Life can be tough. Between the trials and tribulations of work and pleasure – the meetings, the parties, the round-the-clock, jet-set, pedal-to-the-metal lifestyle – it’s almost impossible sometimes to catch a minute to just relax, to reconnect with nature and the natural world in a way that re-aligns your focus and rejuvenates your tired soul.
Thankfully, when the city heat becomes too much to bear, or you’re flush with cash and looking to banish the bags from their permanent spot beneath your eyes, there is an answer.
Sheltered away in the balmy shadow of a fertile mountain, or set beneath softly swaying palm fronds beside the gently gurgling waters of a crystal-clear river, there is a world of wellness waiting for weary travellers to come and leave the woes of modern society behind them.
In fact, when you’ve spent a matter of weeks with no greater or more pressing decision than whether to go for your algae and avocado facemask before or after you sample a taste of the finest, freshest dishes, surrounded by the most exquisite of scenery, it will become abundantly clear that escaping the hum-drum of civilization was the easy bit… going back to it, turning your back on these exquisite resorts, remains nigh impossible.
Take the Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, for example. Snug in the recesses of a tropical valley, dwarfed on all sides by huge 260-million-year-old limestone hills, this natural sanctuary is full of wonders – lush greenery, geothermal hot springs in which to wallow, or caves and crashing waterfalls to explore.
Set deep within the Malaysian rainforest, two hours away from the hustle and bustle of the capital Kuala Lumpur, the wealth of relaxation available is only enhanced further by the 25 pristine villas in which one can stay, or the Spa and Wellness Centre that focuses solely on a smorgasbord of retreat experiences designed to “combine for ultimate seclusion and bliss”.
Trade in the time normally spent stewing on the morning commute for a range of treatments intended solely to cleanse. One of the most popular experiences is as deeply ingrained in the spirit of Malaysia as the looming Paleozoic hills that overlook the resort.
The techniques behind the traditional Malay Urut massage have been passed from generation to generation, adding a touch of cultural heritage and mystery to the painstaking preparation of boiling palm oil, herbs and spices that serve to warm and detoxify your skin. The massage itself is a mix of traditional massage methodology, such as stretching, stepping and applied pressure, with a touch of the slow, flowing movements that seek to improve lymphatic circulation and provide a welcome boost to the immune system.
Prices start at around CA$515, but there is the added bonus of a 12-plus age limit, ensuring that nothing, and no one, will interrupt you as you watch each day drift by with all the urgency of a sun-bathing butterfly, safe in your cocoon of self-care.
Our Wellness Getaway Series continues next week, with a retreat to Thailand's Soneva Kiri.
Article by Jake Taylor RE:LUXE