Stepping away from the manic traffic on Garden Road into the gold-fringed zen of The Murray lobby, you immediately know you’ve found an urban escape. Cool and calm, The Murray oozes with subtle 1920s glam in gold tones and white marble: heading into the hotel’s wellness centre, Wellness at The Murray, this theme is continued with soft lighting and floral aromatherapy scents. Compare Retreats’ Editor Rebecca Cairns steps out of the Hong Kong heat and into the spa to experience Wellness at The Murray’s Grown Alchemist Age Reversal Facial — check out the results below.
Wellness at The Murray is on the third floor is an intimate space of calming greys and soothing whites, with three single treatment rooms and two couples’ rooms. The treatment rooms, like the lobby, are adorned with white and grey-streaked marble — it’s a departure from the heavy wood so often found in spas, but combined with rose-gold finishings and gold under-lighting, it’s made warm and inviting. Each treatment room contains an individual shower and toilet, vanity table with straighteners, hair-dryer and bathroom amenities, and a personal sauna for guests to use pre-treatment, should they wish.
The Murray’s other wellness facilities include a pool on the first floor and a gym beside the Wellness Centre on the third.
Immediately, the receptionist took my shoes and gave me a pair of slippers: its easy to feel at home when you’re padding around in a pair of soft cotton slippers. While waiting in the lobby, I was offered my choice of teas — rose, rosehip, jasmine, lavender, chamomile, each with their own set of detoxing or restorative properties.
While I drank my tea, I was introduced to my therapist, Zoe, who talked me through the different oils she would use in the therapy. I asked for energising scents, and after a few sniff tests, cypress and neroli were chosen to be combined with a base primrose oil, selected for its hydrating and soothing qualities ideal for my eczema. As a lighter oil, it was also ideal for going about my day afterwards as it would absorb much quicker and not be as greasy on my skin, Zoe told me.
I experienced the Grown Alchemist Age Reversal Facial. The treatment began with a double cleansing – first using the Hydra and Oil Gel Facial Cleanser to remove makeup, followed by the Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser. Placing pads over my eyes, Zoe then turned on the light so she could provide a personalised consultation of my skin to tailor the rest of the facial to it. I was a little apprehensive about having someone looking at my skin that closely, but Zoe was utterly professional, and most importantly, kind about my skin’s imperfections. She recommended an enzyme mask (Detox Toner), which would make it easier for her to remove blackheads and would even the tone of my skin. This, and the eyebrow tidying that followed were the only parts of the facial which felt clinical – everything that followed was pure relaxation.
Zoe applied the Age Repair Gel Masque, massaging it into my neck and face. While the mask had time to absorb and set, I was then given a lower leg, hand, arm and head massage which was bliss (and I smelt of neroli and cypress all day, which certainly kept me energised well into the afternoon).
After removing the mask, Zoe applied a Detox Serum, Age Repair Serum and Hydra-Repair Day Cream, finishing with Pure Rosehip Oil mist, and vanilla and watermelon lip balm. All of the products smelt amazing, and vitally for someone like me with sensitive skin, didn’t aggravate any of my eczema or usual dry patches.
I was notably glowing and relaxed when I attended my lunch meetings, and my skin felt soft all day. I immediately noticed that my complexion was much clearer and my eyebrows looked distinctly tidier. The next day, my skin tone was far more even than normal, and still well-moisturised.
The personalised aspect of this facial is what makes it really stand out. Zoe offered five-star service that was both personable and professional, a hard balance to strike, and I was impressed at her ability to adapt the therapy on the spot to my skin type and needs. As a 90-minute treatment, it offers not just a chance to rejuvenate your skin, but give yourself some much-needed downtime.
Find out more at niccolohotels.com