Leisure

Best of Asia’s high-end spa and beauty indulgences

Famous Massages

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Massage at Villa Amazi in Bali

Some of the world’s most popular massage therapies originated in our island destinations – gentle Balinese massage, vigorous Thai massage, Ayurvedic massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, acupressure, muscle kneading and body scrubs relax your muscles and soothe your skin. Experience authentic full body massages from skilled therapists in the privacy and comfort of your luxury villa.

 

Puri Bawana Bali massage baleBalinese and Javanese massages in Bali

Balinese massage therapists use a firm, kneading massage style to stimulate blood flow, along with pressure point techniques and reflexology to help soothe muscle tension, and the aromatherapy of essential oils to ease you into blissful relaxation. +READ MORE

 

Thai massage at Villa Amanzi in PhuketThai massages in Phuket

Thai massage (also called assisted yoga massage) is a vigorous treatment by which your body is moved and manipulated in a series of bends, stretches, lifts and acupressure compressions to stimulate energy flow and restore balance. +READ MORE

 

Villa Pooja Kanda setting for ayurvedic massageAyurvedic massages in Sri Lanka

Ayurvedic massage is a great introduction to the ancient practice of Ayurveda. Aficionados believe massage plays an important role in healthcare, helping to detoxify the skin and body, and improve digestion. +READ MORE

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Ayurvedic Massage in Sri Lanka

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Villa Pooja Kanda setting for ayurvedic massage

As well as its wealth of historic temples and rich culture, Sri Lanka’s wellness traditions are a feast to discover on a trip to its picturesque shores. Among them is the ancient healing system of Ayurveda, which is still practiced widely in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India.

Ayurvedic traditions are thousands of years old; some estimate they have been passed from master to disciple for more than 5,000 years and that Ayurveda is the oldest healing methodology in the world. The beliefs and practices central to Ayurveda have given birth to other natural healing methods, such as homeopathy and polarity therapy, while Sri Lankan massage therapies use the age-old healing techniques of Ayurveda to restore the body and balance the mind.

Indeed, Ayurveda means ‘knowledge of life’, and the core philosophy of the Ayurvedic system is that the key to health is a balance of your three doshas – energies we all have in our bodies, known as Vata, Pitta and Kappa.

As a form of traditional medicine, Ayurveda uses plant-based treatments to heal and boost physical and mental strength to prevent illness. For many locals in Sri Lanka, Ayurveda is a total way of life that incorporates diet, daily yoga practice and regular meditation. But you don’t have to go the whole hog to appreciate the benefits of Ayurveda. Massage therapies are an important part of Ayurvedic medicine, and as well as having many reputed health benefits, they are also deeply relaxing.

We’ve got the low down on ayurvedic massage treatments and what to expect.

Ayurvedic Body Massage

Ayurvedic massage is a great introduction to the ancient practice of Ayurveda. Aficionados believe massage plays an important role in healthcare, helping to detoxify the skin and body, and improve digestion. Hard-core Ayurveda purists will have a full body massage – known as abhyana in Sanskrit – everyday, for general mind/body support.

We’re not saying a daily massage is de rigueur (although there’s no reason why you shouldn’t –you’re on holiday after all, so why not treat yourself?). One will be enough to give you a taste of the traditions that are interwoven in Sri Lankan culture, plus it’s a wonderful way to relax on vacation. That said, once you’ve tried it, chances are you’ll soon be booking another.

WHAT TO EXPECT: You may start with a consultation about your health,

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Thai Massage in Phuket: Reviving the Body and Soul

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Thai massage at Villa Amanzi in Phuket

Phuket is known for its hedonistic holiday pleasures – beach club parties, sunset cocktails, luxury yacht cruises, seafood feasts and the like. Alongside these carefree pursuits there are a growing number of places for self-care, where travellers can heal their bodies and revive their souls while on a Phuket holiday. Yoga studios, intensive martial arts training, detox/diet centres, fitness boot camps and meditation retreats are just some of the restorative activities on offer. None is as prevalent in Phuket as the age-old healing art of traditional Thai massage. 

Traditional Thai massage

Thai massage (also called assisted yoga massage) is a vigorous treatment by which your body is moved and manipulated in a series of bends, stretches, lifts and acupressure compressions to stimulate energy flow and restore balance.

Massage mats on floor at Villa Beyond PhuketTRADITIONAL MATS AT VILLA BEYOND – BANG TAO BEACH, PHUKET

WHAT TO EXPECT: During a Thai massage, no massage oils or lotions are used. Loose-fitting clothing is worn during the treatment, which was traditionally carried out on a low bed or mattress on the floor. These days, however, massage atop a massage table, spa bed or sun lounger is more common throughout Thailand.

TECHNIQUES: Experienced therapists have incredibly strong hands, and they also use their elbows and knees to apply pressure at various points along your body. A Thai massage session can also include cracking of the joints and neck and pulling the limbs.

