A Pacific Spa Trek

A Pacific Spa Trek

From Hong Kong to Vancouver, some of the world's great spas span the expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

By Joanna Hall (Photography by Ben Hall)


I-Spa at the InterContinental, Hong Kong

Hong Kong's first 'feng-shui-friendly' spa - and arguably one of the city's best - is located in this famous harbourside, five-star hotel with a view. An oasis from the bustle of the city, it offers an extensive menu of body and facial treatments including several Asian-themed signature treatments. One of these is the luxurious 'Ancient Rituals of the Orient', which fuses indulgent therapies from China, Japan, Thailand and India. If you're in need of total relaxation of both mind and body, this is the treatment for you. This 90-minute 'journey' begins with a ceremonial Thai foot bath, followed by a full body exfoliation using a scrub containing Japanese green tea and ginger. Yin and Yang are balanced with a gentle back massage using hot stones, oils, and Chinese acupressure points, and hands and feet are massaged while a continuous stream of warm, Indian Ayurvedic oil is poured onto the forehead and through the scalp. The treatment wraps up with a sleep-inducing Oriental head massage.





The Observatory Hotel Day Spa, Sydney

This elaborate spa, famous for its subterranean 'under the stars' pool, has recently undergone a makeover of its own, including extensive renovations and an extension. And if you crave skin like a new born baby, or want to strip away the ravages of the summer, it's the place to enjoy La Prairie's most indulgent body treatment - a Diamond Body Perfection. This two-hour session of pampering starts with a full-body micro dermabrasion using a puree of micronised diamonds, fresh water pearls and quartz crystals. Then, with skin invigorated and like polished glass, you begin a more relaxing phase of the treatment - a 'gentle full body massage. The treatment concludes with a generous application of Skin Caviar - a deluxe body cream - which leaves your skin soft as silk.'


Mandara Spa at the Outrigger Guam Resort

This is one of five elegant Mandara Spas in Guam, located at one of Tumon Bay's absolute beachfront five-star hotels. Guests who tire of shopping and the beach can retreat to this cool, calm oasis and pick from a long list of exotic treatments, many of which embrace both the Micronesian culture and local ingredients. A bonus here is that there are also double treatment rooms, allowing couples to enjoy a massage or facial at the same time. One signature treatment worth trying, and which was introduced only last year, is a lovely massage called Malasan Guahan. Basically, it's a relaxing, deep tissue massage designed to combine elements of spirituality and healing through touch. It can be enjoyed as a 50 or 80-minute treatment.


Spa Olakino at the Marriott Waikiki Resort and Spa

It's hard to drag yourself away from the surf and sand of Waikiki Beach, but a visit to this luxury spa is well worth the effort. It's also one of the top places in Honolulu to experience one of a long list of traditional Hawaiian remedies. Every one of its menu of treatments uses only Hawaiian products - papaya, Kona coffee beans, aloe vera and other exotic plants and fruits - which are mixed on site. After lounging in the sun, especially if you've overdone it, the perfect remedy for your complexion is an Hawaiian Noni Facial. This therapeutic one-hour facial combines the healing properties of two of Hawaii's most healing ingredients to soothe and calm the skin. One is kuki nut oil, which contains linoleic and linolenic acids to soften the skin and create barrier to protect it from further damage. The other is noni, a Polynesian fruit-bearing plant which is used for everything from skin care to strengthening the immune system. The result...Rejuvenated skin.


Vida Wellness Spa at the Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver

Vida is a well-known name in Vancouver's growing spa market, and this is one of two locations in the city. It's also convenient for the downtown area, so if you tire of exploring on foot, you can take the weight off your feet here with a range of indulgent face and body treatments. Like many spas today, there are options for couples to share the same treatment at the same time. And at Vida Wellness, one of these is a custom-designed Ayurvedic massage. According to the principles of Ayurveda, we each inherit a unique composition of three 'doshas' or elements. For the massage to be right for your needs, you fill in a questionnaire beforehand so that the therapist can establish your individual dosha. The massage uses your custom-blended oils on the entire body in a style which stimulates the lymphatic system to eliminate toxins. Yet it's also relaxing, helps to loosen joints, and is a great stress buster. The massage can be enjoyed for 60, 90 or 120 minutes.


SPA FILE

The InterContinental Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong, www.hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com

The Observatory Hotel, The Rocks, Sydney, www.observatoryhotel.com.au

The Outrigger Guam Resort, Tumon Bay, Guam, www.mandaraspa.com

The Marriott Waikiki Resort and Spa, Honolulu, Hawaii, www.marriottwaikiki.com

The Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia, www.vidawellness.com

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