spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun

Gaya Island Resort – Finding Zen at the Spa Village

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Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

The urbanites in us found much-needed zen and pampering during our vacation at Gaya Island Resort’s Spa Village

Set amidst lush mangroves, Gaya Island Resort Spa Village is a tranquil hideaway surrounded by the island’s flora and fauna. Their spa treatments take inspiration from the ancient healing practices of Sabah’s indigenous people, from specialised rice scrubs of the Kadazandusun, to the age-old practices of the Bajau sea nomads, using only fresh local ingredients. I was looking forward to some much-needed pampering during our vacation to restore balance to our battered bodies & stressed minds.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Entering the sanctuary

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

The Spa Village is set amidst mangroves in the jungle (read: mozzies; get citronella spray from the staff). You can get your foot massage done at one of the pavilions built on stilts, and who knows what exotic fauna may just fly past during your treatment.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

No guesses who couldn’t wait to be pampered from head to toe

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

I love the high ceiling and open concept of the waiting area. I could sit here and just dream the day away.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

The lovely green pottery at the retail area caught my eye.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

We were served an extremely delicious welcome drink of lime, pineapple & guava juice with dashes of chilli, ginger and star anise. We were told it’s excellent for digestion and detoxifying the body. It was so good I attempted to re-create this at home.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Being a resort spa, the environment was tranquil, and the abundance of space made the experience more exclusive.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Nosing our way through different scents
Before our treatments, we met Irene our scent artist for the Sabah Scent Adventures to learn more about essential oils, their benefits and custom blended our own scents which would be used during our treatment. What a unique treat!

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Smelling our way around
We were asked to select 3 favourite scents from the numerous bottles which would then be blended together with a base oil made from rice to create our very own personal scent. The scent artist could also tell you a bit about your character from the essential oils that you chose.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Parfum de Spunktitude was hence born.
My personal scent consisted of Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Ginger and Lavender. It was supposed to be only 3 scents, but I persuaded my way through to include 4 scents. Afterall, multi-faceted is what Spunktitude is about. :)

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

I love my scent! And no, it definitely didn’t smell anything like BO.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

The studio where we had our Scent Adventure is also used for yoga and meditation sessions. I think it looks darn good for power naps as well lol.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Receiving a warm welcome from my very friendly therapist Angela as I entered my treatment room
We booked the 2-hour Aki Nabalu massage which was inspired by Mount Kinabalu’s botanical biodiversity, comprising a foot scrub, body steaming with a warm herbal ginger blend followed by a deep tissue massage.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Thrilled at the sight of a floral foot soak

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Angela explaining the ingredients used for the foot scrub
Her gentle disposition put me much at ease and I could feel the tension draining out of my feet.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

I felt like a steamed giant grouper cooked in ginger. Add some spring onion and I was ready to be served on the dinner table. Or massage bed in this case.
Basically, I sat on a wooden bench, got zipped up and sweat like a pig. It was so hot that I had difficulty making it through the 15-minute treatment. But the detoxifying and fat-melting was worth the effort. In fact, it felt so good I contemplated buying a steamer to use at home.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Apart from spa treatments, the Spa Village also holds free yoga sessions for all guests on alternate mornings at 7.45am. As class size is kept at an intimate number, it would be best to check the schedule and book in advance with the reception.

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Streeeeeetchhhhhh

Gaya Island Resort - Spa Village

Just as I savoured the welcome drink, the hot pandan/ginger tea served at the end of our visit spiced me up to enjoy the rest of my awesome vacation
It was an enjoyable experience at the Spa Village, and with a plethora of activities from spa treatments, scent classes to yoga to choose from, it’s a must-visit during your stay at the resort.

More on Gaya Island Resort:
Gaya Island Resort – Romancing Sunset
Gaya Island – Private Paradise at Tavajun Bay
Chasing Nature at Gaya Island Resort

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Author: spunktitud3

A little post by a fun-loving spunky gal in love with the quirky, the artsy and anything which inspires new creations. Read about her adventures on: spunktitud3.wordpress.com

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