I recently wrote an article about the Top 5 Spa Dining & Pampering Packages in Hong Kong – and ended up with a massive case of spa FOMO as a result.
Happily, The Ritz Carlton Hong Kong took pity on me and invited me to trial a luxurious spa day with them – an organic salad bar Go Green Lunch at The Lounge & Bar followed by a Shell Power Treatment at The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA.
When I told my friends I was having a salad for lunch, there may have been some sniggers – as you may have gathered from my penchant for afternoon teas, salad ain’t really my style! But let’s be honest, the last thing you want when you’re lying on your massage bed is a bad case of bloated food baby and even old salad sceptic me was converted by The Ritz-Carlton’s buffet; it was delicious, healthy, filling (but still light!) and extremely good value at only $228 for unlimited visits. Given the salads at City’super or Simply Life knock on the door of triple figures for only a tenth of the quality and volume, this is a pretty great deal – especially once you factor in some fabulous views over the harbour. Hell, they’ll even expertly toss your salad for you in the deal too.
I particularly loved the array of pulses, nuts and pickles, and was throwing lentils, pine nuts, pickled garlic (mmm) and baby silverskins into my salad bowl with abandon. For those of you that insist on protein, there’s chicken and prawns too; I tried the prawns, which had been marinated in something delicious and were super flavourful. There’s also a shedload of dressings, vinegars and oils… and of course, I managed to find a chocolate dessert there too.
Having grazed my way through a lovely lunch, it was then up to the velvety chocolate surrounds of The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA (what can I say – I see dessert everywhere!) for my treatment. If you want to max our your spa day, head up early to enjoy their stone saunas, aroma steam room and experience showers… however, I was keen to just hand myself over to the professionals and let them work their healing hands!
The Shell Power Treatment includes both a massage and a facial… yay, best of both worlds! The twist is that rather than hot stones, this massage uses heated lava shells (as seen in the top photo); these feel gorgeously smooth on your skin although sadly, I think they lose their heat quicker than stones. My therapist gave me a wonderfully soothing massage that mainly concentrated on my back; alas the massage portion of the treatment is only 20 minutes long and felt like it was over way too soon – but what massage doesn’t?
Then it was onto the facial, which uses a range of rejuvenating ESPA skincare products – plus a return of the silky-smooth shells, except this time they’re deliciously cool instead. There’s also the scary moment where your therapist displays your skin under UV light and you see the horrors that lie beneath; my problems were mostly clogged pores around my nose (what’s new!) and tired eyes, both of which my therapist promised she’d help me address.
Apart from the standard cleansing, exfoliation, extraction and mask, there’s also a totally amazing scalp massage. I’m in a love/hate relationship with head massages during spa treatments because whilst they’re almost always sensational, they do generally signal that your pampering time is drawing to a close. Alas, such was the case here and I was soon pried away from my pampering cocoon.
To ensure that the end of your spa day doesn’t come as such a shock to the system, you can then linger in The Ritz-Carlton Spa’s Relaxation Room – luxurious lounging chairs, juice, yoghurt and flapjacks on tap and yes, more stunning views over our incredible skyline. It’s the highest hotel spa in the world donchaknow. I just wanted to curl up and move in for the day but alas, the real world of deadlines was calling.
As for the results of my treatment… well, I’m not sure if spa selfies are a thing yet, but here’s mine because my skin felt pretty amazing (#nomakeup #nofilter). Clearer, brighter, smoother, softer, firmer – just about everything you’d ask for in the textbook of great spa facials. My only wish for the Power Shell Treatment overall is that it was a bit more balanced between the massage and facial (currently it’s 20-minute massage, 60-minute facial), so that the massage could also work on other parts of your body.
At a couple of thousand bucks, there’s no doubting that a day at The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA is expensive. But what with all the spa perks plus a truly luxurious and effective pampering experience, it’s definitely the kind of treat we all deserve once in a while. Time to start dropping hints to your nearest and dearest for your next birthday or anniversary treat!
SPECIAL OFFER: Present your bill for a Go Green salad buffet lunch and you will receive $250 credit towards 50-minute or above spa treatments, plus one-day access to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong’s swimming pool too.
The Go Green Organic Salad Bar lunch buffet costs $228 per person for unlimited visits and is available 12-2pm on Mondays-Thursdays and 12-1.45pm on Fridays-Sundays and public holidays. Call 2263 2270 for reservations.
The Power Shell Treatment lasts 80 minutes and costs $1980 on Mondays-Thursdays or $2080 on Fridays-Sundays and public holidays. Call +852 2263 2040 for reservations.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2263 2263
Note: this trial and meal was by invitation