We recently had the chance to check out Hong Kong’s newest wellness space, Fivelements Habitat, to see what all our favorite wellfluencers are buzzing about (and to update our dear readers of course) and impressed is an understatement for what we felt after our day’s visit. The new urban retreat, located in Causeway Bay’s Times Square, is a departure from anything we have seen before. One thing’s for sure, we’re going back soon.
Part spa, part yoga studio, part meditation centre, part members club, Habitat is a brand new concept in the wellness world, one that there’s isn’t a one-word name for, dreamed by spa retreat veterans Lahra & Chicco Tatriele (they of the uber-romantic Cinderalla-esque meet-cute), who have been running their award-winning eco-conscious Bali property for over a decade now.
Populated with leading holistic practitioners, the founders were able to entice the who’s who of the Hong Kong wellness scene, each with large followings of their own, curated by Garden Gatherings founder & longtime yogi May Nogoy, to offer a selection of movement, mindfulness and massage experiences, most of which have never been combined into one space before. The space’s design is also unique for Hong Kong, fusing natural elements (plants everywhere) and fitted out in the latest in eco-sustainable materials (bamboo & wood, no plastic in sight) and low-waste trappings (refillable amenities, filtered water stations).
First we were treated to a restorative stretching yoga class with longtime yogi (and actress-model) Ankie Beilke. Her soothing, understated teaching style, combined with a therapeutic pose ethos, was a bellweather of things to come.
Post yoga, we had a lie in the first-of-its-kind Soundscape room, designed by Italian light and sound designer Mauro Raffelli. The experience is pretty epic- all day the dedicated room features audio-calibrated 20-minutes programmes (tuned to the ideal decibel depending on programme being played e.g. relaxing, soothing, awakening, etc) matched with stunning 360 degree visual panoramas, some natural and some more super-natural. It’s an immersive, whole body and mind therapy that feels amazing, and you leave the room knowing your brain has been attended to in a way that you cannot recreate at home.
Following this, we popped over the the Spirit Space to sit for Tea Ceremony Queen of Hong Kong herself Resham Daswani‘s meditative tea ritual. The pouring and making and bowl switching is one of Asia’s gifts to the wellness world, practiced by monks and other spiritualists across Japan, China and Taiwan. A tea ceremony forces you to be still, be present and reflect, not habits in great supply in our over-connected age, and at times, it felt almost uncomfortable for this shameless phone-addict.
We ended the active part of our day by showering in the gorgeous changing rooms, featuring maybe the fluffiest and largest towels we have tried in Hong Kong and aromatherapy-scented bath products, and then we sat down to a lunch tasting prepared by Sakti Elixir Bar’s Culinary Curator Arnaud Hauchon for a tasting of Habitat’s fantastic lunch fare- a delicious meeting of Japanese freshness and seasonality with the best of California health food vibrancy. The food is so special, we gave it is own review.
We’re already booked to return to trial the spa treatments, which have only just launched and to give the other movement classes a go (pilates & barre are also on offer) and we’re strongly considering joining as full-time members (there are 3-, 6- and 12-month packages though anyone can dine at the restaurant and they have day passes too), as it was the best mental health day we’ve taken in months.
Fivelements Habitat: Level 13A, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay; +852 6803 5081. Open Mon-Fri: 6.30AM to 10.30PM, Weekends & Public Holidays: 7AM to 9.30PM.
All images courtesy of Green Queen.