In 2002, BJ and Geraldine partnered with Mandala Spa in the Philippines’ world renowned Boracay Island to expand it into a full-scale resort spa, which has since received numerous accolades. In 2005, BJ moved to Shanghai where she soon identified the need for a professional day spa. Shui Urban Spa was born. Located on the top floor of Ferguson Lane in the middle of the tree-lined French Concession, Shui Urban Spa is a modern, hip city retreat that does not sacrifice substance for style, and where much thought is put into customers’ overall comfort.





Who put forward the interior design ideas for Shui Urban Spa?

Shui Urban Spa’s stunning contemporary design is a departure from the traditional, tropical-style theme of most spas in China and throughout Asia – our look is quite unique and we believe it is more representative of a hip, fashion-forward city such as Shanghai. The end result is collaboration between the founders’ vision and the excellent execution of two other key people – our architect, Ms Popi Laudico, and our graphic designer, Mr John Macatulad. Our design theme is  “white-on-white-on-shadows”,  combined with playful references to our name, “shui”. We chose white because it is clean, pure and calming, much as a spa should be. Emphasis on textures, shadows and mood lighting make the spa more inviting. There are also numerous references to our name “shui” in the design – some very obvious, and others a bit more tongue-in-cheek! We also introduced the rubber ducks to the design because they’re fun and welcoming – sometimes, design-conscious spas have a tendency to become too serious and intimidating. The ducks remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, and to have fun.





Why did you choose to open your spa in an old Western-style mansion?

We chose this building in the French Concession because we think its character and personality make it more interesting from a design perspective.  Equally importantly, we think the location gives the spa a very inviting “neighborhood vibe” that guests would want to come back to over and over again. We are aiming to set Shui Urban Spa apart as the favored urban spa escape for Shanghai’s resident local and expatriate community, so it was important to us that our guests feel comfortable and at home enough here to want to come on a regular basis.




Who are Shui’s main clients?

Shui Urban Spa targets discerning spa enthusiasts, those who go to spas regularly for face and skin maintenance and relaxation. We cater to both local and expatriate residents, male and female, and the occasional tourist groups. We believe our menu is one of the most comprehensive in Shanghai, and attracts a wide variety of guests to Shui Urban Spa. In addition to facials, body treatments, waxing services and nail care, we also have treatments that are customized for gentlemen and pregnant women – very few spas in Shanghai have all of these treatments under the same roof.  Because we aim to provide  “affordable luxury,”  our guests do not have to spend a lot for spa treatments. Our very popular Essential Facial, which uses Dermalogica products, is very affordable at RMB 450, especially since it incorporates almost half an hour of massage in the treatment  (back, arms and hands, neck and shoulders).  Our Four Hands Massage, wherein two professional massage therapists work together in a choreographed manner to heighten the massage experience, for double the relaxation and tension relief in half the time, priced very reasonably at RMB 690.



What teas do you serve your guests as you welcome them?

We serve calamansi, which is similar to a lemon but is smaller, round and green in color, with a slight hint of sweetness. It is a fruit that is indigenous to Southeast Asia.