Every so often you stumble upon an unexpected hidden gem while traveling for business. On a recent trip to Chicago I was invited to experience the Chuan Spa at the luxurious Langham Hotel.
I’m the first one to appreciate anything global when it comes to a spa experience given my globe-trotting obsession to write my book Passport To Beauty. But I had no idea the beautiful and exotic journey I was about to embark right here in Chicago.
Based on Chinese Beauty Secrets and Wellness Rituals the Chuan Spa immediately transports you on a luxurious journey through modern day design mixed with old world rituals that address your beauty from the inside out. Although the Langham Hotels are a British Brand, one might wonder why their signature spa’s have a strong Chinese story. Dr. Lo, the Executive Chairman of the Langham Hospitality Group, started his career as a cardiologist and internal medicine doctor in Hong Kong. It was through his strong desire to create a destination of wellness that makes these spas unique.
On my visit, I had a really nice chat with Spa Director, William Wesley Myers. Based on his own personal and professional experiences, he wanted to take Dr. Lo’s vision one step further in cultivating a very special and unique experience for their clients.
With a combination of curation and tradition, what set this property apart from most spa’s I’ve toured is this emphasis on wellness. Not just beauty and pampering.
Dr. Sharon Viernes is the spa’s Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Unique to the Chicago location, the spa prides itself on delivering the authentic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) throughout all its services and products. Dr. Viernes’ East meets West-inspired spa treatments were designed to restore any imbalances and allow flow to create harmony in your well-being. She and William have worked to develop an extensive Traditional Chinese Medicine menu ranging from Gua Sha, Moxibustion to Acupuncture blending them with massage techniques at the most luxurious level.
I chose to try their Chuan Harmony Massage which is designed to stimulate your meridian harmony, and utilize various relaxation massage techniques help to induce a deep sense of calm. Exactly what I needed. The massage itself is a true mind, body and soul experience.
Starting with an elemental questionnaire, the room is then prepared for you and followed with a spritz of an oil infused elixir over your body with the element your therapist recommends based on your questionnaire (mine was Earth). From there, the beginning of the massage starts with a long “Gong” chant with your therapist to open your energy channels. Once the treatment starts, the full body oil massage mixed with strong acupressure helps to stimulate a sense of well-being and relaxation. After I finished the treatment, staying true to the elemental choice of Earth, I was given an Earth Tea to further relax me and then asked if I would like to continue my journey in the Dream Room.
The Dream Room is an absolute must if you visit the spa. Your senses are immediately stimulated as you rest on a custom designed dream chair. The therapist programs in your 20 minute relaxation which is once again based on your element. The chair vibrates to a certain rhythm based on your meridian points, while playing beautiful Chinese music, the chair reflects a deep red color for light therapy and also stimulates your senses with a ylang ylang aromatherapy.
After you are done dreaming, you head to the heat journey. But before you go there, you walk through the signature Moon Gates that are apparent throughout the spa. The symbolism of the Gates are that as you enter one gate, you are leaving behind the energy that no longer serves you. From a visual stand point you can mindfully purge the negative as you step through to the positive.
The Heat Journey consists of one steam room and two saunas. As you travel from the first dry sauna, to the steam, you feel a further relaxation and detoxification happening with your mind body and soul. I ended my journey in the 110 degree dry sauna filled with a specialized blend of herbs to help with breathing and overall well being.
If you are in Chicago and have a chance to visit the Langham Hotel, I highly recommend taking a journey through time and ritual at the Chuan Spa. You will look and feel refreshed on a number of levels and leave more in tune with your inner self. It’s truly a healing experience.
In addition to the great treatments, The Chuan Spa Chicago also offers immersion tours into Chicago’s historic Chinatown.
Chuan Spa – The Langham, Chicago
330 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
T 1 (312) 923 7650