In June, the Chuan Spa debuted at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena, bringing the only global spa brand built on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to Southern California. The first Chuan Spa (pronounced “shoo on”) launched by the Langham Hospitality Group opened in Hong Kong, in 2008 and is guided by the TCM practices of wu xing (the five elements), yin yang, and jing luo (the meridian system).
The 11,000-square-foot spa features 12 treatment rooms, including a visually remarkable private couple’s VIP suite kitted out with two massage tables and adjoined by a spacious relaxation zone. In the suite’s wet zone, a steam shower for two has dual rain-heads and adjustable body-sprays. Designed to induce full relaxation, the spa’s interiors dim gradually from the bright, well-lit entrance through the treatment rooms, culminating at the dark Dream Room, where guests quietly rest at the end of their visit.
Upon arriving at the spa, guests are queried to discover their affiliated element—earth, wood, fire, metal, or water— so treatments can be customized accordingly. Each element has its assigned breathing exercises, concocted tea, and blend of oils, featuring scents that satisfy the associated flavor palate: sweet fragrances for earth, sour tones for wood, and pungent aromas for metal, for example. The blends also enhance the treatments’ effectiveness by incorporating oils that help correct the health imbalances associated with the elemental profile. The water element, for instance, is related to the kidneys, and its mix of oils contains cedarwood oil, an antiseptic known to boost the functioning of those organs. The fire element rules the blood vessels, so that blend incorporates spikenard oil, known to aid circulation of blood.
These element profiles are addressed in the spa’s signature treatments, each aimed at rebalancing and supporting the three “treasures” of TCM: jing (life force), qi (vital energy), and shen (mind and spirit). For instance, the 90-minute Chuan Heavenly Jing Luo foot treatment (priced at $230) is designed to induce deep relaxation and promote physical health through acupressure, targeting over 20 meridian points on the foot. The spa also offers innovative Mistral light and heat energy skincare technology and HydraFacial MD products, fitness and meditation classes, and a variety of massage therapy and beauty services. (626.585.6414, pasadena.langhamhotels.com)