BENEFITS: By the end of a one- or two-hour treatment, you’ll feel completely invigorated from head to toe. Given that some of the techniques can be rather forceful, be sure to talk with the therapist first, especially if you have any injuries or chronic pains that need to be handled with extra care.

Villa Napalai Surin - Massage RoomMASSAGE AREA AT VILLA NAPALAI – SURIN BEACH, PHUKET

The principle behind Thai massage is that life is sustained by a vital force, ‘lom’, that is circulated through the body along invisible pathways called ‘sen’. When these pathways are blocked it leads to illness, fatigue and imbalance. Thai massage is believed to help unblock the pathways and stimulate the flow of lom, thus restoring the body back to health and vitality.

Thai massage is an integral part of traditional Thai medicine,

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East Coast Elegance: Nail Salons in Sanur

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Aroma Nail Spa in Sanur Bali

THREE OF THE BEST NAIL PARLOURS IN SANUR, BALI

#1 The Nest Beachside Spa

This cute little salon overlooks the beach in Sanur. Step into this air-conditioned delight straight off the sand of Hyatt Beach. Two therapists descend to bestow the suitably named ‘pretty hands’ and ‘happy feet’ – 70 minutes of mani-pedi joy. Expect a thorough cleansing – sand and all – plus cuticle therapy for hands and a soothing exfoliation of the feet. This is followed by deep stimulating massages and a warm and silky paraffin wax treatment for the hands while feet undergo a reviving cool mint mask.

Your therapist delivers a rather lush head and shoulder massage while the paraffin works its magic. Post-rub, the wax is peeled back to reveal baby soft hands, while the mint foot mask is washed away leaving the toes fresh and clean.

The Nest Nails Sanur

IMAGE: THENESTBEACHSIDESPA.COM 

Nails are painted with faultless precision and a homemade sweet and delicious lime sorbet is brought to your chair while the drying machines are doing their thing. What a way to end a blissful day at the beach.

www.thenestbeachsidespa.com

 

Aroma Spa Sanur

#2 Aroma Spa Retreat

Just metres off Sanur beach are the open pavilions of this popular but tranquil spa. Feel the mellow sea breeze and listen to the gentle waves rolling in as you relax into a lazy chair for a classic mani-pedi. Fancy a glass of chilled white wine? Nothing is too much trouble for the staff of Aroma.

The spa is the brainchild of sisters Delma and Sonya Davies who – as businesswomen and mothers – both know a thing or two about the importance of achieving work-life balance. As a result Aroma Spa Retreat has been created as a haven where every client is mothered and therapists care for every need. The only difficult decision to be made is what colour nail polish.

This sweet experience is my favourite mani-pedi in the area. If you want total peace and privacy during your treatment, a gossamer blue curtain will be drawn around your pavilion for added seclusion.

This business is also a well-respected spa training school, and every therapist has completed a six-day, 42-hour training course for both the manicure and pedicure treatments.

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Balinese Massage: Timeless Therapy in Sumptuous Luxury

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Puri Bawana Bali massage bale

From its thriving yoga scene to its serene spa retreats, Bali is synonymous with wellness. The island’s postcard-perfect scenery of lush green mountain sides and spectacular beaches make it the perfect setting to zone out while enjoying its blissful traditions of holistic healing.

To come to Bali and not have a massage would border on an insult to the island’s age-old therapies. There’s a reason why Balinese massage has made its way into top spas all over the world: it fuses together deep-tissue massage with aromatherapy, gentle stretching and light acupressure for a beautifully relaxing, holistic healing treatment.

 

Villa Lilibel Massage room

MASSAGE ROOM, VILLA LILIBEL – SEMINYAK, BALI

But while you might be able to have one anywhere in the world, nothing comes close to a massage at the skilled hands of expert Balinese masseurs. Therapists use a firm, kneading massage style to stimulate blood flow, along with pressure point techniques and reflexology to help soothe muscle tension, and the aromatherapy of essential oils to ease you into blissful relaxation.

Beyond the traditional massage techniques, spas in Bali offer a host of traditional beauty therapies that use the healing properties of natural ingredients to scruff, buff, and revive skin, and leave you perfectly preened.

 

Balinese massage at Villa Semarapura

BALINESE MASSAGE AT VILLA SEMARAPURA – CEMAGI, BALI

Balinese massage

Balinese massage starts at the bottom and works up, so as you lie face down, the first port of call for a Balinese massage is your feet. Your therapist will use elements of foot reflexology to stimulate pressure points on your soles, and gently stretch out the lower legs.

The deep tissue work begins on your lower legs and works up to the backs of your thighs – perfect for soothing aches and pains after a run or a hike up one of Bali’s spectacular peaks. Then your therapist moves to your back, targeting pressure points along the spine and combining kneading and stroking massage styles to boost blood circulation and gently remove knots in your shoulders.

After you turn over, your therapist works bottom to top again, beginning with the feet and moving up your legs. Balinese massage includes work on the stomach, believed to benefit digestive and reproductive health.

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