Jobs   News   Features   Video    Products   Magazine   Handbook   Email sign up   Advertise  
First-person
AN Spa, at the Quarry Hotel

Alice Davis visits Shanghai’s newly opened Quarry Hotel for a welcome respite from the constant noise and breakneck speed of life in China

By Alice Davis | Published in Spa Business 2019 issue 3


In China’s cities, everything is noisy. Horns beep constantly, people play games on their phones at loud volumes and without earphones, the sound of construction work is ubiquitous, and shop speakers blare out promotions on repeat. Noise pollution is everywhere, all day and all night. So arriving at the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel, you quickly notice – it’s peaceful.

The long-awaited development, also known as the Quarry Hotel, sits in an abandoned mine in the Sheshan Mountain Range about an hour from Shanghai. Conceived by Atkins for Chinese developer Shimao Group back in 2006 and completed by JADE+QA Architects, the US$300m (€265.5m, £229.m) resort finally opened in November 2018. The huge 337-room hotel pushes construction to its limits as it hugs the cliff and delves into the rocky basin – 16 of the 18 floors are below ground level and two are submerged in water.

The approach to the lobby is deceptive. The tip of the silver building arches just above the ground behind a white sculpture, giving nothing away. It’s not until you enter the glass elevator that it becomes clear you’re on the top floor, and though you push the button for the 11th floor, the elevator is going down.

Far from the sounds of traffic, it’s peaceful and tranquil, but there’s plenty to do. Even though I stayed on a Sunday, guests included lots of families and couples. Billed as a leisure complex, guests can take a dip in the futuristic-designed pool, try kayaking and paddleboarding on the lake at the bottom of the quarry or, for the more adventurous, scale the cliff face in a rock climbing session.

What’s on offer?
Early afternoon, I eschewed bungee jumping for a treatment at the hotel’s An Spa. The intimate spa, located on the 13th floor, has two double and two single treatment rooms with a changing area, sauna and steamroom towards the back. Chatting with spa manager Zhu Ruizhi, I wondered if the size of the spa was adequate, considering the size of the hotel. She says it hasn’t posed a problem with guest bookings. “So far our clients have been very happy. It’s not really about the volume of spa visitors as the average spend per client is around CNY2,000 (US$291, €259, £233), so we may have fewer clients but they spend more money on luxury treatments.”

Arriving for my appointment, I was warmly greeted by the receptionist who sat me in a lounge-style waiting room and swiftly served a Japanese green tea while I took in the great views of the quarry and enjoyed watching the paddleboarders in the distance. Zhu says the scope of the spa’s 20-plus treatments – which range from a sleep inducing, deep breathing massage to Chinese and Japanese modalities – is a particular selling point. The 60-minute, CNY880 (US$128, €114, £102) Meridians Massage and CNY780 (US$113, €101, £91) Tui-Na focus on unblocking the flow of qi to increase joint lubrication, increase circulation, and boost immunity. While Thémaé, a tea-based product line, reflects the Asian-inspired offer, she says. Japanese green tea, Chinese white tea, Taiwanese oolong tea, and Indian black tea used in Thémaé treatments have antioxidants that regenerate skin cells and stimulate the circulation. Essentials oils from Hinkoi, Japan – sandalwood, sakura and yuzu – are also used in other services.

Impressive service
The steamroom and sauna were a nice way to relax pre-treatment and extra comfort came from the fresh, fluffy towels and yukata robe. I was struck by how neat and tidy everything was.

After about 30 minutes my therapist, Stella, led me to a serenely-decorated treatment room with large windows giving way to the view of copper-coloured rock and blue-green water below. She had prepared a foot ritual and washed my feet gently in warm milky-pink water. We chatted for a while. Stella made polite conversation about what I’d done that day and was happy to answer questions about her own background. A Chinese masseuse, she had moved to Shanghai from Sichuan Province. She was a very personable and easy to talk to, which made me feel comfortable immediately. Her English was great – and she’d pretty much taught herself.

