We review the best facials and body treatments to get you ship-shape for spring
BOTANICAL PURE THERAPY
The treatment: Part of Melo Spa's new spring collection, this two-hour detoxifying package (HK$1,890) includes an oil massage and hydrating facial using June Jacobs spa products chosen to purify and revitalise the skin. Guests are also eligible for seasonal offers, including an additional 30-minute aromatic hydrotherapy bath for HK$250.
The review: Melo Spa's somewhat out-of-the-way location at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin has its perks: spacious treatment rooms with private toilets and whirlpool baths, not to mention lush green surroundings. We were immediately put at ease with the warm welcome footbath (with tea tree oil to purify) and heated bed. Our therapist used a lovely citrus-scented oil for the full-body massage, releasing a number of tight spots on the back and shoulders.
The facial that followed was much more thorough than expected, including steam and extractions. Thankfully, our skin felt soothed, without any residual redness, and stayed clear for several days afterwards. As an added bonus, the flaky patches that plagued us all winter were gone and have yet to reappear, making this a perfect treatment to welcome the new season. TAMA LUNG
3723 7684, www.melospa.com
CHUAN TAO OF DETOX
The treatment: This 2.5-hour full-body detox at Langham Place's TCM-inspired Chuan Spa stimulates blood and lymph circulation through exfoliation and a warm wrap, followed by an acupressure massage to ease tight spots in the back, neck and shoulders. It concludes with a restorative facial to revive and nourish dehydrated skin.
The review: The treatment began with filling out a questionnaire that included choosing our favourite season and time of day, which helped our therapist determine a suitable Chinese element and the matching aromatherapy oil.
A gentle body scrub started the detox process, after which our therapist applied the aromatherapy oil and covered us in warm marine algae wrap. The scent of seaweed was quite strong, making us feel a bit like a human sushi roll. After a 15-minute head massage, the seaweed mixture was rinsed off and our therapist applied body lotion using massage-like strokes. The stronger acupressure massage focused on the shoulders, back and neck.
The facial, using marine-derived products from French skincare brand Thalgo, left us feeling refreshed and rehydrated. Our body was also fully relaxed and our skin very smooth. Guests can book a single treatment for HK$1,725 or come with a friend for HK$3,095. BERNICE CHAN
3552 3510, www.chuanspa.com.hk
EVE LOM SIGNATURE FACIAL
The treatment: This deep-cleansing treatment designed by celebrity facialist - and creator of what's been called "the best cleanser in the world" - Eve Lom decongests pores and clears blocked lymph channels to restore skin's balance and radiance. The 90-minute treatment (HK$1,280) includes an upper-body massage, but a 60-minute version (HK$880) without massage is also available.
The review: This was one of the most result-oriented facials we've tried, and our therapist really took the time to examine our skin and determine its condition (dehydrated, alas). After massaging Lom's cult cleanser into our face, neck and décolleté, she gently removed it with damp muslin mitts - an important step in the at-home cleansing ritual as well - and applied a warm paraffin mask. Paraffin is used instead of the more typical steam to open the pores without drying the skin, and the wax was removed almost as soon as it was applied.
Extractions, performed mostly by hand, were painful at times, but we were glad to have her tackle some of our more stubborn spots. Any soreness was soon forgotten as we enjoyed the soothing upper-body massage, which included light strokes down the stomach and deeper pressure along the shoulders and chest. The treatment finished with Lom's moisturising mask and a head massage. Thanks to the attention to detail, even days later our skin appeared smoother and pores smaller. TAMA LUNG
3595 1152, www.1010space.com.hk
TRANQUILITY HYDRO MIST
The treatment: This signature Banyan Tree Spa package (HK$2,800) offers 150 minutes of pampering, encompassing everything from a full body scrub and "tropical rainmist" to an Indian shirodhara and shampoo treatment to a choice of massage. The all-inclusive experience is designed to relieve stress and promote deep relaxation.
The review: Macau may be built on glitz and glamour, but not the Banyan Tree Spa. This serene space tucked inside the massive Galaxy Macau offers guests a true escape with its lush bamboo garden and treatment rooms bigger than the average Hong Kong flat.
After a welcome footbath, we took our place on the treatment bed inside the steam room for the rainmist experience. While it was refreshing at first, we found ourselves getting numb in places from the continuous water pressure. The body scrub and hair treatment helped to break things up, leaving us feeling clean and well conditioned.
Our favourite part was the massage - we opted for the deep-tissue Balinese version - under the twinkling lights of the huge treatment room. The strong pressure and nourishing oil had us dozing off towards the end - and so relaxed it was difficult to drag ourselves away and back to the real world. TAMA LUNG
+853 8883 6633, www.banyantree.com/en/macau/
SIGNATURE JUNE JACOBS SPA COLLECTION FACIAL
The treatment: Suitable for all skin types, this customised facial at Plateau Spa uses products from luxury botanical skincare line June Jacobs (made without parabens, sulfates, preservatives, petrochemicals, synthetic dyes or fragrances). Powerful enzymes and antioxidants work to generate new skin cells, enhance moisture retention and repair signs of damage.
The review: For a luxury facial, this one is a real treat. Customers can choose a one-hour or 90-minute treatment (HK$1,250 or HK$1,550) in one of the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong's luxury spa suites overlooking the city.
We opted for 90 minutes, before which the therapist analysed our skin and checked for allergies. She then cleansed and exfoliated the skin to clear unwanted whiteheads and blackheads. Next, she applied treatment pads to relieve tired, baggy eyes. A hydrating mask followed, during which we enjoyed a soothing shoulder, hand and foot massage. The relaxing experience continued after the treatment, when we enjoyed free herbal tea and fruit before showering.
Unlike other facials we've tried, this one left our skin looking completely clean, renewed and radiant for several days. The plant-based products also seemed to make a real difference in how our skin felt afterwards. TRACEY FURNISS
2584 7688, www.hongkong.grand.hyatt.com