As might be expected from a hotel with a name like this, in addition to the regular array of massages, facials, scrubs and similar offerings, some treatments vary with the seasons. A good example is the Chinese wellness ritual – an exquisite Asian therapy that takes place on a heated marble table within the steam room. It begins with a warming scrub using cinnamon, honey and rice. Warm rice milk is then poured along the spine and shoulders before a warm poultice, dipped in a creamy honey mixture, is smoothed over the skin, opening the meridian channels. This rich cocoon is washed off under a steamy monsoon rain shower, and the treatment ends with a reviving full-body massage.
Recommended for Spas because: The spa's great, but the adjoining pool is really out of this world!
Ed's expert tip: It's not just for adults. Youngsters aged 12 and up, with parental permission, can enjoy various parts of the Four Seasons' spa.
There's no doubt when it comes to the accents and style of Chuan Spa – this is China, and China at its most traditional. While other spas may take their cue from Thailand or Bali, Chuan looks north to Mainland China and its tradition of well-being. The soothing massages, hydrotherapies, body wraps, polishes, facials and foot/hand therapies on offer at Chuan are all designed to facilitate the harmony of Yin and Yang that has long made traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) so spiritually rewarding. Each individual treatment has also been carefully formulated to optimize the five Wu Xing elements that form TCM's core.
Recommended for Spas because: Most spas in Hong Kong have an international slant, but Chuan is very much a Chinese oriented spa.
Ed's expert tip: Traditional Chinese medicine identifies five elements essential to well-being: Chuan specializes in helping guests in this specific area.
The Peninsula Spa's design fuses traditional Chinese elements with contemporary flair featuring warm tones of marble, rustic woods and textured granite. Men's and women's relaxation rooms are equally lavish, with hammam-style steam rooms, saunas and crescent-shaped, aromatherapy experience showers. And trust The Peninsula, Hong Kong's most venerable hotel, to do things with an extra touch of class. Of especial interest are what are described as Peninsula Ceremonies: these include the Four Hands Synchronised Massage in which a duo of therapists work in perfect harmony, blending the best of Eastern and Western practices, focusing on deep pressure to ease tension. It's an amalgam of long, fluent strokes brings weary tissues back to life, releasing stressed sinews, and refreshing the mind, body and soul.
Recommended for Spas because: The indoor pool, next to the spa, is like something from a Roman Emperor's palace.
Ed's expert tip: Check out the Peninsula Spa's promotions, which often offer good deals for couples.
Sense of Touch has spread around Hong Kong with astonishing rapidity. One of the city's most highly respected independent spas, its success is down to delivering the sort of treatments that people want in pleasant surroundings at convenient locations. This branch is in Lan Kwai Fong, the center of the city's nightlife action. There are a couple of fun items on the treatment menu: like the bath in dark ale, followed by a barley scrub, or the wine bath, which is paired with a scrub with dried red grapes. Both are very soothing, and well worth trying if you've not experienced them before.
Recommended for Spas because: The location is just dandy, surrounded by bars, clubs and pubs!
Ed's expert tip: At Sense of Touch more than any other Hong Kong spa it's wise to book ahead due to popularity.
Melo Spa is a luxurious reflection of the natural beauty and cultural traditions for which Sha Tin is known. Embracing local elements known for their natural healing abilities, with products like Sha Tin Pomelo, honey and minerals, Melo Spa treatments are customized to meet individual needs. The spa offers a variety of result-oriented treatments, including unique pomelo-inspired facial and body treatments, organic seaweed detox therapy, natural mineral or technology-enhanced facials, aromatherapy bath, beauty and aesthetic treatments, as well as treatments for kids aged five to 15. Ranging from two to four hours, Melo Meditations programs re-balance the body and mind with nature-inspired treatments, all performed in Melo Spa's private all-inclusive spa suites. Melo Moments relaxation suite is the perfect venue to host fun spa party with different spa party packages. For total well-being, the hotel's Executive Chef Hongman Cheung has created a light menu with low calorie and healthy delicacies at Melo Spa, using local ingredients such as Sha Tin honey and Sha Tin pomelo.
Recommended for Spas because: In the heart of the New Territories, Melo Spa feels like a real escape.
