Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa has won awards for its relaxing interior design that is backed by lush landscaping. The long wooden walkway that leads to it is pretty, fringed by long-stemmed Birds of Paradise leaves. A polite trickling of water permeates the air and just like that the hustle and bustle of Batu Ferringhi is switched-off and calmness settles upon everything. This includes a muddled mind.
True to its name, Chi practices relaxation based upon the five elements of one’s life force – fire, water, earth, wood and metal. Sniffing scents inspired by these elements, confirming the one that attracts you the most, marks the beginning of your mental and spiritual healing. Well, at least temporarily.
The spa’s menu, thankfully, aims to simplify your choice-making journey with comprehensive treatments of five massages, four body wraps, three scrubs and five facials including two for men. They start from RM150+ for an indulgent 20-minute milk bath to RM580+ for a Himalayan Healing stone massage of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Being exceptionally attracted to the Fire scented oil that day – which reflects passion – healing begins with a footbath in one of the spa’s eight private single rooms. A pounded rice scrub filled the cracks on heels and softened dried, dead skin. Next is a 10-minute milk bath to soften hard edges before the 1 hour and 15 minutes signature massage of Rasa Asmaradana commences.
The physical bit begins with an intensely warm pouch firmly but gently pounded onto your back and shoulders before administering deep, languid strokes that promote blood circulation.
This traditional Malay technique is a favourite with many Malaysians and often accompanied by pungent massage oil. At Chi, however, oil made out of the nutmeg and sandalwood serves to invigorate your blood circulation through newly unknotted veins.
If you’re a newbie at this, opt for medium pressure strength when it comes to massage strokes. For those seasoned massage addicts, I’d suggest maximum strength. Be sure to warn them of any joint troubles or ailments from the start to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable treatment.
The 1 hour and 15 minutes treatment ends with a head massage and here’s where a moment’s meditation helps to seal the relaxation. Su Aziz