Stella is one of four therapists who have been handpicked to match the clientele, which includes mostly hotel guests but also day visitors from Songjiang, one of Shanghai’s rich satellite towns. Zhu says: “All our therapists must have at least one year’s experience working in a five-star hotel spa, be familiar with the treatments, be attentive to detail, love what they do, and have a warm heart.”

I’d chosen a 60-minute aromatherapy massage, priced at CNY1,100 (US$160, €142, £128), which was customised with sakura – an oil I was drawn to because its cherry blossom scent smelled the nicest. I’d requested a firm massage and pointed out my shoulders and upper back as problem areas, though I must admit, I did not expect much personalisation. However, I was impressed again. Stella worked expertly and methodically using a combination of Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai techniques. Firm pressure was sustained throughout and she paid special attention to knots in my shoulders and back. Her 16 years’ experience was evident. She intermittently checked whether the pressure was too strong or the room was the right temperature. I especially enjoyed the attention she paid to my calves and my head and scalp. Afterwards, my body was left feeling completely niggle-free and my state of mind completely peaceful.

If I’m honest, the spa doesn’t have the wow factor of the main hotel. But in many ways the elegant and serene offer, quietly cocooned inside the building, and the focus on expert treatments and brilliant service, is all you really need to really get away from it all, soaking up every second of peace and quiet possible before returning to reality.

Treatment rooms are serenely decorated and the scope of therapies is a selling point
While the spa is small for the big hotel, it offers everything necessary for a peaceful retreat
The 13th-floor spa offers views of the copper-coloured rock and blue-green water
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Seth Mattison to deliver keynote speech at ISPA Talent Symposium
“If you want to be a leader today, you have to love people,” says upcoming ISPA Talent Symposium keynote Seth Mattison. [more...]

Iyashi Dôme: the original Japanese sauna
In 2004, Shogoro Uemura, CEO of Iyashi Dôme, was inspired by his father’s work to create a new treatment protocol based on the Japanese tradition of sand bathing. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Book4Time Inc.

Book- 4Time is the preferred wellness technology solution for the world’s largest and most presti [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

RKF Luxury Linen, your partner to create your custom-made linen.
With innovation and attention to detail at the heart of our DNA, RKF Luxury Linen designs, produces and manufactures Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

02-03 Mar 2020

Quality in Wellness and Spa

IHK Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
06-07 Mar 2020

FORUMCLUB International Congress & Expo for fitness, sport & wellness clubs

Palazzo del Ghiaccio, Milan, Italy
+ More diary  
 
ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
SPA BUSINESS
SPA OPPORTUNITIES
SPA BUSINESS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020
Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
First-person
AN Spa, at the Quarry Hotel

Alice Davis visits Shanghai’s newly opened Quarry Hotel for a welcome respite from the constant noise and breakneck speed of life in China

By Alice Davis | Published in Spa Business 2019 issue 3


In China’s cities, everything is noisy. Horns beep constantly, people play games on their phones at loud volumes and without earphones, the sound of construction work is ubiquitous, and shop speakers blare out promotions on repeat. Noise pollution is everywhere, all day and all night. So arriving at the InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland Hotel, you quickly notice – it’s peaceful.

The long-awaited development, also known as the Quarry Hotel, sits in an abandoned mine in the Sheshan Mountain Range about an hour from Shanghai. Conceived by Atkins for Chinese developer Shimao Group back in 2006 and completed by JADE+QA Architects, the US$300m (€265.5m, £229.m) resort finally opened in November 2018. The huge 337-room hotel pushes construction to its limits as it hugs the cliff and delves into the rocky basin – 16 of the 18 floors are below ground level and two are submerged in water.

The approach to the lobby is deceptive. The tip of the silver building arches just above the ground behind a white sculpture, giving nothing away. It’s not until you enter the glass elevator that it becomes clear you’re on the top floor, and though you push the button for the 11th floor, the elevator is going down.

