Hong Kong is by no means peaceful or quiet, unless you’re heading far away from the main suburbs. Which is exactly why you should book in for some “me time” at the spa when you’re making a pit stop. Read on to discover four must-visit locations in the bustling city that are second to none.
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
Located in one of the busiest hubs of Hong Kong, the Mandarin Oriental Landmark is a luxurious sanctuary that may be compact in size compared to its older sibling Mandarin Oriental just around the corner, but its spa is one of the best we’ve seen in the city. In addition to 15 treatment rooms, the two-level spa also offers access to amethyst crystal steam rooms, experience showers (where jets stem from the ceiling and walls), saunas, relaxation rooms, ice fountains, vitality pools, and another indoor pool and fitness centre, truly making it a one-stop shop that you’ll refuse to leave. While it is recommended for you to arrive half an hour before your treatment to shower and get into your fluffy bathrobe, we arrived even earlier (we’re talking two hours in advance) so we could take full advantage of the facilities. Our recommendation: Why not make an afternoon out of pampering yourself silly? We’ll take any excuse.
Try: The DNA Rejuvenating Facial (1 hour 30 minutes)
Why: Nothing beats a dark room, a micro-current machine and an incredible facialist (ask for Wendy Mak!) that sends you into a deep slumber within the first 15 minutes. After a deep cleanse, skin is treated with Aromatherapy Associates products and using a micro-current machine, eyes are gently massaged, hands are nourished, and tension in the scalp, shoulders and neck are addressed. No square millimetre of skin is left untreated. The result is a refreshed complexion that makes you look like you’ve had a well-rested break.
Hailing from Los Angeles and with locations in California, New York and Arizona, Skin Laundry is by no means a relaxation haven, but a quick, friendly and clean location to visit in Hong Kong if you are looking for laser treatments. The menu is really straight forward too - you can go for the single facial which involves YAG laser and IPL light to brighten and tone your face, or opt for the treatment to be extended down to the neck and chest area too, if you please. The best news? If you’ve never been the Skin Laundry before, your first treatment is completely on the house, and who doesn’t love a freebie.
Try: Laser & Light Facial (15 minutes)
Why: We love a facial that can plump, smooth and brighten skin in a matter of minutes. After signing in with the team when you arrive, you’re taken to a room to remove your makeup with wipes, then laid down in a bed, and your skin is cleansed again by the specialist. The laser is first tested on your hand to test for pain tolerance (which was surprisingly on the lower end of the scale), then, it was used to target all areas of the face (except the eyes) to zap away dirt and skin cells all over. Next up, the IPL machine is used to target acne scars and pigmentation. Post appointment, skin looks fresh and feels slightly warmer due to increased blood flow.
The Shangri-La is as iconic to Hong Kong as the Harbour Bridge is to Sydney; you really can’t go past this gem when you’re stopping by the busy city. Just like any five-star spa, you’ll have access to the experience showers and sauna and steam rooms before your treatment, as well as a hot tub that’ll seriously relax your body after all those hours of shopping you’ve just clocked.
Try: Aroma Algae Contouring Body Wrap (1 hour 30 minutes)
Why: Book this in if you’re jet-lagged or towards the end of your trip; you’re bound to nap deeply - we can vouch for that. The treatment starts with a thorough scrub all over, followed by a massage and an application of a milky-gel liquid rich in algae essence that hydrates, tones and invigorates when applied. For the best results, your body is wrapped in a thin paper-like sheet (think of it as a giant face mask for your body), followed by a large doona-like cover that is zipped up around you from your toes to your neck - essentially cocooning you for the next fifteen minutes.
Love Korean beauty? Then you’re going to love Sulwhasoo - a Korean brand that utilises traditional herbs and massage instruments in and with their skin care products. All of their treatments draw upon traditional practices, like using a dry cloth to massage (something that stems from ancient times), using red ginseng in their footbaths, and interestingly using precious objects like amber, jade and porcelain to encourage further penetration of product into the skin.
Try: Gold & Ginseng Anti-Aging (2 hours)
Why: Two hours of your time may seem like a long time when you’re in holiday mode, but it’ll go by in a flash. The treatment covers off an extravagant application of pure gold sheets enriched with red ginseng extract, followed by a massage with heated amber stones and red pine oil to detoxify and address signs of ageing.
Iantha is BEAUTYcrew's Beauty Editor, and has been part of the team since the site launched in 2016. Besides pinot noir, she has a healthy obsession with fake tan smell, wispy false lashes and CND Shellac in the shade Romantique. Her words and styling can also be found in Virgin Australia Voyeur, Women's Health, and previously in SHOP Til You Drop and Cosmopolitan.