It’s always nicer to enjoy a spa pampering session with your nearest and dearest, and there are few things in life that can beat an afternoon of luxuriating in spa paradise with your closest girl group. That kind of gathering comes as a rarity these days, often reserved ahead of special occasions such as birthdays and weddings; if you happen to be a bride-to-be looking to truly treat your bridesmaids before your big day, you should put ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau on your radar.

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The bridal party gets their own private poolside cabana for the afternoon tea session.

Along with a whole host of wedding packages available at the hotel, ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau has also just launched a new Bridal Shower Package, which pairs a poolside champagne afternoon tea with a signature Aromatherapy Massage at ESPA Macau, a spectacular opportunity for the busy bridal party to unwind and toast to the bride ahead of the wedding.

After taking afternoon tea in a private poolside cabana — featuring a complimentary bottle of Perrier-Jouët and a tailor-made bridal shower cake to boot — the group is escorted to ESPA, where each guest is given a personal consultation for the 60-minute massage.

At my trial session, my therapist Kung first guided me through a hot foot soak and a light scrub, before letting me test and pick from ESPA’s suite of six aromatherapy body oils for the massage, depending on my needs that day. I was torn between the Detoxifier, made from clarifying juniper berry and cypress oils; and the De-Stresser, with soothing frankincense and sandalwood — but eventually I went for the former. Here, I was also asked if I was ok to have a stomach massage (yes) and to have a pink clay scalp and hair creme applied on my hair (yes again).

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ESPA’s treatment rooms are one of the most spacious and luxuriously designed in the region.

Lying face-down in ESPA’s spa bed, expertly adjusted to fit each curve at the knees and hips, Kung got to work by starting off with a crawling, pushing motion using her forearms along my incredibly tight calves and lower back.

She then began to apply the massage oil on me, swiping with a warm, featherlight touch. Then, with larger motions, she began to dig her elbows through the pressure points along my spine, swiping up and down and in circles as if she was practicing Tai Chi — I felt the knots in my shoulder blades popping one by one like bubble wrap. Though at first uncomfortable, the tough deep tissue massage became a lot more enjoyable as Kung smoothed away the tension. I particularly felt that she spent more time on my left side to iron out a lot more knots and kinks, while my right side felt almost just ticklish around the shoulder blades and the sides of my rib cage — the imbalance perhaps due to my right side being my handbag-carrying shoulder.

Soon, Kung slowed down to a smooth, hand massaging technique, kneading from the bottom of my spine upwards. This slow, oily languid motion quickly coaxed me to a gentle drowsiness. She returned attention to my lower legs, where my tired calves at first resisted the pressure, but quickly I could feel the elasticity being restored in my tendons, particularly as she massaged my hamstrings.

I didn’t even notice I had drifted to sleep when I was asked kindly to turn over, where she gave me a light stomach massage, pressing firmly anti-clockwise and at specific pressure points that would provide a detoxing effect.

For the final section of the massage, Kung brought the attention to my upper chest and decolletage, where Kung squeezed the last bit of tiredness out of my neck and shoulders. Blissed out, warm and cocooned in pillows and blankets, I hadn’t noticed either that I also received a light scalp massage with the pink clay creme, until I woke up to a lightly oiled up hairdo. I had originally expected a thick hair mask, but it was instead a lightweight, soothing oil that got massaged into my scalp. The rest of my hair remained dry, but I rinsed off later on to find smooth, lightweight locks that smoothened naturally without tangled ends, even before the help of conditioner.

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Enjoy dipping your toes in the seemingly starlit vitality pool to round out your spa treatment.

As I slowly got up from the signature massage, I moved onto the next and final highlight of spending a pampering session at ESPA: all the fantastic spa facilities to my disposal. The Bridal Shower Package also includes full usage of The Ritz-Carlton, Macau Pool, but I decided to spend the rest of a good 40 minutes alternating between the hot vitality pool with its cascading massage jets, the steam and sauna rooms, and sipping infused detox water and tea in the relaxation room. A glorious weekend day trip well spent, especially if you get to enjoy it with your closest gal pals.

The Bridal Shower Package is priced at MOP1,600 per person, and includes an afternoon tea set with Perrior-Jouët champagne and a 60-minute aromatherapy massage per person at ESPA, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau. A minimum of six guests is required to book the package.

ESPA, 3/F, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, Galaxy Macau, Estrada da Baía da Nossa Senhora da Esperança, Macau, +853 8886 6868

Evelyn Lok
Associate Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.