YTL’s Spa Villages around Malaysia have long held a first class reputation for being highly coveted and unique experiences high on any wellness enthusiast’s wish list. The beauty of the Spa Village brand is that it maintains the standard of service and especially formulated environments across all locations, while creating unique signature treatments for each site.
The secret to this success is a tribute to local culture and the environment by formulating treatments that draw on the native knowledge of the area. During a recent wellness retreat I was fortunate to try two distinct packages, unique to the Spa Village at Cameron Highlands Resort.
The Semai: The Jungle Secrets of Anti-Aging
The indigenous people of Pahang are known as the Semai, and it is from their rich traditions and understanding of the jungle that The Semai: The Jungle Secrets of Anti-Aging (3 hours) spa package is based. Every forest product has a specific use in the Orang Asli society, and the Semai elders are experts in the practice of treating ailments with the botany of their habitat. Capturing these precious resources, The Semai treatment aims to reduce the signs of aging and contribute to wellness promoting harmony, tranquility and a long and happy life.
After being welcomed with a warm moist towel and steaming chamomile tea, my therapist escorts me to the changing facilities. Located in a separate block to the hotel, they benefit from a quiet environment backed by a jungle-covered hill and fronted with a long pond as a water feature.
A Semai anti-aging herbal bath begins the session with a warm tub of herbed water topped with floating kaffir lime slices and pandan leaves. Once immersed in the bath I’m encouraged to use the tray of natural ingredients provided: sugar scrub for exfoliation; lime slices for elbow and knees; honey and tea facial scrub; a cold towel to refresh the skin; and a chilled lime honey and tea beverage to end. Minutes after my personal scrub down the therapist returns with cold teabag eye pads, and I’m left to soak again, listening to the sounds of nature through the earphones provided and watching natural scenes on a screen if I so choose. I close my eyes however, and could have easily drifted off had it not been time to move on for the next segment.
Dry again, I take a few moments of rest in the relaxation lounge cushioned by heated pads, before being shown to the treatment room. The rooms are large, housing two massage beds, a free-standing bathtub, clothes locker, shower and toilet.
The massage bed is long and comfortable, and I begin in supine position for the Minjau Asli massage. A base of coconut oil is infused with local herbs, assisting the therapist’s hands to glide over my skin. She checks on desired pressure and uses long deep strokes to ease my muscle tension.
For the next part of the treatment I’m left alone with instructions on how to carry out the Muhak herbal sitz bath. Basically it’s a wash that promises to cleanse and tighten the delicate feminine parts. Out of the bath, the therapist returns once again and applies a warm Semai scrub made with rice, green tea and herbs, leaving my skin feeling soft and smooth.
All treatments end with a cup of tea, biscuits and jam, in the relaxation pavilion. This package however switches the regular tea for a herbal formula, the Semai Fountatin of Youth.
Chrysanthemum and Avocado Escape
Another locally inspired therapy is the Chrysanthemum and Avocado Escape, a two hour package utilizing the natural benefits of the highland flower and the fruit. The use of chrysanthemum for medicinal use has been well chronicled, and the tropical avocado is employed for its skin-soothing vitamin E and moisturizing properties.
Just as with most packages, this one begins and ends with tea, and the first therapy is a soak in the tub. This round however, yellow and white chrysanthemum bob on the surface.
Avocado oil is used in the full body massage, assisting the hands of my petite yet surprisingly strong masseuse glide over my skin in the one-hour session. Heals of the hands and thumbs are used in lengthy strokes sometimes working in symmetry on the left and right sides of the body simultaneously, and at other times massaging one side at a time in extended rhythmic motions.
The massage moves seamlessly from the body to the head where the avocado oil is rubbed into the scalp and drawn through to the tips of the hair. I’m told this is a good remedy for those who have dandruff and that my dry hair will benefit from the moisture leaving it shiny and smooth.
It’s another unique and quality treatment that makes YTL’s Spa Village’s a consistent leader in luxury spa experiences in the country.
Reasons to visit: excellent range of relaxation treatments making the most of local ingredients and healing practices; those who love a bath will adore the different options here; consistent quality across the brand; well trained therapists.ides of the body simultaneously, and at other times massaging one side at a time in extended rhythmic motions.
Cameron Highlands Resort
39000 Tanah Rata
+60 5 491 1100