Far from the sounds of traffic, it’s peaceful and tranquil, but there’s plenty to do. Even though I stayed on a Sunday, guests included lots of families and couples. Billed as a leisure complex, guests can take a dip in the futuristic-designed pool, try kayaking and paddleboarding on the lake at the bottom of the quarry or, for the more adventurous, scale the cliff face in a rock climbing session.

What’s on offer?
Early afternoon, I eschewed bungee jumping for a treatment at the hotel’s An Spa. The intimate spa, located on the 13th floor, has two double and two single treatment rooms with a changing area, sauna and steamroom towards the back. Chatting with spa manager Zhu Ruizhi, I wondered if the size of the spa was adequate, considering the size of the hotel. She says it hasn’t posed a problem with guest bookings. “So far our clients have been very happy. It’s not really about the volume of spa visitors as the average spend per client is around CNY2,000 (US$291, €259, £233), so we may have fewer clients but they spend more money on luxury treatments.”

Arriving for my appointment, I was warmly greeted by the receptionist who sat me in a lounge-style waiting room and swiftly served a Japanese green tea while I took in the great views of the quarry and enjoyed watching the paddleboarders in the distance. Zhu says the scope of the spa’s 20-plus treatments – which range from a sleep inducing, deep breathing massage to Chinese and Japanese modalities – is a particular selling point. The 60-minute, CNY880 (US$128, €114, £102) Meridians Massage and CNY780 (US$113, €101, £91) Tui-Na focus on unblocking the flow of qi to increase joint lubrication, increase circulation, and boost immunity. While Thémaé, a tea-based product line, reflects the Asian-inspired offer, she says. Japanese green tea, Chinese white tea, Taiwanese oolong tea, and Indian black tea used in Thémaé treatments have antioxidants that regenerate skin cells and stimulate the circulation. Essentials oils from Hinkoi, Japan – sandalwood, sakura and yuzu – are also used in other services.

Impressive service
The steamroom and sauna were a nice way to relax pre-treatment and extra comfort came from the fresh, fluffy towels and yukata robe. I was struck by how neat and tidy everything was.

After about 30 minutes my therapist, Stella, led me to a serenely-decorated treatment room with large windows giving way to the view of copper-coloured rock and blue-green water below. She had prepared a foot ritual and washed my feet gently in warm milky-pink water. We chatted for a while. Stella made polite conversation about what I’d done that day and was happy to answer questions about her own background. A Chinese masseuse, she had moved to Shanghai from Sichuan Province. She was a very personable and easy to talk to, which made me feel comfortable immediately. Her English was great – and she’d pretty much taught herself.

Stella is one of four therapists who have been handpicked to match the clientele, which includes mostly hotel guests but also day visitors from Songjiang, one of Shanghai’s rich satellite towns. Zhu says: “All our therapists must have at least one year’s experience working in a five-star hotel spa, be familiar with the treatments, be attentive to detail, love what they do, and have a warm heart.”

I’d chosen a 60-minute aromatherapy massage, priced at CNY1,100 (US$160, €142, £128), which was customised with sakura – an oil I was drawn to because its cherry blossom scent smelled the nicest. I’d requested a firm massage and pointed out my shoulders and upper back as problem areas, though I must admit, I did not expect much personalisation. However, I was impressed again. Stella worked expertly and methodically using a combination of Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai techniques. Firm pressure was sustained throughout and she paid special attention to knots in my shoulders and back. Her 16 years’ experience was evident. She intermittently checked whether the pressure was too strong or the room was the right temperature. I especially enjoyed the attention she paid to my calves and my head and scalp. Afterwards, my body was left feeling completely niggle-free and my state of mind completely peaceful.

