My favorite places for relaxation

Sep 19, 2016

What do you do when you feel tired and need to relax? I love going to the spa to get a massage or pedicure. Since I started to live in China, I have been enjoying massages and pedicures very much. Compared to the price in Japan for these spa services, China is so much cheaper. When my friend came over to Shanghai a while ago, I took her to a nice spa there. She was very pleased with the service, as well as the price, and we went there every night to get a massage. As I am a mother, I do not usually have that much time to go to spas, but I get to go sometimes when my husband looks after our daughter by himself. This is a special relaxing treat for me!.

I have been to a few places for massages, including for traditional Chinese massages. Some of my friends took me to a local Chinese massage parlour where they go almost every week. However, to be honest, I found it a bit painful, and not that relaxing. What I like is somewhere I can relax and get rid of my tiredness and stress.

The spa I like best for massages is “Dragonfly” (悠庭). They had two locations in Suzhou before, but now only one on the third floor in Harmony City mall (圆融星座购物中心) by Times Square in SIP. They also have parlours in other big cities, like Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Ningbo. The main reason I like this spa is that they make you feel special, as well as because they have perfect relaxing dark massage rooms with nice relaxing music and comfortable chairs. The staff members are always friendly. They have variety of massages, such as Chinese massage, Aroma oil massage, Japanese Shiatsu Massage, and more. My favorites are “Oriental Foot Massage” and “Head and Shoulder Massage”. It is hard not to fall asleep during the massage. I can request how much strength I want the masseur/masseuse to use, so I do not need to suffer from any pain and can just relax.

The prices at Dragonfly are not too expensive, and are even cheaper if you have membership card. It is more costly than a local massage parlour; however, you get five star service at a three star price, as they say on their own website. In addition to massages, they also do waxing, and facial services, like eyelash extensions.

Another spa I like is “Lotus Spa” (莲美甲沙龙&SPA). It is located on the fifth floor in the Sovereign Building (中银恵龍大厦) near Xinghai Square. I go there for pedicures, especially in summer, which is the perfect time to enjoy a pedicure in your sandals. My regular order is the shellac pedicure - shellac is kinder to nails than gel, as well as cheaper. It lasts about three to four weeks, so it is convenient that, once you have finished, you don't have to do further maintenance very often. The shellac pedicure costs 260RMB including basic foot care, which is definitely more reasonable than prices in Japan, and it is even cheaper if you have membership card. Lotus has comfortable chairs, friendly staff, and the nail specialists listen carefully to what design or color I want, so I am always satisfied with the finish. In addition, they also do massages, waxing, facials and eyelash extensions.

Dragonfly and Lotus are the spas I recommend in Suzhou. I have taken visitors from outside of China to them, and they all enjoyed the experience very much. Writing about these spas has made me want to go - I think it is time for me to have another relaxing treat!

About the Column


Kaori is from Fukuoka, Japan and she moved to Suzhou with her British husband in 2010. She gave birth to a baby girl in Shanghai in 2014 and is currently a full-time mother, but previously studied Chinese at Suzhou University. Kaori enjoys going for walks, going out for meals, shopping on Taobao and visiting new places in China. Places she has particularly enjoyed visiting include Harbin, Beijing, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Moganshan, Guilin and Yangshuo. She also loves to explore different areas of Suzhou, both old and new.

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