The Peninsula Hong Kong spa, among the metropolis’ top addresses for all things wellness, is collaborating with Irish luxury skincare brand VOYA in what promises to elevate the standard of holistic rituals across ‘Asia’s World City’. It’s a rare exclusive in spa-obsessed Hong Kong.
Remember those things you thought fancy when you were too young to know better? For us, one of those was an aftershave popular in Germany throughout the 90s, that claimed to smell just like Irish moss. It was sensual, mature and masculine – everything we weren’t (yet). We’d see it in flashy TV commercials or in our grandpa’s bathroom cabinet, but the brilliant green flacon would remain out of reach for years. When we finally had a growth spurt (and the determination to grow a beard), we grasped the bottle, took the lid off and practically bathed in the stuff. That’s when we realised we didn’t like it at all. Fortunately, husband-and-wife duo Mark and Kira Walton opted for seaweed over moss when it came to deciding on the main ingredient for their award-winning VOYA product line. Now on offer at The Peninsula Hong Kong spa, the collaboration is giving travellers yet another reason to check into one of our favourite properties in town.
What makes VOYA so exciting a brand isn’t merely their stance on using organic certified seaweed harvested from the pristine waters off the Irish coast, or their commitment to using recycled and biodegradable packaging (although we sure appreciate all efforts towards sustainability!), but the brand’s rootedness in local culture: the ritual of seaweed baths surprisingly goes back some 300 years in the Irish County of Sligo. It was here that kelp’s many health benefits were first discovered and by 1912, the locals thought it fashionable to visit a public seaweed bath to spend an hour or two soaking in the especially rich Laminaria Digitata and Fucus Serratus varieties – both of which have made their way into VOYA’s products and The Peninsula Hong Kong spa.
That said, the kelp-based treatments on offer at one of Asia’s leading five-star hotels are sure to be a lot richer in finesse than simply slipping into a tub. We’re eyeing the ‘Intense Defence for Men’ facial for our next stay in town; it’s a 90-minute wellness therapy session aimed at boosting collagen production and brightening the skin’s complexion… just what we need after a 12-hour flight! Pair that with the spectacular views over Victoria Harbour from the treatment rooms at The Peninsula Hong Kong spa and we’re talking pure bliss (perhaps this is why they named the city ‘fragrant harbour’?).
But the collaboration is about more than inviting guests to experience the latest skincare trend. Instead, we think it signals a shift within luxury hospitality to introduce a more wholesome approach to their wellness offering. A new generation of high-flying travellers is arguably more interested in natural products in line with the highest environmental standards. On our journeys, we’re increasingly noticing a move away from heavily perfumed amenities towards more subtle, sophisticated ones (sorry, Irish moss aftershave) and The Peninsula Hotels certainly know a thing or two about the evolution of toiletries.
There’s also, if you ask us, the reduced mobility during the pandemic, which has derailed many a traveller’s plan to jet off to a far-flung destination in the hope of finding some tranquility amidst a natural setting. With truly holistic wellness experiences feeling further away than ever before, those looking for an oasis searched for it within the spa areas of their local luxury hotels. How wonderful then, to find a modern take on a 300-year-old tradition from across the world, at a favourite hideaway close to home!
Photography courtesy of The Peninsula Hotels and via Unsplash