Above the long queues for old-school diner Lan Fong Yuen and the bustle of Graham Street wet market is an unlikely spa sanctuary, The Melomist, which opened quietly in late 2016: a comfortable, cosy space which focuses on using boutique beauty brands. Opened for a little over six months now, it’s already been awarded the Best New Hong Kong Spa of 2016 by beauty booking app BloomMe.
The Melomist is a serene, relaxing space, with soft sunlight sifted through louvered windows, which also helps filter out the commotion outside. The main salon, dedicated to manicures and pedicures, is simply decorated with brightly coloured accent furniture and a floral motif running throughout the wall décor and throw pillows. It’s an ideal spot for small spa parties with close friends, and the gel polish collection is also all nontoxic. Down a corridor, three rustic sliding barn doors open onto minimalist private treatment rooms. Each room is only fitted with the essentials, including a small chair to place your belongings, a mirror, coat hook, a spa bed and a sink. Soft music plays in the background in each room.
Owner Jumi Lee has been managing spas in the UK and Hong Kong for 15 years, and when she finally decided to open her own spa, she focused on creating a soft and uncluttered space with a feminine design. For the treatments, her goal was to avoid harsh products or complicated machinery, focusing instead on very gentle treatments that are still packed with potent nutrients.
Aside from offering body treatments, massages and waxing treatments, the salon particularly touts their facials. You’ll find treatments using Australian cruelty-free spa brand Ultraceuticals, the French Dead Sea mineral brand SÉLA, and Hong Kong-based organic brand Native Essentials.
I recently tried the 90-minute Mineral Gold Advance Anti-aging Facial (HK$1,380), one of their signature treatments, which aims to firm up and nourish the skin with the highly concentrated properties of gold — also said to have fantastic anti-inflammatory properties to soothe puffiness. Naturally, the products used are from SÉLA’s luxurious mineral gold range, with some products leaving a very subtle and shimmery glow on the skin. This is complemented by the brand’s other two lines, Blue Secret and Pearl Rice, depending on the client’s skin condition.
With deft and quick hand movements, Lee, who is a registered therapist herself, went to work cleansing my skin using products from two different SÉLA ranges. This was followed by a gently vibrating skin scrubber and a creamy Pearl Rice exfoliator to get rid of dead skin.
After this was a painful, but necessary extraction step to remove blackheads and whiteheads from my T-zone. Lee followed this by using a high frequency device to zap away remaining bacteria, close the pores to prevent breakouts, and also increase the oxygen level to even out the skin. I noticed a very subtle smell of burning hair, very much like an IPL treatment, but this was completely painless.
You could call the next step the epitome of luxury, as my face was lightly massaged with a luxe diamond elixir, then layered with a caviar cell-repair cream, which was allowed to infuse even deeper thanks to a lightly vibrating infusion device, applied to my face in rolling massage movements.
You know it’s a good spa treatment when you start to drift in and out of blissful sleep, and this was exactly what happened as Lee continued to apply a high-concentrate gold serum and a light mask on my skin. As this was left to do its magic, she continued to release the knots in my shoulders and neck by using a half moon-shaped jade hot stone, another signature feature of the treatments here.
By the end of the treatment, my originally dehydrated skin drank up all these layers of gold nourishment and positively glowed, without feeling or looking greasy afterwards — which made it easy to head back to the office without needing to touch up. It was definitely the softest and brightest my face had felt for a long time, so much so that it felt like my products at home were barely enough to match that level of deep hydration in the days to follow. That’s all good news: it only means there’s all the more reason to return.
The Melomist, 3/F, Cheung Hing Commercial Building, 37-43 Cochrane Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2450 2220, melomist.com