Hong Kong spa and salon reviews

Spa reviews: The Spa at Encore, and Banyan Tree Spa, Macau

A 'facial for the back' is just the ticket at Wynn Macau's spa, but I'm made to feel too cold, then too hot, at Banyan Tree

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2015, 9:16pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2015, 9:16pm

Wynn Macau and Banyan Tree Macau are offering a number of special spa treatments/packages for men and women to "cool the mind and body" this summer.

At The Spa at Encore, I am recommended the 90-minute "Ultimate Refine" treatment, which is a "facial for the back". It turns out that is exactly what I need when I arrive at Wynn Macau late and sweaty. My therapist Judy shows me to my private suite, which is equipped with a steam/shower room, sauna, hydrotherapy bath and treatment room. I'm on a tight schedule so I decide to take a quick shower before the treatment. Judy recommends a few short blasts of steam, which fogs up the room so quickly I fumble (and panic) a little to find the control panel to turn it off.

I can truly relax once lying face down on the massage table. Judy explains the treatment will start with a mask for the back, followed by a body, leg and head massage. The products used are from Aromatherapy Associates. The deep cleansing of the back is the definitive highlight.

After the initial scrub (made up of key ingredients including orange flower water, petitgrain and kaolin clay), a polishing essential enzyme peel (made up of pineapple, passion flower, grape, carrot oil and shea butter) is applied. The effect is cooling and comforting. The massage for the body, leg and head is the best I've had, with optimal pressure applied. Worth noting: Judy pays careful attention to ensure the treatment is cooling, not cold.

The same cannot be said about my experience over at Banyan Tree Spa, which features a spacious and clean treatment room, with the air conditioning on generous blast. My therapist Chompoo explains the treatment is divided into three parts — 30-minute longjing tea cleanser, an hour-long massage of my choice (I pick the Swedish for medium pressure), and a 30-minute longjing tea bath.

A cooling mud — with key ingredients including cucumber, longjing green tea powder and honey — is applied all over and my sensitive skin is mildly irritated by this concoction. The semi-damp sheet wrapped around me makes the cleansing feel colder than it already is and Chompoo has to turn on the heating pad in the massage table to keep me warm after the shower.

The Swedish massage is thorough and relaxing. Then it's a quick dip in the longjing tea bath, but the water is scorching hot. Some cold water added, the soak offers a nice finish to a treatment that leaves my skin feeling soft and fresh.

The Ultimate Refine Treatment at The Spa at Encore costs 1,500 patacas until September 15. Wynn Macau, Rua Cidade Sintra, NAPE, tel: +853 8986 3228

The Summer — Refreshing Comfort Treatment at Banyan Tree Spa costs 2,188 patacas until August 31. Banyan Tree Spa Macau, Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus, Cotai, tel: +853 8883 6633