Susie Rushton: Beauty queen

Saturday 09 February 2008 01:00 GMT

After taking a long-haul flight, two things happen to me on arrival. Firstly, I drink too much. Secondly, my entire body aches.

Sometimes the former cures the latter. And when it doesn't, I go and get a massage, usually a regular $20 footrub. If you're in Tokyo and the Suntory whisky isn't working, head over to the fifth floor of the sparkling new Armani Ginza tower where the designer has opened his first-ever spa. I admit, this isn't a treatment for those tight either of budget or of time. No £8 bikini waxes here; prices soar up to $600 for the longest treatments.

Even for the capital of luxe – which Tokyo indisputably is – this spa is swanky. The black-and-gold décor and whispery can-I-bring-you-a-pomegranate-juice service made me dizzy with indulgence. And the massage? Well, I can honestly say it was the best I ever had. There are only two options: the 'Armani Ceremony' for the face, or for the body (my choice). From the moment I was ushered into a black-lacquered boudoir where I changed into an Armani robe (don't mind if I do), to the preparatory washing of my feet (ditto) to the 90-minute pummelling of my entire body – using both Shiatsu and Swedish techniques – this was a treatment far beyond any other I've tried. The massage bed, slab of dark brown leather, was king-sized. The massage oil was infused with a volcanic mineral that Mr Armani himself dug up from his holiday home on the island of Pantelleria (not sure if I got that bit exactly right) and, post-massage, you're given fancy Armani beauty products so you look a bit less greasy when you step out onto the chic Harumi-Dori street. I left refreshed, dazed and unable to lift so much as a slither of fatty tuna to my lips for, like, minutes afterwards.

Appointments tel. +81 3 6274 7004

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in