If you’ve been feeling wistful for some Mediterranean sun and sea breeze in this muggy Hong Kong weather, homegrown spa brand Sense of Touch has just the thing for you. The spa has recently partnered with Italian fragrance house Acqua di Parma to offer a limited edition treatment — the 90-minute Luminous Blu Mediterraneo Retreat Body Buff and Massage. Inspired by the seaside tranquility of a Mediterranean holiday, the treatment includes a 30-minute body scrub and a 60-minute massage that utilises Acqua di Parma’s signature Blu Mediterraneo scented lotion, offering you not only physical relaxation but also helping to take you away from the stressful city pulse.
Currently available until 31 October 2017 at the Repulse Bay, Central and Cyberport spa locations, I dropped by Sense of Touch’s Central Lan Kwai Fong branch to try out the unique spa package and hopefully, to lift away some of my post-work tiredness.
Having visited a few times before for both personal and work occasions, I was already well acquainted with Sense of Touch’s five-storey, spiraling Central Spa. Located in a narrow, old Lan Kwai Fong building, and operating for over seven years now, it’s unfortunately really starting to show its age in scuffed furnishings and outdated — albeit clean and cosy — interiors. That being said, Sense of Touch’s service — which has earned the spa countless accolades throughout the years — remains the same: friendly but not overbearing, and most importantly, really knowing how to hit those pressure points.
After a brief welcome tea and the usual form-filling ritual, I was led to my treatment room, dimly lit in a soft orange glow. The first 30 minutes of the treatment is a body polish, using a blend of ECOCERT sweet almond oil, bergamot essential oil and a sugary scrub mix to slough away dead skin, stimulate circulation, boost metabolism, and give skin a baby-smooth finish.
I usually don’t enjoy body scrubs done by someone else, because I hate the clamminess of having a layer of sticky scrub on your body, and then being left cold as the therapist works your other side (even though they cover you up with a towel). I prefer instead my own in-shower scrubs so I’m kept warm in the hot water and steam at all times. But, in order to get to hard-to-reach spots like the centre of your back, one must make sacrifices, right?
With circular, firm movements, the therapist scrubbed my back and limbs (I squirmed internally when she reached my armpits, but I powered through). When she reached my stomach region, she kindly asked if I was ok being scrubbed there, and she knew to add medium pressure and a firm palm to make the few minutes as far off from a ticklish ordeal as it could be.
After the scrub was complete, I peeled myself off the wax paper-lined bed and hopped into a hot shower, rinsing off the sugary scrub with Blu Mediterraneo Bergamotto di Calabria shower gel to reveal insanely soft, slick skin that could make a dolphin envious. Spa scrubs are not my favourite thing in the world, but this one did its job well.
After drying off, I got back on the bed for the much anticipated 60-minute massage. The therapist started by instructing me to breathe deep as she held out the sweet-smelling massage oil, warmed in her hands, for me to inhale. The oil is blended to mimic the bergamot and citrusey top notes of Blu Mediterraneo fragrances, consisting of tension- and muscle- relieving chamomile and lavender oils as well as the comforting and sunny scent of bergamot oil. Deeply invigorating and comforting, it’s a perfect accompaniment to lull you into a state of bliss.
Using this blend, the therapist got to work, squeezing my tired shoulders all the way down to untwist the knots in my lower back, and finally working out the tension in my calves and feet, seemingly knowing exactly which tendons and muscles were sore and diving straight in to these areas. It was all too easy to drift in and out of sleep.
For the last step, the therapist massaged the revitalising body cream from the Blu Mediterraneo Italian Resort line all over my body, leaving it luxuriously scented and my skin even more supple (if that was even possible after the body polish). I woke up feeling blissfully rested, even more so than getting a decent eight hours’ sleep at night.
Leaving the spa into the cacophony of Lan Kwai Fong can be a little disgruntling after such a relaxing experience, but you can take comfort in knowing you can extend the experience a little longer at home, with a small Blu Mediterraneo ‘hat box’ gift set of shower gel and eau de toilette (worth HK$250; mine came in the Arancia di Capri fragrance) that comes with each Acqua di Parma experience at the spa.
The Luminous Blu Mediterraneo Retreat Body Buff and Massage is HK$1,290/90 minutes, while the Blu Mediterraneo Massage (without body scrub) is HK$890/60 minutes. Both are available at all Sense of Touch locations through 31 October.
Sense of Touch, 1-5/F, 52 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2526 6918