If you’re ever finding yourself overwhelmed by the lights and unending buzz of Macau’s Cotai Strip, ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton Macau offers a welcome respite from it all with its signature 90-minute Jade Reviver treatment.
With the joining together of two world-class brands, ESPA and The Ritz-Carlton, I already had high expectations as I made my way to the hotel to experience their Jade Reviver treatment. The delicate silver and blue corridors of The Ritz-Carlton itself almost exist to wormhole you away from the clinkering lights and sounds of The Galaxy complex’s casino floor. Turning into the reception, the transition towards calmness is even more apparent as your eyes learn to adjust to the softly lit, golden hue of the space. It’s quiet and serene here, and the receptionists check you into the spa while you sip freshly brewed tea at the lounge-worthy sofas, before you’re led to the locker room to change into your spa robes.
Shuffling in plush spa slippers, I was led to a women’s relaxation room before my treatment. With towering bird cage screens, each guest is able to have their own private cubicle of sorts where they get to enjoy tea and cookies before and after their treatment.
ESPA here has 10 treatment rooms and three couples suites in total. My Jade Reviver treatment was done in one of the latter types: one of the largest spa suites I’ve ever laid my eyes on. The high-ceilinged room and its heavy, sky-high drapes made the room feel positively palatial, and the comforting shades of silver and grey helped to instil a sense of serenity.
Using the reputed brand’s signature products, I was asked to choose my preferred massage oil for the treatment — while my feet soaked in a small herbal bath. I picked a refreshing, lemongrass scent to revive my sluggish winter blues. While it wasn’t a surprising scent per se, nor does the treatment aim to have any aromatherapy bent, it did the job for my purposes, which was to totally unwind.
The name of the Jade Reviver treatment comes from the smooth jade stone that’s heated and used in the massage. For those who have tried hot stone massages, the idea is similar. It might bring to mind gua sha, the traditional Chinese (and somewhat grotesque-looking) therapy involving scraping the body with jade stones to help improve lymphatic circulation, but rest assured, with the smooth, round stones used in this treatment, you won’t be getting any marks.
The full treatment itself is comprised of a massage and optional cleansing if you so choose, with the downside being you lose precious minutes of massage time. If you’re like me with my super tense back and shoulders, you too can opt for a full 90 minutes of blissful massage therapy. It was definitely warranted: my therapist, commented how stiff my shoulders, back, and leg muscles were, especially indicated by the way my joints yielded to her firm presses with satisfying, but slightly embarrassing clicks.
The heated jade stone on my back was pleasantly hot, smoother and gentler than what I remember of any generic hot stone treatment, with the heat itself already helping to release clenched muscles. At the same time, the therapist’s slow, rolling motions felt like a warm sphere oozing up and down along my spine to ease each knot one by one. I could feel as the jade passed over each knot, steadily, bumpily melting them away.
For those who can handle the heat, this is definitely a treatment worth the splurge. Having tried hot stone — and even hot Himalayan salt — massages before, the almost clairvoyant skills of the therapist in finding my most tired spots truly exceeded expectations.
Walking drowsily and feeling like languid, soft putty with loosened and refreshed joints, I was led to the relaxation room to enjoy tea, biscuits and fresh fruit after the treatment.
The treatment also includes full use of the spa facilities. Aside from the steam and sauna rooms located inside the changing area, you should leave time to soak in the heated pool before and after your treatment — or at least dip your feet while lounging on the swinging sofas suspended over the water. This charming way to revel in the spa afterglow is pretty hard to beat: Studded with diamond-like lights in shallow water, it looks and feels as if you’re sitting amongst the stars.
The 90-minute Jade Reviver treatment is priced at MOP 2,500 for weekdays and MOP 2,700 for weekends.
ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baia de Nossa Senhora da Esperança, Cotai, Macau, +853 8886 6868