Sybarites are the Kerry Hotel’s business

Jonathan Porter
The Kerry Hotel in Pudong, Shanghai China, is made for sybarites.

It says on their website that it caters for business travellers and so forth, but really it exists to spoil its guests. With great food in world class restaurants, awesome beer and one of the best spas in the business.

And let’s face it, while not 100 per cent sybarite these days I do rather tend to the sybaritic.

I am in the ready area, seated next to a fellow guest who has had the good sense to come down from his room freshly showered and wearing his bathrobe and slippers. What a pro, I think sitting there in my jeans and RMs. Maximising the rubdown time, I mean, and minimizing the fiddle faddle.

Initially I’m introduced to a male masseur but I immediately put the kibosh on him – I’ve always been irrationally disturbed about being rubbed down by one of my brethren so I’m then introduced to Linda.

Unlike my new spa pro fellow guest, I’m directed by Linda straight to the changeroom where I stand underneath the rain shower and immediately start to relax. A day’s worth of city grime and perspiration disappears down the drain. Finished and feeling relatively rejuvenated already, I come out and say: “Sorry I was so long.’’

“My English not so good,’’ she says. “That’s OK.” I say. She smiles beatifically.

See what I mean? How can a male masseur compete with that?

The massage is a full deep tissue work out with lots of gentle stretching inspired by Wudang Wushu an ancient form of Chinese martial arts and finishes with those little karate chops, just like in movies.

It ends with me groggily sipping ginger tea on the edge of Linda’s soft workbench and I leave, reeelaxed with at least three es.
I am asked to fill in an after action report.

I tick all excellents and make no comments. How can this service be improved except perhaps by giving Linda a payrise?

At Kerry Sports, there is also a massive pool, jacuzzi, a sauna and steam room. I can’t find the last two, no doubt being too dazed by Linda’s ministrations.

There is a kids Adventure Zone, which, (and this will come as no blinding shock to those familiar with my maturity level), I do try out.

There is a slide that drops vertically about three stories. I go on it because it seems like a good opportunity to take an absurd chance with my life to no purpose.

All I can say is I’m glad when I finally come to a stop.
The Kerry is very kid-friendly and the Adventure Zone caters for children in all age groups.

Lastly, there is a running track on the roof, tennis court and a massive gymnasium, or sweating place as I call it, which attracts people from all over Pudong and Shanghai. It operates 24/7, and possesses four activity zones comprising more than 80 pieces of state-of-the-art exercise equipment. Additional recreation facilities include four exercise studios for aerobics, spinning, yoga, hot yoga and Pilates, whatever they may be.

I also take a one hour tai-chi class and I’m amazed at the strenuous workout the instructor gives me. When I finish (this is before the massage), I’m covered with a lather of froth where other people would perhaps have perspiration and I’m well ready for Miss Linda, a shower and the deep tissue massage.

Kerry Spa
The Kerry Hotel
No.1388 Hua Mu Road
Pudong, Shanghai
201204, China
T: (86 21) 6169 8888
F: (86 21) 6169 8899

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