It was a particularly smoggy day when I went to Binjiang to visit Zen Spa on Dongxin Avenue, opposite Angelo’s. The thick soupy haze made breathing difficult, not to mention the damage it does to the skin. I stepped into Zen Spa and right away felt a difference in the air. There was a nice scent certainly, but the air also felt fresh, clean and dewy. I met with the ownersMona and Rajni, and theyconfirmed that the spa uses an air purifier to create a sanctuary from the outside pollution. Cleanliness is a major focus at Zen Spa, whether it’s for the air or their facilities. The treatment rooms, washroom and equipment were all immaculate.
Rajni and Mona felt there was a need for a spa like this in Hangzhou, especially in Binjiang – a place where you can get waxing, facials, massages, manicure, pedicure and hair styling with English speaking therapists. The hair services include colouring, cutting, straightening, perming and a lovely hair spa treatment (280RMB). The hair stylist is on site on Fridays and available other days by appointment.
The products used here are imported western brands, and all products and treatments have been tested by Mona or Rajni. They have experience in developing a line of cosmetics, so they definitely know the business.As they were telling me about the services at Zen Spa, theywere bubbling over with joy and enthusiasm. They have so much belief in the treatments that theyinsisted I try the whole menu. They had especially high praise for the Brazilian wax. Now, a Brazilian wax is something I’m wary about getting: the therapistneedsa confident approach to gain the trust of the client and minimize pain.So, when they raved about their Brazilian wax, I just had to try it…the women of Hangzhou need to know.
I metthe therapist, Joanna, who was friendly and cheerful. We chatted throughout the process to distract me from what was happening, and I barely felt any pain when she ripped off the wax in one swift motion. Zen Spa uses a hard wax from Australia, whereas most other places in Hangzhou use wax with cloth strips. Hard wax grips the hair, not the skin, and makes the process less painful. I am a believer now. Brazilian wax (260RMB) can be done with the landing strip or triangle. For total hair removal, ask for Playboy (225RMB).Smaller jobs like eyebrows, upper lips range from 25-50RMB.
Next up was the seventy-minute Pollution Buster Facial (488RMB) with City Science’s Anti-Pollution products from France. It included a fabulous face, scalp, neck and shoulder massage.This facial counters the damaging effects of pollution and UV rays to repair the skin. My skin emerged thoroughly cleansed, soft and glowing. We can all use more of this treatment.
The seventy-minute Emperor Foot Massage (220RMB) was done by the only male therapist at the spa. I find that a woman’s fingers are too pointy and painful for a foot massage, while a man’s fingers are large enough to distribute the pressure. The massage was masterfully done, and I quickly drifted off to that blissful state flirting with the boundaries of sleep.
MyShellac Manicure (260RMB) and Pedicure (310RMB)were done with CND Shellac from the US. This gel polish is super glossy, dries almost instantly and will stay good as new forfourteen days.
Finally came the Chinese Herbal Compress (280RMB) to apply on problem areas, like arthritic knees, to remove cold and damp. The compress thoroughly heated my chronically knotted shoulders and was left on for fifteen minutes to let the heat get deep into the muscles.
For the month of November, go to Zen Spa with a MORE magazine or mention MORE magazine’s name and receive 10% off any treatment.