The venerable Langham Huntington Hotel Pasadena has welcomed visitors since 1914 at its location right in the heart of Pasadena's most ultra-posh neighborhood; the hotel is nestled at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, about 10 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Always a place where the elite meet to eat (and sleep), the hotel now offers another reason to visit, with the opening of the beautiful Chuan Spa in June 2014.
The 11,000-square-foot spa is located in its own building, boasting 12 treatment rooms that all reflect a Chinese influence, for the Langham Chuan Spa concept originated in Hong Kong. It's also based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) health and wellness principles.
The couple's VIP room at Chuan Spa, where you and your significant other can indulge in special spa treatments together — Photo courtesy of Langham Huntington Hotel Pasadena
This all means that when you enter the inviting lobby of the spa, you’re greeted with a special cup of tea and a questionnaire designed to determine how your body is balancing the five elements – earth, fire, metal, water and wood – that make up the foundation of TCM. Your massage therapist or esthetician uses your responses to tailor your treatment to your specific needs and hopefully bring you into perfect balance by the time you depart.
Once inside, you’ll find a spacious locker room, complete with an aromatic steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi; opening your locker will reveal a comfy robe and slippers. Then it’s on to the Contemplation Lounge, where you can relax, sip more tea (or citrus-infused water) and await your treatment.
If you’ve brought your significant other along for a shared experience, choose the private VIP couple’s suite, where two side-by-side massage tables, a two-person steam shower and more are available in a beautifully appointed space.
Chuan Spa, located inside the Langham Huntington Hotel Pasadena — Photo courtesy of Langham Huntington Hotel Pasadena
Many of the Chuan Spa’s treatments are exclusive, services created especially for the brand. The signature massages all feature an element of acupressure to the treatments, and the hot-and-cold stone massage uses the principles of yin and yang to balance your body.
There are signature facials, scrubs and wraps as well, and even signature treatments designed just for men (like a facial created to help solve razor burn). And for the ultimate indulgence, there’s the Chuan Heavenly Jing Luo, a foot treatment that combines Jing Luo acupressure, TCM herbs and hot stones into a delirious experience.
And like any great spa, there are plenty of other pampering therapies and beauty indulgences to choose from here. Check out the Mistral light heat energy (LHE) machine, designed to help fight off facial aging, remove unwanted hair and even clear up acne. Or go for the specially formulated treatments using top-notch Kerstin Florian products that embrace and include many Traditional Chinese Medicine philosophies. The Chuan Yu facial uses jade to stimulate the skin, for example.
Finally, don’t miss the spa’s Dream Room, the truly dreamy place where you can chill out atop a waterbed and revel in the experiences you’ve had there. Be sure to allow extra time for that.
And if you’re feeling grand at the end of it all (and you have timed everything correctly), step into the hotel’s Lobby Lounge and sit down to have the classic British afternoon tea that is served there every afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. Tea sandwiches, scones with Devonshire clotted cream and a glass of champagne seem like the perfect way to top off a perfect trip to Pasadena’s newest spa, don’t they?
The elegant and relaxing waiting room inside Chuan Spa — Photo courtesy of Langham Huntington Hotel Pasadena