The Chuan Spa

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New Zealand’s spa scene has a strong focus on the country’s naturally-occurring geothermal areas (see Getting into hot water), and the unique experience of soaking in warm spring water in beautiful locations. But our pick of where to pamper yourself while in Auckland, The Langham Hotel’s Chuan Spa is, without a doubt, the most luxurious day spa in the city.

Chuan Spa's dual treatment roomWhile it’s located in one of the city’s well known quality hotels,once you go through the spa door, it feels like you are in a different world. The muted lighting and Asian-inspired design has an instantly calming effect. It’s a tranquil oasis designed for relaxation and quiet contemplation.

The Chuan Spa’s treatments and ethos are based on traditional Chinese medicine and visits start with a consultation to find out which of the five Chinese elements (essential for physical and emotional wellbeing) you want to work on.

The therapists seem to know exactly what you need - deep relaxation, increased energy, calming down... They tailor the treatment to your personal needs and likes, and you can put yourself in their hands with complete confidence.

The spa offers a range of treatments with a difference. Designed not only to leave you relaxed but also invigorated, they're based on balancing out all those little physical, mental, and emotional kinks that leave you feeling fatigued.

The little touches like warm, steaming towels, scented scrubs, and dark, supremely comfortable suites make it an out-of-body experience. At the end of the treatment, it’s hard to make yourself get up and leave. Fortunately, you can spend all day in the facility if you wish.

Chuan Spa steam roomAfter your treatment you’re gently taken to a rest room, complete with massage chair, and given a specially brewed elemental tea and juice, and a small plate of healthy snacks.

Besides the treatment rooms, the Chuan Spa has a well-heated changing area, complete with sauna, steam room, and ice bath, and a fantastic outdoor deck area with a lap-swimming pool and enormous jacuzzi. Hours can be whiled away soaking up the steam, luxuriating in a bubbling spa, or re-invigorating yourself with ice flakes.

When you are finally ready to leave, you can rinse off in the famous snail shower, so-named for its curving shape. The rain shower overhead and the multiple jets at varying levels make getting out very hard.

Some treatment packages include a fragrant soak in an enormous, private bathtub, and for those who really can’t face the outside world, there are two opulent suites located within the facility for overnight stays. Sublime.