Dragonfly Therapeutic Massage Retreat, Beijing, China

DragonFly Forbidden CityI was in Beijing, China, for some work recently and I had web-surfed for Beijing spa and massage reviews prior to my trip as I had a very packed work schedule and yet did not want to miss out on good spa and massage opportunities in Beijing, China.

One name that constantly popped up in my web-engine search for Beijing spa and massage venues with positive reviews was the name, Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreat. I made a mental note to fit a trip to DragonFly into my tight schedule.

Beijing remains an ultra-large, busy and bustling city especially with the Summer Olympics just a couple of months away. I managed to find some free time in my schedule and as soon as possible, rushed down to DragonFly. I was hoping against hope that I would not be disappointed. I had been disappointed by many highly acclaimed and reviewed spa previously!

Reception AreaDragonfly Therapeutic Retreat in Beijing is located in a small lane near to the famous historical Forbidden City along a row of restored historical old houses. If taking a taxi, simply tell the taxi driver to go to the Forbidden City or Dong Chen Men (East City Gate) and you can’t miss the place. (See first photo for how the entrance looks like)

I came hopeful but was prepared to be mentally disappointed. To my joy, this time round, I hit ‘Jackpot‘ and was not disappointed at all! DragonFly really live up to it’s reputation as a delightful massage palor.

Dragonfly is not very big in size but I rate it’s service and massage quality as comparable to any top-class spa. The decor of DragonFly is old Chinese, the mood relaxing and the service attitude of their masseurs as first-class. Prices are moderate and business, at 3pm on a weekday, was very good with a constant stream of both local Chinese and foreign tourists coming in and out.

The Rest AreaDragonFly offers typical Chinese traditional massage, foot massage, Shiatsu, aromatherapy and other popular massage services. What was different was that they have packages where more than one masseurs work on your body at the same time – very much like the Thai ‘4-hands massage’.

I chose such a package – the Royal Delight – which starts with an hour of foot massage and then an hour of traditional Chinese body massage.

The foot massage started with a foot-bath and then a foot massage. While one masseur was working on my foot, at the same time, another masseur was behind me, massaging my head, neck and shoulder. Call it the ultimate relaxation package! I had the massage room all to myself but eventually had to share it with another 5 Caucasian tourists and from their bemused look, were apparently having a foot massage for the first time in their life!

Foot Massage RoomAfter my foot massage, I was led to another small room which had it’s own individual massage bed. Then, it was another hour of good, solid Chinese Body Massage or Tui-Na. Nothing beats Tui-Na from a good, dedicated Chinese masseur with a positive smile on her face all the time.

All too soon the massage was over and I had to return to the reception area. I was served Chinese tea and paid for my treatment in cash. It was RMB360 or about US$45 for a two hour massage session attended by three committed masseurs! Wow!

As I left DragonFly, customers continued to stream in, and I made a mental note that I must recommend it to my follow spa enthusiasts. So, if you are ever in Beijing, and going to the Forbidden City is a must-have if you are ever visiting Beijing, make sure you visit this wonderful little massage boutique near the East Gate of the Forbidden City!

Note: It is indicated in their brochure that they have branches in Shanghai and Suzhou in China as well as branches in Norway and Dubai!

Location of Dragonfly @ the Forbidden City
No. 60 Donghuamen Ave., Dong Cheng district, Beijing, China
Size: Small massage boutique palor with multiple rooms
Facilities: Rest area, toilet

Friendliness: Extremely polite staff and massage therapists.
Pricing: Ranges from US$15 to US$40 for massage only. Between US$85 to US$175 for massage, beauty or detox packages.

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Lose weight fast with a ‘Personal Fitness Trainer’!

Are you always losing that ‘fitness war’ of mind over matter?

Have you looked at the bulge over your stomach and felt despair? Do you feel lethargic all the time? Do you go breathless after climbing a couple of staircases?

How many times have you promised yourself that you will go to the gym, take a swim or jog around your neighbourhood but had always gave yourself an excuse and wriggle out of it?

We all know that we need to exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and that’s why gyms are in vogue. However, how many of us will actually drive or take a bus to the gym? Even when we are at the gym, do we know what is the correct exercise we need to do to achieve our desired fitness? Can we maintain that discipline to exercise regularly?

Sure, we can always hire a fitness instructor or a personal trainer to train and to push us. Do you know how much an hour with a personal trainer cost? US$75 to US$120. That’s right. Two hours per session, three times a week will easily set you back US$600! How many of us have that kind of money even if we have that kind of desire to keep fit?

I was recently recommended to this program – Bodybot software. A personal fitness trainer by the name of Ryan Lee had designed a virtual program that ensure a ‘personal fitness trainer’ is always at your beck and call.

In a nutshell, this is how it works:

  1. Log onto a website – Choose a desired fitness goal
  2. Select from the recommended exercise routines
  3. Set the music
  4. Wala… a ‘fitness trainer’ appears and lead you through your exercise routines!

How much easier can it be? You can choose to exercise whenever you want in the comfort of your own home with your desired fitness goal – be it to lose fat, gain upper body strength, promote joint flexibility or better cardio-respiratory strength!

