Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Spa Day on Valentine's Day

We are likely the last couple on earth that would do anything remotely special for Valentine's Day, but this year we decided to make an exception - just because we felt like it (okay I lied - it's more because I found a special deal online). Of course it helped that the day fell on a Sunday this year hence we could afford a day of rest and relaxation, so we went for a half-day spa treatment at InterContinental Hong Kong.

It was only our first visit to I-Spa, located on the third floor of this harborside hotel on Kowloon side, on the same level as their gym and the outdoor pools. We began with a light lunch at the pool terrace, an "al fresco oasis" accessible only by guests staying in the hotel or spa customers with a great view of Victoria Harbor. Well, there's a big construction going on right next to the hotel so the view was somewhat obstructed, but at least on weekends no one's operating those noisy heavy machinery at the construction site, so I thought the venue was perfect for an outdoor, quiet meal.

The meal was part of our spa package so I assumed it's going to be light and healthy. I could agree on the healthy part but it was also sumptuous, starting with a Mediterranean quinoa salad followed by roasted salmon fillet with sauteed bean sprouts and spinach, both served in generous portions. And dessert at the end too.

I didn't say this very often but the salad was excellent and packed with flavors, with romaine lettuce, over-fried tomatoes, ricotta cheese, olives, cucumber, black quinoa, and apple cider vinaigrette dressing. The salmon fillet was prepared in the simplest way but it's definitely one of the better versions I have had, well-marinated and perfectly cooked. The dessert was very decent too, a well-presented baked apple romentoph with green apple sorbet. Normally I would have liked it to be a bit sweeter but I could live with this healthier, low-sugar version for a change.

We went for an early lunch so we were in no hurry to rush through eating and resting before our spa appointment time. This time we went for a 90-minute aromatherapy massage in the couples room. Overall I thought it's excellent and we left pampered and relaxed. I guess our only complaint was the changing room being super-tiny and the lack of "public" steam room/sauna facilities, unless we opt for extra time in the private spa suite which came with jacuzzi and sauna with an additional charge.

Our day spa package included access to the fitness facilities and the pools. While we ran out of time for some workout, the gym looked spacious and well-equipped (and not crowded on the day of our visit). The outdoor pool was said to be temperature-controlled but I still thought the water was a bit too cold for a dip in the winter. Nonetheless it was still very nice chilling over the pool-side deck chairs with a book in hand and drinks by the side. But our favorite part got to be the infinity spa pools which was their signature facility. While it's not exactly right by the harbor that you felt like swimming in the sea (which some pictures found online may lead you into believing), the hot tub was so comfortable that we wish we didn't have to get up at all while enjoying the magnificent view of the harbor and the skyline across.

We also thought the service was outstanding, from the moment we walked in to our lunch and treatment, and to the relaxing time by the pool, we felt like we were being well taken care of. Considered I am never good at this Valentine's Day celebration thing, guess this was not too shabby, huh?

I-Spa at InterContinental Hong Kong: https://hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com/spa/i-spa.php

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