A trip to Mong Kok is about the furthest thing away from a relaxing afternoon that I can imagine – the teeming streets, packed MTR and scores of determined shoppers don’t immediately speak to me as a place to score some much-needed mama downtime. But Langham Place Hotel’s Chuan Spa is nestled right in the middle of all this madness and yet still manages to bring an air of much-needed tranquillity to this lively part of Kowloon.
Fresh off the boat from London to Hong Kong, comes much-lauded natural skincare brand Oskia. With promises to deliver vital nutrients directly to the skin, the Oskia Signature Glow Facial is a total-immersion relaxation experience that will have you floating on air… at least until you head back downstairs!
The treatment takes place on a heated water cushion, which I was originally concerned might add an element of seasickness to proceedings as it gently undulated under pressure. Fortunately I didn’t need my sea legs, as this attentive added touch actually warmed the knots out of my lower back in a similar way to a steaming bath, and quickly zoned me out of the stress of the day. My spa therapist Jessie was incredibly attentive, checking that the temperature was comfortable, the music was at the right volume, and that I had sufficient pillows.
The facial itself was unhurried, beginning with a hot towel to open the pores, followed by a thorough cleansing and exfoliation with Oskia’s gentle, plant-based balms. A firm head, shoulder and hand massage released any residual tension, and the extraction – while never the most enjoyable part of a facial – was mercifully fast and relatively painless. By this point it became quite difficult to keep track of exactly what was going on, as I was relaxed to the point of comatose, however I did pop back to life as Jessie applied what appeared to be candle wax to my face using a brush. Once lit, this lusciously rose-scented oil melts at a lower temperature to a regular candle, and the resulting aromatic facial massage felt luxurious and nourishing to my aircon-parched skin.
With a final application of facial serum and a very welcome back rub, the treatment was over, and I emerged – reluctantly – to a cup of chamomile tea. My skin looked better that it typically does post-facial, with none of the redness or blotchiness that can occur, and was wonderfully soft and, yes, glowing.
The downside? After spending a couple of blissed-out hours enjoying the serenity of Chuan Spa, the descent back through the Langham Place mall (too many escalators… too many people!), and my MTR journey home felt particularly jarring. If Chuan Spa can fix up a package that includes a car service door-to-door, I ‘ll be there every week…
Oskia Signature Glow Facial, 75 minutes $1400.
Address: 41/F, Langham Place Hotel, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Tel: 3552 3510