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5 express workouts and go-to spa treatments you can enjoy in an hour or less


Ur Spa at Kuala Lumpur’s RuMa Hotel and Residences offers a range of 30-minute treatments for people looking for quick yet invigorating on-the-go treatments

Life in Asia’s busiest cities can be pretty daunting while juggling busy work schedules, family commitments, outings with friends and trying to check out the latest restaurants on the dining scene.

Amid the daily bustle, it can get pretty hard to find some quality self-care time. But an increasing number of spas and fitness concepts are catering to urban residents and travellers with an express wellness fix that takes only an hour – or less.

Express wellness makes it easy to slip in a relaxing massage, rejuvenate with a foot rub, say goodbye to worry wrinkles or let off some steam with a quick workout – and still be able to make it to all your engagements refreshed and on time.

From Beijing to Tokyo, check out five of our favourite go-to express wellness spas and fitness centres which are great if you live in the city or are dropping in while on a business trip.

Ur Spa, Kuala Lumpur

Eight different 30-minute treatments are available at Ur Spa at the RuMa Hotel and Residences, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur

Located at the RuMa Hotel and Residences, in the centre of Kuala Lumpur, Ur Spa offers a variety of options that have city dwellers leaving feeling refreshed and ready to hit the streets.

Express wellness makes it easy to slip in a relaxing massage, rejuvenate with a foot rub, say good bye to worry wrinkles or let off steam with a quick workout – and still make it to your engagements refreshed and on time

Even for those short of time, your treatment will begin with a “prequel”, where your therapist greets you with a botanical inhalation and a Kabat stretch to allow you to decompress and relax before your treatment.

We love the fact that Ur Spa offers eight 30-minute treatments.

If you have limited time and are looking to get a full body refresher, try the Urban Active. This anti-ageing treatment helps reduce stress while leaving your skin visibly more toned. The massage uses a variety of techniques that act as a preventive measure to stimulate the skin.

The Spa at Bellagio Shanghai, which offers fine views of the Suzhou Creek in Shanghai

Located at the northern end of The Bund, the Spa is located on the fourth floor of the luxury Bellagio Shanghai hotel.

The Spa offers not only luxury treatment rooms with tranquil views of the Suzhou Creek, but also unique options for the tired Shanghai resident or jet-lagged business traveller.

The Spa’s answer to rejuvenating a tired body and mind is the 30-minute Oxygen Aroma Inhalation. It features an oxygen therapy to aid the body in maintaining physical stamina and endurance.

The many benefits of the treatment include helping to cure insomnia, fighting jet lag, easing headache tension and relieving stress.

This sounds like the perfect way to start or end the day – and is as quick as grabbing a cup of coffee or bubbly.

The Spa offers five different effusions that you can combine with your oxygen, including tea tree, lavender, peppermint, rose otto essential oil and Roman chamomile.

F45, Hong Kong

F45 is the game-changing group workout that enables you to let off steam in 45 minutes.

With studios in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, F45 helps urban dwellers who want to squeeze in a combination of high-interval training, circuit training and functional training before work, during their lunch break or in between meetings.

With five studios located in Hong Kong and a new one on the way, Hongkongers have a variety of options to let it all out and try out the 36 different workouts.

We like the group aspect as you can go at your own pace, but still be held accountable.

Two 40-minute treatments – Reflexology and Tension Reliever – are available for people on the go at the spa at Kerry Sports, at Kerry Hotel Beijing

The Kerry Hotel Beijing is located in the heart of the Beijing’s central business district.

Its state-of-the art 7,000 square metre (75,000 square foot) sports club, Kerry Sports, is open 24 hours a day for all your fitness needs. It also offers members and hotel guests express spa treatments that are ideal post-workout, post-meeting – or post-sitting in a Beijing traffic jam.

After a long flight or intense workout, we love the idea of the Tension Reliever at the spa at Kerry Sports. This treatment uses aromatic oils with strategic techniques to quickly and effectively elevate tension in the neck, back and shoulders. 

The spa at Kerry Sports offers two 40-minute treatments to eliminate all your stresses and strains. The Reflexology treatment is paired with sensual oils to hit all the reflex points in your feet to improve circulation and promote relaxation.

This is ideal after a long day spent running around the city from one meeting to the next.

After a long flight or intense workout, we love the idea of the Tension Reliever. This treatment uses aromatic oils with strategic techniques to quickly and effectively elevate tension in the neck, back and shoulders.

Busy people may enjoy the 60-minute Power Hour at The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, featuring a full salt and oil body scrub, exfoliation and body oil massage

The Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world are known for elaborate day spa treatments.

The 2,000 square metre The Ritz-Carlton Spa & Fitness, at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo is second to none with an indoor lap pool, dry sauna, steam sauna and luxurious treatment rooms and suites.

While the spa offers some long, relaxing, indulgent treatments for both women and men, we find it fitting that as one of Asia’s busiest cities with a demanding work culture, it also offers the Power Hour.

This treatment lives up to its name with a full salt and oil body scrub and exfoliation, followed by an invigorating full body oil massage – all in 60 minutes.

Power Hour definitely sounds like the perfect pit stop for a mid-day pick-me-up.

This article was first published on September 3rd, 2019, for South China Morning Post

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