A few weeks ago we brought you the exciting news that The Mandarin Spa at The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has launched two special new pregnancy massages. They were nice enough to let us send two Sassy mamas-to-be, Emma and Rosa, to be guinea pigs to try out the fabulous treatments…
Being on bed-rest is NOT luxurious or relaxing in any way. When your OB puts you on bed-rest, it’s simply what a mum must do for the good of the baby. Bed-rest comes with lots of sore muscles, neck stiffness and strain on joints and ligaments. Thank goodness the finish line is in sight – I’m in my third trimester now – and the reward is a strong, healthy baby once it is all over.
When I arrived at The Mandarin Spa, I thought that I had stepped into Old Shanghai (but with all the modern amenities). I felt like all the hustle and bustle of Central was left at the door and surrendered myself to the serenity of the lovely environment. I was greeted by a nice blend of Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Frangipani in the air and the gracious staff checked me in with the details of my treatment, a cup of Jasmine tea and directions to the ladies’ lounge where I could freshen up. Once done there, I decompressed in the open lounge with fruit infused water and more warm herbal tea.
I did the “Body and Bump”, a 90 minute treatment that includes a full body massage where you can choose from several bump-safe oils (or unscented oil if you are still sensitive to smells), a scrub for feet and calves, a hydrating facial and a hair mask. The massage is done on your front and back, but don’t fret as they have the perfect adjustable belly cushion for the back rub portion of the massage. I’ve done many prenatal massages over the last five years (this is my second pregnancy) and this is the only cushion that I can say was truly comfortable for a face down back rub – I felt zero pressure on my lower back. If you’re still not crazy about laying face down, the therapist can massage your back while you lay on your side. The motorized massage bed adjusted quickly and quietly, so I was able to take a break from laying down and slightly sit up during the foot and calf scrub. The hydrating facial was ideal for my combination skin as the products used were not too powerful, but just enough to leave my face feeling refreshed and not over hydrated – which can easily happen here in humid Hong Kong. The “cherry on top” for me was the hair mask; a leave-in treatment massaged onto your scalp and strands and you can leave it on for 30 minutes or all day.
Once my treatment was complete, I pulled my hair back into a ballerina bun and went back to the lounge to enjoy a few minutes of quiet time, mini cookies and fresh fruits. Then I made my way back home, rinsed out the mask and dried my hair. My hair was noticeably different, the feel, shine and movement of it reminded me of my hair before pregnancy! When my five year old came home from school, she said “Hi Mama, you look nice and shiny!”… to which I could only say “Thanks, I feel nice and shiny”.
Having eagerly accepted an offer from Sassy Mama to trial The Mandarin’s new pampering treatments for mamas-to-be, I have to say I felt a little apprehensive. What with the usual trials and tribulations we all go through during pregnancy, just trying to arrive at the hotel on time and with an ounce of energy was daunting.
When I finally got to The Mandarin, I was courteously directed to the 24th floor where I was greeted by tranquil music, soft lighting and lots of smiles – certainly an environment which put me at ease and made me feel relaxed immediately. After registration, I was taken on a whistle stop tour of the spa and facilities which looked amazing. Unfortunately most of these facilities are not recommended for pregnant women but I would certainly like to explore such pampering once bubba is out!
After the tour I was shown to the changing area where I was offered a beautiful toiletry bag full of goodies and an ample robe which covered my bump nicely. Once changed, I was led in to the relaxation room where I was offered a complimentary drink and some magazines to browse. My masseuse Angel, collected me here and then showed me in to the treatment room.
Angel talked me through a step by step guide of what to expect and how the bed worked with the bump and made sure I was comfortable. She also asked several questions such as the length of time I would be comfortable lying on bump or back, and if there were any areas in particular I would like her to focus on. We tested various scented and unscented oils before I decided to opt for the rose oil which is said to help with stretch mark prevention and moisturizing for your skin – always a bonus with that ever growing bump!
Once I was in place on the bed – a procedure which turned out to be more graceful than I had previously imagined, Angel ensured that all of the pillows were in place and supporting my boobs and bump. Surprisingly I felt very comfortable and not awkward. The lights were then lowered and the background music took over. The massage lasted a blissful 90 minutes which started on my legs and slowly worked its way up my back, to my shoulders and arms. Then I turned over and then again from legs up across my bump to shoulders and finally my head, which even included a mini facial. I certainly know where Angel got her name from!
Once the massage came to an end, I was taken back to the relaxation room to unwind. After which I had invigorating shower, changed and felt refreshed and ready to take on a hectic afternoon in Central.
The entire experience at The Mandarin was amazing. I would highly recommended the ‘Mellow Mummy’ treatment during pregnancy, as we all know it is a tiring journey carrying bubba and a little extravagance now and then is more than justified and well worth the treat!
The “Mellow Mummy” (either 60 or 90 minute) treatment starts from HK990 and the 90-minute “Body and Bump” treatment from HK1,450. You can make a reservation by calling The Mandarin Spa directly on 2825 4888 or by emailing [email protected].