Hong Kong:: shopping paradise

Hi everyone!  Cant believe I haven’t posted anything for more than two weeks.  I think I was getting a little bit too caught up on Instagram.  I love that stuff, don’t you?

Anyways, I wanted to post the last remaining pictures from my Hong Kong trip so here they are.  Hong Kong is the most amazing place to shop.  First of all… no TAX. Wonderful. And the shopping malls are so pretty and they have the most ridiculous sale which you would never see in Tokyo.  Luxury brands going 20-40 % off.  Ladies and girls. Pack your bags and go for it! haha.

00260224-171138.jpg

So my favorite malls are;
1) IFC (crowded but at a very convenient place)
2) Pacific Place (I especially like the makeup shops and Harvey Nichols here. Details below.)
3) Elements (where my old apartment was! So easy to shop because there is hardly anyone there. Hermes, Chanel you name it. All the brands are there and you can really enjoy a relaxing shop time.)

First I head to IFC which is right above the Hong Kong train station. This mall is huge and has wide range of selections.

I usually just go straight to Lane Crawford where they have all the nice selection of my favorite brands.

00260224-171156.jpg

They also have ‘sacai luck’ which I don’t see in Singapore. Alexander Wang and JCrew is here as well.

00260224-171203.jpg

Next stop, Harvey Nichols at Pacific Place shopping mall.  I think I shopped here the most when I was living in Hong Kong. They have L’AGENCE which is one of my favorite brands.  When I went there a couple of times, they remembered me and even gave me a VIP card where I can use their nice spacious fitting room.  I mean,,, isn’t Hong Kong’s service amazing?

00260224-171210.jpg

I had been looking for a nice silk blouse with bright colors. And as usual at Harvey Nichols, I found the perfect piece by ‘robert rodriguez’.  Quite pricy but why not.  Came all the way down here and who knows how much it will cost in Singapore with all the tax. Plus I would probably not find this brand in Singapore anyways! Done. Buy!

00260224-171217.jpg

Next stop, La Mer. I always, ALWAYS buy cosmetic stuff in Hong Kong. They are much cheaper than Japan or Singapore. And you get the most incredible service!

I went to the La Mer shop at Pacific Place and first I was greeted by this really nice staff who offered me a space to put my shopping bag and sit at the comfy sofa offering me tea/ coffee.  How nice! I didn’t even buy anything yet!  So I asked for some herbal tea.

00260224-171225.jpg

Then the best part was that they let me try out their products while chatting with the staff there.  So much fun! In the end, I got their fabulous cream and foundation powder.

It was such an enjoyable time there because normally what happens in Singapore or Japan is that you have to wait, wait and wait until a staff is able to attend you.  Then when you are about to spend quite some money on their products, you just stand there with your heavy bags, not offered to sit, and test the products while you stand. Not fun at all.

00260224-171234.jpg

Any girl will have a great time in Hong Kong with all the nice shopping and food.  Agh!  I need to be back there again.

Maybe next time during the summer sale!

00260224-171248.jpg

 

Hong Kong:: best facial ~Spa L’Occitane

Hi everyone!  Can’t believe I am still trying to post my Hong Kong trip experience.  Sorry for the late post!

Before I moved to Hong Kong few years ago, I never really had a regular facial treatment done.  Why?  Um, okay. Two huge reasons.

One. Because getting facial in Japan is extremely expensive!  Two.  I didn’t really believe that a facial treatment would do any difference to your skin.

Okay, so I was totally wrong.  Facial treatment in Hong Kong is pretty affordable compared to Japan and Singapore.  The amazing thing is that every cosmetic brand including Chanel, Dior, La Prairie, Lancôme.. you name it.  They all have a facial spa treatment room.  And after I start to have a regular facial, my skin totally changed.  Plumed, hydrated, skin tone was clear than ever.  I guess its not just about the internal stuff like what you eat.  You really need to care externally… especially at my age. haha.

So here is my favorite and thought the best one out there.

