FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Macau, The Spa At Mandarin Oriental, Macau

May 1, 2013
2013 / May 2013

I knew I was in a city where everything is bigger when I learned my hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, Macau, with its 213 rooms, is considered “boutique.” The truth is, in Macau, that is small. Most of the properties on the island are home to thousands of rooms, and the majority are at full occupancy. With the dizzying array of sights to see, people to watch and delicious cuisine to discover, I knew my “boutique” hotel would be a sanctuary.

On a late afternoon, the day after my arrival via a 13-hour flight and a one-hour ferry ride and following a morning spent sightseeing, the Mandarin Oriental, Macau became even more of an asylum for this weary traveler. My pre-dinner activity involved unwinding at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Macau, and it was a selfishly needed indulgence that catapulted me from jet lag back to my normal state.

Macau itself is an interesting blend of its Chinese heritage — both past and present — and the European influences of its time as a Portuguese colony. The hotel’s spa envelops that hybrid into the décor, with hues of blue and red, and spa treatments using Chinese bao ding balls in signature therapies.

I was overly eager for relaxation — I arrived rather early for my treatment. After I filled out the requisite paperwork and enjoyed a few sips of a welcome drink, my masseuse greeted me and whisked me back to my luxurious spa suite, with indescribable views of the city. The spa’s suite experiences take place in spacious treatment rooms, offering guests their own hideaway, including private shower facilities. The large bathroom features marble countertops, a steam shower, a whirlpool tub and any amenity one would want for showering and getting ready.

Being there as the sun set and the city’s night lights switched on added to my newly acquired tranquility. Above it all, I let my tension melt away and prepared to be pampered in the award-winning spa for the next two hours. I was scheduled for the signature Macanese Dragon Experience which includes a body scrub, a steam shower, a whirlpool bath and a Chinese lymphatic body massage.

My treatment began with a foot ritual. I reclined onto the cushioned seat tucked into the corner of the suite and dipped my toes into the warm, perfumed water as my therapist began to gently wash my feet. Blissful … after only five minutes.

As a child, I despised having my feet touched; it took my dad and mom working in tandem to hold me down and clip my toenails, and they joked I came from the womb kicking the doctor as he grabbed at my feet. Those feelings of discomfort disappeared over the years, and today I love the few brief moments of massage during a pedicure. That moment in Macau was no exception.

This was my second such foot ritual before a spa treatment — my first was at Qasr Al Sarab in Abu Dhabi — and it was just as soothing. My therapist massaged the pressure points in my feet, and I thought of how perfect a welcome this was to my Macanese Dragon Experience.

First up was the body scrub. The scrub contained coffee beans, almond oil, sea salt, frankincense oil and pink grapefruit oil. Still feeling the lingering effects of my foot ritual and the comfort of the spa, I remained in la-la land throughout the scrub, despite the abrasive-but-oh-so-good-for-your-skin techniques of the treatment.

A steam shower and whirlpool experience followed. I rinsed the scrub from my body as I stood under and in the steam produced from multiple showerheads. The pressure and steam opened my pores before I stepped into the bath, the water treated with clove buds, mandarin peel and cinnamon oil poultice.

Night had settled in Macau, and I let the jet bubbles rise around me as I stared into the view over my left shoulder. (The wall of windows and the magnificent view were available in both the treatment room and en suite bathroom.) I must admit, I’m not one for sitting still for too long, but the view lulled me into a few peaceful moments. I did, however, get out before the therapist indicated my time was up. I was ready for the massage to start.

Lymphatic massages are characterized by light, rhythmic strokes. In tandem with the barely-there brush strokes, my therapist used Chinese bao ding balls, or Chinese medicine balls. They are typically seen manipulated in the palm of the hand to improve manual dexterity. A body oil — a blend of macadamia nut, evening primrose, coconut, olive, geranium, ylang ylang and vanilla oils — was also used.

At first I worried the pressure of the medicine balls would be too much, but the rhythmic, circular motion as they moved across my skin was so relaxing it was a lullaby. So effective, in fact, I actually fell asleep — a first for me. Sure, I’ve dozed in and out during an especially good massage, but I was so completely comfortable, I drifted into the REM sleep I’d so desperately craved the night before, when jet lag reared its ugly head and kept me awake from 3 a.m. onward.

I awoke to a gentle nudge from my soft-spoken therapist. I stopped myself from muttering the age-old “five more minutes” and begrudgingly accepted that my two hours of bliss had come to an end. I was, thankfully, utterly restored. A sluggish, exhausted traveler entered the spa and a revitalized, relaxed one left. This was my first evening of the trip, and it woke me up to appreciate all that lay ahead on my itinerary for the next three days.

After changing for dinner and checking out of the decadent spa, I floated back to reality.

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Macau

Avenida Dr. Sun
Yat Sen, NAPE
Macau
tel 853 8805 8888
mandarinoriental.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Sep 20, 2021

Russell Wilson Scores a New Alaskan Airlines Livery

Last week was the start of football season with Americans around the United States celebrating the return of the NFL and football Sundays. Alaska Airlines joins the celebration.

Register Today for the Most Important Gathering of Business Travel Professionals

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.

Daily
Sep 17, 2021

Hotel del Coronado Reveals New Lobby, Front Porch

Legendary Hotel del Coronado reached another milestone in its $400 million Master Plan reimagination, with the completion of an extensive, historic restoration of the hotel’s front porch and lobby; a redesigned main entry and drive experience; new guestrooms in The Views area; and refreshed retail concepts.

September 2021
Sep 16, 2021

Philadelphia’s Fairmount Boasts Impressive Collections and a Friendly Vibe

As a native of the Philadelphia region, I’m quite familiar with the drive in and out of the City of Brotherly Love. Even as the city’s skyline continually transforms, my favorite views of Philadelphia have always been along Boathouse Row, with the Philadelphia Museum of Art rising in the background, before looping around the museum to the flag-lined Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Home to many of Philadelphia’s incredible and world-renowned museums, the Fairmount neighborhood is fittingly aesthetically pleasing and practically synonymous with fine art.

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

Daily
Sep 16, 2021

Rosewood San Francisco to Open in 2026

Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 15, 2021

Sweet September Specials from SLS Hotels

Check out these irresistible offers from SLS properties in Miami:

Greece: Destination Luxury

Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 15, 2021

A Master Class in Tuscan Wine at Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection

Tuscany’s Lucca is home to Grand Universe Lucca, which brings the region’s best wines front and center to its guests. The hotel features three immersive Tuscan Wine tasting experiences: Montalcino, Montecarlo, and Super Tuscan and Chianti Classico.