Cotai’s top spas take a tailored approach
The pampering trade is a brisk one, to judge by the number of esoteric new treatments, therapies and potions offered to us in our daily media. Whether we’re online or on the street, we find the spa industry clamouring for our attention. The range of choice can seem overwhelming to all but the most seasoned spa devotees.
Tracy Lord, director of spa operations at Conrad Macao, Cotai Central and The Parisian Macao, says therapists should be capable of identifying guests’ requirements, and tailoring such treatment. “So, rather than offering, say, three options for a facial and asking guests to pick, we offer one treatment per skin type,” she says. What does this mean in practice?
Kittipitch Watnoi, director of spa and recreation at The St. Regis Macao, runs Iridium Spa at The St. Regis Macao. While Iridium Spa offers “classically influenced aesthetics and boutique style”, Watnoi says when guests arrive, they are given a tablet and asked to complete a digital questionnaire. Based on their answers, they receive one of six signature gemstones, in accordance with their needs: a ruby, for example, denotes the spa’s “empowering” treatment, while a tourmaline equates to “healing”.
“Based on our clientele, most of the guests expect relaxing results from their treatment, and they feel special when we provide a personalised treatment experience,” Watnoi says. Everyone has different requirements. “Guests nowadays are looking for everything from holidays for a healthy mind to specialist stop-smoking retreats.” The approach is to guide people towards what works for them, rather than telling them what treatment they ought to have.
At the nearby Sheraton Grand Macao’s Shine Spa, manager Samaht Eh Chuei says the underlying philosophy is similar, but with a different delivery. Treatments are based on the feng shui elements. Guests also answer a few questions on a tablet app, determining the ideal treatment from one of four feng shui “elements”: wood, water, metal and earth (the fifth of the wu xing - fire - is absent, presumably because it sounds more than a little uncomfortable). The emphasis is on massage: a “wood” massage gets you 60 to 90 minutes of their lava bamboo massage followed by a nourishing body wrap, while “earth” comprises a mineral
stone massage and a “remineralising” body wrap that promises to leave the skin “soft and satiny”.
The allure of this approach - particularly for the uninitiated spa-goer - is undeniable, but Chuei says the selection process is in no way coercive.
“Bear in mind, not all of our spa guests want to use the app. They can just skip the process and choose what they had in mind, from a sports therapeutic massage to a pre-natal treatment, or a relaxing bath and a facial.
Back at the Conrad’s Bodhi Spa, Lord says: “The therapist can give advice, but ultimately the guests have their needs, and we’ll listen to them. There’s nothing gimmicky about the treatment. It’s all about the results.”