To a Tea

By Jarrod Denson / January 11, 2013

Four kinds of tea – green, white, chrysanthemum, and rose – offered in the Anatara Spa tea treatments

Tea isn’t just China’s most iconic export—it’s an integral part of its beauty and well-being traditions. For centuries, locals have understood that healing power of this native leaf, from the meditative, mind-centering rhythms of the traditional tea ceremony to the therapeutic antioxidant, antimicrobial and illness-fighting properties of the various blends. Even today, it is natural for health-minded Chinese to look to tea as a salve for emotional concerns, and as a supplementary treatment for everything from weight loss to heart disease.

China’s tea connection is the basis for the spa menu at the Anantara Spa at The PuLi Hotel & Spa in Shanghai, a serene, park-side property opened in late 2011. While countless spas feature tea in liquid form—from serving custom blends in their relaxation lounges to incorporating pre- or post-treatment tea-drinking rituals—The PuLi Spa’s entire spa menu was designed around the specific benefits of four types of leaves: detoxifying green; beautifying rose; clarifying chrysanthemum; and balancing white. In a reception area that evokes a 1920s tea pavilion guests undergo a consultation to help choose the right services for their needs. You can mix and match from the different sections, which include treatment styles from all over Asia, or choose a tea-specific 120- or 190-minute package featuring foot rituals, infused baths, scrubs, massages and more.

To correspond to green tea’s energizing and detoxifying properties, the menu includes circulation-boosting Marma Abhyanga massage, an anti-inflammatory wrap, a cellulite-busting body scrub, and a ginger-infused, traditional Chinese Ling Zhi bath. White tea services focus on hydration and balancing, with body wraps and scrubs using anti-aging grapeseed or nourishing avocado, an herbal bath filled with bergamot, peppermint and clove, and pressure-point head massages to clear headaches and neck tension. Rose tea has hormone-balancing, wrinkle-reducing and skin-beautifying properties, so corresponding treatments include aromatic massages, creamy body scrubs and wraps, and six kinds of targeted facials. Finally, the chrysanthemum menu aims to clarify the skin and body (particularly organs like the liver) with several types of massage, including traditional Thai, herbal-compress, and reflexology (this menu is a particular favorite with male clients.) Following treatments, guests can relax around the beautiful indoor lap pool, enjoying views of Jing’An park and—naturally— a fragrant cup of tea.