Address: 15/F, Tower One, Time Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2114 4728
I have mentioned in a blog post before that Sulwhasoo is a brand that seems to work magically for my skin. Of course, this depends on your skin type. I have some friends with oily skin who find this brand’s products totally unsuitable, but for my dry skin, it works wonderfully.
I have had facials at their Harvey Nichols beauty lounge before, as it is very close to my office, but this is the first time I visit the Sulwhasoo SPA. My treatment is at the Time Square branch, and I have chosen a Snowise Hydrating facial treatment (HK$1,600), which aims to improve dull and dehydrated skin.
The spa in Time Square is a serene and relaxing space, with 14 private treatment rooms. The staff is delightfully courteous and attentive, and I am given a hot drink as soon as I enter the spa. I arrive early for my treatment, but do not have to wait at all before a beauty consultant takes out an iPad and patiently explains the procedure of the facial treatment to me.
I am asked to pick a scent from 4 essential oils – pine, prunus mume flower, sandalwood and agilawood. My treatment will begin with a dry cloth face massage, which was a ritual performed in the palaces of the Joseon Dynasty, and the dry cloth will be infused with the scent of my choice. I opt for sandalwood as I adore its calming and soothing properties.
Even though I visit the spa on a Saturday, there are only 2 other customers in the changing room, which makes this a very private and enjoyable experience. I am also very impressed that my shoes are taken away to be cleaned after I change into my slippers – this is the first time I visit a spa that offers shoe-cleaning service! (If your treatment costs above HKD4,000, then it will take place in a private spa suite which has a private changing and shower area.)
There is a complete set of Sulwhasoo products available for use in the changing room. Something that catches my eye is the “Herbal body cream”, which I don’t think is for sale at retail stores.
Before my facial treatment begins, I first enjoy a foot soak with ginsengberry extract, which helps improve blood circulation and relaxes my body and mind for the massage.
The treatment room may not be as big as hotel spas’ treatment rooms, but it is certainly of a decent size. After my foot soak, the treatment begins with a dry cloth massage as mentioned above. The beautician expertly massages my face with a dry cloth, and I am asked to inhale deeply so the strong scent of sandalwood can awaken my senses for the treatment.
A warm mugwort pad is placed on my lower abdomen to keep me warm and relaxed during the treatment – talk about attention to details! I am told during my treatment that the warm pad is beneficial for female reproductive organs by offering some heat energy to it.
Traditional Korean beauty tools are used at the spa, and for my treatment, white porcelain tools are used. The coldness of the white porcelain helps the skin’s absorption of the whitening essences, and it also has purifying effects. The facial treatment is utterly enjoyable – the products are generously applied and are absorbed quickly by my skin thanks to the experienced beautician’s wonderful massage techniques, and the beautician is immensely knowledgeable and patiently explains the procedure throughout the treatment. I leave the spa feeling that my skin is moisturised, translucent and luminous.
After the treatment, the beautician teaches me the “Sanseng(相生) Breathing”, which involves a gentle stretch and a breathing routine which is meant to benefit various internal organs. I practice yoga and am used to having to chant during yoga classes, but I still find this breathing method a tad awkward as I am asked to breath out funny sounds when there are just two of us in the treatment room. I do hope the breathing ritual is beneficial enough to justify the awkwardness.
After the treatment, an aromatic tea and light snacks are prepared for me in the relaxation lounge.
There is a lo han guo tea in the relaxation lounge, which is mildly sweet and very soothing for the throat.
To top it all off, there is a hand-written card from the Sulwhasoo team to thank me for the visit.
The ambience of the spa, level of service and the treatment itself are top notch, and are definitely comparable to hotel spas. Even though the price may seem hefty (HKD$1,200 or above for each treatment), there is no added service charge, unlike the hotel equivalents. If Sulwhasoo products are suitable for your skin type (and do test out their products before you come to their spa), then I would certainly recommend that you visit their spa too – it is a most pleasant and enjoyable experience for me!