Spa review: Chuan Body + Soul offers Hong Kong’s first bee venom facial

Updated on May 19 2017

The Langham Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui recently decked itself out with a fresh new 6,500-square-foot wellness floor, complete with a fitness centre, revamped rooftop pool area, sauna and steam facilities and, of course, a new spa programme. Opening officially just a month ago, Chuan Body + Soul is a cosier offshoot from the venerable Chuan Spa at sister hotel Cordis Hong Kong in Mong Kok, with only two treatment rooms here instead of the expansive facilities you’ll find at the Cordis.

Chuan Body + Soul

Following the style of Chuan Spas all around the world, the spa programme also incorporates the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) from Chinese philosophy, which is evident from the decor’s modern oriental touches to the signature Chuan facials and massages. Following Feng Shui principles, the space follows a relaxing earth-tone motif, and facilities are mostly symmetrically placed, such as the window-facing spa treatment bed, with plenty of harmonious space all around.

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Chuan Body + Soul

The opening of Chuan Body + Soul also coincided with the spa’s exclusive launch of its Heaven by Deborah Mitchell facial treatment range — it’s set to be the only spa to offer such treatments in Hong Kong. Focusing on organic and herbal remedies, Deborah Mitchell’s line contains her exclusively patented ingredient Abeetoxin, extracted from bee venom, and has been found to naturally mimic the effects of Botox — without any needles of course.

The result? The line features powerful firming products for ladies looking to reduce fine lines, bloat, and target the loss of supple skin. It’s said to give instantaneous results. They were right.

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Chuan Body + Soul

As I laid down to try the signature Bee Sting Facial Therapy (HK$1,380, 75 minutes), also known as the “natural face lift”, I was comfortably swaddled in the blankets as my therapist quickly explained the procedure and how the Abeetoxin worked: The toxin works to increase blood flow in the skin, meanwhile the ritual incorporates lots of massaging movements to tighten underlying muscles, ultimately stimulating collagen and elastin production — which I’m sure is what all women above the age of 25 love to hear.

She warned me of a slight tingling sensation when she would apply the products containing Abeetoxin, which raised my expectations a little too much, and I began to fear that my face would swell up like a massive bee sting allergy at the end of the 75 minute facial. Well, it was too late to hesitate then.

What ensued was a series of bright and floral smelling cleansers, toners, serums all tailored to my skin type, wherein my skin particularly drank up the Bee Polish used for dehydrated skin. In between, rather than wet cotton pads — as is the norm in many Hong Kong spas — my therapist used soothing hot towels as massaging compresses to clean each layer of product before the next, as well as ironing out my tense shoulders and neck at the same time.

While I was told to expect a tingling sensation, any that I experienced went away within a matter of seconds as the therapist continued to work the product into my skin. I could barely feel the featherlight hydrating and firming and bee toxin masks as they were left to set, as my attention was directed to a firm yet relaxing lower leg massage which felt as if all the tiredness was squeezed out from my body. The whole treatment ended with a few drops of oil serum and a lightly tinting Bee Bee Cream moisturiser, which contains silk, hyaluronic acid and bee venom, as well as a hint of SPF.

Chuan Body + Soul

I emerged from the dark room feeling ironed out but refreshed. Any imagination of a puffy bee-stung face went away, and instead, I got a rosy, relaxed glow. With glossier skin, my cheeks were now taut to touch, and a miraculously sharpened V-shape appeared where my bloated and tired jawline was just over an hour before. If the words bee venom caused slight apprehension before, I am now a happy convert.

Another highlight on the new spa menu is the Heaven by Deborah Mitchell Bee Peel Facial (HK$780, 30 minutes), which is reportedly the first of its kind to launch in Asia — incorporating Heaven products that use ingredients such as organic coconut, apple, raw sugar cane and glycolic acid to deliver plenty of exfoliation. So if you’re looking for a quick but powerful fix to slough off the dullness and city pollution off your skin (we know we always are), this alternative treatment might be worth a try.

Part of a single-floor health complex, Chuan Body + Soul spa doesn’t give you the grand feeling and exclusivity that you get at its larger sister spa in Mong Kok, especially if you like staying in its VIP relaxation lounge after your treatment — here, the relaxation area is just outside the treatment room, and half a hallway from the changing rooms. However, Body + Soul brings the flawless, friendly Langham brand hospitality with it and most importantly, delivers spectacular results.

Chuan Body + Soul, 15/F, The Langham Hong Kong, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2132 7880