Hong Kong is one of those cities where I’ve come to expect the unexpected. Those passing through see only the high rises, the city lights and the frenzied pace of us harried urban dwellers. If you look a little closer, however, you’ll find little pockets of calm. The Bodywize Spa, tucked away in a pedestrian alley off Wong Nai Chung Road in Happy Valley, is one of these.
A little unassuming on the outside, the interior evokes a sense of wellbeing. From the moment I stepped in and took off my shoes, it felt as though my cares and worries had been refused entry by invisible bouncers. To sample the full range of Bodywize’s relaxation treatments, I booked myself in for the spa’s signature Bells of Himalaya treatment, which includes a yoga class, massage and facial.
The yoga lesson I attended was aimed at beginners and involved gentle stretching, although regulars were encouraged to go a little further. I enjoyed the pace of this class, which was just a little more challenging than practicing yoga alone but not too difficult as to break the meditative calm. An hour and several deep breaths later, I was ready for the pampering to begin.
My therapist, Adrianna, had a gentle and nurturing manner. I knew immediately that I was in good hands. I started with a question: why is the treatment called the ‘Bells of Himalaya?’ To which she replied cryptically, “You’ll see.”
Adrianna explained that the purpose of the treatment was to relax and energize, therefore there would be no elbows digging into my back muscles. It did not take long for me to doze off; the soothing and fluid hand movements sweeping across my back had a potent, narcoleptic effect.
The massage was followed by a facial using Pevonia Botanica, a range of natural, paraben free products. My skin was suffering from dehydration – exacerbated by a recent addiction to glycolic acid – with a little sensitivity in my cheeks. Adrianna had to calm the skin while balancing the need for hydration with surface oiliness. It must have been tough for her, but little sweat for me as all I had to do was recline with my eyes closed and doze off for the umpteenth time. My skin soaked up the treatment, drank in the moisture and rewarded me with a freshness I had missed since I was in my early twenties.
Three hours later, I walked out of the spa lighter, my vision clearer, even though the sun was setting. In my mind, I could hear the gentle tinkling of the bells, signalling the end of my treatment. I think I even smelt a little of that Himalayan air.
Bells of Himalaya costs $1,780 for three hours, and includes a 60 minute yoga class, 60 minute massage and 60 minute facial.