Originally from Birmingham, England, Ava has been living in Shenzhen on South China's tropical South East coast since 2013.
Entrance To Queen Spa, Luohu, Shenzhen
Why I Wanted To Go
The pain shooting down my neck and spreading across my shoulders was becoming unbearable.
I grimaced as sharp and unpredictable muscle spasms contorted my body. To make matters worse, my discomfort was all happening in public.
My friend, (laughing at my plight, naturally), said the magic words. '24 Hour Spa with steam room, sauna and massage.'
I felt another jab of pain; 'How much?'
That sealed the deal.
The previous day had been spent lugging heavy books around town and now my muscles were paying the price. I hated being in pain so, after a year of avoiding the unknown, it was time to try yet another new side of China.
Interior Of Day Spa
Treatments On Offer
I'm not exaggerating when I say that there are so many lovely, wonderful pampering opportunites!
Have every tight knot eased from your msucles with massages specifically for isolated parts of the body; back, neck, shoulders, feet, hands or arms. Opt for a full body scrub with your choice of herbs and lotions.
Mix and match the massages with time in the steam room for dry sauna or the separate wet sauna, both infused with aromatherapy oils and as many towels and cups of water as you wish.
Dip into the plunge pool which has warm water on the ladies side but cold water on the men's. Or, if you prefer, ask nicely and the staff will pour you an individual bath in a custom built wooden tub, like something you'd find in an Alpine hut atop a Swiss mountain. They'd probably do it even if you didn't ask nicely, but 'manners maketh man,' as my mother always said.
When you're through with the sauna area you're given complimentary pyjamas, robe and slippers. There are also wrapped toothbrushes and toothpaste, individual wash basins, along with body creams, shampoos, curling iron stations and just about everything you need to help you look as good as you feel.
Other Amenities At The Chinese 24 Hour Spa
In another section of the spa individual TV screens grace the relaxation couches with a copious choice of channels, including American, English and French TV along with a few radio stations.
When you're ready to take a nap, before beginning the sauna and massages all over again (remember you can stay there for up to 24 hours per visit so it's perfectly okay to go round a few times), a blanket seems to magically appear allowing you to drift off in perfect comfort. If you'd rather sleep in a real bed instead of on your lounger, those are also provided.
Snacks such as pastries, a variety of tropical fruits, tea, coffee, water and other beverages are available throughout the day and night.
For a different type of relaxation there's a pool table and, some Spas also have table-tennis. For simply surfing or catching up on work or the outside world there's wi-fi and a free internet cafe.
With all of these facilities you may not feel like going home!
What Are The Benefits?
Summer in China gets incredibly hot and despite the proliferation of air conditioning units, your skin pores can become clogged leading to Prickly Heat and other discomforts. Hence the spa, with its massage treatments and sauna rooms, is a great and very natural way to keep your skin cool and your pores open.
Spas can also be a wonderful retreat from the busy-ness of China. They're so reasonably priced that many people visit every week. Although many of the areas are communal, apart from the separate saunas and plunge pools for men and women, you can pay a little extra for a private two-bedded room where you can relax after your sauna and have a neck, foot, shoulder or hand massage.
Other added benefits are softer skin, feeling totally chilled and a general sense of well-being.
Your wallet will also be happy as it won't have taken a big hit like it probably would for a similar facility in the West.
Useful Venues Close To Shenzhen's 24 Hour Spas
How Much Does It All Cost? And Should I tip?
Prices vary slightly between spas but you can expect to be pleasantly surprised by just how cheap they actually are.
Unlike Chinese restaurants, hotels and taxis, you will be required to tip when visiting a Chinese spa. This is because the massage staff are on commission with no basic pay. However the system may be a little different to what you're used to.
For example, when selecting your massage/s you'll be given a very reasonable price list along with a menu of tipping rates ranging incrementally from 40% up to 100%. After your massage you're asked to sign a payment slip which allows you to check the amount of tip you'd like to give. This is added to your total bill, which includes entry fee and any food eaten, which you then pay on your way out.
24 Hour Spas Are Very Popular In Asia
A Comprehensive Look At Fees For A 24 Hour Spa
|Purpose of the fee||Price in Chinese RMB||Price in US Dollars||Price in British Pounds|
Neck, shoulder, hand and foot massage including 50% tip
Large fruit platter
Spas Form A Necessary Component In Maintaining Good Health
Images Of China's 24 Hour Spas
I Loved It Here!
Queen Spa & Dining Address
Address:B1/F-5/F,Golden Metropolis Bldg, Chunfeng Road, Luoho, Shenzhen
Business Hour:24 hours
Payment:CashTel:0755-8225 3888(深圳) / 00852 8101 0310(香港)
Can't Wait To Go Back
24 hour spas are big business in China. They provide a valued place of employment for skilled workers and a welcome respite for patrons.
As far as I know there's nothing like them in the UK, probably due to lack of demand caused by a significantly lower population. Even the popular 24 hour supermarkets only see a handful of customers in the wee small hours of the morning. Conversely the huge Chinese population ensures a steady flow of grateful users coming to the spa.
If it's your first time, prices are usually clearly displayed and explained to you every step of the way and the same with the procedure. You won't ever have to stand clueless in the middle of the room, clutching your towel and wondering what to to do or where to go while everyone else seems to know what's what. Staff are used to newbies as well as seasoned customers and they will gently guide you through.
Chinese is the main language spoken, but most spas will have at least one or two members of staff who speak English.
If you're planning a visit to China, make sure a visit to a 24 hour spa is on your list because life is just too short to have regrets.
Ava Ming (author) from Shenzhen, China on March 16, 2016:
Yep, the 24 hour, unrushed spa really makes a difference. Thanks for taking the time to comment, manatita44
manatita44 from london on March 16, 2016:
I could really do with the spa and the massage. The sauna and some more comforts as well. Enjoy yourself, girl. Good on you.
Ava Ming (author) from Shenzhen, China on March 16, 2016:
I agree, Patty. I'm really hoping that one opens up by the time I get back to England (-:
Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on March 16, 2016:
Thanks for this revealing look into the 24-hour spa business! Many people in the West could benefit from these spas, especially for keeping the body's joints moving more easily and cleansing toxins away. A long list of health benefits are likely to be had as well. I wonder which large US cities might support one of these businesses?-- It would be good to see one here.