These days, Hong Kong is all about the bling. Personalised number plates, bejewelled phone cases, moisturisers infused with diamonds and bags dripping in designer names. But for bling with a slightly classier touch, The Mandarin Spa’s Golden Utopia Facial might be just the kind of bobby dazzler you’re looking for.
Specially created for The Mandarin Oriental’s 50th anniversary (talk about an awesome birthday present!), the Golden Utopia Facial uses anti-ageing Gaylia Kristensen products, including a 24-carat gold collagen mask, to deliver a supremely luxurious pampering experience.
You guys recently voted The Mandarin Spa as your favourite luxury spa in Hong Kong in the 2013 Sassy Awards – and you lot most definitely have taste! Whilst I’ve visited The Mandarin Salon for treatments before, I’d never actually been to the spa… and I was mightily impressed. The spa is incredibly spacious (if a little maze-like; I got lost on a couple of occasions!) and has a totally serene vibe; I especially loved the Oriental touches, like the blue-and-white ceramic sinks, and the uber Zen tea lounge, where you can relax before and after your treatments.
I arrived early to take advantage of The Mandarin Spa’s range of heat and water facilities, including a Chinese herbal steam room, Kneipp pool (for improving blood circulation) and two experience showers; there’s also a swimming pool and fitness centre too. After 15 minutes of playing with the different types of rain and lights in the experience shower and trying to fool myself that I’d soaked up some health benefits with just a quick wade around the Kneipp pool, it was onto the treatment itself.
My therapist, Angel, led me downstairs to the dimly lit treatment rooms – and my room… or should that be suite… was incredible; it was about the size of my entire apartment! The contoured bed was wonderfully comfy and Angel was able to adjust the settings to perfectly fit how I wanted to lie.
The treatment started with a deep cleanse and exfoliation, followed by an a-ma-zing lifting and toning massage over my face, head, shoulders and hands, using Gaylia Kristensen’s super hydrating Passion Oil. Angel was a dab hand at the massaging game and honestly, I’d be tempted to come back for this part alone. Using lymphatic drainage techniques and applying just the right amount of pressure to various reflexology pressure points, this was supposed to target lines and wrinkles, and relieve the stress and strain of our facial muscles; either way, it’s totally relaxing and a surefire way to help you hit the snooze button!
The most interesting part of the treatment is the final stage – the 24-carat gold natural collagen micro-gel infusion mask (whew!). This is where things get very Cleopatra/Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger/Iron Man (pick your cultural reference as appropriate!) as the mask literally looks like liquid gold covering your entire face. Apparently, the pure plant collagen and nano gold stimulates and boosts collagen and elastin production, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and creating a lifting, smoothing and firming effect. This soothing and cooling jelly was left on for 20 minutes, whilst I got to enjoy another Angel massage – result!
After a final application of some Gaylia Kristensen serums and creams and that always-depressing ding of the bell that signals the end of your treatment, I was done. I appreciated the lack of a hard sell – instead, Angel merely gave me a checklist of all the products used and left me to wend my way back to the tea lounge and enjoy my last few minutes of Mandarin Spa bliss.
Although personally I prefer a more targeted facial (for instance, Angel noticed my blackheads – how could you not?! – but since this facial doesn’t include an extraction, didn’t really combat the issue), my skin definitely looked brighter and smoother by the end. The Kristensen products used are definitely suited more for dryer skin that’s in need of a mega dose of hydration bliss, whilst the massage and mask gives tired complexions that little zingy pep talk that’s so often needed! I’d recommend this facial for those of you who want a really relaxing and luxurious treatment – and a chance to check out the serene splendour of The Mandarin Spa in person.
GIVEAWAY: The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is giving away some of their 50th anniversary celebration treatments throughout summer – check out all the details on their Facebook Page here
The Golden Utopia facial lasts two hours and costs $2,400 on weekdays and $2,600 on weekends
The Mandarin Spa, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2825 4888