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Spa L’Occitane – a relaxing trip to Provence… in Star Street!

I think I may have just found my new favourite spa in Hong Kong…

Regular readers may know of my love affair with Bliss Spa in W Hong Kong (or to be more exact, their brownie buffet!) but Spa L’OCCITANE might have just stolen my heart. If you are after a balance between the high-end luxury of hotel spas and the cosy intimacy of more local ones, this could be the place for you!

Nestled at the top of Star Street in Wan Chai, Spa L’OCCITANE is blissfully quiet – no traffic noise, no eavesdropping on others’ conversations, just simple spa serenity. The spa itself feels like you’re entering a gorgeous rustic cabin in Southern France, with wooden decking, a sunny airy atmosphere and a mellow Provence vibe. They have nine individual treatment rooms, all as big as any hotel spa, yet with some lovely personal touches – for instance, padded hangers complete with cute lavender L’OCCITANE sachets, and a large dressing room with a make-up counter so you can touch up after your facial.

I was booked in for their uber-relaxing Journey To Provence treatment – 135 minutes of pure unadulterated spa bliss, including a 75-minute facial and a 60-minute body massage. Once you are at the spa, your therapist will help you pick the exact facial and massage treatments to fit your requirements; since my skin was sensitive, we went for a moisturising Shea Nourishing Comfort facial and since my stress level was high but my pain tolerance low, the Relaxing Aromachologie Massage seemed the best bet.

After being whipped off to my gorgeous treatment room (there’s a bed, a bath, and a wardrobe – can I move in please?!), my lovely therapist got down to business with a fragranced foot bath. Many spas start with this step, but what impressed me was that rather than just splashing water around my feet, I actually got a proper foot massage, which worked gently at my pressure points and felt divine.

This attention-to-detail at the earliest stage was a total sign of things to come. My facial moved thoroughly through every single stage of a good facial  (skin consultation, cleansing, toning, exfoliating, extraction, mask, moisturiser) without ever once feeling rushed. The highlight was the fantastic hydrating masks (yes, plural!), as on top of your regular mask, you receive a Dry Herb Mask (to strengthen the benefits of the regular mask) and a lip and eye mask… with a simultaneous shoulder massage thrown in there too. You can’t get much more moisturising than that!

My massage was just as good – you can personalise this by telling your therapist which areas to concentrate on and how strong the pressure should be. Using a combination of Swedish, Balinese and Acupressure techniques, plus a delish smelling mix of lavender, teatree and geranium oils, you can just lay back, relax and let your stresses filter away.

Finally, it was back to reality with a cup of tea (including a yummy French biscuit – not quite a brownie buffet but good enough!) and a chat with my therapist. What I really liked about the girls here was there was no hard sell; instead, I was sent home with a load of samples of recommended products to see if I liked them rather than getting the stink eye when I didn’t buy anything. Unlike many places in town that have an ever-rotating team of therapists, the staff at Spa L’OCCITANE clearly love the place as much as I do, tending to stay working here for years and with the easy friendliness of people who love their job and know what customers like. At reception, there’s a really sweet guest book filled with photos and hand-written messages from customers about how much they loved their treatment – and now, my message has been added to all their glowing endorsements!

I left Spa L’OCCITANE feeling totally relaxed and chilled out, whilst my complexion was brighter, plumper and had definitely received the much-needed moisture boost it needed! Having spotted that Spa L’OCCITANE is one of the few places in HK with a Vichy Shower, I am already planning my next visit; they also have a range of specially-priced packages and I was so in love from my treatment that I practically snapped one up on the spot (might just need to wait until payday though!).

If you are after a genuinely lovely spa experience that whisks you on an ultra relaxing trip to Provence and back, give Spa L’OCCITANE a try. C’est magnifique!

SASSY DISCOUNT: All Sassy readers can get $500 off the original price of The Journey To Provence treatment, including a 75-minute facial and 60-minute massage – so it costs $1100! Simply mention SASSY when you book to get your discount (and each person can only enjoy the discount once!). The offer expires 30 June 2013.

The Journey To Provence treatment costs $1600 for a 75-minute facial and 60-minute massage.

Spa L’OCCITANE  Shop No.3, Star Crest, 9 Star Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2143 6288  www.hk.loccitane.com/…

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Petit Spa L’OCCITANE (which offers facials, massages and special body treatments only), Shop 1094, Elements, Kowloon Station, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2143 6288

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