14 May, 2012

Spa day at I-Spa, The Intercontinental Hong Kong – the ultimate summer body prep

14 May, 2012

You know when you get a pizza with absolutely every single topping on? Or a serving of fries loaded with everything? Well, I’ve just found the spa equivalent – The Full Works, if you will! – with an amazing  Detoxifying Day at the I-Spa at The Intercontinental Hong Kong.

However, whilst the pizza or fries will no doubt cause a widening of your waistline and a severe case of food coma, the Detoxifying Experience is pretty much the perfect prep to kick off your summer! For that, you’ll get nearly five hours of treatments, plus a three-course ‘I-health’ lunch, full use of the spa’s heat and fitness facilities and the chance for a dip in their gorgeous outdoor and infinity spa pools. If your entire being isn’t scrubbed, buffed and polished into submission after that, then I don’t know what else could possibly do the trick. Summer body, here I come!

After entering the serene I-Spa and a welcoming ginger tea, I was led to a private room with two massage beds, a Jacuzzi, a steam room and a shower. First on the itinerary was a half-hour Thalasso Bath in the Jacuzzi, already frothing away to greet me. I hopped in and the temperature was perfect, with jets of bubbles pumping away soothingly and a jug of ice-cold orange-infused water within arm’s reach – the ideal thing to kick-start my body into relax mode!

After your Jacuzzi magically switches off after the thirty minutes, in came my lovely therapist Kelly to dispense the next part of my treatment – the Thalasso Body Glow. This was a half-hour camomile scrub, which was gently invigorating rather than overly abrasive and I appreciated that it was only lightly scented.

After a quick shower, it was onto the Thalasso Body Envelopment, a warming seaweed wrap designed sweat out your toxins. I was a little nervous about this but the wrap was neither uncomfortably tight, restricting nor sweltering and the seaweed scent itself was quite light too. Whilst this did its work, Kelly gave me the most AMAZING head massage that floated me straight onto cloud nine. I could have had another four hours of that alone!

Wrap removed (I wasn’t sure whether to be proud or disappointed when Kelly told me I hadn’t sweat very much!), it was back into the shower again. By this stage, my body was feeling better than it had in months – silkily soft and smooth but also a little tighter and more toned around the middle especially.

Things were only going to get better… next up was an hour long Signature Organic Aroma Body Massage. This was where Kelly’s skills truly came to the fore as every inch of me was stroked into a melting puddle of relaxation. Using essential oils I picked earlier (a super-summery citrusy blend), she hit upon the right not-too-hard not-too-soft pressure immediately and from then on, it was an hour of utter bliss. Whilst some massages seem to heavily concentrate on obvious areas, Kelly really did cover me head-to-toe and I especially appreciated the section spent on my hands, arms and neck.

From then, you don’t even have to move before entering the next stage of heaven with a 90-minute Ino-Sensi Facial. However, given that you’ll have now been in the spa for around four hours, you may be needing a loo break! I was in such a state of pampering-induced paradise that just padding outside to the toilet seemed an incredible effort and I lazily wished that the private room, like some in other spas, had a washroom inside instead of the steam room. So my advice… think ahead and time your loo break so it doesn’t interrupt your flow too much! What is great, though, is that although there is so much to pack in and so much hopping in and out of showers, the pace never once felt rushed or frantic… instead it was relaxing serenity all the way!

Onto the facial itself though… and it was magical. There were no unusual freaky steps to this, just a good thorough cleanse, tone, exfoliate and moisturise, all using great products that I could feel made my skin positively sing. The best bit was when Kelly rolled two ‘cooling bulbs’ onto my face – these felt so deliciously soft and soothing (more gentle than the jade or stone ones I’ve had at previous places) that I just wished she could do this forever. Once again, Kelly’s assured touch made this facial feel extra-special and my face (and head again – yippee!) got a great massage too. One look in the mirror confirmed this was just what the doctor ordered – a brighter, smoother, plumper complexion and a definite sparkle behind the eyes!

It was now time to enjoy my three-course ihealth lunch on the stunning pool terrace that Jaime previously sung the praises of here. Yet just as I was settling down to that magnificent view, the rain gods had other ideas! Nevertheless, the Intercon staff were wonderfully efficient and I was immediately swept away to the cosy club level, where I could instead enjoy my lunch undercover in a hushed atmosphere and with some newspapers from the UK to keep me company instead!

I selected my three courses prior to coming (all dishes are created with nutrition in mind, boasting healthy ingredients high in antioxidants) and I was pretty pleased with myself bearing in mind the sudden change in weather that I went for a warming squash soup with cashews to start. The consistency was more broth-like but it was delicious, very appetising and gave me ample opportunity for bread-dunking!

My main was organic chicken breast, with sautéed spinach, sweet corn cakes and onion gravy. Although the sweet corn cakes had seen better days, I loved the variety of fresh sweet vegetables (not just spinach, but carrots, asparagus and much more too) and the gravy was especially delicious.

Finally, the star of the show – dessert! The lemon posset with blueberries and a sesame biscuit was utterly amazing and better than desserts in most restaurants. The posset had just the right amount of zing whilst still being sweetly and smoothly mellow and melt-in-the-mouth, plus there was a scoop of unmentioned but very welcome lemon sorbet! The bursts of juicy blueberries were delightful, the sesame biscuit far more tasty than I thought it could be and it was all classily presented in a martini glass. Healthy and delicious?! It felt almost too good to be true! All dishes were super generously-sized as well… actually too big for me (especially after a virtuous-feeling spa day), but better too much than too little, right?!

Of course, this luxury comes at a hefty price – $4290. But when you take into account the number and quality of treatments, plus the unlimited use you get of the spa’s wonderful facilities and a three-course meal to boot, it does even out. If you celebrate a birthday or anniversary during summer, I think we’ve just found the perfect gift to add to the wish list!

A Detoxifying Day at the I-Spa really is the ideal way to kick-start your summer and afterwards, your body will never have looked or felt better – meaning it’s totally beach, swimwear and summer dress ready too! Softer, smoother, brighter, lighter… I left with a definite spring in my step, indulged but in a healthy way. So recharge your batteries and take a day out to shed your winter skin and come out sparkling… you won’t regret it!

The Detoxifying Spa Day at the I-Spa costs $4290, including four hours of treatments, a three-course ihealth lunch and use of the spa’s heat, fitness and pool facilities.

I-Spa, Intercontinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2721 1211


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