Hong Kong Airport massage
Personally, apart from a good night’s sleep, the one thing I most need in between long flights, particularly when you’ve been squashed into economy, is a decent massage. At the multi award-winning Regal Airport Hotel, with its excellent Om spa, in Hong Kong both things are possible within a few minutes walk of clearing customs.
This luxury hotel, which is situated within the airport complex but remains amazingly quiet has 1, 171 rooms, six restaurants and bars, an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, a well equipped gym.
The hotel also guarantees that you can keep your room for up to 24 hours from whatever time you check in, making it ideal for stopovers and is a 30 minute train ride away from Hong Kong and Kowloon on the airport express. But it is the Regal Airport hotel’s Om spa that really marks out it as something special.
Om spa is located on the third floor next to the swimming pools and is tastefully decorated with a fusion of south-east Asian interiors. The massage rooms are converted hotel rooms (you can actually book to stay within the spa), complete with bathroom, Thai Yoga Massage futon and a regular massage bed. They are comfortable, attractive and cocoon-like with dark wood furnishings and unobtrusive lighting.
In the Om spa, six out of the eight massage therapists are Thai and so therapies invariably include some Thai yoga massage along with remedial work. The 90 minute signature massage I had was just the right mixture of Thai, Swedish and remedial. The massage tables are wide enough to enable the therapist to kneel on the table and perform stretches using the kind of deep pressure that is hard to achieve when standing beside the table. The stretches are administered through a towel prior to an oil-based massage. The deep pummelling and stretching softened my muscles and connective tissue serving to enhance the Swedish and Remedial Massage to follow. I was offered a choice of three aromatherapy oil blends: Refreshing, citrus-based and uplifting; Relaxing, subtle and soothing; and Balancing, a floral blend. Wanting to sleep off the previous night’s flight I went for the relaxing blend.
In two stopovers at the Regal I was fortunate enough to have two massages at the Om Spa and found both therapists were able to hone in on tights spots and areas that required extra work. The therapists were professional, competent and did not make unnecessary small talk. They used slow-flowing movements which gave the relaxing impression of "nowhere to be, nothing to do".
Prior to starting each section of the body, my therapists performed Thai Yoga Massage-based moves which felt like a giant cat pawing a cushion before it settles down to sleep. Then the relaxing oil was applied and the long, flowing, rhythmic strokes of Swedish Massage combined with deep Remedial work followed. Toward the end of the massage, the therapists assisted me to sit up and worked on the upper back and neck. This enabled them to get to hard-to-reach places at the base of my neck and skull and helped me to transition from deep relaxation to being "out in the world".
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