Brr. It’s DAMN cold outside in Hong Kong right now and, frankly, naysayers citing minus temperatures in other countries can get back in their (festively-decorated) boxes as far as I’m concerned. One word – heating. Hong Kong has none, meaning that 16 degrees here feels significantly colder than it should, given that’s considered shorts and t-shirt weather in the UK.
So – given that the only thing I enjoy frosty is a margarita and I’d already maxed out the credit card on Uniqlo Heattech – I headed over to Plateau Spa at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong to sample their seasonal Winter Warmer Ritual and see if that couldn’t defrost my digits a little.
Up on the 11th floor of the Hyatt, Plateau is perhaps a little more low-key than many of Hong Kong’s hotel spas, with a focus firmly on the quality of the treatments. The décor in the huge private en-suite treatment rooms is all blonde wood and natural stone accents and you also get a great view out over the harbour too. The overall effect is cosy, comfortable and – yes – warm, and I felt myself starting to thaw as soon as I got changed into the trademark super-plush robe. (Seriously, this robe is definitely a highlight of the Hyatt spa experience. Melo Spa at Hyatt Regency Sha Tin also has the same crazy-soft gown. This will be going on my Christmas list next year so that I have the ultimate excuse to work from home in my PJs all winter long).
The Winter Warmer treatment begins with a delicious smelling ginger and raw sugar body scrub to slough away any dry skin exacerbated by the sudden drop in both temperature and humidity. I LOVE a good spa scrub and always find my skin texture is significantly improved after a professional has given it a thorough exfoliation. After a quick rinse in the (huge, powerful, HOT) shower during which my therapist whisked away the gritty bits, it was back to the heated bed for a massage.
A caveat – anyone not enamoured with spicy scents should probably pick something else from Plateau’s spa menu as, like the scrub, the massage oil was also ginger-based, smelling exactly like Christmas. My therapist used a combination of long strokes to relax and shorter, firmer strokes to target my (considerable) collection of knots and I was soon zoning out to a happy place of roaring log fires, mulled wine and Bing Crosby.
Quicker than The Snowman melted away (I cry every single year), the massage was over and I reluctantly peeled myself off the toasty warm bed, ending the experience with a cup of ginger tea.
The perfect treat for those who feel the chill, the Winter Warmer is as delicious as a warm mince pie (minus the calories), and will have you feeling festive, rather than frozen, within an hour and a half.
The 90-minute Winter Warmer treatment is available until 31st January 2016 and costs $1500.
Plateau Spa, 11/F Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; 2584 7688
Please note that this treatment was by invitation.