L’Occitane Spa!

00260224-171316.jpg

There are two locations in Hong Kong but I like the one at Elements Kowloon.  Probably just because this was right below the condo that I used to live.  “petit spa'” room is where all the magical facial treatment happens.
But if you happen to visit Hong Kong and looking for some good facial treatment, I would recommend to go to this location for the L’Occitane spa located at Star Street (Hong Kong).

00260224-171323.jpg

Three big reasons why I love the L’Occitane facial compared to others.
1) All  face care are from natural ingredients of vegetable origin, often organic, guarantees a high level of quality and exemplary traceability.
2) No machine used during the treatment, massages are done with hands.   The BEST thing is while you have your face mask on, they massage your feet, head and arms.  They don’t just leave you in the room with your mask on!  I hate it when they do that,, don’t you?
3) Finally and importantly, affordable!
00260224-171344.jpg   00260224-171351.jpg

The spa menu and price list can be downloaded from here.
This time I took the “Shea Nourishing Comfort” treatment.  75 min is for 850$HKD (approx. 100USD) and 45 min is 550$HKD (approx. 70USD).

00260224-171357.jpg

00260224-171409.jpg
If you want to try out others while in Hong Kong, there is also facial treatments from Chanel, Dior, Lancôme and many others.

Isn’t this the best place for a girls trip!?

00260224-171421.jpg  00260224-171427.jpg

Hong Kong:: french michelin food

Hong Kong is a great place to get pampered, not just the spa but also the food is great and affordable.

The only bad thing is that you need some time in advance to book a place whether if it is lunch/ dinner on a Monday.  Friday dinners are impossible to book if you are calling on a Monday that week.  You will need at least more than a week if you want to try out something fancy.

Joel Robuchon is one of my favorite place to go for lunch.  They have two locations now but I like the one at Landmark Oriental.

***
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (Hong Kong)
http://www.robuchon.hk/about_us
***

00260224-164311.jpg

Great thing is, even if it is a Michelin star chef restaurant, it is still affordable.  You don’t have to spend 50$US on lunch for a 3 course meal.

00260224-164302.jpg

00260224-164331.jpg

00260224-164338.jpg

This time, I had the 3 course meal which is about 45$USD.  Amazing food and wonderful service.  You will never be disappointed here.

00260224-164345.jpg

00260224-164353.jpg

Hong Kong:: the best spa ever ~part 4 final

Hi everyone!  This is my final post of the Peninsula spa experience.

Before I start my spa treatment, I head to the heat therapy room for some steam sauna.  The waiting lounge at the spa facility is already relaxing.
00260220-024537.jpg

As I posted before, the spa facility is just spacious enough for about 5 people.  But I had never encountered with anyone here.  So I got to enjoy the whole place by myself.  Super!00260220-024553.jpg

Again, bundles and bundles of towels, mineral water and cold towel for you to bring in the steam sauna.  The cold towel is carefully scented with lavender aroma.  Detailed service going on there. Love it.
00260220-024631.jpgI also really like the tropical rain and cold mist shower. What’s so special about this is that this is an aroma shower.  For the tropical rain, you smell a fruity flower aroma and cold mist has a mint aroma.  It is so relaxing and refreshing.  Especially when you want to cool down after a hot steamy sauna.

00260220-024609.jpg

00260220-024639.jpg

Dry sauna is as big as a 10 people capacity.  With a wide window looking out to the harbor is amazing.  Someone who is a bit claustrophobia like me, this is wonderful.  Most dry sauna doesn’t have a huge window with a view, but just a small room that could only fit 5 people.

00260220-024616.jpg

00260220-024623.jpgI like the steam sauna here a lot because it also has a fruity flower aroma in the sauna.  So spacious and the warm lighting is calming.  I took this with my iPhone so all the steam got to my lenses so it’s a very blur photo… Sorry!

