Sanctuaries For The Senses16 Jan 2017
BANYAN TREE SPA
BANYAN TREE LIJIANG, YUNNAN, CHINA
A close proximity to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain on a land influenced by Tibetan culture - thanks to the Tibetan families that live there - is the perfect backdrop for a rejuvenation haven in the form of Banyan Tree Spa.
Better yet, the lush eastern terrain of Lijiang inspired the myriad ingredients used in the spa menu of this award-winning retreat. The place will leave you mesmerised, not to mention relaxed as you indulge yourself in their many signature eastern-inspired treatments that you can find nowhere else except here.
Many spas advocate the use of natural ingredients, Banyan Tree Spa included. But they also take a homegrown approach by incorporating ingredients from the rich soil of the Yunnan province. While the body experiences a relaxing massage and exfoliation using pearl barley grains, muscle aches vanish thanks to the red rice ginseng pouches pressed lightly upon tender parts of the body.
Staying true to eastern influences, ladies can pamper themselves to glowing skin as they bathe in Soy Mint Brightener, featured in the Sweet Serenade - Yin For Her therapy. Meanwhile, the gents can relieve muscle tension with a unique Yoga Massage through thumb and palm pressure, which is mixed with some light stretching in the Absolute Lift - Yang For Him treatment.
The spa is more than just its treatments as they take pride in their trained therapists. To provide the highest standards of service, each therapist at Banyan Tree Spa has undergone training in accredited spa academies in Indonesia and Thailand. Rest assured your body is in good hands.
ARCANA AUBERGE RESORT, IZU, JAPAN
Flanked by the Amagi mountain range with water sourced from the famed Yugashima Onsen, nothing says tranquil more than Arcana Spa. The forest location itself offers an interesting and unique spa escape as the different seasons paint a different picture. Therefore, guests can enjoy the spa amenities while feasting their eyes on the Izu landscape all year round.
Arcana Spa’s surroundings plays a vital role in the makeup of its spa menu, which focuses on healing through the wonders of nature. Guests are even encouraged to take a dip in the open-air bath filled with waters from the formerly mentioned Yugashima hot spring, so the skin can absorb the water’s healing properties before their pampering session.
The Gekko body treatment takes into consideration the lunar cycle, using that as a guide to correct the body’s biorhythm. Revitalised circulation of the lymphatic system can be achieved through their Detox therapy, which uses essential oils from luxury Swiss skin brand, Paul Scerri.
Apart from Paul Scerri essential oils, Arcana Spa is also champion of another luxury Swiss brand called Valmont. Valmont products are known for their anti-aging properties, derived from glacial spring water taken from locations of over 2000m altitude and is extensively used in the spa’s Precious facial treatment for a refreshed and glowing visage. Coupled with the complimentary hot spring soak, youthful-looking skin is just a spa therapy away.
SPA VILLAGE RESORT TEMBOK
SPA VILLAGE RESORT TEMBOK, BALI, INDONESIA
There is something magical about Bali where the volcanic sands meet the blue sea. It is located in a country that is home to world-class spa treatments and the land that birthed Asia’s favourite deep-tissue kneading therapy, the Balinese massage.
The treatments at Spa Village Resort exceed the traditional kneading-based body remedies, offering yoga and meditation sessions as well as hair and body wrap treatments. They stay true to the land by using its natural ingredients, chock-full of beneficial properties for the skin.
For instance, to achieve that healthy glow, the 50-minute Pepaya body wrap gently conditions the skin to heal burns from the sun and moisturise from within. The neem and betel leaves, known for their antibacterial properties, will cleanse away impurities in the popular Intaran body masque treatment.
Fancy a spa date with your significant other? Well, Spa Village Resort has a separate spa menu for couples to spend quality time relaxing and healing their bodies together. Couples that plan to wed can opt for the special and traditional treatment called Penganten Melukat.
Conventionally done on days leading up to the wedding, Penganten Melukat is a body cleansing ritual where the couple will experience a traditional Balinese massage, a boreh body scrub and finally a soak in a floral bath. It is a fascinating and cultural way to enter matrimony that purifies the mind and body before starting a new life together.
ANANTARA SIAM, BANGKOK, THAILAND
Inside of one Bangkok’s swankiest hotels lies a spa oasis made for kings. The hustle and bustle of Bangkok can get overwhelming so a lavish spa experience is deserving after a long day of shopping. When we say lavish, we mean private Roman style tubs in their spa suites, which include steam rooms for a quick vapour detox. All of this as a prep before intuitive hands pamper your every ache and sore.
The signature treatment at Anantara Spa which has been raved about for its authenticity and effectiveness is the Siam 2482 treatment that sees the therapist kneading sore muscles using a bamboo stick. The bamboo is an abundant plant in this part of South East Asia and is cleverly used to stretch and apply pressure for improved blood circulation.
When in Thailand, do as the Thais do. In this case, it means getting your body twisted and contorted. Yes, the traditional Thai massage may seem daunting but trust us when we say that afterwards, there is an inexplicable lightness to the body.