She was sorely missed. Now, after a massive £75 million room-by-room makeover, Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong is better than ever. The legendary hotel is a truly effervescent presence in one of the world’s most striking cityscapes, and locals, international visitors and followers are all flocking back. In a city as frenetic as Hong Kong, where mergers, millions and meetings are the order of the day, it’s hard to imagine a haven of calm within the bustling business district. But there is, in the form of the new Spa at Mandarin Oriental, an exquisitely tranquil refuge that’s entirely dedicated to each guest’s wellbeing.
The Spa is everything a genuine world-class spa should be: warm, peaceful and cosseting, and ultimately a sensually uplifting experience. It has been designed to reflect the robust richness of 1930s Shanghai, and as soon as you enter, a feeling of quiet pervades. Tactile materials complement marble and dark-wood veneers; subdued lighting emanates from recesses; there is a sky-lit pool and fitness facility and a whole menu of restorative rituals inspired by the founding fathers of Eastern medicine, traditional Chinese and ayurvedic philosophies – both of which are as popular today as they were in ancient China and India.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) consultations include a restoring blend of herbal recommendations and healing treatments specifically aimed at each individual. Treatments are designed to promote a smoother flow of qi, or ‘life force’, and remove blockages. The menu includes bone setting (healing through gentle bone manipulation), acupuncture, cupping (an acupressure technique, which involves using cups to create a vacuum on various points of the body to rebalance the system), moxibustion (when a lit herbal stick is used to warm acupressure points and activate stagnant qi), reflexology and Chinese meridian (or pressure-point) massage. The skilful therapists all receive intensive and ongoing training from a leading TCM doctor who, along with a qualified nutritionist in Chinese and Western medicine, is on call for more detailed consultations and therapy.
It’s the attention to detail that sets this sanctuary apart
Great care and thought has gone into the spa areas, with their exquisitely designed showers and Chinese-patterned sinks. The male area includes a dry sauna for really deep cleansing, a vitality pool with hydrotherapy floor, body jets and reclining airbeds that gently massage the entire body. In the Chinese herbal steam room, meditative scents of fresh Chinese herbs infuse the air to further induce a feeling of calm. Exclusive to the female area is Hong Kong’s first Kneipp pool, where pebbles stimulate the feet and lower legs as you glide through the water. The alternating warm and cool experience showers, complete with coloured lighting, refresh all the senses and help to improve circulation.
The eight therapy rooms reflect a sense of times past with calming scents and a colourful palette of lacquer, plaster and wood. Each room is inspired by Mandarin Oriental’s signature essential oils: Jasmine, which features an oriental suite for couples and Thai massage; Patchouli, with Vichy showers and scrubs; and Frangipani, a Western therapy room with hydro baths, and undoubtedly the biggest and snuggest therapy beds in the business.
Each spa visit focuses on Time Rituals – combinations that are tailormade exclusively for each individual guest. Whether you need relief from jetlag or aching muscles, nourishment for tired, dehydrated skin or pure unadulterated pampering, you can get it all in one exquisite package. Your peaceful journey begins in the softly lit, scented relaxation room, where the most delicious dried figs and apricots in spicy syrup are served alongside traditional Chinese teas. Jiva Ayurvedic Sanctuary is home to time-tested rituals designed to balance the doshas – the energy types known as vata (air), pita (fire) and kapha (earth). Just as each of us has an individual thumbprint, so we have a unique pattern of energy. On diagnosing your dominant dosha, the expert Nepalese and Indian therapists select the best combination of treatments and herbs to suit your specific needs.
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