World’s First Five-Senses Banyan Tree Spa Opens

Leading spa and resort operator Banyan Tree is to open in Shanghai this month å- its first in China. The new Banyan Tree Spa, located in the Westin Hotel at Bund Centre, will unveil cutting-edge spa concepts customised for the countryå‘s luxury leisure market. Backed by an investment plan worth US$3 million, it is set to be one of Shanghai`s most opulent and spacious spas.

The opening of Banyan Tree Spa signifies the company’s move into the Chinese market and adds to the pioneering spirit of Shanghai with a flagship spa that introduces a new concept based on the traditional Chinese five elements.

Hailed as a ‘Sanctuary in the City’, the 21st century spa, designed by Banyan Tree`s sister company, Architrave Design & Planning Pte Ltd., is located on the third level of Westin Hotel Shanghai in the Bund (Wai Tan) quarter. The new 1,000 sq-mt. facility includes a total of 13 spa suites with shower and steam rooms, a health club and gymnasium, together with beauty salon and juice bar.

The Chinese believe that five elements; water, fire, metal, wood, earth determine wellbeing, and the luxurious spa chambers will all reflect this ancient philosophy with uniquely designed rooms for each element and two opulent deluxe suites - Yin and Yang.
The menu presents an eclectic mix of these traditions and a selected in-house team of experts at the Banyan Tree Spa Academy, is currently perfecting new beauty and wellness spa therapies, created from over 73 natural herbs and ingredients to achieve a state of harmony and balance for spa enthusiasts.

Jeannie Sng, Director of spa services for Banyan Tree says, “The Banyan Tree Spa Shanghai therapies will set forthcoming trends in the international spa industry. We will reveal details of these new treatments to spa enthusiasts all over the world”.

This new endeavour also marks the first time Banyan Tree Spa Academy employs Chinese nationals as professional spa therapists. Banyan Tree Spa will appoint Chinese therapists to undergo spa training by the Banyan Tree Spa Academy headquarters in Phuket, Thailand.
“Our guests will be able to experience Oriental treatments performed by spa therapists who have innate knowledge on the ancient Chinese tradition of healing,” Sng added.


The Chinese Five Element Theory

After successfully creating therapies inspired by the healing Ayurvedic tradition for the Oberoi Spa by Banyan Tree in India, the group will move ahead of its peers by embracing ancient Chinese philosophy of healing.The time-honoured Wu Sing (five elements) symbolise the life forces present in all existence on earth and are the manifestations of Yin and Yang, the opposing states of nature. The five elemental energies, coupled with the union of Yin and Yang, form the main roots in the ancient Chinese tree of wellbeing. This belief is the basis that guides the proper application of traditional Chinese herbal remedies.

A pioneer of the tropical garden spa concept, Banyan Tree Spa takes a holistic approach to physical and spiritual wellbeing, providing a Sanctuary for the Senses. The architecture of its spa pavilions draws on local inspiration to blend with the natural environment. Using aromatic oils, herbs and spices, its exotic treatments are based on Asian traditions that have passed through many generations.
The Banyan Tree Spa Academy was launched in May 2001 to train a dedicated team of Banyan Tree Spa therapists, monitor international spa trends, and spearhead the research and development of new treatments recipes, massage techniques and natural spa products.

The Banyan Tree Spa is located in Phuket, Thailand (opened 1995); Maldives Vabbinfaru (opened 1995); Bintan, Indonesia (opened 1995); Bangkok, Thailand (opened 2002); Seychelles (opened 2002). The Banyan Tree also plans to open two new spas in Marrakash, Morocco and Dubai after 2004.