I have visited numerous spa and massage facilities around Asia for many years. Surprises I had a few. Disappointments; many. Shock; one or two. Star quality; almost nil…until this surprising discovery in Hong Kong.
One of my key passion in wellness therapies is foot spa or reflexology. I must have visited tens of foot reflexology shops around Asia. I have seen grand and opulent foot spa establishments with hundreds of private rooms in China. At the same time, I have my regular foot in a small little foot massage shop in Singapore. Nothing surprises me where foot reflexology shops are concerned… well, until this one in Hong Kong.
TaiPan Reflexology and Foot Spa looks like any foot massage chain in Asia. Lots of colourful shop signage, long treatment price list, beckoning receptionist at the doorway, antique type of furniture, stone path feature and even a fish-tank as a covered walkway. Up till now, a very colourful massage shop, but still, nothing surprising as yet.
The main reception at the 2nd floor also look typical. Lots of wood furniture, a few imitation antique pieces, low lighting and soft spa music. I took off my shoes and selected a 120 minutes foot, head and shoulder massage. This is where it begins to differ…
I was lead to a chair. Not any kind of chair but one of those cosy, leather, sophisticated type of massage chair complete with massaging headrest, arm and thigh brackets. At the bottom was a hot water-tub complete with hydro-jets for me to sink my feet into.
As I lay back onto the vibrating luxurious leather chair, the attendant added mineral crystal to the foot bath, and I had a relaxing 15 minutes of a full body massage while having my feet pounded by soothing water jets. It was good. All too soon it ended and I was lead to a section which was for foot massage.
Instead of typical half-down chairs, their massage chairs went all the way down. In other words, the chairs were like beds. I laid on one chair and was covered with a warm blanket. A warm body pack was then wrapped around my waist and my eyes. The foot massage began even as I laid down. I was in pure bliss!
It was not difficult to understand why I hear snores all around me. The warm blanket, the hot waist and eye wrap, the soft music, the massaging of the feet was such that if it doesn’t induce you into sleep, nothing else will.
When the foot massage finished, the masseur simply moved from the foot to the head part of the chair, to begin my head and shoulder massage. I did not have to move or shift my position on the chair at all. Talk about well designed work-space!
All too soon, the massage ended. I was served hot tea and was allowed to remain curled up and resting on my chair. There were no time limit and I could rest and relax as much as I want. All very well thought out as I do not even need to move to another rest area or rush off because there is a time limit.
I have been to some expensive spas but they always come with a time/space limit. So and so timing for this activity. So and so timing for the next treatment. Move to this room. Go to that space. Time to change up, pay up and see you soon! Don’t forget to make the next appointment so that we can gobble more of your money!!
It is indeed a rare place such as The Taipan that has designed everything to evolve around pampering and relaxing the customer. The mood, the friendliness, the massage ergonomics and flow logic, the thoughtful touches such as the hot body pack, the no-time limit and rest-as-much-as-you-want-on-one-cozy-chair, all sums up the care and thoughtfulness that must have gone behind the owner and or spa designer planning.
If there are Michelin star equivalent for spa and massage establishments as there are for gourmet restaurants, the moderately priced The Taipan will surely get a 3-star award from me!
Unfortunately, due to privacy reasons, I was not allowed to take a video or photo of The TaiPan interior. If you are ever in Hong Kong, do not hesitate to visit The Taipan. Although I visited the one near Temple Street, I believe they have branches all over Hong Kong including Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, Nanking Street and Jordon Road.
Location of TaiPan Reflexology and Foot Spa
Various places in Hong Kong
Size: 3 storey narrow shop building. Walk up a narrow flight of steps.
Facilities: Foot baths and foot massage chairs
Friendliness: Polite staff and good massage therapists.
Pricing: Starts from US$20 for a basic foot massage. I paid US$40 for a 115 minutes foot, head and shoulder massage package. Other packages also available.