Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Bastien Gonzalez Hong Kong’

Luxe new rooms at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Redesigned suite at The Landmark Oriental Hong Kong

Redesigned suite at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

[UPDATE: To celebrate the reopening of Harvey Nichols at the Landmark, a kitten heel’s throw away from the The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, the hotel is offering VIP access to Harvey Nics including discounts, personal styling, beauty treatments and champagne, sweetie. Stay & Shop at Harvey Nichols is valid from 1 November 2016 until 31 March 2017. Rates start from HKD 5,380: ]

There are several good reasons to stay at The Landmark Oriental when you’re in Hong Kong. First there’s the location, slap bang in the centre of the Central district with all the shops and restaurants you could wish for on your doorstep. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the hotel’s Amber, number 38 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Then there’s the brilliant Bastien Gonzalez mani pedi and the spa which is second to none, not just in Hong Kong but any city. And of course the boutique size which makes it feel very personal.

And now there’s another reason: The Landmark has become even swisher with new guest room designs by Joyce Wang.

LMHKG redesigned L600 living room (1MB)

LMHKG redesigned L450 (1MB)-5

The new look is softer and a teeny bit more feminine with the feel of those stylish apartments in glamorous 1930s films. Art Deco details are dotted throughout from the cabinets and side tables to the lights and glass screens.

LMHKG redesigned room Cooling Vitrine and Sofa (1MB)

Clever touches include a chic vitrine chiller cabinet in which delectable treats made by executive chef Richard Ekkebus and the Amber team will be left in your room. And the bed headboards are reminiscent of First Class flatbeds on the plane – complete with adjustable reading light.


LMHKG redesigned bedroom cameo (1MB)

Wisely, the huge bathrooms with their eye catching circular tubs have been kept as they are with Wang working her magic on the rest of the room.

The eye catching bathrooms at The Landmark are unchanged

Thankfully though, Wang has done away with the confusing multi blind system. The result is a pretty near perfect home from home in the heart of Hongkers.

Tip Top Toes – the Best Pedicure in Hong Kong

Bastion Gonzalez's tricks of the pedicure trade

Bastion Gonzalez’s tricks of the pedicure trade

The Oriental Spa at the Landmark Mandarin hotel is Chopstix’s favourite spa in Hong Kong. As well as the spacious, gorgeously designed heat and water rooms there’s another reason to love it: Bastien Gonzalez who tends to the talons of celebrities and supermodels has a mani pedi studio here. Read more

The Foot Whisperer


Bastien Gonzalez, pedicurist to the rich and famous, is scrutinising my bare feet and I feel nervous. He declares that my nails are healthy, my toes are nicely straight and I have no bunions but I can’t help but think he is disappointed. This is a man who has said he finds beauty in hideous pieds.

Gonzalez was a ski instructor in his native France before an injury forced him into a career change. He trained as a podiatrist and ran a successful, exclusive practice in Paris before turning his hand, literally, to creating a unique form of pedicure at the age of 27. “Men like to work with hands and machines,” he says matter of factly when I meet him on one of his regular visits to Asia. “I put together a concept: combining the beauty, the medical knowledge, the wellbeing with a good technical massage.”

Bastien Gonzalez

Bastien Gonzalez

Overnight he shut down his practice (“everyone thought I was crazy”) and set up shop in the spa at the then uber fashionable Hotel Costes. The Bastien Gonzalez pedicure began as a treatment for models about to strut the Paris catwalks and is now in demand from celebrities, sports stars and the merely rich.

Uniquely, the pedicure is “dry” (feet are not soaked in water beforehand which apparently demands less skill and accuracy from the pedicurist) and nail varnish is not applied (it encourages the very yellowing of the nail that we’re attempting to hide). “If you stop people on the street and ask them what a pedicure is, most of them will say colour on the toenails. But we are curing the feet,” says Gonzalez.

Inspiration came from an unlikely quarter: “I saw my 92 year old grandmother buffing her fingernails. She told me, ‘It would be vulgar to paint my nails but I want them to look nice.’ What struck me was the health of her nails. The friction of the chammoix leather helped the blood circulate and made them a healthy pink.”

Gonzalez uses an exact replica of the horn handled buffer his grandmother had in his mani pedis – clients were so delighted with the pedicures that they asked for manicures too. “So we developed a dry manicure treatment to go with the pedicure.”

His method also involves the use of dentist drills and surgeon’s scalpels for polishing the nails and removing dead skin. But in Gonzalez and his team’s hands you won’t feel a thing. “I’m against pain,” says Gonzalez. “Strong pressure is important but not pain.” Each pedicure is finished with a firm foot and lower leg massage, the result of which makes you feel like you’re walking on air.

Gonzalez's tricks of the trade

Gonzalez’s tricks of the trade

So popular has the Bastien Gonzalez treatment become that, unable to keep up with demand for his personal attention, he opened studios at luxury locations around the world with his own handpicked podiatrists in place. “I was working in Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles and the Middle East. I didn’t even count the hours I worked, it became a passion.”

Bastien Gonzalez studios can be found in Hong Kong, Singapore, Danang in Vietnam and Tokyo. “I hire very good people and I share my vision with them. I want them to have the same energy as me, to go out and change the pedicure.”

In Asia, that includes Steve Desobeau (who was a professional footballer in France before injury too led him to retrain as a podiatrist) at the St Regis, Singapore and the equally engaging Albin Brion at the Landmark Oriental, Hong Kong.

Undoubtedly feet look beautifully neat and naturally healthy after a Bastien Gonzalez pedicure but there are times when you do want a burst of colour. “I’m not saying you should never wear nail polish but treat it as you would cosmetics on your face and take it off,” says the maestro. He also advocates always sprinkling talcum powder in your shoes: “When you have expensive footwear, it’s as much for the shoes as the feet,” he says.

Bastien’s Tips for Top Toes
If you wear nail polish remove it after three days and leave a 12 hour gap before reapplying.

Toenails should always be cut straight to avoid them growing inwards – don’t listen to any therapist who offers to cut them the latest “shape”.

A dusting of talcum powder in the shoe is essential in humid climates, acting as “invisible socks” to protect fee.

The Oriental Spa, the Landmark Oriental Hong Kong Remede Spa, St Regis, Singapore

Nike Global Stores

%d bloggers like this: