23 March, 2012

Sassy Review: Bamboo Massage at Angsana Spa, Hotel ICON

23 March, 2012

Want to get away from it all without actually getting away from it all? I may have just the spa for you.

The recently opened Angsana Spa at Hotel ICON is something of a tropical sanctuary in East Tsim Sha Tsui. Sister to the world-renowned Banyan Tree Spas, Angsana focuses on treatments that use natural ingredients, delivered by friendly and welcoming therapists who are all trained at their Spa Academies throughout Asia; meanwhile, the bright light and airy décor immediately puts you in a sunny and stress-free frame of mind!

I tried one of Angsana’s signature treatments, their two-hour Bamboo Massage. This treatment is unique to Hong Kong and uses warmed-up bamboo canes combined with the therapist’s assured touch to give you a soothing and relaxing all-over body massage. Trust me, I was sceptical to start off with – hot stones I’d heard of, but hot bamboo? Were they just going to beat me with bamboo sticks?! Well, I should have put more faith in the good folk at Angsana because this was, without doubt, one of the best massages I’ve had in Hong Kong so far.

Firstly, my lovely therapist Angy led me to my massage room… I say room, it was practically a mansion! Inside were huge windows, two beds, a Jacuzzi, a wardrobe, two dressing tables, an adjoining bathroom and a separate shower-room; I also loved the sweet little touches scattered around – fresh flowers, cute little floral ceramic jars, colourful decorated silk sheets on the bed. Seriously, I could have set up home here!

Before I could rush back home to pack my suitcase, it was time for the treatment itself. Having endured a particularly brutal and bruising massage a few days before, I told Angy to go easy on me; the bamboo massage is intended as a medium to strong massage to soothe tense muscles and ease away aches and pains but Angy said she’d do her best to tread gently. Again, I needn’t have worried, because what followed was two hours of total heaven.


At the start of the treatment, you are given a choice of dried flowers to place under your massage bed – I opted for the fruity and invigorating orange-scented batch and was therefore treated to gorgeous wafts of this throughout. Meanwhile, Angy got to work on every inch of my body, rolling the warmed-through bamboo up and down my weary muscles, melting away my war wounds, ushering away my worries and turning my limbs into softer, supple, lighter and glowing versions of their normal selves.

The feel of the bamboo was an unexpected delight; smooth and just the right heat, this stuff seems almost specially designed to deliver amazing massages! Combined with Angy’s expert technique – she knew every nook and cranny to delve into (including areas many masseuses miss), flexing and stretching certain areas, putting extra pressure on others, blending the touch of the bamboo seamlessly with the warmth of her own hands and essential oils – I drifted off into an ocean of bliss. No nasty twinges, no sudden pings, no sticky moments of discomfort… I wanted it to last forever.

All too soon, a gong sounded the end of my Bamboo Massage. Boo. You can then shower off your oils (I was still in some dream-state so couldn’t be bothered) and enjoy some leisure time in your suite with some tea and dried fruit, before trying to come back down from Cloud Nine in your attempts to re-join the real world!

Overall, I cannot recommend Angsana Spa highly enough. The only minor factor is the location; it is actually closer to Hung Hom if that makes things any more convenient (it certainly did for me as I caught a bus straight there rather than having to mess around with the East Rail) but it is SO worth the trip. The staff here are genuinely friendly and warm, whilst the innovative Asian-influenced treatments and bright natural décor make it that little bit different from your usual hotel spa.

Angsana Spa soothed my stresses, melted my muscles, lifted my soul and warmed my heart. I don’t think you can ask much more of a spa than that!

The Bamboo Massage costs $1200 for two hours

Angsana Spa, 9/F, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Hong Kong, 3400 1052, spa-hotel-icon@angsana.com


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