When you think of relaxing, Macau might not be the first thing to come to mind (especially if you're on a losing streak). But, now that there's a Banyan Tree Spa Macau located right on the Cotai Strip, gamblers and non-gamblers alike will finally have a place to blow off some steam, especially after a hard day's work at the casinos.
Headed to Macau? Check out the newest integrated resort on the Cotai Strip, the Sands Cotai Central.
Atmosphere: Located on the second floor of the Banyan Tree Macau, the Banyan Tree Spa Macau features a large reception area with a gift shop one side, where we were greeted by friendly, soft-spoken and courteous staff. There, we filled in a personal profile of our preferences for massage, while enjoying a welcome cup of ginger tea on the side.
On our way to the treatment room, we stepped carefully on a foot path over a pool of water and entered a lovely bamboo courtyard that was flooded with natural light, which made us feel like we were miles away from Macau.
The treatment rooms were also large, spacious and decorated with a contemporary Asian theme. During our brief foot bath with the therapist, we could even choose from a variety of different spa tunes for our treatment (ranging from piano and jazz to opera and pop).
Treatment: We opted for the gold Classic Rejuvenation package (an invigorating ginseng scrub and Swedish massage) plus a tropical rain mist experience for a total of two hours of indulgent pampering.
The treatment began with a tropical rain mist experience in a private steam room, where we first lay face down on a waterproof massage bed under six shower heads. The pressure from the shower heads was just right, providing a strong and steady water massage over our whole body.
The Banyan Tree Spa Macau therapist gave us a cold hand towel to hold onto (to help with our breathing) and a little bell to call for assistance should we need it, and then left us for about 10 minutes to enjoy the hot rain mist.
By the time she returned, our skin was perfectly prepped for the next step of the treatment -- the scrub. The ginseng scrub was applied limb by limb, and rinsed away immediately afterwards so that there was no gritty feeling when it was time to turn over. After the scrub was completed, we were showered off a final time to get rid of any excess particles.
Next, it was time for our Swedish massage, which was -- in one word -- fantastic. The therapist knew exactly which muscles to target, loosening them up and sweeping away all the tensions inside. We drifted off to sleep in no time, and did not wake until a small gong at the end of the massage was sounded.
For something closer to home, check out the Angsana Spa in Hotel Icon, Hong Kong, sister spa to the Banyan Tree Spa.
Verdict: The Banyan Tree Spa Macau is a great way to escape the cacophony of the casinos on the Cotai Strip, and it's great to know that standards are kept up to par with all the other Banyan Tree Spas in the world (every therapist is formally trained at Banyan Tree Academies in Bintan, Phuket or Lijiang).
Although it might not be the sole reason we'd make the trip over, we highly recommend getting a treatment there the next time you find yourself in Macau.
Banyan Tree Spa Macau, Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus, Cotai, Macau, China, +853 8883 6633, www.banyantreespa.com