In the ever-demanding hustle and bustle of the urban life, our body, mind, and soul are craving to disconnect and unwind.
Sometimes all those shopping, food-hunting and traveling just won’t cut it as it does wear you out. For a pinnacle of pleasure and relaxation, head over to spas that are devoted to rattle your senses in the most spellbinding way.
Better yet, the Pearl of Orient is blessed with spas that don’t only offer heavenly rub downs as camera-friendly backdrops and out-of-the-box techniques are part of the blissful equation too.
Since Mother's Day is just around the corner, there's no better time to send your mommy dearest to a spa so that she could relax and unwind.
Remember, she deserves it!
1) Chi, The Spa
The Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort at the heart of Batu Ferringhi is home to this prestigious spa. The wellness wonderland comprises 11 spas villas (each fitted with a private changing room, a garden, a treatment room and some also include an outdoor spa bath and a rain shower), a Sanctum and a yoga pavilion. Surrounded by lush greenery with dots of colourful crane flowers and a strong influence of distinctive CHI-style decor with indigenous Malay and Peranakan touches, this space is drop-dead gorgeous.
The menu serves all sorts of bliss-seekers - from Malaysia’s cultural therapies using steamed herbal pouches and long kneading strokes to worldwide mishmashes like Balinese, Malay Urut Swedish and Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi and CHI’s signature therapies like CHI Hot Stone and CHI Rescue Release. However, if you have ample of time and cash to burn, opt for the Extreme Luxury - as decadent as it sounds - it comprises therapies like Cinnamon Restorative, Luxurious Firming Wrap, and Caviar Cell Vitale Facial, to name a few. What better way to wrap up your session than strolling along the picturesque beach, just a stone’s throw away.
2) Panpuri Organic Spa
Say hello to the winner of Malaysia's Best Hotel Spa 2016 by World Spa Awards. Not far away from Penang’s heritage landmarks and street food scene, Panpuri Organic Spa is sited on the sixth floor of Eastern & Oriental Hotel. The hotel is synonymous with opulence and heritage charm, and the 2,700-square feet spa is no exception. From polished marbles to unpretentious floral settings, upper-class brass to plush furniture and everything in between that speaks luxury, all five treatments rooms guarantee great aesthetic pleasure and transports you far away from the hectic urban jungle.
Matching the ambiance is their well-being offerings - organic, hypo-allergenic Panpuri products go hand to hand with authentic therapies across Asia, which results in moments that cannot be replicated. While being polished and pampered, look out the windows and take in the pulse of the Straits of Malacca. If your idea of heaven is to balance the body’s energy points, check out the Ayurvedic and Shiatsu practices. After your treatment, you’ll be served with organic tea and snacks.
3) Teratak Spa
While Batu Ferringhi and Georgetown have turned into some sort of a spa battleground, this nature-centric spa is tucked away at the Bayan Baru residential area. It’s a double-storey house revamped into a mecca for those hankering locally-inspired therapies. From the moment you step in, you’re completely unraveled from the modern-day hustle as verdant foliage, a fish pond, water fountains and Nusantara-themed decorations make up a realm of calmness and lead its way to the treatment area. Inside, traditional ornaments and handmade crafts deck up the reception and rooms. Needless to say, it’s an appeal for shutterbugs.
Service is nothing short of impeccable - fresh tamarind juice is served as a welcome drink and nosh homemade chocolate cookies once you’re done pampering your body and mind. The menu comprises of a gamut of contemporary-traditional treatments - from massages, scrubs, facials and baths - which are performed by highly-trained and well-mannered masseurs. Plus members can enjoy 50% off for a single treatment on their birthday. Not an islander? Check out their other outlets at Kepala Batas and Bandar Perda.
4) Float for Health
Futuristic, fascinating and freedom are a few words to describe Malaysia’s first and only float center, located at Vantage Desiran Tanjung. With the cleanest water you could imagine, measuring 250 gallons, heated to 34-degree Celsius and dissolved with 500 kilograms of Epsom salt in a floating tank is what you’ll expect here in all their four float rooms (also with a shower). The approach is - you guessed it - therapeutic floating in a dream-like state while being accompanied by soothing music or sheer silence, total darkness or dim lighting according to your preference.
Now you get the idea of “freedom”- drain away your thoughts and send yourself to a blissful world. The relaxation and rejuvenation do score points, but its multitude benefits to health, particularly the skin earns the gold star. Refreshments are served later on.
5) Rock Spa
If you believe spas are fairly a cut from the same cloth, then you’ve got to visit Rock Spa, housed in the globally-known Hard Rock Hotel, as they have taken relaxation to a whole new level. Back in August 2015, the hotel introduced the world’s first music-centric spa menu featuring an astute amalgamation of amplified vibrations, soundtracks, pressures and patterns. Not into cutting-edge experiences? Then relish your dose of wellness while embracing the beauty of nature at the spa bungalow or four luxurious villas. Imagine restful rub downs by skilled therapists while being accompanied by heart-stopping views of the wide ocean. It's hard to keep your eyes open for too long, hence visuals will be replaced by sounds of waves caressing into the shores.
Among the crowd-pulling treatments - rhythm stick massage (bamboo rods and traditional oils used to banish knots and inbuilt stress), Buff Bar (choose between Hard Rock massage or authentic Malay massage and combining your favourite ingredients) and Return Yourself Massage - a melange of ancient Hawaiian techniques with the Suzu Dong. There are treatments for kids too - bumble gum body scrub, chocolate sundae body mask, Tutti Frutti facial and lot more. Not forgetting, complimentary yoga sessions are conducted every Saturday morning.
