The Chinese 24 Hour Spa
Entrance to Queen Spa, Luohu, Shenzhen
Why I Wanted to Go
The pain shooting down my neck and spreading across my shoulders was becoming unbearable.
I grimaced as sharp and unpredictable muscle spasms contorted my body. To make matters worse, my discomfort was all happening in public.
My friend, (laughing at my plight, naturally), said the magic words. '24 Hour Spa with steam room, sauna and massage.'
I felt another jab of pain; 'How much?'
That sealed the deal.
The previous day had been spent lugging heavy books around town and now my muscles were paying the price. I hated being in pain so, after a year of avoiding the unknown, it was time to try yet another new side of China.
Interior of Day Spa
Treatments on Offer
I'm not exaggerating when I say that there are so many lovely, wonderful pampering opportunites!
Have every tight knot eased from your msucles with massages specifically for isolated parts of the body; back, neck, shoulders, feet, hands or arms. Opt for a full body scrub with your choice of herbs and lotions.
Mix and match the massages with time in the steam room for dry sauna or the separate wet sauna, both infused with aromatherapy oils and as many towels and cups of water as you wish.
Dip into the plunge pool which has warm water on the ladies side but cold water on the men's. Or, if you prefer, ask nicely and the staff will pour you an individual bath in a custom built wooden tub, like something you'd find in an Alpine hut atop a Swiss mountain. They'd probably do it even if you didn't ask nicely, but 'manners maketh man,' as my mother always said.
When you're through with the sauna area you're given complimentary pyjamas, robe and slippers. There are also wrapped toothbrushes and toothpaste, individual wash basins, along with body creams, shampoos, curling iron stations and just about everything you need to help you look as good as you feel.
Other Amenities at the Chinese 24 Hour Spa
In another section of the spa, individual TV screens grace the relaxation couches with a copious choice of channels, including American, English and French TV along with a few radio stations.
When you're ready to take a nap, before beginning the sauna and massages all over again (remember you can stay there for up to 24 hours per visit so it's perfectly okay to go round a few times), a blanket seems to magically appear allowing you to drift off in perfect comfort. If you'd rather sleep in a real bed, those are also provided.
Snacks, such as pastries, a variety of tropical fruits, tea, coffee, water and other beverages are available throughout the day and night.
For a different type of relaxation there's a pool table and some Spas also have table tennis. For simply surfing or catching up on work or the outside world there's wi-fi and a free internet cafe.
With all of these facilities you may not feel like going home!
What are the Benefits?
Summer in China gets incredibly hot and despite the proliferation of air conditioning units skin pores can become clogged leading to Prickly Heat and other uncomfortable conditions. Hence the spa, with its massage treatments and sauna rooms, is a great and very natural way to keep your skin cool and your pores open.
Spas can also be a wonderful retreat from the busy-ness of China. They're so reasonably priced that many people visit every week. Although many of the areas are communal, with separate saunas and plunge pools for men and women, you can pay a little extra for a private two-bedded room where you can relax after your sauna and have a neck, foot, shoulder or hand massage.
Other added benefits are softer skin, feeling totally chilled and a general sense of well-being.
Your wallet will also be happy as it won't have taken a big hit like it probably would in the west.
Useful venues close to Shenzhen's 24 hour spas
How Much Does it All Cost? And Should I tip?
Prices vary slightly between spas but you can expect to be pleasantly surprised by just how cheap they are expecially in comparison to spas in a western country.
Unlike Chinese restaurants, hotels and taxis, at the spa tipping is required. This is because the massage staff are on commission with no basic pay. However the system may be a little different to what you're used to.
For example, when selecting your massage/s you'll be given a very reasonable price list along with a menu of tipping rates ranging incrementally from 40% up to 100%. After your massage you're asked to sign a payment slip which allows you to check the amount of tip you'd like to give. This is added to your total bill, which includes entry fee and any food eaten, which you then pay on your way out.
24 Hour Spas are very popular in Asia
A Comprehensive Look at the Fees for the 24 Hour Spa
Purpose of the fee
Price in Chinese RMB
Price in US Dollars
Price in British Pounds
Neck, shoulder, hand and foot massage including 50% tip
Large fruit platter
Spas are a necessary part of maintaining good health
I wouldn't miss my spa sessions for the world!
Images of China's 24 Hour Spas
I Loved it Here!
Queen Spa & Dining Address
Address:B1/F-5/F,Golden Metropolis Bldg, Chunfeng Road, Luoho, Shenzhen
Business Hour:24 hours
Payment:CashTel:0755-8225 3888(深圳) / 00852 8101 0310(香港)
Website: http://www.queenspa.cn/ -
Can't Wait to Go Back
24 hour spas are big business in China. They provide a valued place of employment for skilled workers and a welcome respite for patrons.
As far as I know there's nothing like them in the UK, probably due to lack of demand caused by a significantly lower population. Even the popular 24 hour supermarkets only see a handful of customers in the wee small hours of the morning. Conversely the huge Chinese population ensures a steady flow of grateful users coming to the spa.
If it's your first time, prices are usually clearly displayed and explained to you every step of the way and the same with the procedure. You won't ever have to stand clueless in the middle of the room, clutching your towel and wondering what to to do or where to go while everyone else seems to know what's what. Staff are used to newbies as well as seasoned customers and they will gently guide you through.
Chinese is the main language spoken, but most spas will have at least one or two members of staff who speak English.
If you're planning a visit to China, make sure a visit to a 24 hour spa is on your list because life is just too short to have regrets.