Shangpree Spa, Cheongdam: Seoul’s Chicest Facial

Shangpree Seoul
Shangpree Seoul

Shangpree spa is widely regarded as being one of the best places to get a facial in Seoul. The spa comes highly recommended by the likes of Vogue, Conde Nast, Forbes, and The New York Times. As such, Shangpree’s reputation precedes it.

K-Pop stars, international celebrities, and the Korean elite are among Shangpree’s loyal clientele. The spa has a cult following on account of its estheticians’ expert knowledge and ability to give customers the sought after “glass skin” look that is oh so uniquely Korean.

The signatures and signed photographs of Shangpree’s world-famous clients hang on the walls of the spa’s reception. Shangpree is also an official sponsor of acclaimed designer Alexander Wang.

Making an Appointment at Shangpree Seoul

Shangpree’s S-Power and S-Energy facial treatments are widely considered as being among the best facials in Seoul. As such, I had to make an appointment and sample this first hand for myself.

Making an appointment at a spa that is associated with the rich and famous may sound intimidating. However, Shangpree Seoul were able to pencil me in for an appointment very quickly. The atmosphere at the spa was non-pretentious and all of the staff were very friendly.

Shangpree Spa Seoul
Shangpree Spa Seoul

Shangpree Seoul:
Branches in Glamorous Locations

Shangpree has three spa locations throughout Seoul. These are located in Cheongdam, Gangnam, and Myeongdong respectively.

The spa chain has expanded in recent years. Shangpree now also has branches in Suwon, Daejeon, and Daegu.

I visited the spa’s Cheongdam branch. Nestled between the designer boutiques and quirky coffee bars of this glamorous Seoul neighbourhood, this acted as the perfect location to enjoy a facial as part of a girly day out in Seoul.

Shangpree Seoul:
What to Expect During Your Facial

You are met with luxury from the moment you step inside Shangpree Seoul. The interiors of the Cheongdam branch are exquisite. The entrance area alone boasts beautiful wooden flooring and a sculpted wooden back wall, complete with a water feature in the centre of the room.

All customers are treated like Royalty. Upon arrival, you will be provided with a golden locker to store your shoes inside. Snacks and refreshments will be set out for you on the sofa area so that you can relax and get comfortable while you are waiting for your appointment.

Arrival at Shangpree Spa

Shangpree Seoul
Shangpree Seoul: The Shangpree Cheongdam branch
Shangpree Spa Seoul
Shangpree Spa Seoul

The two ladies that greeted me were extremely friendly and spoke a good level of English. They explained the process to me before I was lead to my private dressing room to change.

You will be provided with a light yellow robe. You can wear this during your facial. This is to ensure that none of the products get onto your clothes.

The Shangpree spa dressing room had all of the amenities that you could ask for. There was a wardrobe to hang your clothes, a sink, and a vanity table. There are a number of beauty and skincare products at your disposal.

You will be given plenty of time to prepare after your facial. You can fix your hair and makeup as you like, ready to continue with your Seoul itinerary. Soft, traditional Korean music played in the background creating a very relaxing environment.

Step One:
Assessing the Skin for a Shangpree Spa Facial

Shangpree Spa Seoul
Shangpree Spa Seoul: The beautiful waiting rooms at Shangpree

You will be given ample time to change and get yourself ready for your Shangpree facial. The esthetician will then assess your skin and determine the best treatment option for you.

This is where Shangpree’s facials stand out among the crowd. Their formulations are bespoke to suit your skin type. This means that whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, you will be treated with something that is perfectly tailored to you.

There are many wonderful spas and jimjilbangs in Seoul. However, most places offer generic facials that have a “one size fits all” approach. This is not always the best choice for people with sensitive, problematic, or acne-prone skin.

The estheticians at Shangpree spa are trained extensively. They must have three years of training before they are even allowed to touch a client’s skin. This should give you plenty of reassurance that you are in the best hands.

The consultation with the esthetician is your opportunity to raise any skin complaints that you would like to address. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions that you may have. Most of the estheticians will speak English.

Step Three:
Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise, Massage!

Once everything has been agreed, the esthetician will prepare your skin for the facial. They will cleanse and tone your face, and remove any makeup that you have on.  

I had recently started having Fraxel laser treatments in Seoul to even out my skin tone. A combination of this and the extremely cold temperatures during winter in Korea left my skin feeling very dry and sensitive. 

The esthetician cleansed my skin and then applied some soothing cream to my face. She then applied a moisturising sheet mask which she left on for ten minutes to begin to combat some of this dryness.

The Air Compression Massage

Another lady entered while the esthetician was cleansing my face. She cleansed my feet and massaged them with hot towels. This was a nice touch. She asked if I would like to have a leg massage which I agreed to.

To my surprise, this turned out to be an air compression massager which I had never experienced before. The air compression massager is somewhat reminiscent of the machine that takes your blood pressure at the GP.

It was essentially like putting your legs into long plastic socks that filled with air of varying pressures. The air was pumped out at different points around your leg to encourage better circulation. I was a little uncertain about this at first, but it did feel quite pleasant.

