Home to one of Asia’s largest – and most competitive – spa scenes, Hong Kong is the ultimate city for a pamper-break. From express pedicures to bespoke traditional therapies, Hong Kong’s day spas offer every treatment under the sun, and with most spas now operating until 11pm (or later), it’s easier than ever to squeeze in some luxury downtime during a city break.
If you find yourself in need of a bit of relaxation after a long day of pavement pounding, you won't go wrong with these picks for the best spas in Hong Kong.
Spa at Ritz-Carlton
Vibe: Sky-high indulgence
The ear-popping discomfort of ascending 116 floors to the world’s highest spa (just two levels below the world’s highest bar) is wholly worth it for the exquisite views from the relaxation room’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Of course, the Spa at Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong’s roster of East-meets-West therapies designed by ESPA are just as enticing. Arrive early to test drive the sauna and tropical rain shower in the sleek changing rooms.
Must try: the Lava Shell Body Treatment using heated tiger-clam shells as a massage aid is a novel alternative to a standard hot stone massage.
Vibe: Futuristic Roman bathhouse
Concealed in the basement of Hong Kong’s first design hotel, the state-of-the-art MiraSpa (themirahotel.com) is a soothing subterranean oasis dominated by a 25m infinity pool. Other standout features include a relaxing waterbed ‘lounge’, a special ‘aura room’ designed to combat the effects of jetlag and an enormous nail bar stocked with every hue imaginable.
Must try: the Mira Journey leads guests through a dreamy, customised experience of salt scrubs, a four-handed massage and a decadent facial.
Vibe: Affordable French touch
A more accessible alternative to Hong Kong’s super high-end hotel spas, Spa L’Occitane (hk.loccitane.com) is a little piece of Provence on Hong Kong Island. The complimentary petits fours, bunches of lavender decorating the newly-renovated, minimalist-chic treatment rooms and French-themed indulgences such as the 'Journey to Provence' make you feel like you’re there – at least for an hour or two.
Must try: the Immortelle Divine Secret to Everlasting Youth promises distinctly younger-looking skin (very convincingly).
Vibe: Playful pampering
Asia’s first – and currently only – Bliss Spa (blissworld.com) upholds the US brand’s attitude-free wellness philosophy with its firmly tongue-in-cheek treatments and quirky setting. You can watch a movie with your manicure, stop by the brownie bar after your ‘Blissage’, and cap off your visit with a soak in the hot tub in the locker room. The views over Victoria Harbour and West Kowloon from the 72nd floor of the W Hong Kong aren’t bad, either.
Must try: the Deep-Sea Detox is designed to promote lymph drainage and replenish minerals for a truly ‘see worthy’ body.
The Mandarin Spa
Vibe: Traditional Chinese luxury
While its decadent 1930s Shanghai-style setting hints at the traditional Chinese system-boosting remedies (from cupping to moxibustion) on offer at the ultra-luxe Mandarin Oriental Spa, you can also play it conventional with an Eve Lom or Gaylia Kristensen facial. The massage menu spans the four corners of the Orient, including a full-body massage using warm bamboo to knead and stretch the muscles, but it’s almost worth visiting for the Chinese herbal steam room alone.
Must try: the Imperial Jade Ritual uses cool jade rollers to lift and tone the skin. Gents can book in for some old school pampering at the Mandarin Barber.
Vibe: Ultimate zen
One of the only feng shui-friendy spas in Hong Kong, it’s all about positive design flow and serious relaxation at Intercontinental Hong Kong's I-Spa. Each of its spa suites has a Jacuzzi, sauna and steam shower, and by signing up for one of their full-day programmes, non-hotel guests also gain access to the state-of-the-art fitness centre and infinity pool that seems to spill into the harbour (read: incredible views). Yoga and tai chi classes are held on the pool terrace.
Must try: the three-hour Five Elements Ritual, harnessing the five elements of feng shui, includes a gold-infused oil massage.
Vibe: Elegant escape
Another great substitute to the city’s uber-luxe pamper palaces, the tastefully decorated Hermitage Spa (hermitagespa.com) offers a tranquil escape from the bustle ofHong Kong's Central district. Drop by for an express manicure or a spot of laser hair removal, or carve out some extra time to indulge in one of their long list of signature Epionce facials.
Must try: the Red Carpet package, which includes an Epionce Signature Renewal Facial and a traditional Chinese foot massage, is the perfect primer for a night out.
Vibe: Sublime sleepover
One of only two luxury spas in Hong Kong where you can stay the night (the other being the Grand Hyatt’s Plateau Residential Spa), the Langham Place hotel's Chuan Spa (chuanspa.com.hk) treatments begin with a complimentary tri-bathing ritual, after which you're led down a candlelit staircase for one of 60 holistic therapies based on the ancient Chinese five-elements practice. After that, you can simply roll into your Chuan Residence bed.
Must try: the Traveller’s Retreat is designed to rebalance the body via a mixture of exfoliation, massage and a marine algae facial.
Vibe: Spa stopover
Located inside the Regal Airport Hotel, directly connected to Hong Kong International Airport's arrivals terminal, the serene, Thai-themed Om Spa (spa-om.com) offers the ultimate excuse to forgo schlepping into the city to occupy yourself during a Hong Kong layover. The hotel also offers overnight packages in spa suites – some of which have Jacuzzis.
Must try: reset your body clock with the Jet Lag Retreat, including a refreshing body scrub, foot and body massage.