Walking into The Mandarin Oriental, you’re immediately aware of luxury, attention to detail and excellent service. There is a definite air of class and sophistication, but without the noses-turned-up attitude that looks down at someone wearing a vintage market dress and H&M sandals (aka me).
I was escorted through the immaculate black and gold lobby and whisked into a copper elevator (perfect for a Snapchat selfie). I already felt rather fabulous, and that feeling that certainly continued throughout my experience at The Mandarin Salon where I was set to try the new Salt of the Earth Manicure.
The spa is a really beautiful space – it’s bright and built around clean lines with an always present view of Victoria Harbour. It’s also spacious without feeling like you’re just another number in an oversized, get-as-many-people-through-the-door salon. There’s a sense of exclusivity and privacy and the staff are immediately at your service; welcoming and friendly.
I was taken into a manicure small room that had a panoramic view of the harbour and Kowloon, which had four large red thrones. Ming, my manicurist, sat me down and removed all my jewellery and extra bits so that I could fully relax and enjoy the upcoming treatment. It’s amazing how much a stunning city view and a comfortable chair can make you feel like you’re on a vacation – something to value in the organised chaos that characterises Hong Kong.
The Mandarin Salon has just exclusively acquired these amazing new products from Salt Of The Earth. They’re all natural and focus on allowing you to customise your experience through choosing your favourite scent, which is then added throughout the treatment. Salt of the Earth uses a 72 Organic Trace Mineral Complex to deliver the most natural, effective treatments and you can really feel the richness of the products while you’re being pampered. I chose the Apricot Scent, which was super fresh and worked really well with the bubble gum pink OPI shade I chose for my manicure (a task that was excruciating given the wall of colours and my general lack of decision-making skills) #FirstWorldProblems.
The treatment started off with a warm water soak to soften the skin while Ming prepared the pre-portioned treatments from the blend box; suited to my choice of scent and corresponding ‘booster’ – a thermal powder, in this case, that fully intensified the creams used.
First off, the Creamy Shea Butter Scrub – a luxurious and thick scrub that removes any dead skin or unrelenting dust (or markings from your jewellery). The scrub is a great way to ensure that the rest of the products have a maximum impact, revitalising your skin. Plus my individualised apricot scent made everything that much more tropical.
Once Ming finished with the scrub, each arm (all the way up to your elbow) was wrapped in a thermo-towel while the next step of the treatment is created in front of you. For this second step, Ming added the thermal powder and apricot drops to the Mineral Mud. The thermal powder enhanced the ‘Clay Soufflé’ component of the mud mask and the sensation on my skin was so rejuvenating! Massaged in and immediately affecting the softness of your skin; this mask has the benefits of all 72 minerals and I could already feel it absorbing. Ming also has magic hands and was an absolute delight to chat to – she really made me feel like a very special guest in the salon!
Next up, and the final aspect of the Salt Of The Earth (pre-manicure) treatment was the Whipped Mineral Body Cream. Again, Ming soaked some of my chosen essential oil in before starting a divine hand massage with this product. I really enjoyed that the whole experience was based around what I had chosen; in an age of personalisation, it’s definitely part of a bigger trend. A slight snooze may or may not have taken place during this part of the treatment but I mean really, can you blame me?
Once we had finished the customized treatment, it was time for my OPI manicure. I chose a very pretty pink but there are heaps of colours to choose from to suit any Sassy girl and any occasion! The Mandarin Salon also offers an upgrade to your experience; with CND Shellac manicures available at an extra charge of $350 + 10% service charge. I would totally recommend this if you want a longer-lasting finish, as my standard manicure did start to deteriorate after a few days.
Overall, this was definitely an above-average Wednesday afternoon and I was made to feel so special at The Mandarin Salon! The service is impeccable and that view really does add so much to the experience. And I love the idea of customising your treatment to suit your preferences, especially when in addition to such beautiful and natural products. Remember, as the body’s largest organ your skin takes in everything we out on it and in a place like Hong Kong it’s vital that we nourish our bodies both inside and out with natural products like Salt Of The Earth. At the end of the treatment, you can even purchase a 6oz jar of the original customised blend to take home to continue nourishing your hands and feet, keeping them gorgeous with the most natural effective products.
What’s more, The Mandarin Salon has just launched a gourmet Gin & Tonic service for salon guests (uhhhh, hello where do I sign up?). While hands and feet are tended to, you are invited to choose a signature G&T from the salon’s new Gin & Tonic trolley while overlooking that magnificent Victoria Harbour. Mixed by in-salon mixologist throne-side, choices of niche boutique gins include Japanese Gin by Cambridge Distillery, Hernö Gin, Wint & Lila London Dry Gin, and Farmer’s Organic Gin all mixed with a variety of premium artisanal INDI tonics combined to create a series of elegant G&Ts to sip and enjoy. Costs range from $100-$125 per cocktail and are sure to add some extra fun to your pampering!
As an introductory offer, guests can purchase a series of 12 manicure sessions at $5,000 (savings of $1,000) or pedicure sessions at $6,500 (savings of $1,300) to be consumed within one year.
Mandarin Oriental Spa, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, www.mandarinoriental.com