FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Chicago, The Langham, Chicago, Chuan Spa

Nov 30, 2014
2014 / November 2014

As I navigated my way through the pre-9 a.m. hustle and bustle of a Chicago weekday, my imminent relaxation was far from my mind. It seemed impossible after waltzing through the morning rush hour of the city, but I relaxed almost immediately upon crossing Chuan Spa’s signature Moon Gate entrance on The Langham, Chicago’s fourth floor.

Settling in a cozy chair in the quiet lobby — watching the maze of people rushing through the streets from the floor-to-ceiling windows was much more peaceful than participating — I completed a questionnaire about my current mood before the receptionist escorted me to the locker room.

This was not my first time visiting the spa at The Langham, Chicago, although it was quite different from my prior experience. A year earlier, my colleague and I received a behind-the-scenes hardhat tour of the hotel when it was still mid-construction. Some of the spa features were familiar to me as I made my way through, but this time a fluffy robe and slippers enveloped me rather than a utility vest and hardhat. I preferred this visit.

In Chinese, chuan means “flowing water,” and the spa embraces the philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine. To begin, the spa recommends partaking in the Chuan Bathing Ritual, a series of rooms designed to reinvigorate your body’s reaction to hot and cold. First is the herbal sauna, to loosen and soothe tight muscles. The sauna uses sage, rosemary and mint to open the respiratory system. Blocks of pure Himalayan salt line the walls of the Salt Stone Sauna, releasing negative ions to create a fresh, clean environment and reduce stress and respiratory/skin ailments. The Experience Shower is a wake-up call for the senses before the Oriental Steam Room, where chamomile permeates the air and ergonomically designed relaxation recliners warm the body.

TCM is based on the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each spa treatment centers on them; and five-element oils, incense, candles, teas and juices were created exclusively for the spa.

My therapist found me flipping through a huge double issue of Vogue in a relaxation room with couches, teas, waters and various reading material. She directed me to an ample treatment room, decorated in dark purple and burgundy with Chinese-inspired design elements. Heavy drapes covered the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the busy city below, furthering my sense of peace and calm.

Based on the five-element questionnaire I completed upon arrival, it was determined my element was earth. According to the card my therapist gave me: “The Earth element is related to your spleen, stomach and muscles and affects your mouth and lips relating to your sense of taste. The emotions tend to be that you worry and often think too much. You may tend to prefer the color yellow, morning time, the season of late summer, damp and sweet flavors.” Basically, spot-on.

My therapist used oils and lotions and focused on particular pressure points based on my element. Before we began, she guided me through The Chuan Breathing Ritual, designed to restore harmony to mind, body and soul.

As an earth element, I sat with my right hand on my chest, against the spleen, creating a mental image incorporating the color yellow. After inhaling to the maximum capacity and holding my breath for as long as I could, I exhaled, chanting the sound, “gong.”

My 60-minute signature Chuan Balancing massage followed. The treatment is characterized by acupressure techniques that release muscle tension and improve circulation of the body’s life force (qi). My therapist applied mild pressure to those points affecting my spleen, stomach, muscles, mouth and lips, kick-starting my body’s natural self-curative abilities. It was blissful as I slipped in and out of a state of semi-consciousness throughout the hour.

TCM treatments at the spa include acupuncture, inserting fine needles into the body’s channels of energy; moxibustion, burning a small, spongy Chinese herb and holding it close to an acupressure point for several minutes; and ho guan, or cupping, where heated cups are applied to the skin. The spa also offers facials, scrubs, wraps, men’s treatments, Thalgo treatments and signature hand and foot therapies in addition to massages.

The Langham, Chicago is devoted to health and wellness, offering a health club, personal training and a pool/Jacuzzi. The fitness center includes state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment, strength machines and free weights; the gym is open to hotel guests, but memberships for individuals, couples and corporations are also available. The 67-foot-long swimming pool looked vastly different when I stole a glimpse of it on this visit versus on my first; then just a concrete hole, it now offers excellent city views, loungers and a heated Hydro-Vitality Jacuzzi.

Chuan Dream Room © The Langham, Chicago

Chuan Dream Room © The Langham, Chicago

I ended my experience in the darkened Dream Room, savoring the last few moments of serenity on a Four-Sense Lounger. Found only at Chuan Spa in The Langham, Chicago, the recliners light from within and offer vibrations and other interactive elements that lull you back into a state of meditation. Soft music played, and I was the only one in the room, totally relaxed. An ideal setting for a cat nap and another hour of indulgent relaxation, but, alas, I knew the clock was ticking and I needed to make my way to a late-morning meeting.

I pulled myself from the lounger and resisted the urge to sink back onto the heated relaxation recliner in the locker room. I changed, crossing through Moon Gate once again, readying to face the commuters of Chicago but this time floating along on my own personal cloud.

Chuan Spa

The Langham, Chicago
330 N. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 923 9988
chicago.langhamhotels.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Sep 20, 2021

Russell Wilson Scores a New Alaskan Airlines Livery

Last week was the start of football season with Americans around the United States celebrating the return of the NFL and football Sundays. Alaska Airlines joins the celebration.

Greece: Destination Luxury

Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.

Daily
Sep 17, 2021

Hotel del Coronado Reveals New Lobby, Front Porch

Legendary Hotel del Coronado reached another milestone in its $400 million Master Plan reimagination, with the completion of an extensive, historic restoration of the hotel’s front porch and lobby; a redesigned main entry and drive experience; new guestrooms in The Views area; and refreshed retail concepts.

September 2021
Sep 16, 2021

Philadelphia’s Fairmount Boasts Impressive Collections and a Friendly Vibe

As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.

Register Today for the Most Important Gathering of Business Travel Professionals

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.

Daily
Sep 16, 2021

Rosewood San Francisco to Open in 2026

Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 15, 2021

Sweet September Specials from SLS Hotels

Check out these irresistible offers from SLS properties in Miami:

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 15, 2021

A Master Class in Tuscan Wine at Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection

Tuscany’s Lucca is home to Grand Universe Lucca, which brings the region’s best wines front and center to its guests. The hotel features three immersive Tuscan Wine tasting experiences: Montalcino, Montecarlo, and Super Tuscan and Chianti Classico.