After a day climbing the Great Wall, the Anantara Spa By The Great Wall at the Commune By The Great Wall Kempinski was the ideal place for total relaxation.
Spending time at the Anatara Spa at the Commune By The Great Wall Kempinski is the perfect combination of elements: visually with its location on 8 square kilometers of private land in the Shuigan mountains with a view of the Great Wall, physically with its beautifully appointed treatment rooms; and spiritually, because the treatments transcend time and place.
After a long flight from the United States to China, we arrived at the Commune By The Great Wall Kempinski late at night. We spent the morning walking and touring the design houses that make up the hotel, had lunch on the terrace at The View restaurant, and took a hike in the afternoon to the Great Wall. By the time that we arrived at the spa late in the afternoon, we were feeling the effects of jet lag compounded with spending many hours sitting on a plane, and lastly, our muscles were sore from climbing the Great Wall (in dress shoes, I might add). In other words, we were desperately in need of spa treatments.
We entered the light filled 1,000 square meter tri-level spa and admired the inviting reception area with comfortable, white slip covered chairs, pretty orchid plants arranged around the room, and felt the calming effect of the tranquil setting.
We met with Tara to determine what type of treatments we wanted to have, and the decision ordinarily would have been difficult to choose between body treatments especially the Purifying Mud Wrap, Rose Body Polish, and Coffee Energizer, facials that included Marine Revival Facial, and an Alabaster Pearl Facial, Bath and Steam Rituals, and massage treatments. However, after traveling long distances, our first priorities are always massages. Now the decision was which of the ten massage treatments we wanted: Hot Stone, Thai Herbal Healer, Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic, Balinese, Sports, Traditional Thai, or Traditional Chinese Massage.
The Anantara Spa Team
After a brief consultation, we selected the Sports Massage (Edward) and the Traditional Thai Massage (Debra). Our therapists, Ann (Wang Guo) and Linda (Song Qing Hua), led us to our separate treatment rooms, and began our spa experience with an aromatic Floral Foot Bath which felt absolutely heavenly soaking our poor tired feet in warm water fragranced with rose petals. Not only did it feel wonderful, it was also visually appealing with rose petals floating in the water. Next came a foot scrub and foot massage, and we were hooked and ready to have this done everyday.
Edward: My Sports Massage was 90 minutes of paradise as Ann applied a heady mixture of aromatic essential oils with aromas of mandarin, ginger, and clove, stimulating my senses. Oils applied, the massage began with firm, kneading techniques to stimulate my circulation and work on my travel-weary muscles. This is not a massage for people who like easy, gentle massage, but if you are looking for relief from sore muscles, then this is a great massage. Ann worked her magic, and I left the massage table ready to go back and climb the Great Wall again. Okay, perhaps not today, but certainly by tomorrow.
Debra: I had a Traditional Thai Massage, which is a full-body massage that both stimulates and relaxes. Unlike other massage where you remove your clothes, for this massage, Linda asked me to change into a loose fitting Anantara Spa shirt and pants. After I positioned myself on the massage table, for the next 90 minutes, Linda stretched my joints and muscles, pulling my legs and pulled both of my arms back, which felt especially fantastic. She did a pressure point massage along the 10 major energy channels of my body to release blocked energy, and increase awareness and vitality. By the time the treatment ended, I was so relaxed that I could barely walk. This treatment is for relieving tension, enhancing flexibility, and inducing a deep state of tranquility. After drinking relaxing cups of tea, we returned to our guestroom in Forest House, and promptly fell asleep, so, as to my line of thinking, the massage lived up to my expectations.
We returned to the spa two days later to experience new massage treatments, this time the Ayurvedic Massage (Edward) and the Balinese Massage (Debra). Once again, our treatments began with the soothing Floral Foot Bath, followed by 90 minutes of massage pampering.
Edward: The Ayurvedic Massage is steeped in 5,000 years of tradition. Developed in India, this massage uses ancient healing techniques. Warm oils are applied to the body for a full-body massage to relieve fatigue, tension, and improve the circulation. I really enjoyed the sensation of the warm oils on my body in conjunction with the massage techniques. After spending the last two days seeing the sights of Beijing, this massage felt fabulous.
Debra: The Balinese Massage treatment uses fragrant Balinese floral oils, palm pressure, and stretching techniques to relieve tension, improve blood flow, and muscle relief. Whereas other massages uses the fingers and fingertips, this massage uses the palms of the hands to apply pressure to the muscles. All I know is that after the combination of aromatic oils and palm pressure massage I felt wonderful. We ended our treatment with more cups of relaxing teas, dreaming of when we could return to the spa to experience the rest of the treatments on their Spa menu.
Read the other articles on the Commune By The Great Wall Kempinski in the Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, and Chefs' Recipes sections.
Read other articles on Beijing in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, and Adventures sections.
Anantara Spa By the Great Wall
Commune By The Great Wall Kempinski
The Great Wall Exit at Shuigan
People's Republic of China
Telephone: (86 10) 8118 1888
Toll-Free: 00 800 426 313 55 (Europe)
Toll-Free: 1 800 426 3135 (North America)
Fax: (86 10) 8118 1866
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