00260220-024647.jpg

After spending and enjoying 45min at the heat therapy room, I head down to the relaxation room to cool down before my treatment.  Now, this place is amazing as well.  It’s sofa bed is so relaxing.  The sheets are all from the luxe bed linen FRETTE.
00260220-024656.jpg

00260220-024702.jpg
They also have my favorite coconut water ‘Jax Coco’ and freshly squeezed mango blackcurrant smoothie.  Normally other hotel spas would only have some warm tea and water, but here, they offer more.

00260220-024710.jpg  00260220-024718.jpg
Freshly cut fruits.

00260220-024725.jpg
Adjustable sofa bed.

00260220-024739.jpg
Sit back and relax until you are escorted to your spa treatment.  As for me, I take the coconut water, relax, and wait for my treatment.

Hope you enjoyed my Peninsula Hong Kong spa report.  If you ever have the chance to visit Hong Kong,  I would highly recommend this spa!

00260220-024746.jpg

 

Hong Kong:: the best spa ever ~part 3

(… continued from part 2)

The corridor that connects the swimming pool and changing room was very nice with a dome on top.  I walked up the stairs (right corner of the picture) where it leads you to the pool

00260217-142927.jpg

The indoor swimming pool area is very spacious with lots of chairs and it also has a deck outside that over looks the harbor.

00260217-142937.jpg

00260217-142947.jpg

It was raining in the morning but just when I started to have lunch, it stopped and I was able to see the Hong Kong island view.  It feels amazing watching the boats and ferries go by, with a fantastic view of the Peak.

The lunch menu comes with fresh juice, appetizer, main dish and dessert followed by Peninsula blend tea or coffee.

00260217-142959.jpg

Every time I come here, I fall in love with the whole deco of this place.

00260217-143012.jpg

00260217-143047.jpg

The terrace where you have lunch is like a green house with lots of sunlight.  It would be so nice if you do a girls spa day with a group of friends.  Just relax, have nice lunch and have a girls chat by the pool/ harbor.

Amazing harbor view.

00260217-143054.jpg

00260217-143105.jpg

For appetizer, I chose hot pumpkin soup.  Was feeling a bit chilly coming from 32 C to a 5 C weather.

00260217-143115.jpg

For main, I had fish with steam vegetable.  It was very tasty.

00260217-143123.jpg

Later had a fruit cocktail with Italian gelato and Peninsula blend tea.  But the dessert looked so good I forgot to take picture before eating it!  This is so me…  I realized right before I had my last scoop of fruit.  Sorry, this does not look great in picture but the dessert was fab.

00260217-143132.jpg

On the next FINAL post, on the spa heat therapy and the relaxation room! 

Hong Kong:: the best spa ever ~part 2

Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  Singapore passed its cool season and now it is back to its humid steamy hot weather.

So… back to my spa report par 2 of part 4.  Sorry guys, this is quite a detailed report but I cannot help it!  The spa here is so wonderful.

After I changed into my bathrobe and cleansed my face, I head towards the ‘other’ changing room.  This room is meant to be for the hotel guests who uses the gym and sauna facility.  So it is apart from the spa facility, but if you prefer to take a shower or use the Jacuzzi, you are able to use this space as well.

Tons and tons of fresh new towels, robes and slippers.  They also have toothbrush and shower cap as well.

00260217-142709.jpg

00260217-142827.jpg

00260217-142839.jpg

Amenities for you to use, hair dryer and hair iron.

00260217-142729.jpg

Magazines and newspapers if you want to bring them to the pool side later during lunch.

00260217-142738.jpg

00260217-142818.jpg

Changing room with nice sofa chairs if you need some privacy.

00260217-142748.jpg

Very clean and nice shower facility.  Not a single hair is on the floor!  They do a great job in keeping this place in tip top shape.  A person who is a bit OCD like myself… this is very comforting.

00260217-142758.jpg

The Jacuzzi at the gym facility was very spacious and nice.  No one was there at this time.

00260217-142810.jpg

In every corner of the facility, they place Evian bottle water for you.  So nice.