Ed's expert tip: The spa is at its busiest on weekends from September to June, when guests attend horse races at Sha Tin stadium.
Located on the 11th floor of the Grand Hyatt, the Plateau Spa is a haven of privacy and seclusion. Award winning, result oriented treatments are conducted in luxurious private rooms with en suite bathrooms. Discreet, highly professional therapists enter these mini sanctuaries, providing treatments focused on meeting the unique needs of each individual guest. Specialists are available by appointment for a variety of spa services, aimed at total relaxation, including massage, reflexology and facials. Bathing in private pools, sauna steam rooms and peaceful surroundings are all part of the total spa experience. In short, this is a pretty perfect spa package.
Recommended for Spas because: This is a very neat combination of luxurious surrounds, professional treatment, and a great ambiance.
Ed's expert tip: The Collagen Facial is especially good for toning up after a long flight in an airplane.
Gentlemen's Tonic – GT – does what it says on the can. Drop by here for massage, shaves, general grooming, haircuts: whatever a guy needs in the sprucing up department, GT delivers, and delivers gift-wrapped. There's a real air of ease and enjoyment here: witness The Hemingway – a two hour session of aromatherapy, facial and massage accompanied by a Bloody Mary, no less. The premises are refined, the staff polite and friendly without being overly deferential, and the overall experience at GT is little short of sheer bliss. They also stock a neat selection of quality razors, brushes and the like which make for handy souvenirs.
Recommended for Spas because: Offering a cocktail to accompany a treatment is a sure winner!
Ed's expert tip: Got youngster's in tow? As well as Junior Cuts, GC also does Father & Son haircuts.
All 18,000 square-feet of MiraSpa encapsulates rejuvenating spa, beauty and hair services. Complete with a state-of-the-art fitness center and an infinity-edge pool, the MiraSpa features a wet zone with sauna, steam, whirlpool and experience showers for instant rejuvenation, as well as flotation lounges with heated waterbeds to zone out and re-energize pre-and-post spa sessions. Nine sleek spacious treatment rooms include seven single Spa Suites complete with private washroom and shower facilities as well as two VIP Couples Spa Suites with a private sunken whirlpool bath, steam shower and vanity area. The oval-shaped Aura Room with a soothing colored light feature induces restful sleep while guests enjoy a therapeutic MiraSpa ritual.
Recommended for Spas because: There is a delicious hideaway feel to MiraSpa, which is tucked away in the hotel's basement.
Ed's expert tip: The spa menu includes juices, shakes and light healthy meals which taste great.
Up on the top of the tallest building in Hong Kong, a trip to the Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA could well be compared to floating along on the clouds. It's well worth taking a look at the signature treatments which have been created by ESPA using East meets West therapies incorporating indigenous healing Lava Shell, Jade and Chinese massage techniques to give a truly unique and tailored experience. Regular massages include aromatherapy, traditional Oriental, Swedish, Therapeutic, Oriental Foot Reflexology. Guests can also opt for a personalized massage, rather like choosing a la carte in a restaurant. Couples should certainly opt for a side by side massage.
Recommended for Spas because: Quite simply, there's a real joy in spa-ing at altitude.
Ed's expert tip: Weather's unpredictable, but take a look at the forecast before booking to get the best advantage of this spa in the sky!
I-Spa was one of the first spas to open in Hong Kong, and its design is heavily influenced by feng shui. Guests can savor absolute privacy in the luxuriously spacious private spa suites, each with its own sauna, steam shower, Jacuzzi and massage facilities. Therapists can advise on the best way to awaken your senses and balance your yin and yang with rejuvenating and pampering treatments including Oriental Healing and Jet Lag Recovery. Alternatively, there are the newest slimming and toning treatments featuring the state-of-the-art LPG Endermologie Integral M6 and LPG's new "Techni Care Line" of products or the new "K-Lift" Age Management treatments.
Recommended for Spas because: The view from the pool deck takes in Hong Kong Island and the harbor and is absolutely fantastic.
Ed's expert tip: The full day I-Spa programme includes selected spa treatments and a three-course "ihealth" lunch served at the Pool Terrace.