Step Four:
Application of the Face Mask

With the sheet mask removed, the aesthetician used an ionic device to remove excess sebum from my skin. She then massaged my face before moving on to the main aspect of the facial: the modeling mask.

The treatment option that she selected for me was Shangpree’s popular ‘S-Energy’ treatment. This formulation is made from a combination of natural herbal ingredients.

The Shangpree S-Energy Mask

The Shangpree Spa S-Energy mask contains no artificial fragrances or preservatives. This particular treatment is very popular as it is suitable for even the most sensitive of skin types.

The esthetician blended all of the ingredients together there and then before applying the mask to my face. The mask was extremely thick in texture. Whe asked if it was okay to cover my eyes and mouth with the formula which I agreed to.

I had to keep my eyes tightly closed throughout the rest of the facial as the formula was applied over them. If you don’t like the idea of that, then it is possible to have the mask applied to avoid these areas.

Step Five:
Time to Relax

I was plunged into darkness with the S-Energy mask over my face and eyes. Then, I was left for 20 minutes to relax before the esthetician re-entered the room.

The esthetician gave me a chest and shoulder massage before removing the mask. This was firm but felt very effective in relieving some of the tension in my upper body.

The mask was peeled off in one swift movement, and the remaining product was patted into my skin. A day moisturiser and an SPF treatment were applied across my face. 

Shangpree Spa Facial:
S-Energy vs S-Power

Two of the most common Shangpree spa treatments are the S-Energy and the S-Power facials. However, what is the difference between the two?

The S-Energy treatment is essentially Shangpree Seoul’s “signature” facial package. This costs 130,000 KRW (approximately $110).

The S-Power treatment is basically the S-Energy supercharged. This costs 230,000 KRW (approximately $230).

Which Shangpree Treatment Should You Choose?

Both the S-Energy and the S-Power Shangpree spa facial packages are modified depending on your specific skin condition and complaints. They each use different ampoules depending on your personal needs.

The S-Energy treatment is a nice choice for first-time visitors to Shangpree Seoul. If you enjoy it, you can return again for the S-Power!

However, the S-Power treatment is the more premium and intensive of the two, you may want to opt for this one in the first instance if you have things like visible wrinkles and aging skin that you are hoping to address and combat.

Conclusion

Shangpree spa Seoul
Shangpree Seoul: After the facial, my skin was literally glowing!

The entire process at Shangpree was very enjoyable and relaxing. Everything from the initial cleansing to the massages and the facial treatment itself was wonderfully indulgent.

My skin felt so refreshed after the experience. It actually had a shiny, healthy glow to it for a couple of days afterward that is so typically Korean!

The Shangpree Spa staff were eager to catch up with me after the facial. They offered me some suggestions on the best ways of caring for my skin type and the types of products I should use.

Shangpree is arguably the leading spa in Seoul. They are often scooping up awards at international and Korean beauty expos. However, I was really impressed by how down to earth and friendly all of the staff on site were.

The customers at Shangpree were treated extremely well, and the staff were on hand to answer any question or query. I would definitely like to return in the future.

Shangpree Spa, Seoul:
Is it Worth it?

The skin treatments at Shangpree Seoul have won hearts all over the globe and impressed even the fussiest of clientele. The price tags are certainly not budget, but is the Shangpree facial treatment worth the money? I would say so, especially if you are wanting to treat yourself, on vacation, or suffering from particularly dry or problematic skin.

Those who follow a strict and intense skincare regime may not see such substantial results as those who are a bit haphazard with it. I mean that in the sense that if you are following a Korean ten-step skincare routine, applying face masks, serums, night creams, and intensive moisturisers every day then the change will not be so dramatic.

Shangpree Spa, Seoul:
Appointment Bookings

Appointments at any of the Shangpree Seoul branches (and other Shangpree spas around Korea) can be made online via email or on the phone.

Unfortunately, the Shangpree website does not display the prices of the various treatments. However, it is possible to inquire and check the specifics prior to confirming your appointment.

Shangpree Spa, Seoul:
Additional Treatments

It may be their exquisite facial treatments that put Shangpree Seoul on the K-beauty map but that isn’t the full extent of their treatment packages. In fact, Shangpree offers a comprehensive menu of skincare and full-body treatment products. Their treatment menu includes nourishing body wraps, massages, and nail treatments.

Shangpree products such as face masks, creams, and take-home skin treatments can be purchased on-site at the majority of the Shangpree branches. It is also worth noting that Shangpree items can be purchased from Galleria and several other department stores while you are shopping in Seoul.

Shangpree Spa, Seoul
Additional Information

Shangpree Spa Seoul

Cheongdam address: 32, Dosan-daero 51-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Cheongdam contact number: 02 511 2951

Shangpree Seoul Website: click here

Shangpree Seoul e-mail reservations: click here

Prices: A facial treatment at Shangpree spa is ₩130,000.

Skincare range: Shangpree’s range of products are available at the spas, and in Galleria retail stores in Korea. Their products are now also available from Harrods, London. This makes Shangpree the first Korean brand to grace the shelves of the luxury London store.

Disclaimer: High Heels and a Backpack is in no way affiliated with Shangpree Spa Seoul.

Have you visited Shangpree? Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions about planning a trip to Korea.

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Shangpree Spa Seoul

Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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