Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spa Review: Spa Village Gaya Island Resort, Malaysia

The best treat you can give a mother on vacation (i.e. me) is a relaxing, pampering spa treatment. With the kids well looked after, I visited the Spa Village at Gaya Island Resort, a unique spa hideaway set in the mangroves surrounded by distinctive island flora and fauna.

Within the Spa Village are six treatment rooms with outdoor decks and a Mangrove Theatre, a dedicated space for spa and wellness activities such as yoga. Very cool space with super high ceilings - amazing place for a yoga session, for sure.

Treatment room

Mangrove Theatre

The treatments here at Spa Village Gaya Island Resort reflect the cultural healing traditions of Sabah's indigenous people, using only the finest fresh local ingredients and the age-old practices of the Bajau sea nomads for an uplifting experience. Distinctively Borneo.

Spa Lobby

Upon arrival, I was ushered to the Spa Lobby and served a refreshing welcome drink, with a spicy kick from cili padi. Shortly after, my spa therapist, Irene introduces herself to me and walks me to the treatment room. After changing out of my clothes, I was taken out to the Verandah for the pre-ritual foot bath and scrub. The exfoliating scrub is made up of sea salt, along with ginger pounded with chilli. I feel myself starting to relax as I take in the beautiful scenery around me - greenery and views of the vast ocean.

Verandah overlooking the sea and forest

Ingredients for the foot bath and scrub

I was then led back to the treatment room to commence the Borneo Vanilla Orchid and Honey Cocoon treatment, a luxurious 2.5 hour treatment which includes a scrub, body masque, hair masque and finished with a massage. I smelt so good throughout the treatment, all thanks to the fragrant ingredients used ie cocoa, vanilla, and honey.

Irene, my spa therapist explains that for the scrub, dried cocoa pods, vanilla pods and yogurt is used. This gentle body buffing exfoliates, moisturizes the body and prepares the skin before it is drenched in a vanilla-infused honey cocoa masque made from fresh cocoa pods and yogurt which is said to have anti-aging benefits. . Once the masque has been applied, I was cocooned in warmth and enjoyed a Indian scalp massage to increase blood flow, followed by a vanilla honey hair masque. The hair masque is said to deeply condition the hair, as well as prevent dandruff and hair loss and gives hair a brilliant shine. A conditioner of virgin coconut oil is applied to complete the hair masque.

I laid cocooned on the treatment bed, giving time to the ingredients to work their magic. I swear I smelt so good, almost like a chocolate brownie! I was then asked to rinse off the masque and then return for the final part of the treatment - a delightful full-body toasted Coco-nilla massage. This massage is similar to a Balinese massage, with long strokes and rolling motions, making this an extremely relaxing and rejuvenating experience for the body.

I left the spa feeling pampered and invigorated. My spa therapist, Irene was very professional yet friendly and so very good with her hands.

Thank you Spa Villaga Gaya Island Resort for the awesome experience!

Outdoor decks and relaxation chambers

*All photos without watermark are courtesy of YTL Hotels.

For the full spa menu, please see here.

Price: RM655 for the Borneo Vanilla Orchid and Honey Cocoon treatment.


Location: Spa Village Gaya Island Resort, Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia.

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  1. Lovely place. Wish I were there now, sure would love some pampering.

  2. I couldn't agree more for a mum - or even anyone that works hard even if they don't have kids. There's nothing I adore more than a good pampering session and this looks wonderful!

  3. beautiful pics ... love how you captured the light pouring in, all the lush greenery ... it looks very serene too, a refreshing change from the crowded cities :)

  4. The environment and ambiance are nice and calm, lovely! :)


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