Macau is better known for its casinos and over-the-top theme hotels, but where there are luxury resorts you can rest assured that there are also luxurious spas in abundance. The Sheraton Grand on Cotai Strip hosts the largest Shine Spa in Asia, and last week the brand launched an exclusive partnership with Elemental Herbology to provide a unique holistic spa experience to guests.
Shine Spa is a 1,700-square-metre wellness facility on the hotel’s third floor, offering facials, massages, manicures, pedicures, reflexology and hair styling at the salon. With 15 single treatment rooms and five couples rooms, the spa features a small steam room, sauna and jacuzzi for guests to detox before or after their treatment. The spa shop additionally sells all the products used in the spa, so guests can purchase any products they liked after the treatment.
Elemental Herbology is a British-based skincare brand with an international presence, including The Mandarin Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong. Based around the five elements principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each product line focuses on one of the elements: fire (oil control), water (moisture replenish), wood (balance), earth (radiance and vitality), and metal (age support). Each product range targets ‘rebalancing’ one element, and the products are designed to be used in combination to help support one another and bring the skin into equilibrium.
The products from Elemental Herbology use natural botanicals to provide the optimal skin nutrition, without any synthetic fragrance, artificial colour, SLS, paraben preservatives and mineral oils. All of the natural plants and herbs used are sourced responsibly, from premium grade suppliers, and the brand is working towards plastic reduction and removal in packaging with recyclable tubes.
Every treatment begins with a short consultation to establish what ‘element’ you most need to be rebalanced: this will change from session to session, and each treatment is tailored to your needs and preferences at the time, so no two experiences are the same.
The facial begins with a foot bath accompanied by tea or water to create a calm and relaxed environment, followed by lying down on the treatment bed and deep breathing with aromatherapy oils. The 60-minute treatment includes a foot massage, head massage, and as the products are rubbed in, massaging of the face, neck and shoulders too.
Beginning with a pre-cleanse, the therapist used hot towels between each product. My facial was based around the ‘fire’ element and designed to re-energise with the essence of rosemary, ginger and turmeric used in the products. While my skin is usually very sensitive, the products were soothing.
Post-facial, I was told to let the products soak in overnight and just wash with water in the morning, which is something to keep in mind if you’re someone who has a strict skincare routine or wears a lot of makeup.
While the products were quite oily and shiny immediately following the facial, my skin was super moisturised and even in tone, which is quite unusual for me after a facial, so I didn’t feel the need to wear makeup that evening. The next morning, the skin was still moisturised and but the shine had disappeared to a more natural-looking glow. I’ve continued using the Body & Bath Oil in the week following the facial, which has proven great pre-shower as it locks in moisture and smells incredible.
Macau might not be the obvious choice for a spa weekend, but the new Elemental Herbology range gives Shine Spa an edge over the competition and offers guests a zen reprieve from the glitz of Cotai Strip.