THE SPA AT THE PENINSULA HONG KONG
HONG KONG, CHINA
With its signature fleet of Rolls Royce Phantoms that line its driveway, you know you’re in for something special when you enter this palatial property. Considered by many to be one of the world’s leading hotels, the Peninsula Hong Kong is an elegant oasis that defies the frenetic, heaving crowds of the bustling Kowloon district that surrounds it.
Fittingly, the hotel is also home to the Peninsula Spa an intimate sanctuary that elicits the feeling of an escape within an escape by combining uniquely Chinese elements with contemporary flair in much the same manner achieved with such spectacular effect in the flagship hotel’s state-of-theart accommodations.
On the menu at the spa is everything from a collection of body contouring treatments to signature Peninsula Hotel treatments like the renowned Simply Peninsula Thai Massage (90 min/$255), many of which are offered in treatment rooms with breathtaking views of Victoria Harbor. Personally, after a long flight, I opted for an Aromatherapy Massage (80 min/$180), a stimulating treatment that excites the senses while providing the ultimate in relaxation. To take the experience up a notch, I arrived early to sample the aromatic hammam-style steam room and relaxation lounge, both of which served up more of those stellar views of the picturesque Bay.
For the perfect end to my spa experience, I nipped over to adjacent fitness facilities for a dip in the Romanstyle swimming pool, which peers out over the city in a fashion so surreal that it almost seems to float above it. The hubbub below may be hectic, but the serenity of the space feels miles away from it all. And, to my thinking, that is the true hallmark of a great spa. www.peninsula.com/en/hong-kong/wellness
– Duane Wells
LOTUS SPA, DIAMOND PRINCESS
PRINCESS CRUISES, ASIA
The elegant 2,670-passenger Diamond Princess, voted Best International Ship in Japan by Cruise Magazine, sails a variety of itineraries that loop around Japan’s main islands, letting passengers experience an astounding cross-section of the country’s fascinating destinations, all without having to worry about deciphering bewildering road signs or train schedules. (The ship also sails itineraries that venture beyond Japan to Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.)
After soaking up Japan’s wonders on the Diamond Princess’s fantastic day excursions, unwind and rejuvenate back on board at the serene and gorgeous Lotus Spa, boasting a world-class staff and offering more than 50 treatments that integrate lush Elemis products. Try the Exotic Lime and Ginger Salt Glow (75 min/$199), an invigorating and revitalizing body treatment that begins with a warm oil drip, followed by the application of a lime and ginger sea salt scrub, and completed with a postrinse deep tissue massage. Get your male face in order with the Royal Shave (55 min/$95), which includes a shave, a pro-collagen mini-facial, and a soothing face, scalp, hand-and-arm massage.
The spa also includes a full-service salon for excellent haircuts and trims. And be sure to make ample use of a glorious Diamond Princess exclusive: Izumi Japanese Bath ($20 per visit, or 5 visits for $80), modeled after a traditional indoor/outdoor “onsen” bath, and the largest of its kind at sea. Shower first (as tradition dictates) in the individual cubicles, then join the gender-specific indoor baths, or the pagoda-roofed outdoor hydrotherapy pool, where you’ll bask in fabulous open-air views of the surrounding sea. www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/onboard-experience/wellness
– Laurence Ferber