Take me with you…
The Langham, London is a luxury five-star hotel with an interesting past in London’s glittering Mayfair. You can reach Chuan Body + Soul directly through a doorway at the back of the hotel or – for a peak at how the other half live – head through the main reception and follow the corridors around.
Just like the hotel, Chaun Body + Soul has a fondness for Art Deco glamour, with a modern twist. Its most striking feature is the dramatic sapphire-blue 16-metre swimming pool set in a former bank vault.
Shall we spa?
The spa reception area has muted greens, cream marble floors and Deco touches, as well as a glass case showcasing OTO and Zelens products. We loved the Christmas tree in the corner resplendent in silvers and purples.
We took a seat on a comfy chair, completed a consultation form on an iPad and sipped a glass of non-alcoholic fizz before being given a tour of this elegant spa.
Changing rooms are spacious with tall wooden lockers operated by a wrist band containing white robes, towels and spa slippers. We loved the pull-out tray in the middle containing little white boxes of amenities - comb, shaving kit; shower cap – to use and/or take home.
Marble sinks and vanity units, large oval mirrors and Deco lights add a touch of chic, while hairdryers, straighteners, cleanser and cotton wool ensure you have everything you need.
Three showers behind glass doors have huge rain heads, retro white metro tiles and Chuan shampoo, conditioner and wash. Help yourself to a fluffy towel as you step out.
Within the changing rooms is a small sauna that could seat two or three, and an aroma steam room with a long, curved creamy marble bench with room for six. It was the perfect temperature on our visit.
The stylish Contemplation Lounge has green sofas and glass tables heaving with coffee table books. Help yourself to tea, citrus-infused water, dried fruit and nuts; fancy a vitamin shot or a smoothie? Ask a member of staff to unlock the fridge for you. People traipsing through in fitness gear are using the spacious gym behind the glass wall.
The highlight of the spa is the 16-metre swimming pool which you first glimpse from a curved steel staircase jutting over the blue water below (there’s a lift down too). The mosaic tiled pool is rectangular (making it ideal for lengths) and almost entirely fills the floor area, save for a ledge with three sets of wicker seats in pairs.
Swim in the silky blue water to the bonsai tree mural at the far end – the walls on either side here are part of the old bank. Despite the presence of colourful noodles suggesting that little ones are welcome, we had the space to ourselves.
We tried the Chaun Yu Signature Facial (75 mins, £200).
My therapist, Nikita, met me in Contemplation Lounge and led me to a petite treatment room called Lake. She began by talking me through the multi-faceted treatment, advising me that – according to my consultation form – my element is wood (dry skin, sporty, dynamic and efficient, yet frustrated and irritable) and that, today, she would work on aligning my meridians, which are the gall bladder and the liver.
She then left the room so that I could get comfortable on the treatment bed, lying face up. The treatment began with a foot cleanse using hot mitts.
After a double cleanse and tone using gentle products, Nikita placed a healing Jade stone in my left hand and asked me to hold it to my forehead. She then asked me to take three deep breaths.
Nikita then reached for a jade pen and used it to push on various Marma points on my forehead and face; switching to a scraping tool, she ‘scraped’ my skin up, draining the lymphatic of toxins and getting the blood flowing.
The face mask that came next felt deliciously thick and cool; while this set a little, Nikita massaged my arms and hands followed by each leg in turn. By the time my right leg was safely tucked back under the blanket, I had almost forgotten where I was.
Nikita brought me back to the room by removing the mask with hot mitts, adding eye cream, moisturiser and a slick of lip balm. She ended the treatment by sticking some acupuncture seed squares on my left ear to keep me balanced for the rest of the day. On the train on the way home, I kept checking they were still in place.
Nikita then left the room so that she could prepare some tea in the Contemplation Lounge where I inspected my face: rarely does a facial yield such fantastic results, with a healthy flush and super soft skin. Bravo.
Spot of lunch?
Being short on time, we ate in the Contemplation Lounge, choosing dishes from the hotel’s In-Room Dining menu which arrived on a silver tray with a single rose in a silver vase.
On the menu: salads, wraps and pasta dishes – we chose a garden salad with grilled haloumi, sweet potato fries and a glass of bubbles. Sitting next to yet another Christmas tree and tucking into a surprise plate of mini mince pies, we got into the Christmas spirit.
Got all day?
After the full spa experience – swim, gym session, treatment – get dressed and take afternoon tea in the Palm Court, which has been serving "Tiffin" for 150 years. The enormous room is dominated by spectacular fringed Deco chandeliers and gold-relief wall murals, with a black marble floor. Traditional sandwiches, cream cakes and scones are served accompanied by tunes on the Grand Piano.
Short on time?
Choose between a swim or a gym sessions and tag on a treatment.
22nd November 2023
Minimalist lines; organic products; facial massage; tranquillity; interesting people-watching.
Discarded towels on loungers; steam rooms that aren't steamy; mobile phones.
Behind the scenes