A Sky-High Wellness Journey at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
Start your wellness journey at Hong Kong's finest hotel.
Like many across the world, those of us in Hong Kong are mostly homebound due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it’s not all doom and gloom, as some of us are falling in love with the city all over again with newfound appreciation for what it has to offer.
For some of us, it could mean venturing out on new hiking trails and enjoying the outdoors, for others, it’s supporting local businesses and exploring new neighbourhoods. No matter what you choose to do in accordance with the social distancing rules, there’s one thing we can agree on: Hong Kong is full of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
While the future of travel is still up in the air, Forbes predicted that travel after the coronavirus will mean “staycations and road trips could be favoured over flying or cruising” as people prefer to stay closer to the safety of home. Lucky for us, Hong Kong is home to some of the most stunning five-star properties, offering luxurious staycation packages that will take you away from your familiar surroundings and instantly transport you to holiday bliss.
With self-care becoming more relevant than ever in the world we live in, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong gives its take on wellness with a series of health-boosting and pampering offerings curated by its team of spa and dining experts, taking guests on a wellness journey during their stay.
Perched on the hotel’s 116th floor, The Ritz-Carlton Spa is one of the world’s highest hotel spas and without a doubt the highest in Hong Kong. Featuring 11 luxurious treatment rooms, including two couple’s suites, the spa provides a serene setting for bespoke treatments catered to each individual’s mind, body and soul.
Taking the spa experience to new heights—literally in the clouds—every detail of The Ritz-Carlton Spa is designed to transport you far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Blending holistic rituals from the East and modern therapies from the West, the spa offers head-to-toe pampering with luxurious touches, elevated by panoramic views of the city and Victoria Harbour.
Besides its award-winning treatments, the spa’s newest offering is the Ultimate Immunity Booster treatment, combining professional acupressure techniques with Asian healing traditions to deliver immunity-boosting benefits.
I had the treatment in one of the couple’s suites, which features a host of luxe amenities including a deep soaking tub and a lounging area facing breathtaking views across Hong Kong, complete with side-by-side deluxe spa treatment beds offering perfect privacy. The experience began with a foot scrub and consultation with the therapist, who talked me through the treatment process and asked if I have any specific areas of concern, reassuring me that the massage would be tailored to our needs.
Beginning with a circulation-boosting pressure point massage with ginseng oil, a potent antioxidant known for its efficacy in boosting resistance to infections and anti-inflammatory effects, the therapist spent a generous amount of time on my neck and shoulders as requested, loosening up the knots and relieving muscle tension using lymphatic drainage movements.
As I started to drift in and out of consciousness, a cold sensation on our back woke me up—it was the magnetic massager. The idea of a magnetic massager is to help dredge the lymphs and blood vessels to promote blood circulation and metabolism of the body. In comparison to bare hands, the magnetic massagers can perform a deeper massage with more targeted pressure and allow better absorption of the oil.
Finishing off the treatment with a relaxing, toe-curling head and scalp massage, my body felt wonderfully rested. Some (if not most) of the stubborn knots in my usually-stiff muscles disappeared, and my skin was left feeling soft and hydrated thanks to the silky massage oil.
Still feeling all the benefits of the Ultimate Immunity Booster treatment, I headed straight to the Relaxation Lounge, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows offering dramatic vistas of the Hong Kong skyline. As part of the spa facilities, the Relaxation Lounge comes with a healthy snack station, where guests can enjoy fried fruits, nuts, cookies, yogurt, flavoured water and tea post-treatment. A row of lounge chairs looking out onto the city are separated with thin curtains, offering just enough privacy. Each comes with a soft, velvet blanket, where I found myself cocooning in without a second thought, allowing myself to indulge in another 30 minutes of pure bliss.
In addition to pampering, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is also the destination for those who prefer to stay active during the staycation. On the hotel’s 118th floor, you’ll find the city’s highest swimming pool which, naturally, affords stunning views that make for the perfect backdrop for a next-level Instagram shot. With full-length windows, a mirrored ceiling that reflects the dazzling blue from the pool and high-resolution LED wall, it looks as if you could swim straight into the harbour.
For fitness enthusiasts, a visit to the fitness centre is essential. Featuring state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and an outdoor terrace lined with day beds, this is where you get one step closer to your fitness goals.
Simply put, a staycation at The Ritz Carlton, Hong Kong will give you access to never-before-seen views of Hong Kong.
After checking in at the lobby on the 103th floor, I was escorted to the high-speed elevator, which whisked me to the 111th floor where our room was located. In a hotel that sits atop floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre, I was expecting incredible views but nothing quite prepared me for when I stepped into the room for the first time. Spanning 700 sq.ft., the Grand Victoria Harbour Room undoubtedly boasts one of the most jaw-dropping views of Hong Kong, with vantages sweeping across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Victoria Harbour.
Every detail of the room follows The Ritz-Carlton's signature shades of brown, dark reds and black marble surfaces. The bedroom comes with decadent touches, including a plush king-sized bed with 400-thread count bed linens with down pillows and throws. There is also a purple velvet lounge chair, which adds a luxurious touch to the space when placed next to the windows.
Another highlight is the marble bathroom, which features a bathtub with a built-in TV screen, a rain shower and premium Asprey bath amenities.
The Well-Being menu
To achieve wellness from within, it’s important to pay attention to the nutrients our body needs for optimal health. In Chinese food therapy, a modality of traditional Chinese medicine, this means balancing qi and restoring organ functions by consuming foods according to their medicinal properties.
At Michelin two-starred Tin Lung Heen, chef de cuisine Paul Lau has specially crafted a six-course Well-Being menu inspired by such principle. Using the healing properties of natural foods, chef Lau has incorporated healthy, immunity-boosting ingredients in each dish on the menu, aiming to help correct imbalances and create harmony within the body.
The marinated abalone, razor clam with Chinese yam in soy sauce, for example, is a luxurious starter designed to nourish the spleen, lungs and kidneys. Often considered a luxury ingredient in Chinese culture, abalone is also a good source of omega 3, which contains anti-inflammatory properties against heart disease and even cancer.
Soups are believed to restore the balance of yin and yang in the body. I especially enjoyed the double-boiled sea conch soup slow-cooked with cordyceps and dried figs, which was incredibly comforting—if not downright healing—but also utterly delicious. I was also told by the knowledgeable waiting staff that the cordyceps is said to help fight inflammation, and dried figs are known to prevent coronary heart disease and stimulate metabolism.
After the soup, I was served an apple tea, which has a natural, mild sweetness to it that balances the savoury dishes harmoniously. The finale of my wellness journey was marked by an invigorating dessert: double-boiled Chinese pear with honey, lotus seed and red date paired with deep-fried pumpkin dumpling with bird’s nest, which moisturises the skin and soothes the lung—in the sweetest way possible.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2263 2040, ritzcarlton.com