00260217-142848.jpg

After enjoying the Jacuzzi and get a little warmed up, I went to the pool side to have lunch.

Pool side lunch is included in the Half Day Spa Journey price. Isn’t that amazing?  They also have a healthy breakfast menu and I have tried both before.  And I prefer the lunch menu.   (… to be continued to part 3 )

00260217-142718.jpg

Hong Kong:: the best spa ever ~part 1

Hi everyone!  How is your weekend so far?   Chinese New Year celebration is coming to an end…

I was hoping I would finish posting my Tokyo trip report, but it seems that I will be writing my Hong Kong trip post first!

I just got back from a very short trip to Hong Kong.  I was only there for 3 days this week, from Monday to Wednesday and I clearly needed more time as I didn’t have enough time to catch up with old friends and colleagues.   I love Hong Kong probably much more so than Tokyo where is my home.  I would call Hong Kong my ”home away from home”.

It was so exciting to be back after 5 months moving away to Singapore.  I have lived and worked in HK for 2 years plus and the experience there including work was fantastic.  I dream of living there again.

00260216-144926.jpg

I mean, look at this view…  harbor, cosmopolitan buildings with a green hill in the background.  Where else in the world can you find this?

Anyways,  it was such a last-minute trip, my flight schedule was horrible.  Had to wake up at 3 am and get to the Singapore airport by 5 am.  Exhausting.  By the time I got to HK was 9:30 am and I was already so tired.  So… what do I do?   Go straight to the BEST SPA EVER!!!

I have already introduced the Peninsula Spa in Hong Kong here,  but I must say, this was the best spa I have ever been to (in anywhere else in the world I traveled to ) and I think I need to do a full report on it again! Haha.

So I will do a part 1 – part 4.  Is it too much for just a spa report?

I don’t know why my local Hong Kong friends don’t know about this place or have never been here, but I guess they are stuck in Hong Kong island.  But its only a few minutes away!  I have to be honest, it is better than the Mandarin Oriental or the Four Seasons spa. 00260216-144942.jpg

I always do the “Half Day Spa” treatment because it is  really good value for money.   This was my spa menu.

Half day spa journey
10:45-11:00  Check in to the spa, change and relax
11:00-12:30  Healthy Lunch at the pool side
12:30-13:45  Enjoy steam sauna, heat therapy, aroma rain shower….etc
13:45-14:45  Aroma Oil Body Massage
14:45-15:45  Hydrating Facial Treatment
15:45-16:45  Relax at the relaxation room,  enjoy heat therapy again and check out.

And all of this including lunch is ONLY 2,000 HKD (250 USD).   I can’t believe it.   Plus they don’t try to kick you out right away after your treatment.  They let you stay on at the relaxation room or even use the steam sauna again if you would like to.  GREAT SERVICE!

If I get only 1 hour massage in Japan and it would cost me double price, 300USD.

Entrance is calm and relaxing, offering you cold towel and hot ginger tea.

00260216-144952.jpg

00260216-145001.jpg

00260216-145013.jpg

After taking your time,  friendly staff escort you to the changing room.  Very spacious with lots of towels and mineral water.  Every time I come here, I hardly bump into other people.  I think they intentionally shift time so that guests would not all in the room at the same time.

00260216-145028.jpg

Dressing table is full of amenities.

00260216-145038.jpg

Fresh new brush.  Very hygiene.

00260216-145051.jpg

They have ESPA cleansing milk, eye lotion and hydrating facial lotion.  They are all very nice skin care.

00260216-145117.jpg

I took this with my iPhone so not so clear, but the locker is a full sized one so if you have long dress or coats, they will fit in.  Some spa locker has only half sized locker so your dress end up with wrinkles but no need to worry for that here.

00260216-145103.jpg

Very nice fluffy cotton slippers and a plastic bag for you to put in your laundry.  They have a good sized jewelry box and a shower cap as well.

00260216-152625.jpg

Okay, now going on to the Jacuzzi area.   This will be on my Part 2 post coming soon!

00260216-145202.jpg