The Langham Boston is home to the Chuan Body + Soul Spa, which we happily sampled on our first visit to Boston.
"Chuan" is Chinese for "flowing water," and spa literature notes that water is a foundation of life.
We adore this spa's wholistic approach that incorporates the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in its signature treatments, ambience and decor. While small, the spa is well designed, elegant and comfortable. The colors are muted with touches of red, which of course reflects a Chinese influence, plus there are mounted inscriptions in Chinese as part of that decor.
We were greeted by Spa Manager Marie, along with a glass of champagne at the reception area, which includes raised stools and a small bar. Here, we completed our spa forms while sipping our bubbly — a refreshing start.
We were each scheduled for a Harmony Massage, one after the other though the nice, large treatment room we were in did have matching massage beds perfect for couples' massages (top right photo). Silk coverings featured more Chinese lettering. One corner of the room held a large jetted tub for two and a shower room.
This massage is a combination of pressure point and Swedish, and we agreed it certainly held properties of being a spa ritual as much as a massage. We love the warm towels on the feet, and wish every massage at every spa would include this simple, but so relaxing touch. The Chuan Spa focuses on making sure body and soul are in harmony while playing attention to personal happiness and fulfillment. TCM uses the principle of the balance of the five natural elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water, as well as the body's yin and yang, its opposing but mutually dependent halves.
Therapists like Judith, our masseuse, therefore incorporate these guiding principles, using energy flows, basic elemental forces and the influence of hot and cold to create individual treatment plans
There's a lovely surprise for spa guests like us as well as hotel guests: a heated pool with lap lanes. A huge skylight sits overhead and there are lots of windows so plenty of light flows in even in the heart of the city, plus there are comfortable loungers resembling traditional cruise deck chairs.
The well-equipped ladies' changing room also featured a dry sauna, showers, lockers and small makeup area with hair dryer plus Molton Brown products in the showers.
We treasure our parting gifts: A book on Chinese Medicine plus an essential oils burner with oils. Now, whenever we have our Raleigh masseuse come over, we always light the burner, and the relaxing fragrance it emits immediately transports us back to Boston - not to the bustling Boston, but to the relaxing Boston of our Chuan Spa memories.
If You're Going: The Chuan Body + Soul Spa is located in The Langham, a sophisticated, AAA Four-Diamond Boston hotel at 250 Franklin Street, Boston; call (617) 451-1900 . To find out more or visit http://boston.langhamhotels.com. To contact the spa directly, call (617) 422-5108 or visit http://www.chuanbodyandsoul.com/en/Boston.
About Langham Hospitality Group
Langham Hospitality Group encompasses a family of distinctive hospitality brands which include hotels, resorts, residential serviced apartments, restaurants and spas, located on four continents. It takes its name from the legendary Langham in London which was opened in 1865 as Europe’s first Grand Hotel. For almost 150 years, this flagship hotel has represented sophisticated and gracious hospitality, a philosophy that reflects elegance in design, innovation in hospitality, genuine service and captivation of the senses across all properties.
The brands include the luxurious Langham and international five-star Langham Place, the upscale Eaton Luxe, midscale Eaton Smart and the award-winning Chuan Spa. Reservations for either Langham or Eaton properties can be made by logging onto langhamhospitalitygroup.com.