From the deepest recesses of investors' pocketbooks, and with a vision to recreate a full-service environment that embodies all the style of a modern facility, and surrounding visitors with very expensive wooden flooring and tiling along the walls, comes J SPA. Mrs. Ji, also Jennifer, the owner of the “Full Magic” spa in Hangzhou, wants to break into the high-end market that is badly needing her personal touch. We found a distinctly French-influenced open kitchen that feels less like a restaurant, and more like some rich guy's house that we stumbled into, with its gleaming espresso machine, long counter, and bar stool setup for elegant, yet casual, dining. An amazing mini teppanyaki grill sits flanked by ovens, work spaces, and other high-end cooking implements that none of us have in our own homes. Oh, and the food was good. Our meal started with fresh heirloom tomato with flavorful pesto on crostini, followed by a highly creative salmon sashimi salad wrapped in tuna slices. Next was a classic presentation of beef filet with wild mushrooms and espagnole sauce, along with chicken soup and crab claw meat. Everything was capped off by flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and a shimmering strawberry sauce.
And a bottle of wine before the spa massage is absolutely not a bad idea at all. It gets all the blood in your body activated. Were we feeling so relaxed and just plain good that she suggested bringing another bottle with us to the spa room. We walked down the French window-lined hallway that led us to a spa room with a fantastic lake view. I could smell the essential oil as we walked in. The Jacuzzi was on full roil, steam rose up between the spaces of each rose leaf. It was big enough for two of us, and the water temperature was perfect as we dipped ourselves in. Then Mimi, the attendant, walked in with two glasses and another bottle of champagne. We toasted the lake view, sipped Moet, gossiped, and let the sunlight fall upon the fine wooden floors as well as our suntanned skin. Time flies so fast though, and 30 minutes later, we were all rosy-cheeked and glistening. Mimi served us some hot flower tea, then she started giving me a body massage. I could smell the fragrance of the orange peel surround the whole room as her tiny, but strong, hands kneaded every pressure point on my body. She did so well I dozed off into a comfortable sleep till her voice whispered in my ear to turn over. Calves, thighs, arms, breasts, belly and a head massage at the end. The works. I felt so refreshed, I actually fet lighter. In a place like this, hidden in the forest next to the lake, time gets lost, and by the time we left the place, evening had already fallen. I came with my mind loaded full of work problems, a sore neck, and sore shoulders, but I left with a new body, and ready for the next day’s work.