If I’m honest, the spa doesn’t have the wow factor of the main hotel. But in many ways the elegant and serene offer, quietly cocooned inside the building, and the focus on expert treatments and brilliant service, is all you really need to really get away from it all, soaking up every second of peace and quiet possible before returning to reality.

Treatment rooms are serenely decorated and the scope of therapies is a selling point
While the spa is small for the big hotel, it offers everything necessary for a peaceful retreat
The 13th-floor spa offers views of the copper-coloured rock and blue-green water
LATEST NEWS
CIDESCO and BABOR partner to launch student scholarship
Beauty and spa therapy educational organisation CIDESCO International has entered into an agreement with skincare brand BABOR to launch a Student Scholarship programme.
Six Senses debuts in India with recovery spa
Six Senses has opened its first location in India in the World Crest Tower by Lodha, Mumbai.
Are we touch hungry? A new global study investigates
A global touch study has been launched to “explore our attitudes towards the physical experience of touch” and investigate whether contemporary society experiences ‘touch hunger’.
Dubai’s spa in the sky opens, with design by GOCO
GOCO Hospitality has conceptualised and designed a spa for Dubai’s recently opened luxury hotel, Address Sky View.
Regulation looming for CBD
Spa and wellness businesses offering CBD services may be affected by proposed legislation from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), with other food agencies worldwide thought to be considering regulating CBD-related products.
Champneys settles out of court in cancer advice case
Spa operator, Champneys, has come to an out of court agreement with West Sussex County Council in the UK, in relation to 19 charges brought against it relating to food safety, the publication of nutritional information and consumer protection laws.
New spa for the original Corinthia hotel
The original Corinthia Hotel in Malta – the Corinthia Palace Hotel – has revealed further details of its new Athenaeum Spa which is scheduled to open March 2020, following a €9m (US$10m, £7.5m) year- long site-wide refurbishment.
ISPA Talent Symposium will offer professional one-on-one coaching sessions
ISPA has announced the addition of private coaching sessions for attendees at the upcoming ISPA Talent Symposium.
“Six Senses has great energy”, says Bryan Gabriel as he steps up to CCO role
The rapidly expanding Six Senses business, recently acquired by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) in a US$300m deal, has appointed IHG veteran Bryan Gabriel as chief commercial officer (CCO).
House of Wisdom wellness space to open in London
A self-help studio marketing itself as a 'first-of-its-kind self-development wellness space' will open in the heart of London in March 2020.
VIE Hotel Bangkok partners with Thai-Danish celebrity Sririta Jensen
VIE Hotel Bangkok has relaunched its spa following a four-month renovation and partnered with Thai spa brand ORGANIKA, the organic spa brand created by Thai-Danish actress, Sririta Jensen.
Alpine alchemy: make your own natural cosmetics at Six Senses Gstaad
Guests at Six Senses Spa at Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland can make their own bath bombs and natural cosmetics in alchemy wellbeing workshops which harness the power of natural ingredients.
+ More news   
 
FEATURED SUPPLIERS

Seth Mattison to deliver keynote speech at ISPA Talent Symposium
“If you want to be a leader today, you have to love people,” says upcoming ISPA Talent Symposium keynote Seth Mattison. [more...]

Iyashi Dôme: the original Japanese sauna
In 2004, Shogoro Uemura, CEO of Iyashi Dôme, was inspired by his father’s work to create a new treatment protocol based on the Japanese tradition of sand bathing. [more...]
COMPANY PROFILES
Book4Time Inc.

Book- 4Time is the preferred wellness technology solution for the world’s largest and most presti [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

VIDEO GALLERY

RKF Luxury Linen, your partner to create your custom-made linen.
With innovation and attention to detail at the heart of our DNA, RKF Luxury Linen designs, produces and manufactures Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

02-03 Mar 2020

Quality in Wellness and Spa

IHK Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
06-07 Mar 2020

FORUMCLUB International Congress & Expo for fitness, sport & wellness clubs

Palazzo del Ghiaccio, Milan, Italy
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS