In a previous post about the Mioggi Spa located at K-11 shopping mall (Tsimshatsui) I gave it a poor review. After revisiting the spa again to finish the remaining services of my HKD189 Groupon deal, my assessment changed somewhat for the better. In fairness, I’m posting this follow-up review to give consumers the complete picture. USD1 = HKD7.8 approximate
Mioggi, K-11 Mall, Tsim Sha Tsui East
I went for the Korean aromatherapy 45 minute massage and the Korean lymphatic treatment. Mioggi is a Korean brand.
Korean lymphatic treatment
The lymphatic treatment claims to use radio frequency (RF) technology, that released RF while the suction pump machine works on your body parts. It feels like parts of your body is being “vacuum cleaned”. You can choose the legs, back, stomach, face, etc. to be worked on. The therapist explained it supposedly helps circulation, decreases swelling, and occasionally, slims the body. The feeling is very slightly painful at first. Upon contact with the body, the machine sucks your skin in and the therapist moves it along your body to get a good surface area. She will have applied a gel like substance to your skin first for better gliding of the machine. You can ask the therapist to decrease the suction strength, so remember to voice out any discomfort! I tried the machine out with a rather low suction strength at first, but as my body got used to it I asked for the intensity to be increased for better results. The therapist was friendly, professional and nice. This time the therapist didn’t try to sell me anything, so I could enjoy myself in peace. It was a relaxing experience inside a dimly lit room, and I was lying comfortably with clean towels and sheets. You have to get near naked for this, but for those used to spas this is nothing new. I have no idea if the results are apparent after just one trial, but I say if you are interested in beauty regimes, it’s worth a try. The RF treatment didn’t give me any side effects like swelling or redness. RF technology has been around for a while and I’m not 100 percent certain about the results of preserving youth, but people seem to swear by it and get RF treatments on a regular basis. It’s not an injection type of beautification (which I’m generally against), so it seems safer and less invasive than e.g. botox.
Korean aromatherapy massage
The 45 minute Korean aromatherapy oil massage treatment was done by a strong-looking lady who was professional, effective and clearly had many years of expertise. She started off by massaging my limbs with determined hands and went on to massage away the tension in my shoulders and back. 45 minutes (or one “part”) is rather short, but I felt quite relaxed afterwards. It was an excellent massage for the price. I would ask for the same therapist if I ever go back.
Would I revisit this spa? At this stage, still a no – although the second visit was much more pleasant and professional than the first, I still felt pressured by the sales lady asking me to join a longer term plan. They always ask you to go inside a room after your treatment to have a chat, even if you’re in a hurry, which I don’t like. There are other options for a similar price. My treatment session had already overrun – it would have been courteous to check with clients whether they have time to be sat down. I politely declined, and she didn’t force me further. FYI Mioggi is offering HKD240 per a 50 minute Korean aromatherapy massage session, if you buy in bulk, which is quite reasonable. The sales lady told me it’s half the original price, just for Groupon customers. Considering that the spa is inside a top class artsy shopping mall, with a nice looking spa lobby, it’s worth thinking about. It’s no Mandarin Oriental, but you’re also paying much less.
Though another reason for not joining a long-term package is because of Mioggi’s slightly run down rooms. It’s by no means unclean or unhygienic – the towels, treatment beds, and sheets are all very clean. They could do with new wraps – the one I used was clean but a bit old and frayed. The white walls are slightly streaked. I suggest a fresh layer of paint. The design and interior finishing is more 1990/2000s than 2010s – black, white and cream coloured overtones for furniture. In fairness, the bathrooms are pristine and look new, with creamy stone walls, tea-lights inside white porcelain holders, and fitted with two standing glass showers – adding points to Mioggi for that. The spa lobby is clean, bright and modern. Overall, unfortunately, the impressive, zen-like spa lobby doesn’t match the interior – which is where a customer will spend most of her time. I may be harsh, but having visited an excellent, un-pricey spa like Ayana’s in Central, I know it’s possible to have a first class spa experience at third class prices. It’s just a matter of trying out different spas and digging out the gems!
Tips for visiting spas
This may be obvious to some, but I cannot emphasise enough the importance of communicating to your therapist what works for you and what doesn’t. I used to go to spas and skin treatments, silently suffering pain or discomfort – I felt it was rude to disturb their already set beauty regime. But remember – you are the customer and it’s your body that’s being worked on – you have every right to tell the therapist if something feels off or if you’re hurting in any way, especially if they’re using machines on you. If you feel any sort of aggression at all from the sales person (or therapist) – including acts such as forcing you to buy products, packages, or demeaning your looks, skin, your figure in ANY way, walk. I have experiences of buying packages or treatment regimes that were unsuitable for myself, bought an expensive 10 time package, but ended up using the services reluctantly, or hardly going at all. The tactic is almost identical – if you buy a package now, at this moment, you will save hundreds of dollars per session. While true, it could also mean you splurging a lump sum of money into a beauty treatment that doesn’t suit your skin or body. Plus, the trial session is usually of top quality, but not necessarily the subsequent visits. Finding a well established spa joint that will honour their treatment sessions every time you go is essential. Don’t fall for the trap. My advice is to try the spa out once, walk away, and if you find yourself still liking their services (and if their products don’t give you an allergic reaction) after a few days, then go back to buy that package. See how your skin interacts with their products. The sales person will mostly likely tell you during your trial that the promotional price is only valid for buying that same day – a common sales tactic. Most often than not, you get the same promotion if you call back after a short while. And if they don’t offer it to you – you haven’t lost anything! Who wants to go to a spa with such restrictive payment options anyway? An example is the Hong Kong wedding expo – a number of shops offered specific wedding expo promotions only, claiming that if you don’t deposit on the day, you lose out. It’s often untrue. I found out that if I called them to confirm buying their services shortly after the expo, they offer me the same price. It’s often an illusion and a falsely created urgency that you have to pay on the spot to secure a deal. This was true for banquet venues, photography services, and flower decoration. Note of caution: the Hong Kong wedding expo, while has some good deals, is also riddled with consumer traps and restrictive or ambiguous contract terms when they lure you to put down a deposit for a service. Buy services with caution, and ensure you understand all the terms. When in doubt, take a photo of the promotional prices/termsheet, and keep all receipts.
- THINK before you buy. When in doubt, don’t bring any credit cards on the day of the trial.
- GO with a FRIEND. A friend reassures you that you look fine, are beautiful just the way you are, and helps you make the decision to walk away.
- SPEAK UP. When anything doesn’t feel right during a treatment session, especially with any type of machine.
Hong Kong Wedding
Hong Kong is an excellent wedding destination, and offers sophisticated and a wide variety of wedding services. I think some of the pre-wedding photography is some of the best and most advanced in the world. Labour is still relatively cheap, and print work is affordable. It’s much more economical to get paper products, invitations and favours done here than say, North America generally (e.g. my invitation printing will cost under USD50 for a simple un-embossed printing of 200 cards). There are, however, many amateurs posing to be professionals, and unprofessional/scammy shops offering hidden, detrimental contract terms to their customers (e.g. a force majeure event being at the consumer’s own cost – which FYI you should never sign up to!). There’s a lot to weed through before getting to the cream. When in doubt, ask friends or the internet for an honest review first. Are there any spas that you highly recommend?