In the Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Beijing Financial Street, the phrase “the lap of luxury” takes on a double meaning. The elegant spa will pamper you in all the comfort and ease that the idiom implies, but “lap” in this case also refers to the swoon-worthy lap pool, a high-tech puddle of turquoise where you can watch classic black-and-white films while you get your swim on.
It’s luxe touches like these that make the Ritz-Carlton Spa my favorite among hotel spas in Beijing. The treatments are gorgeous–a fusion of Chinese and Western techniques with decadent choices like the Water Lily Soothing Wrap, the Caviar and Pearl Facial, and the signature Imperial Treasures Massage. The therapists delivering them are some of the most expert in town, as they calibrate massage pressure, music, and temperature to your express preferences.
But it’s the sophisticated surrounds and superlative complementary facilities that really win me over. Avant-garde design elements like the lap pool are accented with nods to Chinese tradition, including authentic imperial-era antiques. The 11 treatment rooms and two relaxation lounges all feature plush yet soothing neutral furnishings and state-of-the-art amenities. A swank couple’s suite is available for treatments à deux (there’s a special menu of treatments for men).
Arrive early enough to loosen up in the superb aqua therapy facilities before your treatment. Aside from the lap pools, you can immerse in the sauna, steam room, whirlpool, and Jacuzzi. Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate the stretching/floor exercise area, yoga studio, and cardio equipment. Leave plenty of time for luxuriating in the relaxation rooms after your treatment or workout, then cap off the visit with a trip to the full service hair and nail salon.
Admittedly, unless you’re staying at the hotel or already in this part of town, it can be a hassle to get here. But don’t let the Financial Street address fool you. The hotel is much more about pleasure than business. Why else would they dedicate an entire floor to the spa? Yes, that’s right, the spa stretches across its very own dedicated floor, eliminating any possibility for claustrophobia and offering plenty of space in which to “lap up” all that luxury.
Rachel Levin contributed to this story.