A list of fitness routines according to your desired fitness goal will be recommended to you and you can choose or design these routines differently each time so that you are never bored by the same routines. In addition, a ‘real life fitness trainer’ exercise along with you so that you can ensure that you are doing the right kind of exercise!

If you had always wanted to keep fit but lack the technique or the discipline, here’s your chance to try out this unique training program.

I understand that this software is causing a sensation with home fitness enthusiasts in the USA and I have downloaded a free trial myself. Why don’t you try it out yourself too – after all, there is a 8 week trial period for you to decide if this program is suitable for you. If you have always been hesitating about your fitness goals – hesitate no more – try out this software now! Click to learn more about the software.

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Review: Riyuegu Natural Hotspring Spa Resort – II

Spa EntranceRiyuegu Hotsprings Spa Resort is really one resort in two physical locations. There is the resort hotel on one side of the road and a hot-spring theme park and spa retreat on the other side of the road. (Please see previous article for more details about the resort hotel)

Generally, if you are a hotel guest, you are likely to move between the two physical locations but if you are a visiting local, you are likely to visit the theme park only. You can take a hourly shuttle bus from Xiamen or drive directly via a highway and parking is free in the large surface carpark. It is obviously a popular destination for Xiamen families, group of friends and the courting couple to spend half to a day here.

EntranceThe Riyuegu Hotsprings Spa Theme-Park offers the paying public a choice of over 100 outdoor pools with 40 different choices of natural hot spring water for a relaxing soak.

These 40 different types of pools have various types of spices and extracts (milk, rose, lemon, ginger, peppermint and all sorts of tea etc) mixed into their natural hot spring water. Unlike many other ‘hot spring’ operators in China, we were assured that the spring water here is the real stuff and not water from the pipe or a mixture of spring and tap water.

Spa choicesAll the hotspring pools were tastefully secluded from each other to allow for private enjoyment. You can actually walk around in your bathing suit to wander from one hot tub to another. If you fancy some fish therapy, the Fish Pool has an additional charge.

You can also have your massage done at an additional cost RMB40 (about $5) for a half hour. The massage is performed with you lying on top of a giant stone slab that is heated by hot spring water underneath.

There are also written explanation on each hotspring for user to understand what each hotspring contains and its therapeutic effect. We were really amazed at how big the hotspring park is. The hotspring theme-park opens from 3pm to 1am during summer and 12noon to 1am during winter.

Members of the public pays a flat RMB118 (about US$17) or RMB168 (about US$24) with a buffet dinner and gets to enjoy all the facilities in the hot-spring theme park. The park also provides free bathing suits, towels and bathing soaps and gels – so don’t bother to bring anything; just come as you are!

Spa ReceptionSlightly aside from the hotspring theme park is the spa retreat. Guests at the spa retreat do not mind spending a bit more for their own private room which also comes with a outdoor hot-spring bath. Private massage services are also available in the room. The minimum charge for the usage of private room is approximately RMB210 (US$30) & RMB260 (US$ 37) for small & big rooms respectively. For those guests who also choose a spa package treatment, the room fee will be waived.

Hot spring bathMy husband and I chose to do our spa treatment at the spa retreat. I opted for a 210 mins Aromatic Treatment Package which included a hot spring milk bath, body polish, body wrap, floral water spray and a 60 mins of aromatherpy massage.

The entire package cost us RMB1020 (@ US$144) for 2 persons, 4-hour spa/massage package in a private treatment room. (YES! There is no mistake!)

Massage RoomWe were led by our friendly masseur to our treatment room. The treatment room was extremely spacious, nicely decorated with both natural and dimmed artificial lights and divided into a wet and dry area. Clearly, a lot of careful and detailed planning had gone into the interior design!

The hot spring stone bath tub was simply the biggest I have seen in a personal room.

ShampooThe hot-spring bath lies directly under an open ceiling. As you soak in the hot bath tub, you are able to star-gaze during the night. At the end of the massage treatment, light snacks (sandwiches, fruit platter and a dessert soup) were served to guests in the treatment room. You could also order additional food and we did order a delicious black chicken soup with abalone, Xiamen dumplings and bean-curd skin shrimp roll. Most delicious!

TapsYou could tell that the owner and management of this spa resort had spent a lot of time, money, energy and effort in adding little touches to this resort.

It is always easy to hire the best interior designers and buy the best decorations to do up a good-looking resort but small, little touches such as bamboo containers for the shampoo, wooden combs, bright happy-coats, distinct wet and dry areas, bamboo screens for privacy and star-gazing outdoor spa pool can only be a result of much observations and considerations by the spa operator towards the comfort and enjoyment of the customer.

Again, if you ask me to be really fussy, the only thing that I do not like about the spa was that there is a time limit for you to relax in the room after treatment. You were only given a short 30 minutes to finish your food, change up and soak in the lush sofa. This put a sudden pressure on the guest to rush off after nearly 4 hours of peace, quiet and bliss!

