News for the Hospitality Executive
|Special for Hotel Online by Bernard Burt, July 11, 2007
Charlie Deng, General Manager of the Westin Beijing, took the hotel chain’s The Heavenly Bed® and The Heavenly Shower® to new heights when China’s first Heavenly Spa by Westin opened last month.
Committed to a healthy lifestyle, Deng visited spas across Asia and Europe to select features for his core customer, jet-lagged executives. Extending the spa concept to guest rooms, Deng teamed with Westin on an exclusive feature, called Renewal Room. The result is China’s first purpose-built urban oasis.
Being among the first to experience Westin’s new concept of cocooning,
I checked in after a non-stop flight from the USA on a crowded, dirty United
Airlines 747. Renewal Rooms at the Westin Beijing come with bath
ritual. I was greeted by a bathologist who filled the tub with herbal oils
and rose petals. White tea, a signature note, is served to restore energy;
candles lit, I soaked and looked down on the city. A face mask made of
jade was provided to enhance Comfort Zone moisturizer. Best features: spacious
bathroom has glass-enclosed Rain Forest shower with the bathtub, window
wall. And the bath ritual is free with a Renewal Room. Measuring
60 square meters, it’s really a mini-suite with high-ceiling bedroom, desk
and business corner, dressing room, upgraded bath amenities. The 64 Renewal
Rooms command premium rates, worth it for comfort and services.
Combining eastern and western therapies, the spa menu developed by Jenny Wang includes hydrotherapy baths and ancient Chinese-inspired philosophy. Jenny honed spa management skills in California before returning to China. Her biggest challenges: training therapists in English, introducing Thai and Swedish massage technique. Serenely elegant, the reception lounge eliminates routine check-in procedures. Tea is poured, a welcoming foot wash offered. The 2,094 sqm space has 2 double treatment rooms, 6 single rooms.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts director of spa development Jeremy McCarthy says it’s Westin’s first urban escape. The prototype will be rolled out in Westin resorts and hotels worldwide. Combining eastern and western therapies, Heavenly Spa by Westin recently opened at Westin resorts on Hilton Head Island and Cancun. Others are located at The Westin Maui, The Westin Fiji, and The Westin Langkawi Beach.
Financial Street is within Beijing’s new “Wall Street” area, a 16-block downtown development of high-rise offices and hotels near the Forbidden City. By express road from the airport, the Westin towncar takes 40 minutes to traverse from ancient to contemporary Beijing. Adjoining a grand new shopping mall, the Westin is an oasis of sleek, modern comfort. Fully booked for the 2008 Olympic Games, the hotel has introductory rates on the Web: www.westin.com/beijing.
Bernard Burt is co-author of “100 Best Spas of the World” published by The Globe Pequot Press, and columnist for spa industry magazines. His Web site is www.SpaGoer.com