It’s no secret that the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong boasts some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. So, it is no surprise then that the city is also host to some of the world’s finest spas, which provide the perfect retreat for Hong Kong’s well-heeled dwellers and visitors alike.
In this series, our team picks the finest spas the city has to offer. Luxurious ambience, lavish treatment, and unrivaled service are some of the hallmarks of these top-notch boutiques. While several of my colleagues have visited these spas on many occasions, I personally visited each one of them for this series and tried their latest signature treatments for the most up-to-date, in-depth look.
Here are our picks (in alphabetical order):
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong - Chinese Wellness Ritual; which is part of their Signature Treatment series showcasing renowned LING products from New York.
Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Spa – “50th Anniversary Golden Utopia Anti-Ageing Facial” treatment featuring state-of-the-art Gaylia Kristensen’s products.
The Peninsula Spa – Half-Day Spa Journey, which consists of two hours of treatment time with lunch by the pool and usage of the Spa facilities.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA – Signature 90 Minute Lava Shell Body Treatment featuring ESPA products.
Without further ado, here are my reports.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong SPA By ESPA
The elevator was making its ascent to the top quietly and swiftly. Inside, I could hardly feel movement of any kind. The only things that gave away the elevator’s speed were the rapidly changing LED floor indicators and the popping sound in my ears. It took but one minute to reach level 116 of the famed ICC building in Hong Kong, the tallest building in this land of skyscrapers. Two friendly staff dressed in their designer tailored uniforms greeted me as the elevator doors opened. Welcome to The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Spa by ESPA.
At 1,588 ft. (484 meters), The Ritz-Carlton Spa is one of the highest spas in the world. Occupying the entire 116th floor of the ICC building, the spa is part of the luxurious offerings of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, one of the city’s newest five star hotels. The luxury hotel encompasses the top 102-118 floors of the slim yet imposing ICC building and offers a view that is simply irresistible. The view up at the top is so mesmerizing that, even a Hong Konger like myself who is used to “living the high life” (literally), is still tremendously impressed.
As the staff led me through the hallway to the spa reception area, they confirmed my booking for The Ritz-Carlton’s Signature 90-Minute Lava Shell Body Treatment. With soothing music floating in the background, I immersed myself into a comfortable lounge chair while at the same time admiring the beautiful reception area. Elegantly adorned with earthy tones, luxurious materials and layering textures, the area is anchored by an oversized Eva Menz designed chandelier, showcasing floating, illuminated cocoon-shaped objects. The name “Ritz-Carlton” is synonymous with luxury and one need not go beyond the eye-catching spa reception to see that.
While I was wrapping myself in the spa robe, I could not help but notice the impeccable attention to detail in the spa. Everything I needed to start a perfect spa day was inside the locker, including: slippers, towels, hairbrush, hair bands, make-up remover, cotton swabs, and more. Simply put, nothing was overlooked and everything that needed to be there was, well… there. While this may sound trivial, there are times when even a small omission can spoil a luxury experience. I am glad to say that The Ritz-Carlton made a strong first impression.
Think of a hot stone massage, only that, instead of hot pebble stones my body was rejuvenated by a pair of heated natural lava seashells filled with minerals, herbs and essential oil.
Sharon, my therapist, was already waiting outside and escorted me to the treatment room. The dimly lit hallway was impressive with its infinite curvy dark wood furnishings. My stylish treatment room, one of the nine available single rooms (and two couple rooms), was intimate, cozy and very comfortable. The room, a collaboration between The Ritz-Carlton and ESPA, reflected the stringent standards set by both parties. ESPA, as many already know, is widely recognized as the gold standard in the spa industry and The Ritz-Carlton is one of only two ESPA spas in Hong Kong.
Overlooking the entire Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island, the spa treatment room has a view all of its own. I was immediately awarded with an arresting cityscape view, while my body was being pampered. It was truly an assault on all senses, in the best possible way.
The highlight of my treatment was undoubtedly a full body massage utilizing heated lava shells – a unique offering in Hong Kong by The Ritz-Carlton. Think of a hot stone massage, only that, instead of hot pebble stones my body was rejuvenated by a pair of heated natural lava seashells filled with minerals, herbs and essential oil. The treatment process itself was simple but immensely enjoyable. With the aid of massage oil, the seashells glided over my entire body with ease and grace. Down my neck, over the tops of my shoulders, across the shoulder blades, and down to my feet – I could feel my body being warmed up while my mind was calming down. It was a wonderfully soothing experience.
Sharon’s strokes were gentle and effective, reflecting her mastery of the art and ESPA training background. She would occasionally replace the cooled lava shells with freshly heated pairs and before I knew it, my 90-minute treatment was over. The lava shell massage treatment was exquisite and evoked the feeling of being at one with nature. Who would have thought that such tiny seashells could have done so much wonder to my body and soul?
I was ushered to the Relaxation Lounge after the well-performed treatment. Sitting on the lush lounge chair in front of the sweeping, floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, I sipped a cup of warm ginger honey tea and enjoyed a fresh fruit yogurt, while admiring an encapsulated view of the city. Rarely does one get to see the entirety of Hong Kong below her feet, and there I was doing just that, with my refreshed and rejuvenated body and mind.
With its unique “Lava Shell Body Treatment” spa experience and a sublime, over-the-top view of the city, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Spa by ESPA won me over and is a well-deserved “Best Spa” award winner.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
International Commerce Centre
1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2263 2263