If you are transiting through Xiamen or already staying in a hotel in Xiamen, make sure you check out the hotspring theme park or the spa retreat. You will certainly enjoy the facilities and treatments here. If you are planning a visit to Xiamen, why not choose to stay at the Riyuegu Spa Resort hotel. You will enjoy the resort and there are hourly shuttles to Xiamen so that you can shop, play and enjoy in Xiamen as well!

Location of Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort:
1888 Fulian Road, Haicang District, Xiamen, China 361027
Size of Resort: One luxury hotel, one hotspring theme-park, one spa retreat
Facilities: Multiple luxurious spa facilities

Friendliness: Extremely polite resort staff and massage therapists.
Pricing: About US$17 for hotspring theme park entrance fee. Massage treatment ranges from US$15 to US$40. Between US$85 to US$175 for spa, beauty or detox packages.

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Riyuegu Hotspring Spa Resort, Xiamen, China

I have been to Xiamen, China, several times but had missed the chance to visit this well-known Riyuegu Hot Springs Spa Resort in Xiamen each time due to one reason or another.

Riyuegu Hot Springs Resort is very famous natural hot spring spa resort in Xiamen, China and had been extremely well-reviewed in travel and spa magazines.

Riyuegu Hotspring Resort
Entrance to the Hotel

Hence, in my recent trip to Xiamen, I made sure that I set aside at least 2 free days to visit Riyuegu Hot Springs Resort. I was so determined that I must visit this spa resort this time that even before my trip, I booked my accommodation online to ensure I had no further reasons not to go to this resort.

Riyuegu Hot Springs Spa Resort is probably one of the nicest spa resort in Southern China. From previous written web and magazine reviews, I was aware that it is owned and managed by a Singapore company. The resort offers a 4 star class luxury hotel and just across a busy highway on the other side is the outdoor hot springs theme park and a spa retreat. An electrical golf-cart shuttles you between the two locations if you need to travel between the two.

The grand lobby

Hotel Lobby

In my opinion, the hotel should be rated 5 stars as I feel that the whole hotel resort was very well done-up with nice landscaping, elegant interior decoration, very clean and had pleasant and helpful staff.

The hotel rooms at Riyuegu Hot Springs Spa Resort are beautifully decorated, spacious, modern and all bathrooms has a large stone bath tub with piped-in hot spring water. This is the best part… hotel guests can enjoy a hot spring bath in the room if they wanted more privacy or perhaps too lazy to go across the road to the hotspring theme park. The hotel also has a very nice outdoor swimming pool for guests to relax to. There is also a Western and Chinese restaurant.

The biggest drawback, if I can nit-pick, about Riyuegu Hot Springs Resort is that the whole resort is located in an industrial zone and Xiamen city is about a half hour drive away. For hotel guests, you can’t go or do anything else except stay and enjoy the facilities within the hotel or spa. But then again, if you are really looking for a spa resort to get away from civilization… well then, this is it!

(Note: A travel website review that I read before arriving at Riyuegu described the resort as being surrounded by lush greenery and scenic countryside all around. Don’t believe that review … it is all factories and industrial buildings once you move away from the resort!)

Riyuegu Hot Springs Spa Resort has two spas. One is located within the hotel and the other is located across the road together with the hotspring theme park. Both spas offer almost the same spa, beauty and detox treatments and has similar prices. The difference is …. treatments done in the hotel spa are subjected to a 15% government tax but not at the spa retreat for hotel and non-hotel guests alike. (Hint from me: Now you know where you should have your massage!)

The Hotel Resident Spa

Entrance to the Spa

The hotel spa has a relaxing lounge whereby after your treatment, you can rest and relax at the lounge as long as you want. The hotel spa also offers a oxygen spa treatment room which the spa at the hotspring theme park does not.

I must say that I was very impressed with Riyuegu Hot Springs Spa Resort. It is definitely worth a trip as the facilities are fabulous, services good and prices, simply affordable – compared to other large cities around Asia.

I highly recommend this spa resort for jaded spa enthusiasts who want to try something different other than their usual spa holidays to Bangkok, Bali, Penang, Ko Samui or Phuket.

Spa Reception

The grand Spa Reception

Compared to a typical beach resort, the entire Riyuegu Spa resort is supplied with natural underground hotspring water, (even in the hotel rooms) which is said to contain minerals that are good for the skin and body. Definitely a plus point over beach-side spa resorts which may actually cost harm to the skin and body if one is not careful to be exposed too much to the sun.

Getting There
Situated just half an hour drive from downtown Xiamen, Riyuegu Hot Springs Spa Resort offers a shuttle service pick up hourly at the carpark opposite SM Square (Fuxia Road, nearer to Kentucky Fried Chicken).

Coming Up…
Watch out for our next article as we reiew the Riyuegu hotspring theme park.

Location of Riyuegu Hotsprings Resort:
1888 Fulian Road, Haicang District, Xiamen, China 361027
Size of Resort: One luxury hotel, one hotspring theme-park, one spa retreat
Facilities: Multiple luxurious spa facilities

Friendliness: Extremely polite resort staff and massage therapists.
Pricing: Ranges from US$15 to US$40 for massage only. Between US$85 to US$175 for spa, beauty or detox packages.

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