When it comes to Hong Kong spas, there are usually two ways you can go -- ultra luxurious with a matching price tag, or hyper local with no idea of what to expect. The hard part is finding something in between that won’t break the bank or leave you with bruises all over your body (it happens, trust me).
Enter the newly opened Angsana Spa, the chic and trendy sister to the luxe Banyan Tree Spa. Known for their use of natural ingredients such as native flowers or fruit (like the bamboo massage, latte barley scrub and avocado smoothie mask), the Angsana Spa trains all of their therapists at Banyan Tree Spa Academies in Phuket, Bintan and Lijiang to ensure the same level of high quality service at each of their locations.
Atmosphere: Located on the ninth floor of the sleek and modern Hotel Icon, Angsana Spa is decked out in a contemporary way with lots of natural light coming in from the windows. Bright orange-yellow accents and recurring bamboo motifs evoke a subtle Asian vibe while hi-tech iPod docks play spa tunes softly in the background.
Each of the four treatment rooms at Angsana Spa has its own shower and bathroom for convenience and privacy, and I was placed in the spacious couples’ suite with two massage beds, a resting area and jacuzzi facing the cross-harbour tunnel.
Treatment: With the help of the receptionist, I decided on a two-hour “Glow” package with the honey sesame scrub (perfect for the dry winter months), and the Fusion massage that blended Thai and Swedish strokes. The Thai part of the massage meant there’d be some stretching, but you can ask the therapists to tone that down if you’d rather get some uninterrupted shut-eye.
The treatment began with the therapist wiping down my feet with a hot towel and then applying the honey sesame scrub gently, one limb at a time. The scrub itself is actually made out of black sesame and a few other herbs and spices, and unlike other scrubs I’ve had that were borderline painful, this one was applied with such care that I fell asleep in no time. When it was time to be flipped over, there was no unpleasant, gooey feeling on the massage bed as the therapist had used just the right amount of scrub to avoid making a mess.
After a piping hot shower to rinse away the scrub, a 60-minute massage followed where each touch of the therapist was nothing short of heavenly. There were no jarring pokes, no ticklish moves and no awkward stretches -- just long, smooth and perfectly pressurised massage strokes to relax you completely and sweep you off to la-la land.
The sound of a small gong signaled the end of the massage, and the therapist prepared the shower again for me to wash away the oils from the treatment. After that, I was given some “me time” to relax in the suite with a hot pot of tea and some dried fruits, before it was finally time to head back out into the real world.
Verdict: With the exception of the occasional honk from the cars queuing for the cross-harbour tunnel outside, our experience at the Angsana Spa was completely fault-free. The trendy, chic and intimate setting, coupled with highly skilled therapists and wallet-friendly prices (our two hour Glow package was priced at only HK$1,050) make Angsana Spa a definite must-try for all spa aficionados in Hong Kong.
Angsana Spa, 9/F, Hotel Icon, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3400 1052, www.angsanaspa.com