Thursday, September 6, 2012


What Lies Beneath. An ambitious new spa and wellness complex in China promises a high tech fountain of youth, by Amy Fabrish, executive summary by darmansjah

So it’s true what they say about beauty being more than skin deep: at MetaSpa, it’s downright subterranean. The 2,500-square-meter facility, which bills itself as China’s most advanced medical aesthetic spa, occupies a chamber below the Xixuan Spa Hotel on the fringes of the Xixi National Weland Park, a short drive from downtown Hangzhou. I descend into a high-ceilinged space framed by natural stone, hardwoods, and pale marble. The moist sheen on the rock-faced walls is a reminder I’m actually beneath the fertile marshlands.

The 16 treatment rooms here are equipped with comfy massage beds and huge soaking tubs. So far, so familiar. There’s also a long menu of natural massages, scrubs, and wraps, all of which employ Aromatherapy Associates products or house-made concoctions. I opt for the fresh ginger wrap, which delivers warming comfort into my joints. A dip in the bathhouse-style whirlpools, set in a black-granite cave, makes for a pleasant post-treatment pick me up.
Where MetaSpa stands apart is in its arsenal of age-defying technologies. Serious spa-goers can sign up for ‘celebrity secrets’ such as transcutaneous mesodermic therapy (TMT)-electro wands that send tissue-regenerating serums deep into the skin-and blemish-erasing Cosmelan masks. Each facial begins with a Visia skin analysis in pore-level detail, allowing therapists to customize the treatment.

Guests requiring longer treatments should check in to the Xixuan upstairs-the discreet, 68 room hotel is tailored to a spa-centric cliente. No one need ever know that your post-Hangzhou holiday radiance had a little high-tech help.

9 Westbrook Resort, Zijingang Rd., Hangzhou; 86-571/8500-2888;

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