After pounding Xiamen’s pavements in pursuit of benevolent Buddhas and the ultimate duck congee, it’s fair to say some spa time is in order. Here’s our prescription: hit the Riyuegu Hotsprings to soak in your choice of more than 100 rejuvenating pools and other water treatments. Take your pick among a salt- or mushroom-infused sauna, a tea-enriched hot bath, or a bubbling “massage pool” with jets that purportedly aid in soothing aches and trimming waistlines. Kids, meanwhile, can splash around in a family-friendly pool strewn with giant rubber rafts, or taking a turn in the “exfoliation tub,” succumbing to giggle fits as tiny fish nibble at their toes (a favored all-natural pedicure technique). You can follow up your soaks and steams with a traditional Thai or Swedish massage—either outdoors or in a private room. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, indulge in Riyuegu’s evening buffet, overflowing with literally hundreds of dishes, or keep it simple and order off the a la carte menu. Particularly tasty are the soft-boiled farm eggs floating in a vapor-shrouded bowl of sesame-scented chicken soup, decorated with thin rice threads. Know before you go: Weekend mornings and afternoons are the busiest times, and the optimal choice for families; singles or couples should plan an evening or weekday visit for a more serene experience. Towels, lockers, slippers, and showers with basic toiletries are provided; robes may be rented and inexpensive swim caps (required in certain pools) can be purchased at the gift shop.
Riyuegu Hotsprings is a 40-minute taxi ride from the Conrad. On the return trip, ask the spa’s reception desk to call a taxi; alternatively, hop on the shuttle bus that departs every half-hour (10 a.m.–midnight) and drops guests off at the Xiagu Ferry bus station.