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MINERAL SPA: MISSION HILLS HAIKOU


EDSA and SB Architects, both from the USA, are responsible for the impressive spa design (top); hotel guests can use the volcanic mineral springs (above) for free, while day visitors who mostly come at the weekend pay between US$32-US$64


Mission Hills Spa which aims to attract people of all demographics – as well as sports massages and pampering treatments for golf enthusiasts and their partners, there’s a menu for 10 to 15-year-olds. Spa facilities include a café, hair and nail salon, reading lounge, boutique, hydrotherapy zone, a mind-body exercise pavilion and a spa ritual garden. In the garden, you can take a lava springs journey, which is included in the cost of your treatment and get a taster of the mineral waters. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours and includes sessions in a mineral mud amphitheatre, steam dome, a mist shower, aromatic scented tunnel and a mineral springs bath. The journey ends at the Elements Bar, where you can chill out with a selection of organic drinks. One of the stand-out things about this


spa is its design, which is a joint effort between EDSA and SB Architects, based in the USA. Its high ceiling is resplendent in hand-crafted bamboo and despite the three floors of winged corridors needed to house its 39 single and 22 double


96


Mission Hills Haikou Facts & figures


n The hotel and spa are run


in-house by Mission Hills. n Aromatherapy Associates (UK), Algotherm (France), Aqua Spa and I plus Q (Thailand) are the product


houses used at Mission Hills n A ratio of 70:30 hotel to day guests use the spa and 65 per cent of all guests who stay in the


hotel book a spa treatment n By contrast, the mineral springs are 50:50 hotel to day guests, although at weekend locals make up 70 per cent of the visitors


treatment rooms, the spa is cosy and welcoming – thanks mainly to Liong’s keen eye for vintage Chinese trinkets and homely furniture. Stylish, traditionally- painted lamps create snug nooks, yet big open doorways at the spa’s entrance let


in fresh air – the spa is intimate without being intimidating. From a business perspective, Liong says this fresh outside- in design also means there’s no need for air conditioning in summer. There are over 25 treatments at the spa


Liong says some local Chinese elements such as a bamboo massage are delib- erately included, “because the Chinese have generally lost touch with their spa culture.” She hopes to bring it back in a unique way, avoiding the temptation to copy menus by international brands: “It’s so easy to replicate here in China so this [local element] sets us apart.” The volcanic mineral springs, which


are themed around five continents of the world, are reached by taking a buggy to the far side of the property. Hotel guests can use the springs for free, whereas day visitors pay CNY198 (US$32, €23, £19) to enter one continent or CNY398 (US$64, €46, £38) to use all five. The 168 hot and cold pools and adjoining aquatic park feel more like a theme park than a wellness facility. But it’s not gimmicky.


Read Spa Business online spabusiness.com / digital Spa Business 3 2014 ©Cybertrek 2014


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