Healing Through Hands And Heritage

Traditions, rituals, and customs – seeking authentic and immersive travel experiences? Spa Village ticks all the right boxes.

In the serene realm of wellness, Spa Village emerges as a true gem. For 25 years, they have breathed new life into many age-old healing cultures and traditions that were once at risk of fading into oblivion. From the very first spa at Pangkor Laut Resort, the brand has stayed true to its ethos in offering distinctive experiences to enliven the senses – no matter the city or locale.

Through tireless efforts, Spa Village empowered the community and sometimes sought the expertise of elders as they explore therapeutic practices of cultural significance.

In Terengganu, where Malay healing practices take centre stage, the Spa Village Tanjong Jara Resort ignited a renewed interest in the centuries-old practice of the Malay massage, known locally as “urut Melayu”. 

Among the Malays, this art form was a closely guarded secret. Each family had its own distinct style and technique, combining skills with intuitive touch and healing oils for rejuvenation. Yet, it was also a dying art with very few among the young willing to continue with the practice. Spa Village and its team worked diligently with local villagers as well as building trust with the community to preserve the tradition by taking the “urut” mainstream. Today, the spa’s dedicated practitioners have successfully revived this fading tradition, learning the intricacies of rhythmic palm strokes, acupressure points, and herbal remedies so that guests can immerse themselves in this time-honoured treasured heritage.

When Spa Village expanded to Melaka, naturally it looked into the Peranakan healing traditions. The Peranakan community is a unique cultural group that emerged from the intermarriage between Chinese immigrants and local Malay communities in the region. This fusion of Chinese and Malay cultures gave birth to a distinctive hybrid culture that is rich in traditions, customs, and cuisine. Many treatments are inspired by the elaborate and vibrant 12-day Peranakan Wedding Ceremony. Others have been designed to harmonise an individual’s cool or warm energies which hold significant importance to the Peranakans in achieving a balanced wellbeing. For instance, rolling a hard-boiled egg on the body may raise some eyebrows, but once you’ve experienced the massage, you could say the Peranakan elders know a thing or two about restoring the body back to equilibrium.

Similarly in the less explored side of Bali where Spa Village moors itself at Tejakula, the northeastern village countryside inspires the resort’s spa menu. Everyday garden plants such as basil, neem, mint and lime are featured copiously, from skin exfoliators to herbal body masques that have long given the locals their luminous complexion and flawless skin.

Perhaps the best example of how Spa Village honours various healing cultures is at Spa Village Pangkor Laut Resort, a sprawling sanctuary of wellness.

The bath house, the centrepiece of the spa, taps into the wellspring of different Asian water cultures. From a cool dip in the Malay fountain that mimics ritual purification to the Japanese Rotenburo pool that boosts circulation, guests will discover thousand-year-old healing wisdom in this and more with the treatments that ensure.

The story of Spa Village is not the tale of a single culture, but rather an interwoven tapestry of traditions, beliefs and ethnicities embraced from different communities and locales.

Reflecting on the brand’s remarkable 25-year journey, Chik Lai Ping, Senior Vice President of the Spa Division at YTL Hotels, highlights the enduring appeal by stating, “The key lies in the unwavering commitment and heartfelt service that we consistently deliver. As we continue to progress, our focus is on nurturing the next generation of leaders and continuously enhancing efficiency and service standards.”

For anyone who desires authentic and immersive travel experiences, you’ll find Spa Village checking all the right boxes.

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