afternoon tea.
• If you’re arranging your spa treatments in conjunction with a stay at the hotel, ask about the “Meet and Greet” service for hotel guests arriving at nearby Tokyo Station. A staff member will meet you at the station and escort you to the property.
• This Tokyo spa’s menu includes 30 treatments, from body work, to facials and body wraps, to water therapies.
• The spa’s signature CHI Balance is a massage the combines pressure work for energy — to stimulate your yang — and more relaxing body work to calm the yin.
• In the Yang CHI Energizer, another signature treatment, the therapist uses deep-tissue massage techniques to stimulate specific points of the body, drawing on traditional Chinese medicinal principles to improve circulation, increase range of motion and decrease stress.
• Request a customized CHI Ritual, starting with a spa bath and sauna, to tailor your treatment to your needs.
• The luxury spa is located on the 29th floor of Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, which occupies the top 11 stories of the 37-story Marunouchi Trust Tower, adjacent to Tokyo Station.
• The spa has six treatment rooms, including one couple’s suite. Four of the rooms incorporate private baths and steam saunas.
• Spa guests staying at the hotel can take advantage of the health club facilities, which, in addition to a workout room, feature a tranquil 65-foot indoor lap pool with a wall of windows looking out across the city.