The men’s market is exploding in Hong Kong. From buffed nails to smart shaves to extraction facials, the modern gent looks mighty fine
W Bliss Spa
Situated on cloud 72 (rather than cloud nine) of the W Hong Kong hotel tower, this spa offers incredible views over Victoria Harbour. It’s a funky, modern approach to the formulaic spa model, eschewing mystical ambience (you won’t find any chanting rainforest frogs in their mood music) in favour of urban chic. With facial treatments now the prime therapy of choice for men, we recommend their highly specific (and immediately rewarding) Homme Improvement treatment ($1,295/85 mins). The therapist will first walk you through the entire procedure beforehand. It’s basically the male equivalent of the incredibly popular female treatment whereby your complexion is revived by intensive cleansing and exfoliating, together with a fruit acid wash, a pre-extraction oxygen wrap, the intense extractions of pimples, dirt and blackheads, followed by a calming oxygen and milk mask, a hydrating enzyme pack and a vitaminised oxygen sprat. It’s worth noting that it’s rare to find such a specific extraction process for men in other elite spas (their focus being on relaxation rather than transformation). 72/F, Bliss Spa, W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Rd West, West Kowloon, 3717 2222; www.w-hongkong.com.
For the man that wants it all, The Strand has an entire floor dedicated to men’s grooming and beauty. The sleek design of the interior creates a soothing setting without any fuss. The chairs are like your neighbourhood barber’s, which create a comfortable atmosphere. For the busy businessman on the go, pay a little extra to use the private room, where you can get a manicure ($120), pedicure ($350), scalp massage treatment, and a Vitamin C Illuminator Facial ($980) all at the same time. And if time permits, stay for a haircut ($350) from one of their top stylists, who will meticulously craft your hair into something smarter. When things aren’t hectic, drop by their skincare floor for a full body experience, or get one of their 30 minute Back Reviver massages ($380) before going into a Vibrant Body Wrap ($1,280) that will both tone your body and improve the radiance and elasticity of your skin. 18 Cochrane St, Central, 2850 7686; www.thestrandhk.com.
The Ambassador’s Parlour
This barbershop has existed probably just as long as Causeway Bay has existed. The staff has been cutting hair and shaving customers for the past 50 years, but if it’s a special trendy cut that you’re after then expect to pay an additional $10 for the privilege. Come here for a typical barber shop crew cut or a sleek comb over; the latter is very much in vogue nowadays anyway. The complete haircut and shave goes for $110 with an additional $10 for extra requests. 23 Lan Fong Rd, Causeway Bay, 2895 5930.
Looking out your office window after the Hang Seng index falls by 100 points can make even the most spectacular Habour view lose its lustre. But waking up after an ESPA massage can make you see new light in life – in the form of Symphony of Lights. Spend time in ESPA’s relaxation area after your treatment; the area has an unobstructed view of Victoria Harbour with a level of tranquillity you don’t normally associate with it. For massages, the two-hour Chakra Balancing with Volcanic Stone ($2,000) can unknot all the over-stressed muscles by massaging with a blend aromatherapy and Indian medicinal Ayurvedic oils plus special focuses on chakras – Hinduism energy permeation points. Go an hour in advance to enjoy their extensive heat facilities. Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2315 3322; email@example.com.
Coming straight from London’s Mayfair – similar to Hong Kong’s Queen’s Road Central area, Gentlemen’s Tonic brings with it the traditional English barber experience for men with their eyes on the prize (and who have little time for BS). All their packages are named after the world’s greatest men. Make ‘The Shakleton’ ($900) your entry level Gentlemen’s Tonic experience. The 75 minutes package includes a haircut with finish plus the joint’s staple wet shave. ‘The Rubio’ ($2,100) is a master class treatment, a full 165min experience consisting of haircut and finish, wet shave, facial, hand treatment and a Swedish massage. Gentlemen’s Tonic also offers a special Father and Son Haircut and Finish priced at $800 – a great way to share quality time with pop. Did we mention a ‘Bloody Mary’ will be served? B47, The Landmark, 15 Queens Rd, Central, 2525 2455; www.gentlemenstonic.com.
The Mandarin Barber
Like an American home town barbershop (cue colour marble floor, mahogany walls and button upholstered barber’s chair) the Mandarin Barber’s interior also flirts with that in vogue 1930s Shanghai feel which is reminiscent of a private gentlemen’s club. Haircuts here are from $350, wet shaves from $380, and beard trims from $160. The barber also offers a comprehensive men’s grooming menu to cater for all your grooming needs: manicure, back and shoulder wax as well as eyebrow shaping are all on the list. They have a special package for future gentlemen as well: the ‘Baby’s First Haircut’ ($320) will see baby walking (or carried) away with a souvenir frame, a certificate and their very first lock of hair. Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Rd, Central, 2825 4088; firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the latest treatments being rolled out at the Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s spa is this deep tissue tension-relaxing massage (from $1,000) specifically aimed at men to alleviate stresses in joints and muscles. The treatment is available for either 60 or 90 minutes; and the full ‘reviver’ experience will see you rubbed down with waxes and vitamin sports oils. Next… out comes the bamboo stick. Don’t worry, you’re not being transported to an Elizabethan court (‘wrack him!’) – the rolling stick is used to localise each muscle group in your body, and to stretch and strengthen the sensitive areas, as well as compressing your joints and tenderising the tissues. Initially you may groan at the pressure, but you soon slip under the sharply soothing treatment. Your back, shoulders, limbs and neck are given incredible amounts of attentive focus, and when the massage is complete you’ll feel like a loose limber athlete. Best of all, you have access to the LMO’s incredible heat facilities and their dimly-lit sanctuary room where you can nibble on fruits, read the newspapers and lie back with a pair of earphones. 15 Queen’s Rd Central, 2132 0188; www.mandarinoriental.com/landmark.