A good relaxing massage always includes a moment where you drift between sleep and wakefulness, pleasantly lulled by the pressure of the masseuse’s hands. The massages offered by Chi, the spa at Doha’s new Shangri-La Hotel, seem designed to get you to that point swiftly, and keep you there.
Inspired by the ancient Chinese concept of promoting the flow of energy through the body, Chi’s signature massages include techniques such as acupressure – similar to acupuncture, but without the needles, it involves applying pressure to significant points – reflexology, and hot stone therapy.We opt for the Chi Balance treatment, promising a gentle but deep massage to promote peace of mind, vitality and clarity.
Our therapist, Empa, begins by giving us a relaxing foot soak and scrub, and then instructs us to lie face down on the massage table and breathe deeply as she sprays lemongrass fragrance into the air.
The massage then begins at the feet and lower legs. Empa uses a tingly combination of acupressure and long, soothing strokes and immediately we feel the tension start
to ebb away.
A rose, bergamot and ginger oil blend is applied, as Empa expertly works over the knots in our shoulders and lower back, before finishing with a light, oil-free head massage. At the end of the treatment we’re on the verge of drifting into a deep sleep (and would have done, had we not been brought a refreshing cup of peppermint tea).
Opulently Asian-themed, but without being ostentatious, the spa’s gardens and relaxation areas (including access to a sauna and steam room) are pretty much perfect spots to unwind. And while prices here are on par with Doha’s major hotels – that is, not cheap – you’re paying for a practically perfect experience.
QR750 for the Chi Balance treatment (90 minutes). Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La hotel, Doha, West Bay, www.shangri-la.com/doha (4429 5000).