Category Archives: Spa

M is for Massage and (Jo) Malone

It’s one of those treats which money cannot buy. And this is simply because the quintessentially British Jo Malone London does not charge you for their oh-so-blissfully relaxing (20 minute) hand and arm massages (yes, it’s free BUT by invitation only).

Betsy and I ambled over to the brand’s first boutique in Penang this evening, The generous invite on thick and creamy paper said to bring along a friend  (Betsy) and we were welcomed by the gracious Lillian and equally warm and familiar Carmen.  Lime infused water and a black velvet Jo Malone complimentary pouch were offered (to store our respective watches and other jewellery items) before we submitted ourselves to a relaxing and scented journey.

Lillian used a latte whisk to form a warm frothy hand wash in a fragrance of our choice (mine being grapefruit, although my first introduction to the brand by Bina years ago, has had me hooked on their signature Lime Basil & Mandarin).  She wiped it off gently with a warm towel, leaving the skin feeling softer and noticeably lighter.

Lillian’s firm yet soft hands are the perfect ad for the body products and the incredible layers of scents  combined, and so telling of the brand which is synonymous with a bespoke style of service.

We were waved off in a shower of multiple sprays, and continued to feel cocooned in the warmth of this British fragrance for the ensuing hours spent as mall rats.

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Just Float

Malaysia’s first and only float centre – Float for Health – has opened its doors in Penang. The luxury float centre is the brainchild of Arthur Wilkinson, who during a visit to his brother in Southern California two years ago, had heard the hype being made about float centres. When the Wilkinson brothers located a float centre nearest to them, they found out there was a two month waiting list to get an appointment! Arthur finally secured a slot to float at another centre which was equally busy, and had what Oprah Winfrey would refer to as an Aha-moment when he stepped into a float tank, and figured that Malaysia may be ready to host similar float centres.

At his float centre located at Tanjung Tokong on Penang island (pre-booking is required normally between 8 and 10 hours before an appointment), one steps into a space where luxurious float rooms have been designed to maximise comfort and provide guests with a light-as-feather experience.

Guests are advised to bring nothing but an open mind, since all floating necessities such as towels, ear plugs, hair dryers, etc are provided. Tea and refreshments are also served after each float in a special lounge.

Each of the four float rooms found at Float for Health contains an extra-large tub with 500 kilograms of Epsom Salt dissolved in 250 gallons of water and heated to 34 degrees.

Free from gravity and external stimulation, one is left with no choice but meditate or sleep, as all sensation from the outside world melt away. Either in total darkness or with customised lighting on to fit the mood, the private spa-like room offered me a cocoon from the non-stop “chatter” of the mind and phone!

The sensation after the float session is akin to that of a relaxing massage, where all tension knots have dissolved and given way to a sense of zen and lightness.

Small wonder then that float centres in many cities around the world are turning into mini retreat and spa spaces for marathon runners, stressed out executives and fitness buffs.

More details are available at http://www.floatforhealth.com

Photos courtesy of Float for Health

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George Town

She has been a safe harbour to travellers for centuries, many of whom ended up calling her home and enjoying their days in the sun and being surrounded by water. Today she is a cosmopolitan city where travellers still fly, sail or drive in droves. While her silhouette has been altered greatly by man-made developments, she still has plenty to offer by way of experiences, panoramas and exquisite flavours. This is my George Town!img_6621