One of my all-time favourite spas in Canada, CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver always strives to keep their spa menu fresh and exotic. Most recently, guests are invited to explore a world of wellness with the new Sense of Adventure treatments. Hailing from sister spas in Thailand, India, China and the Philippines, the menu encompasses four new massages rooted in traditional healing methods – they’ve spent months perfecting the techniques and training spa therapists. You truly feel like you’re being transported somewhere far away from the moment you walk through the waterfall hallway.
I had the opportunity to try the 90 minute, Indian Ayurvedic Podikkizhi massage – it took me twice as long to learn how to say it! Alexander and I got our usual couple’s suite just for the occasion. The Aryurvedic Podikkizhi is a treatment based in Panchakarma, an ancient detoxifying ritual. The entire day was all about releasing toxins and tensions.
The treatment unfolds with intermittent muscle tension release and coconut oil massage. This is the perfect treatment for athletes as the therapists use warm compresses filled with coconut and rice to work into the deep tissue. It’s sort of like getting rolled out without all the weird pain and wincing. Then they use a specific massage technique to finish the complete detoxification. I may have fallen asleep at one point it was so relaxing.
After our treatment Alexander and I could barely open our eyes to look at each other – we were in a state of total bliss. Our skin was glowing from the coconut oil, perfect for the preservation of our summer tans. Originally inspired by The Spa at Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi this treatment starts at C$250 per person.
Here’s a brief description of the other three massage treatments from China, Thailand and the Philippines:
Royal Duality Massage (Philippines)
Experience ultimate luxury with four healing hands. In this Philippines-inspired treatment, two practitioners move in mesmerizing synchrony across the body for pure relaxation and energy balance. Traditionally a treatment reserved for royalty, each guest receives double the attention over the course of 90-minutes. At times, the duo of practitioners move in synchrony, and others they move in opposing movements, like yin and yang, creating a blissful balance. The ultimate indulgence, the Royal Duality Massage will leave guests feeling like a King or Queen.
The Royal Duality Massage is influenced by CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa, and starts at C$350 per person.
Thai Massage (Thailand)
Rooted in yoga techniques, this massage from Thailand is performed in loose-fitting clothing on a traditional Thai floor mat. In this setting, the practitioner uses body weight, gentle rocking, palm pressure, and assisted stretching to release muscle tension. Thai Massage is a great introductory treatment for guests who may be self-conscious or hesitant to the touch. Each guest remains clothed for the duration of the massage, allowing the practitioner to comfortably guide the body in a variety of stretches and poses. Thai Massage helps to keep athletes limber, desk-workers moving, and encourages regular spa-goers to experiment with their sense of adventure.
The Thai Massage hails from CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La Bangkok, and starts at C$225 per person.
Wushu Massages (China)
First introduced to CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver in 2012, Wushu Massages are inspired by Chinese martial arts stretching and restorative body care methods. CHI, The Spa learned these traditional techniques by travelling to China’s remote Wudang Mountain to study with a Wushu Master, and learn the practice of qi gong, Chinese remedies and techniques that combine physical postures and breathing techniques.
Each of the Wushu Massages at CHI, The Spa are preceded by guided stretching, breathing exercises, and movements to open the body’s meridians, the key to long-term vitality. The Wushu Stress Relief Massage utilizes calming Tai Chi massage to ease stressed nerves, followed by muscle warming to release back and shoulder tension. The Wushu Toxin Release includes warm bamboo rolling to release toxins, followed by a medium-pressure purifying oil massage.
The Wushu Stress Relief Massage and Wushu Stress Relief Massage, are each 90 minutes in duration, and start at C$225 per person.