I have always been a fan of yellow wine; heating up a small bottle with ginger and huamei, sitting next to the heater, and drinking it while I enjoy hairy crab with stir-fried side dishes. A classic Chinese supper, what more could one ask for? Winter evenings aren’t nearly as frosty and foreboding with some warm yellow wine by your side.
A few years ago, we went to Pandear for their West Lake Green Tea Spa, and it was very memorable. As evidenced by the preceding sentence. The owner, Ms. Zhang, has been searching out different spa treatments for years, and since there is a wine spa in France and a sake spa in Japan, why not make a yellow wine spa right here in Hangzhou?
The first thing you see walking into the new Pandear EAC branch is an ancient wooden door and a small pond on the left, smattered with lotus. Their friendly staff will greet you, and serve you tea while you peruse your options. There are 7 spa rooms in total, all of which are nicely decorated with wooden beds and bathtubs. There is even one room especially prepared for couples.
I was taken into a rose scented room could smell from the corridor. The massage bed is in the middle of the room, a big wooden bath tub in the corner, and a separated shower room on the right. The light was dim, the music was quiet, and the room was full of the mixed fragrance of roses and yellow wine.
I took off my clothes, and sunk into a rose petal- covered bathtub. The water was hot enough to warm the blood in my body. My face began to flush, and my skin reddened, while I focused contemplatively on the beads of sweat percolating about my brow as they travelled done my body into the petal-strewn pool below. Xiao Feng, the masseuse, began to pour a mixture of rose oil, yellow wine, and mixed herbs into the tub, then she handed me a cup of yellow wine to drink. I could taste a hint of rose oil in the wine, as the sweet alcohol kept tickling my tongue, I indulged myself. The smell and the feel of yellow wine, like the Chinese say, “jiu bu zui ren ren zi zui” (Wine does not intoxicate people; people intoxicate themselves).
After twenty minutes of immersion and sweating, I felt detoxified, and Xiao Feng, guided me over to the table for some more, which was draped in a large plastic sheet. She began to cover my whole body in a special mixture of rice film, rose oil, and enzymes. Gently, from head to toe, breast to back, she coated me, and then she wrapped me in the plastic sheet, and for the next twenty minutes, I began to sweat so much, I could feel every inch of my skin, every pore, even every finger and every toe pouring with sweat. It was so relaxing.
After a quick shower to wash off the mixture, Xiao Feng proceeded with a massage that is supposed to rejuvenate one’s meridians. Her strong hands kept working pressure points on my shoulders, neck, back, waist, legs, bum, belly, breasts, arms, and head. I felt that if I could just fall asleep, even just for a short while, I know I would wake up feeling reborn. The warmth of the yellow wine coupled with the thoroughness of the massage helped to dredge and reinvigorate my meridians. I’m told this is especially important for a women’s health and beauty. I awoke an hour later with my skin fully moisturized, and my body full of energy. I was ready to take on the world and ready to do so with a body soaked in the fragrance of yellow wine and rose. I have never felt so refreshed and relaxed.
The whole package includes: bath, body mask, massage, and facial. The price is around 2,000RMB. They also provide spa services for men, but make sure you call to make a reservation before you go. English service available.