The transitional seasons between summer and fall are perhaps the hardest on our skin and health, with the gradually lowering temperatures making us more susceptible to dry skin and tiredness. Those on the hunt for an indulgent sprucing up will want to check out five brand new spa offerings by Margy’s Monte-Carlo at The Peninsula Hong Kong.
Hailing from Monaco, therapist-to-the-stars Margie Lombard is an expert in facials that lift, tone and restore the skin, and her signature award-winning treatment is a favourite among royals and celebrities. She’s collaborated on several new treatments at The Peninsula Spa including the Collagen Firming Body Treatment (HK$2,015), which touts ‘red-carpet-ready’ glow with firming massage techniques; The Skin Brightening Facial (from HK$2,080), for those looking to brighten and even out skin tone after a summer of outdoor events; and The Stem Cells Revitalising Facial (HK$3,500/90 minutes), which uses Swiss apple stem cell extracts to aid in cell regeneration, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
For gorgeous vacation glow, the Beauty Scrub Relaxer (HK$1,820) helps to exfoliate and hydrate the skin all over while releasing tension. Finally, the Signature Anti-Cellulite massage (from HK$1,820) is touted as a high-performance, invigorating massage, particularly aimed at those seeking a lymphatic detox or to alleviate water retention and bloating. We dropped in to try the 90-minute session one afternoon in the private-spa suite.
The Peninsula Spa takes up the entire 9th floor of the hotel and can only be accessed by an elevator after the spa lobby. Elegantly decorated with earth tones, Asian motifs and touches of marble, the treatment rooms are mostly singles, whilst there are two harbour-facing private spa suites made for couples, priced at an additional HK$1,400 to your treatment.
Equipped with a private jacuzzi for two and an in-shower steam room, you’ll get an hour to soak, steam, sip on coconut water and nibble on fresh cut fruit before your treatment. The room also features its own mood lighting and music channels that you can choose — you could even link up your own music by BlueTooth if you so wished.
The extravagance is certainly worth a splurge for celebrations, but if you’re after a results-oriented spa sesh, the standard rooms will certainly do the job — just be sure to ask for a harbour view room. If you time it correctly, you’ll wake up at the end of your treatment to a glimmering skyline at magic hour, or as the city’s nightlife wakes up during the Symphony of Lights.
After a languid dip in the hot tub and the shower’s fantastic water pressure and heat, I already felt revived — especially after helping myself to a few of Margy’s serums on the vanity table. But my lower body, sore from sitting too much in a desk job, could still benefit from a little extra help. My therapist Ami greeted me, and to make sure I would be comfortable, she explained the kinds of motions she would be using for the massage, which would involve a lot of pulling, kneading, shaking and brushing. After, I was instructed to lay face down to begin my treatment.
Starting with hot towels on my feet, a rush of blood through my system helped to kick start my circulation, presumably for detox purposes. Ami combed a warm oiled hand through my tense muscles from my lower legs to my back, focusing on each leg from tip toe to thigh first with firm cupping and pecking motions, then medium pressure wiping and dragging gestures, finally ending each section with light combing and pinching.
The areas she worked on the most were around my upper back thighs and hips, where people tend to congregate the most cellulite and loose skin, and this grew ticklish each time she rounded off the section with hoof-like clapping motions. I dozed in and out throughout the treatment: gradually falling asleep when she increased the strength of her strokes.
As I turned over, Ami revisited the front of my legs with the same sequence from firm to light — particularly tickling in the upper thighs, but not quite yet to make me uncomfortable. After moving to work on my arms, she also did my stomach, which made it hard to not squirm — I probably would have fared better if the pressure was firmer. The best part was when she reached my neck and shoulders — I have a problem with stiff shoulders as a result of ‘text neck’, and as I would see later, this helped me release my perpetually locked décolleté and helped my neck look longer and leaner too.
It was about this time where the music took a turn for the worse — what was initially meditative chanting as a result of me mucking about on the controls, it eventually grew to a disconcerting warble by a huddle of monks. With the massage rhythm out of sync with the weird vocalising, I asked her to switch the music, which thankfully improved as it faded away to melodic nature sounds.
Finishing off with a blissful scalp massage, I opened my eyes to see a dark sky and the iconic harbour laid out before me. It’s not a horrible way to start off an evening, that’s for sure. Honestly, I was ready to peace out and head straight to bed by this point, but dinner at The Verandah beckoned.
With the environment of the private spa suite entirely up to your control, the surroundings can feel as wondrous or as random as you choose, so pick wisely. A night after the treatment, I noticed the lines around my hips had faded away, any loose skin appeared more taut and when I normally felt heavy, friction-filled steps as I walked, I instead felt my joints more free, like a load had been lifted from my spine and lower back.
What I enjoyed most of all, however, were the compliments: I was mistakenly asked by a hotel executive after my treatment whether I enjoyed my facial — clearly, the euphoric post-spa glow was palpable. If you’re seeking a zap of energy and glowing complexion by the most extravagant way possible, think of Margy’s and strap in for this French Riviera-inspired treatment for your skin.
Margy’s Monte Carlo Anti-Cellulite Massage is priced at HK$2,470 for 90 minutes, with an additional HK$1,400 for the private spa suite. The Peninsula Spa, The Peninsula, Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2696 6682