Hong Kong has a lot going for it. Great fitness opportunities, great social scene and fantastic restaurants. However, my ability to capitalise on aforementioned selling points has been slightly scuppered. The mix of humidity, hard water and air conditioning have been playing havoc with my skin, so much so that I have seriously contemplated wearing a mask to work meetings so as not to offend those sitting opposite me. Whilst meeting people wearing face masks in Hong Kong isn’t necessarily a rarity, my husband informed me it was probably a step too far to wear one just for vanity’s sake!
Looking for an alternate solution to my dermatological woes, I booked myself in for a 75 minute signature facial at The Plateau Spa at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Wanchai. In all honesty, I’m not a facial girl. The idea of someone “extracting” and touching my face is not for me what a spa is about, I much prefer being indulged in massages and wraps. However, sometimes needs must and tempted by the incredible facilities at the Grand Hyatt I decided to fight my facial demons and start the process of making myself look more presentable. Without exaggeration, I must say that this is the best decision I have made ALL year.
Let’s start with the spa facilities. Nustled away on the 11th floor of the Grand Hyatt, not so attractively located over the flyover from the Gloucester Road, hides a hidden oasis so calm and stylish you could easily convince yourself you were on a beach holiday somewhere exotic. As well as a state of the art gym, which let’s be honest, we’re not going to use when pampering ourselves, there is a giant outdoor pool with plenty of sun loungers and a wonderful dining/bar area too. The area is so nice that I may be tempted to pay their day rate of $550 to use the facilities on one of those beautiful summer’s days Hong Kong sometimes throws our way. The spa then offers something really unique in that it has 23 residential spa rooms. Zen like hotel rooms, located on the spa floor with giant bathrooms, Japanese style floor level beds and best of all, balconies overlooking the harbour. If you’re really looking to indulge yourself and/or someone special then you can take them up on their Winter Spa-Cation which includes an overnight stay, meals and spa treatments for two for only $4,700 (Sassy Hint: The perfect Christmas present for him which actually benefits you just as much!).
Normal spa rooms are just as serene. With giant dressing room areas, all-encompassing dressing gowns and beautiful minimalist decor, from the moment you step inside, you feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of outside. My therapist Michelle, gracefully explained how I should prepare (avoiding any of those awkward spa moments when you find yourself naked facing a therapist expecting you to be clothed) and talked me through the facial procedure, a very comforting step for a facial-phobe like myself. The facial involved a number of steps, including a skin analysis to determine my skin type and ensure the best products were used. Michelle subtly but unashamedly pointed out that I had dry skin, with a number of breakouts and a high tendency to go red due to my thin skin! It’s a wonder I’m ever allowed out the house. Rather than just pointing out my flaws, she also suggested ways I should combat them including how often I should exfoliate, what type of products I should use and what I should avoid. Then the facial started. It. Was. Heaven. I’m not lying when I say it was the most peaceful hour and 15 minutes I have ever spent. And this is whilst having my pores unblocked! Michelle applied the various masks and cleansers with such a soft and soothing touch that I fell asleep, literally with a smile on my face, at various points. Even the extraction itself was smoothly and expertly done, barely waking me from my gentle slumber. Whilst she let the mask work its magic, I indulgently received an arm, neck and head massage that I really would have paid to have just in itself as she eased away all my tension and aches and pains.
But the proof of any facial is in the after effects. It’s all very well being lulled to sleep with gentle massage strokes but did my face actually see the benefit? Well, straight after the facial I had to attend Sassy’s Christmas drinks with all our bloggers. I was slightly worried I would turn up looking like a kid with measles but somehow I emerged from Plateau radiantly glowing with barely any redness. In fact, I even received compliments on how glowing I looked. And in the week since, my breakouts have subsided, my skin has remained smooth and the lingering effects of the Michelle’s magic touch massage are only just fading. This facial-phobe has made a U-turn. I now think that it is a medical necessity that I make appointments with Michelle at least once a month. Doctor’s orders.
A signature Plateau Facial costs $1,050. For bookings, please call Plateau Spa on +852 2584 7688 or e-mail [email protected]
Plateau Residential Spa, 11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong