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No time to go to Shenzhen this weekend, so decided to try Windsor Spa in North Point/Fortress Hill. Here's the rubdown!
Windsor Spa is small, and certainly not as cheap as the mega Shenzhen spas like Queen Spa. But the atmosphere is decent and the service and cleanliness are first-rate. And, if you don't like smoking, this place is pretty smoke-free (especially compared to the spas on the mainland). Good English assistance, especially for first timers! You must spend 500 HKD here on massage services and/or food to avoid being charged for the sauna facilities (hot tub, sauna, steam room) -- or buy one of the mini packages (see below). There's a 10% service charge on everything, and a minimum 50 HKD tip per hour of massage. So things can add up rather quickly.
If you're coming by MTR, get off at Fortress Hill. When you come out of the station (either exit), turn right and walk along King's Road until you pass the Park N' Shop. Turn into Fortress Tower and take the elevator to the 3rd Floor. When you get off the lift, there's a small lobby and the front desk. The men's entrance is to the right of the counter, and the women's entrance is to the left. TIP: Look at the end of the counter nearest the men's changing room entrance. There are coupons there! These coupons will give you 200 HKD off 800 HKD of beauty services, half off their "dark eye circle removal treatment" and more. The coupons are only in Chinese, so ask for help if you can't read them.
The sauna/changing room is super clean, well-lit and well-equipped. As soon as you enter through the gold curtain,you are given a locker to put your things in, and a bracelet that locks your locker and has a code on it; this will be used to charge your account. Put your clothes inside, and your shoes in the shoe drawer. Put on the rubber flip-flops provided. The attendants will give you a towel, and lead you to the private showers, where you can rinse off. After you shower, you can use the steam room, sauna and jacuzzi, or you can move right on to massage or food if you want. If you stay in the sauna area, there are drinks, fresh fruit and even ice cream available. The sauna area is spic-n-span. The hot tub is set to 40 degrees C and there's a big screen TV above it. They will provide you with a "disposable" bra and undies for the hot tub.
When you are ready to exit the changing room/sauna area, you will be given pajama tops and bottoms, a fluffy white robe and a set of undies (at least for the ladies, not sure what the guys get). Don't be offended if they give you ones marked XL -- they are not XL. You can change in the private rooms near the lockers or just out in the open. Then you can go out into the co-ed "rest area" where you can sit in your own giant lounge chair with your friends and watch your own personal TV, get a food rub or a pedicure or an ear-cleaning. You can also book your massages, and there's a snack counter too. The decor is sort of tropical, with lots of fake plants and dark woods. There are about 30 seats.
I opted for the basic 45-minute ladies massage, which was normally 308 HKD. However, since it was a "holiday weekend," they charged me 347 HKD. They told me in advance, but still, this is rather annoying, considering they weren't busy at all! Plus 50 HKD for a tip. Not exactly a bargain. But it was a good massage and the staff made sure to inquire about my preferences regarding pressure (light, medium, strong) before the massage began. I got about 15 minutes of solid shoulder work sans oil, then 30 minutes of oil massage on the back, arms and legs. The massage room itself was clean and comfortable, dark, and utterly quiet. There was no music or anything. I did appreciate that like many Hong Kong massage parlors, the masseuse did not answer her mobile phone during my treatment!
After my massage I returned to the lounge area and got a 130 HKD "toe massage and scraping." An older gentleman came and, using blades, shaped my toenails. But he utterly failed to remove the dead skin from the bottom of my feet, and there was no toe massage. Then he basically badgered me to give him a 50 HKD tip. Disappointing.
Here's a rundown of Windsor Spa's services and prices:
- Massage (45 mins) 308 HKD (add 120 for another 45 minutes). So why do you get charged an extra 10 HKD (438 HKD) if you opt for a 90 minute massage at the outset? No idea...
- Massage (45 mins) and sauna 408 HKD
- Massage (90 mins) and sauna 538 HKD
- Thai massage (90 mins) 538 HKD, extra 45 minutes is 150 HKD
- Lymphatic massage (120 mins) 638 HKD, extra 45 mins is 200 HKD
- Sauna and foot massage 328 HKD
- Foot massage (45 mins) 130 HKD
- Pedicure 130 HKD
- Toe massage/scraping 130 HKD (advertised at 45 mins, but mine took less than 30)
- Head massage (30 mins) 100 HKD
- Hand massage (30 mins) 80 HKD
- Ear cleaning 100 HKD
- Manicure 100 HKD
For use of sauna facilities, plus a 45 minute massage and the foot treatment, my total bill came to 625 HKD. They did give me a coupon for 100 HKD off my next visit in the next 30 days. Credit cards are accepted.
Final thoughts: Clean facilities and a welcoming staff. Avoid the Shanghai pedicure, and take time to use all the sauna facilities so you'll feel like you are getting your money's worth.
Windsor Spa. 3/F Fortress Tower, 250 King's Road, North Point, Hong Kong. Map. Phone 3698 0000