6) Penaga Spa
Time stands still in one of Georgetown’s most beautiful boutique hotels, as it pulls out all the stops in antique and artistic charm in its homey space. And, the Penaga Spa tops the vibes in style. Send your mind and body into a deep state of bliss with their host of treatments. Natural ingredients such as lemon grass, a range of roots, kaffir lime peel, galangal and other local ingredients don’t only steals its way into your nostrils via aroma but perfectly moisturizes the skin after treatment. Yet what most people come for is their Nyonya & Baba full body massage.
Apart from that, other offerings include Thai, Chinese Reflexology, and Malay Urut, as well as facials, body scrubs, body wraps, baths, sauna and steam baths. No matter what your choice is, just like that, all those stress and strains are switched off and comfort takes control. Also, don’t miss the only penaga trees to be found in Georgetown, at the hotel’s garden.
7) St. Gregory Spa
This multiple award-winning spa, located on the first floor of Parkroyal Penang Resort, is a soothing sanctuary, boasting seven uniquely adorned treatment rooms, where five include VIP/couple services. Huge arched windows commanding calming ocean and tropical garden views, wooden flooring, authentic kampung-style trimmings and ceiling art serve as a setting on the inside. A repertoire of treatments are on offer to serve all sorts of clients, but with their hand-picked therapists and natural ingredients, and even clinching the Best Traditional Treatment award in Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia), they specialise in Hydrobaths (powerful water massage therapy using herbal and floral extracts), Thalgo Marine Facials, traditional Malay massage and Ayurvedic treatments.
Children are not overlooked too, as there’s a specially crafted treatment just for them. After the sublime experience, frolic to the beach bar to catch the heart-warming sunset, get your appetite moving in any of their four restaurants or go cycling.
8) Danai Spa
Danai Spa needs no introduction, with three outlets across the island - Tanjung Bungah Park, G Hotel and Eastin Hotel. Each branch scores with a magical beauty of its own - the former is a 8,000-square feet garden-themed spa vastly admired by couples, at the trendy G Hotel, every room overlooks the Gurney Drive promenade which ablaze with lights once the sun goes down, and the latter is a modern concept spa with a mellow sense of intimacy. But all these outlets share one thing in common - a wide selection of soul-soothing therapies from masseurs who are masters at their craft.
From volcano-heated rock massage to tropical ginger salt glow, lavender relaxing bath to foot reflexology and even ancient Ayurvedic healing as well as mineral seaweed detox wrap, you’ll be dipped into a state of calmness and comfort in no time. And sip their tea before and after your body is recharged and senses are revived.
9) The Spacation
Part of the Holiday Inn Resort, this beach-wing side spa may be fresh off the spa block but it’s been reaping up positive reviews. With both indoor and outdoor treatment areas, you can switch the ambiance according to your mood. The three indoor spas, air-conditioned and sleekly set up to feel like an oasis and the two outdoor cabana spas, which rank high on romance factor, blend seamlessly with the beach scenery.
A full-day itinerary may not be enough to experience all their well-being offerings - signature hot stone massage, body massages (Balinese and traditional Malaysian massage), foot reflexology, waxing, manicure/pedicure, body scrubs and wraps, facials, ear candling, henna art and even spa treatments for kids. For the uninitiated, just mention what your preference to the masseurs and they know what fits best for you. And yes, their ginger tea is highly praised too!
10) Deluxcious Spa
In between spending quality time in luxurious suites and filling up your tummy with delicious food prepared by a former Ritz-Carlton Hotel chef, pampering yourself at the spa in Deluxcious is a must. Yes, this former English colonial mansion, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage listed building, wears many hats. The wellness section is a complete contrast to the overall theme of the property, as it's decorated to detail to transport you to Bali. Browsing their extensive menu, comprising Balinese massage and modern beauty treatments, is a little overwhelming but the staffs are happy to assist.
For optimal blissfulness, opt for the Deluxcious signature full-body massage and feel the lemon-grass oil work its way on your body. Whereas couples will fall in love with the Blissful Retreat package - Balinese Lulur, nourishing full body mask, 75-minute massage and the romance-oozing red wine jacuzzi bath. Another noteworthy thing here is chomping down healthy-fusion meals of SpaCuisine after saying goodbye to your work-weary soul.
11) Pure Energy Spa - Lone Pine Hotel
Is this another one of Batu Ferringhi’s spa where you’ll need to pierce through your wallet to pamper yourself? Definitely no. The prices, compared to hotel standards, are budget-friendly. Just like the hotel, the spa holds its colonial past close its heart and with contemporary touches here and there. A wide selection of manicure, pedicure, scrubs, facials, wraps, waxing and body massages fill up the menu.
Before being lulled into a state of sheer bliss, a friendly therapist serves a glass of ginger tea to awaken your palate. Options are plenty but the main appeal is their signature massage - Purity Special. Love the name, love the massage even more. After your rub down, further enhance your me-time by hitting the sandy beach adjacent to the property or just watch the sunset under the canopy of Casuarina trees. Life is good.
12) Thai Odyssey
It seems Penangites can’t get enough of Thai Odyssey. It's conveniently located in four shopping malls - Gurney Paragon Mall, Straits Quay, AEON Mall Bukit Mertajam, and Gurney Plaza. Talk about an immediate respite from a shopping spree. Upon stepping in, be carried away by a clever blend of Thai-styled ornaments, colourful wall paintings, comfortable furniture and dim lightings that look straight out of a magazine.
The decent selection of treatments may have you hem and haw but, for an ultimate zen experience, select the Ultimate Thai Odyssey - starting with a foot massage, followed by body exfoliation, pacifying in a mind bath to soak up all the natural goodness and finally Thai aromatherapy massage. Mouth-watering already? Did someone say spa over shopping?
Your mom's not really a spa person? Don't worry; we've compiled a list of 21 cool things you can do with your mom on Mother's Day.