Everyone loves a relaxing spa day, and what better place to enjoy such a day than Queen Spa in Luohu, Shenzhen. The name itself is completely appropriate, although perhaps it should be called ‘The Queen of Spas’ instead.
The reputation of Queen Spa precedes it, and I had high expectations which were not only met but exceeded. The best ways of getting there are either by taxi or by metro. By taxi it costs about RMB30 from central Futian and takes around 15 minutes to get there, depending on traffic of course. Alternatively you can get the metro to XiangXiCun station on line 9, leave by exit C, walk straight to the corner, turn left and Queen Spa will be on your left. There are also free shuttle buses to and from Luohu and Huanggang borders, every 15 or 25 minutes respectively. The Luohu shuttle buses run from 7am to 11pm near the taxi rank on the first floor by door 6. At Huanggang the shuttle buses run 24 hours to match the border hours; once you’ve arrived through the border cross the footbridge, turn right and head down towards the buses to find the shuttle.
As you walk through the entrance, you will be greeted by security guards who will point you towards the sweeping staircase down to the reception area. A chorus of ‘欢迎光临!’ ‘Huān yíng guāng lín!’ (Welcome!) rings out as you descend the stairs and a member of staff will escort you to a seat.
If you’re a foreigner you will need to show your passport, or at least a photo of it. This is not common practice in Shenzhen spas; however, at Queen Spa they have been told by the government to request ID from all visitors. Once they’ve taken note of your passport details the staff will give you a wristband with a number on it. This will be your locker number as well as your ticket to all the treats Queen Spa has to offer.
You will then be asked to enter the changing rooms – women’s changing rooms are on the left as you come down the entrance stairs, men’s are on the right. An attendant will check your wristband number and escort you to your locker where you will be given a towel and shower slippers, and asked if you would like a shower. In this section of the spa are showers, toilets, a jacuzzi pool, sauna, steam room and several treatments such as aroma oil bubble baths, back rubs and body scrubs. Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, toothbrushes, combs, cotton buds and various other amenities are provided for your use, so you don’t need to bring anything with you. Chinese guests will usually walk around the changing area in just a towel or naked, but if you prefer to wear a swim suit to use the jacuzzi, sauna or steam room, that’s absolutely fine.
An extra layer of security with the lockers is that they have to be opened with a pass held by one of the attendants as well as your wristband. There are always many attendants around, so you will never have to wait more than a few seconds for your locker to be opened.
Once you’ve finished your treatments and use of the facilities in this section, you will then be given pyjamas to wear for the rest of your visit. These are really comfortable and they actually have sizes to fit Westerners. You can also have a robe to wear over your pyjamas if you wish, and you keep your shower shoes for the duration of your visit. Feel free to bring your phone, book or e-reader with you; everything else can be left in your locker. You are, of course, welcome to return to your locker whenever you wish; however, once you’re comfortable in the lounge area you probably won’t want to move.
The attendants will escort you out the other side of the changing area to a lift which will take you to the third floor. This is the main lounge area where you will spend most of your time whilst at Queen Spa. It is a vast room with rows of comfortable reclining chairs, each of which has its own TV with on-demand movies and TV shows. In the centre is a counter with a huge variety of soft drinks which you can help yourself to. There are also pastries and ice cream available for a small fee. Anything you wish to purchase will be added to your tab, which you will then pay for when you leave. In addition to free soft drinks, beyond the seating area is a fruit ‘shop’ where all the fruit is free.
On my visit I decided to go for a full body massage before making myself comfortable in the lounge area. A 90 minute aromatherapy massage is RMB269++; the minimum suggested tip on the receipt is 80rmb which makes the total including service charge and tip around RMB350. There are many other treatments available, such as different types of massage and salt scrubs, as well as a whole list of services when you’re relaxing in the lounge area watching movies. Another great service that Queen Spa offers for foreigners is that they have English-speaking staff available who wear a badge saying ‘English’. When I approached the desk for booking my massage, an English-speaking member of staff came over straight away to assist me. He also checked on me once I was in the massage room to make sure I knew what to do about adding the tip and signing the receipt at the end of the massage, and to see if I would like some water to drink.
After an hour and a half of massage I was fully relaxed and ready for some food. Queen Spa also caters for this with a full restaurant in the centre of the lounge floor. Once again, the English-speaking staff member came over to check I had an English menu, help me choose what to eat and to take my order. As I don’t eat meat and I prefer food that isn’t very spicy, he was very helpful in finding something I would enjoy. Unfortunately, my first choice wasn’t available so he came back and arranged a different meal for me that was adapted from menu items. I ended up eating udon noodles with vegetables and seafood in a tasty sauce – simple yet delicious.
Finally I found myself a reclining chair and made myself comfortable. There was quite a selection of movies and TV shows available to choose from, some of which were very recent releases. From your chair you can order drinks, fruit, food and a variety of treatments, all while charging your phone and watching what you like snuggled up in your pyjamas and a blanket. Bliss!
The entrance fee for Queen Spa is RMB108 for 24 hours; however, if you spend over RMB189 on treatments during your visit – which is easily done! – the entrance fee is waived. All prices are detailed in treatment menus and on clear posters which usually have English as well as Chinese. One thing to be aware of is that all fees are subject to 13% service charge, which is not included in the menu price. This is one of the few places in Shenzhen where tips are expected – suggested amounts for tips are written on the receipt which you have to sign for each service. Even with the added tax and tips, prices are still reasonable for the service you get. You even have the choice of paying in RMB or HKD, and can pay by cash, card or WeChat.
I spent a lovely relaxing day at Queen Spa. The total cost was RMB631 for an aromatherapy full body massage, foot scraping, ear cleaning, dinner, soft drinks and a movie, and I was at the spa for around six and a half hours. You definitely get your monies worth here and I would certainly recommend it to anyone visiting or living in Shenzhen. It’s a fantastic experience!