“Chi (pronounced ‘chee’), is the life-giving energy that unites the body, mind, and spirit,” explains Natalie, as she pours my jasmine tea into a delicate jade cup. “It is present within every person, and also within the environment.” I hand her back the questionnaire I have obediently filled out to find out what my elements are. If your Chi is strong, balanced, focused, and flowing freely throughout your body, you will be in good health. However, if your Chi becomes blocked or stagnates at all, ill health will result.
Thankfully, the sumptuous new CHI Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel Sydney is here to restore that balance. Featuring six luxurious private spa suites and offering guests more than 24 treatments based on authentic natural healing methods found in traditional Asian well-being practices, I can hardly wait. I sit quietly on my silk cushion behind a gauzy curtain and contemplate my… chi. Using the Chinese theory of the Five Elements of metal, water, wood, fire and earth to harmonize the body’s energy, treatment oils are used in all the therapies and customized to each guest’s personal element sign. At last, I am pronounced Earth and Metal. Let the ablutions begin!
A variety of wellness massages, body therapies, facials and CHI journeys are on the menu, including CHI Balance, Du Mai Back Therapy and CHI Healing Stone Massage. The choices are tantalizing. I consider the Pearl Brightening Body Glow, but the Sense of Place experiences feature indigenous treatments inspired by Australia’s natural resources such as lemon myrtle and eucalyptus, long used by the Aborigines for healing. Exhausted travelers can take a Travelers’ Retreat to overcome jetlag, stiffness and back pain. I happily surrender to the Australian Botanical Retreat–a 2.5-hour body scrub and massage designed to invigorate, stimulate and detoxify with silky smooth results and a fresh citrus scent that lasts for hours and hours.
Inspired by Asian principles of harmony and balance, the spa interiors are designed to give guests the utmost privacy and provide a sanctuary from the outside world. A collection of Asian and Tibetan crafts, warm woods and specially designed ambient lighting bathe the space in a calming, exotic glow. Each of the six suites is a “spa within a spa”, enabling guests to lounge in their own inner sanctum before and after treatments. Three of the suites, overlooking the world-famous Sydney harbor, feature infinity edge spa tubs for relaxing soaks…perfect for balancing your chi.
For enquiries and reservations, please contact Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney on (+61 2) 9250 6000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Spa prices range from AU$95-235.
Check out the CHI Pamper Package: from AU$430 per night. Available from 10 Mar 2010 – 29 Dec 2010. Offer includes: overnight accommodation, breakfast for two at Café Mix, CHI Balance treatment for one, nightly turndown service, complimentary use of the Health Club, valet parking and broadband Internet access.