Imagine a wellness retreat bang in the middle of a buzzing futuristic metropolis. Now imagine a luxuriously appointed room smelling of roses and fresh rain. An urban oasis of calm awaits in the vibrant heart of Malaysia’s capital city. The Spa Village Kuala Lumpur is a doorway to the kaleidoscope of healing traditions available in Spa Village Kuala Lumpur is an extension of the Spa Village brand which has gained worldwide recognition for its diverse range of treatments. Unique to its location, each Spa Village focuses on the healing cultures of its locality. The Sensory Room at Spa Village of Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur, the first of its kind in the region, provides healing vibrations to the senses, a combination of multiple sensations that both soothe and heighten awareness.
Located on the Level Four of the luxurious All-Suite Wing of The Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, the Spa Village spans 12,000square feet enveloping any spa enthusiast in a world of their own far removed from city life.
Dedicated to healing and designed for rejuvenation, the spa contains eight spacious treatment suites that feature outdoor showers and sunken baths surrounded by a tranquil paradise of lush greenery.
Massage treatments are available in the spa’s outdoor cabanas with curtains for privacy and a 22-metre lap pool, hot spa and cool dipping pool are set within its landscaped gardens. Strolling along a curved path that winds its way through water features and leafy plants, you pass three cabanas situated out in the open for those who like the feel of a cool breeze on the skin while being massaged.
The spa has been designed to provide an environment that allows our guests to relax, rejuvenate and pamper themselves. So when I met Tina Chakrensuk, Spa Manager, she gave me a patient ear about being stretched in the middle of an awards function and my need to feel thoroughly pampered.
I opted for the Rose Therapy – an inclusion of head-to-toe care involving fresh roses. This included, among other things, a rose hair wrap, rose body scrub, masque and rose-petal soak. The massage techniques included elements of Aromatherapy, Swedish massage, Deep tissue Massage, gentle connective tissue massage, detoxifying manual lymphatic drainage or balancing reflexology, all coupled with a personal blend of aromatic oils. This treatment has been developed with specific herbs found in the Southeast Asian region. Based on traditional Nusantara philosophies, the rose treatment, in particular, touts the properties of enhancing female natural beauty. Ground soy, lemongrass, papaya, pandan and rice are just some of the ingredients found in the magical potions.
The rose therapy for ladies combines sweet-smelling roses with lavender in all the treatments to enhance femininity, topped off with a nice soak in your milk bath complete with rose petals.
As I relaxed in the consultation area, I was offered a chilled glass of the most amazing fruit juice that combined the sweetness of rambutan and the tart flavour of lime. I was told that rambutan has hair-softening and conditioning properties and also helps reduce fat. I promptly asked for another glass of this. Then I was led to the treatment area.
Step 1: My therapy began in the sensory room. As the name denotes, this area is all about reawakening your five senses – hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. The first of its kind in the Southeast Asian region, the cool, darkened room accommodates up to six persons at one time and kicks off with an exploratory experience that involves a floor that vibrates beneath you, bits of food to “taste”, and breathing exercises. It finishes with a toe-curling scalp and reflexology massage. Recommended prior to treatment, it prepares you to better receive the healing benefits of your treatment and actually reintroduces you to those senses that have been dulled by city living. I relaxed here for 15 minutes and only the charm of being engulfed in roses made me extricate myself from this calming oasis.
Step 2: Next, my therapist applied a drop each of lavender and rose oil on my temples, beneath my nostrils, wrists and at the back of my knees to begin the process of aromatherapy. I was asked to meditate on my breathing cycle for a couple of minutes and felt my nasal tract clearing up. This was also accompanies by a gentle ‘beating’ of my body calf upwards, with a rattan broom – to unravel sore muscles and stimulate the blood flow towards the heart. As soon as my nasal tract cleared up, I was asked to lie down on the massage bed for the therapy to commence.
Step 3: My body was cleaned with a damp towel to get rid of the surface impurities. I was then anointed with rose oil from the Spa Village label and my soothing massage experience followed – concentrating on the knotted muscles, stimulating the right pressure points, combining firm strokes with acupressure technique to literally squeeze the strain out of every pore. After a good hour of massaging, I was asked to take a steam and my therapist asked me to take deep soothing breaths – to inhale in all the scented goodness and release the stress. I was also told this stimulates female hormones in the body.
Step 4: Next, my therapist began applying generous amounts of a mixture of dried rose petals, rice powder, oats made into a paste with rose oil and milk to scrub my body. The scrubbing lasted about 15 minutes and the mixture was left on my body for about 10 minutes for ingredients to soften my skin.
Step 5: After a good hour of massaging while I snored to high heavens, I was gently woken up and led to the outdoor shower area to wash off the scrub. I washed my hair with, what else, a rose shampoo.
Step 6: The next step was a totally decadent soak for as long as I wanted in a pool of milk to which rose water had been added, along with a generous sprinkling of rose petals.
Step 7: I emerged from my royal soak after about 20 minutes and was led to the relaxation area to have another glass of the heavenly rambutan and lime juice.
The Rose Treatment at the Spa Village feels even more exotic than it sounds. The massage was exactly what my aching muscles needed and the blissful de-stressing was a balm for my frayed nerves. Rose petals have been used to perfume baths for as long as man discovered fragrance. But I was amazed at the instant transformation in my skin (and of course mood) with this treatment. The red spots on my skin due to sun exposure vanished and the sunburn was also reduced significantly. My skin felt softer and so nourished. Open pores on my skin seemed less visible and yes that itchy scalp, so typical of humid weather, was cooled down.
A rose water bath is said to be a powerful mood enhancer, apart from being a detox for your body. The real impact of it I felt for days to come as I slept blissfully after a long time.
Spa: The Spa Village, Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Size: 12000 square feet
Location Address: The Spa Village, The Ritz-Carlton, 168, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur 55100, Malaysia.
Contact details: (603) 2782 9090
Text and images by Aarti Kapur Singh