the SPA at Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught way, Central District, Hong Kong
Intimidation factor: Very moderate since the place looks and oozes 5 star spaing but the staff here deal with everyone from Presidents, sports superstars to your HK locals. They’re nice to everyone. With its exotic, glistening marble, extinct woods surfaces and expensive fixtures vibe and high-end inventory of everything spa related, it looks both homey, luxury and pricey.
Number of receptionists on floor: One to two who handle everything from your shoes, booking to the bill. Exquisite service and attention.
Response time: Immediate. Receptionist greets me as I enter the doorway.
Vibe: A Qing dynasty antiques museum meets Jonathan Ives. Everything here has a synergy, meaning and fit like no other spa in the world. A lot of rounded edges that Mr. Ives is so fond of too.
Price range: From 1,250 HKD for a 1h MO Essences massage to a King’s Ransom 5,000 HKD for a full-day Indulgence package.
Rating: Three pure Jade facial rollers out of four. Skip to the end of my writing to find out why!
The small but perfectly formed true landmark Mandarin Oriental spa has a Kneipp pool designed to stimulate circulation. And, as well as Chinese herbal steam rooms and experience showers. You could self spa for hours before your actual treatment time. The thing I love about MO HK’s spa? Their use of space. Doesn’t feel claustrophobic at all unlike a certain boutique spa in Seoul. The ceilings are short because the hotel was built for a different era of human beings so watch your head sometimes when walking to your treatment area. The minders are smart enough to tell you to mind your head. There’s a state-of-the-art gym for those late night jetlag workouts with all the latest Technogym and TRX machines crazes. The MO HK is also a place with an old-school barber. Send him to the Mandarin Barber where, in the gentlemen’s clubstyle surroundings, he can be wet-shaved and groomed to look like Leo in Titanic. For myself, the range of treatments is a spaist’s dream and they have to be considering Hong Kong must have the most amount of spas per square KM in the world. Choose from all the usual luxury facials and massages, plus Chinese medicinal treatments, Ayurvedic therapies and the unique Imperial Jade body treatment, where pure green jade rollers come out finish a Chinese acupressure machine and rice bran scrub to leave your body silky smooth, flawless. I did the Gaylia Christensen Utopia Advanced facial for 90 mins and came out loving it. Here’s what it entails:
“This highly effective facial, delivers results to reveal a younger looking skin using Gaylia Kristensen products which focus on the rejuvenation of the face, eyes and neck area. This 90-minute treatment will start with a cleanse and exfoliation to renew and brighten the skin, before guests enjoy a toning and relaxing massage using Kristensen’s PASSION OIL A pure plant collagen facial mask will then be applied to help stimulate and boost collagen and elastic production, creating an instant lift to the skin.”
We had a perfect couples treatment but had to share the tea room with a fellow guest. It’s a bit awkward to be talking about a treatment with your partner when someone else enters the room. Space is at a premium in Hong Kong but communal post treatment tea areas should be criminal. No chance to recollect. No chance to smell the orchids. And, no chance for inner peace to continue. An aberration on what should have been the greatest spaing time in the world.