Luxury Ecotourism in China: Discover Spa Resorts in Shanghai

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With the development of ecotourism in China in recent years, a new era of luxury has begun in the bustling metropolis of Shanghai. A city where the vibrant energy of the modern world meets the rich tapestry of Chinese tradition. Shanghai has learned to prioritize not only opulent accommodations but also the holistic well-being of its discerning guests. 

Shanghai’s wellness retreats are cutting-edge resorts combining ancient healing practices with contemporary indulgence to provide an unparalleled escape from the city.

In this post, we’ll explore what this modern city wonder has to offer for your body and mind. 

Ecotourism in Shanghai: What You Can Expect

If you are willing to leave the city behind, Shanghai offers a unique combination of luxury and respect for nature. Most of these resorts, both new and old, are situated in Moganshan, an area of bamboo-covered mountains. Although it had been abandoned, Monganshan had once been the backyard of Shanghai’s elite.

Now, with the Chinese government promoting wellness tourism, many entrepreneurs have decided to breathe life into Moganshan once again.

An excellent example of this trend is the 42-room luxury hotel “Le Pasage,” which fuses Chinese tradition with French idiosyncrasies. The main goal of Le Pasage is to provide a bespoke experience for clients looking to reconnect with nature in a luxury environment. 

In Shanghai, you will: 

  • Be surrounded by a quaint tea plantation 
  • Be able to go on mountain bike outings or 
  • Be able to quietly pick your own tea leaves
  • and much more

But the outwardly rustic exterior clashes with the comfort of the suites and outdoor heated pool. You will be able to achieve a different type of balance, with luxury but not decadence and nature without falling into the wild. 

Top 4 Wellness Resorts in Shanghai

Definitively, the crown jewels of Shanghai’s wellness movement are its exclusive luxury spas. 

We will present you with four of the best spas in the Pearl of the Orient. They were selected for their treatments, the hotel they are located in, and extra services.

Our exclusive list includes:

  • The Auriga Spa at the Capella Hotel.
  • Chi at Shangri-La.
  • W Shanghai’s AWAY Spa.
  • The PULI hotel and spa.

Let’s take a deep dive into each one.

Auriga Spa at the Capella Hotel

The Auriga Spa might just be the best spa in Shanghai, and that’s certainly not an easy accolade to get. The Spa is part of the exclusive Capella Hotel, the only Villa-style hotel in Shanghai.

Source: CapellaHotels

The spa is housed in one of the beautiful red brick villas. In this lavish retreat, you can find:

  • Seven exclusive treatment suites, two of which are specially designed for couples.
  • A relaxation lounge with everything you need to relax in between treatments.
  • A Swedish-style sauna and steam room.
  • A fully equipped gym.
  • A vitality pool, carefully crafted for your relaxation.
  • An exclusive movement studio, where you’ll be able to partake in multiple disciplines of yoga and pilates.
  • Flotation tanks, for deep meditation.
  • A “salt room” for halotherapy, where you’ll be surrounded by real Himalayan salt with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Besides its carefully curated facilities, Auriga is renowned for its exclusive wellness treatment, which perfectly combines cutting-edge technology with traditional Chinese medicine.

The treatment is tied to the cycles of the moon, passing through each of its four cycles, each bringing its own unique method for well-being. The new moon brings renewal and invigoration, but with each passing phase, you’ll find balance and nourishment, ending with detox during the full moon.

Yet, this wellness haven goes above and beyond. In addition to all that Auriga provides, its massage therapists have received training from direct disciples of the last Emperor’s own masseuses. 

Chi: the Spa at Shangri-La

Few buildings are as representative of Shanghai’s dual nature as the Shangri-La Hotel. A massive building, boasting a modern tower on the east side and a classic wing on the west. The Shangri-La will satisfy your every craving, whether you are looking for a slick modern suite or a more classical and homely one. But let’s focus on its marvelous spa: Chi. 

Chi’s name comes from “qi”, a traditional Chinese concept. Qi is the energy that flows within your body and keeps it healthy. Without a well-balanced and flowing qi, there can be no wellness.

Source: Shangri-la

And this spa is set to get your qi flowing with the utmost precision and luxury. The complex, located on the fourth floor of the hotel’s Grand Tower section, boasts:

  • A fully equipped gymnasium
  • Two full tennis courts
  • A thermoregulated swimming pool
  • A sauna and steam room
  • A hot whirlpool 

The spa also offers a variety of different treatments, from massage therapy to vigorous rubbings with tropical fruit-infused salt. The facility experts will guide you on which treatment is best for your body.


Another massive tower, the W Hotel in the Bund (Shanghai’s iconic waterside walk), has 42 distinct floors, all equipped for your luxury and comfort. This building used to be the first cinema in Shanghai but was rebuilt into a luxury hotel administered by the Marriot brand.

Source: Marriott

Compared with the other retreats on our list, AWAY is a more modern spa. Besides having a western-inclined aesthetic, it also takes a highly scientific approach to wellness treatments. As such, AWAY describes itself as more of a luxurious wellness clinic than a typical spa. 

With collaborations with prestigious brands such as Givenchy and Darphin, the spa goes the extra mile to meet the exceptionally high expectations of its discerning clientele.

AWAY has more rooms than most other deluxe spas, with 8 treatment suites, 4 of which are meant for couples. It also offers some of the most cutting-edge skin care treatments available, like high-pressure oxygen facial masks and the Israeli Versa facial machine. 

PULI Hotel and Spa’s UR Spa

Puli stands as a tranquil oasis and has earned a place among the top 20 hotels in China, as recognized by the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler awards. A first of its kind, the hotel offers quiet luxury in the middle of the city. Furthermore, Puli features a tower housing a premium shopping district -showcasing luxury brands-  and a culinary sector that boasts Michelin-starred restaurants. 

Source: Architonic

UR SPA is located on the 3rd floor of the PuLi hotel, and among its amenities are a state-of-the-art gym and a signature pool overlooking Jing’An Park.

The spa’s philosophy is perfectly encapsulated in its motto, “Modern science. Ancient healing.” It offers bespoke, result-driven treatments using Valmont’s organic formulations.

You can opt for a simple massage and skincare routine or partake in a lengthy, multilayered ritual lasting a whole day, leaving you renewed.

Key Takeaways

The luxury wellness resorts in Shanghai stand as veritable sanctuaries, where the chaotic energy of the metropolis gives way to serene havens of relaxation and rejuvenation. 

Amidst the towering skyscrapers and vibrant city life, these retreats offer an escape into a realm where time seems to slow. And the pulse of the city fades into a distant hum. The juxtaposition of the resorts’ calm against the lively pulse of Shanghai creates a balance that enriches the experience, taking you on a holistic journey.

This article was focused on a small part of all Shanghai has to offer. If you’re looking for luxury, then Shanghai has it to spare, and all of it is in our online index. Visit Bespoke list and create your very own luxury experience.

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