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
eFlyer Reviews
Jun 23, 2021

Hoffman Haus Review

A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Lufthansa, Viking Cruises Partner to Offer Customers Direct Flights to Malta

In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Indianapolis International Airport Opens Art Gallery

Indianapolis International Airport officially opened its first-ever art gallery, The KIND Gallery, named after the airport’s international airport code. It is initially featuring artists from Harrison Center for the Arts.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Allianz Survey Reveals 2021 Summer Vacation Spending to Shatter Records

Allianz Partners USA’s 13th annual Vacation Confidence Index estimates Americans’ total spend for summer vacation travel will cross the $150 billion mark for the first time in the Index’s 10-year history, a 160 percent increase over spend in summer 2020 and 50 percent over spend in a robust 2019.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

Boca Raton Resort & Club Announces New Partnership

Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

Daily
Jun 21, 2021

The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”

The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.