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Soak it in: Shanghai’s top hot springs

As the mercury continues to drop, it’s easy to get stuck in your air-conditioned apartment, but do venture outside to visit one of Shanghai’s hot springs — possibly the only places more comforting than your own home. Zhang Yang and Yoyo He have checked them out.

Shanghai Pujiangyuan Resort

Located at Maogang Town in Songjiang District and adjacent to the Huangpu River, the resort is nestled in a naturally beautiful environment, right by a forest and the Yangtze Delta’s clean water. The hot spring water here is rich in strontium and metasilicic acid,
which can help ease cardiovascular diseases.

If you want to take your kids, it might be just the right option as there’s a little playground, a kid’s club and family room. To make it a more memorable experience, you can also take the little ones fishing, and spend the evening singing karaoke.

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Shanghai Zhigen Xuelanghu Resort

The resort sources its water from 208 meters under the ground, making it one of the spas in Shanghai with the most naturally-sourced water. Located right by a lake that attracts birds, it features an array of cozy rooms, from villas to deluxe and business suites and standard rooms. It’s perfect for a short weekend getaway in Songjiang

Be aware though that the hot springs are outdoors. It’s just a quick walk, but it can get a little chilly during the winter time.

You can choose between Sichuan and Guangdong cuisines in the resort’s Chinese restaurant that overlooks the picturesque lake or opt for the second restaurant that specializes in dishes from all across Southeast Asia.

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New Star Spa

Established in 2006, it is most likely the busiest spa in Shanghai. It’s a
Korean-style spa that’s proud to be the city’s first sauna club equipped with a
Korean floor heating system.

The three branches are open 24 hours. There are dozens of sauna rooms with varying temperatures and different features, and for the brave, ice rooms let the mercury drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius, guaranteeing a brisk refreshment.

Here, we recommend the Tianshan branch, as it is larger in space and doesn’t seem to get so over-crowded. There’s a larger number of pools, and a post-bath relaxation area with heat rooms that look like a Hobbit house.

The Tianshan branch also offers screenings of the latest films at an inhouse
theater, manicures at the nail salon and a restaurant serving Korean dishes.

The Gubei branch seems to be mostly frequented by Korean and Japanese families, although it is getting more popular among Chinese families as well. It’s a bit busy and too colorful for real relaxation, as white pajamas have been replaced by pink and orange ones.

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Gokurakuyu is perfect for fans of Japanese hot springs as it combines rock baths, catering and entertainment for a whole day of relaxation.

A total of nine springs, all inspired and modelled after the well-known Japanese hot spring culture in a quiet and relaxing atmosphere. It’s one of the newest additions to Shanghai’s spa scene and considered one of the bestvalue options.

Comfy sofas invite you to rest and read a books or magazine, and for a snack you can head to the Japanese restaurant upstairs. We recommend the rock baths where (dressed) guests lie on heated rocks, which warm up your entire whole body.

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Wanyuan Qinghua Chi

This 24-hour bathhouse is easy to find as it is located on the third floor of Gumei shopping center in Minhang District. It’s much smaller than the branches of New Star Spa and Xiaonanguo that are nearby, but well worth a try as it is also less crowded.

Equipped with luxurious bathing areas for men and women with a number of heated pools to soak, it also has a sauna to sweat out the stress of a long day at work.

You can have access to an additional so-called hot spring that’s essentially a heated pool outdoors surrounded by rocks and wooden deck that makes for a brisk walk in
the winter. Massage treatments are available at a great price, including back scrubs, cupping therapy and foot treatments. A dinner buffet is also available.

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Banyan Tree Spa Shanghai

Despite being located right in the center of the city, it offers tranquility.
Upon entering, you are greeted by the smells of ginseng and sandalwood.
The spa is inspired by the Taoist philosophy of the Five Elements — wood,
fire, earth, metal and water — and the interaction of yin (cold) and yang

Herbs and other natural ingredients are used to stay true to age-old
medical traditions.

Therapists are typically trained in the hotel chain’s academies in Indonesia
and in Thailand — probably the reason why the spa has won several pan-Asian awards.

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