Spa Shape Shifters with Debbie Hathway – Sail+Leisure
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Spa Shape Shifters

by Ingrid Hale

Transformational spa treatments are a must when you’re on holiday in Mauritius. These are some of our top recommendations. – By Debbie Hathway

My last visit to the island coincided with my third consecutive coverage of the CIEL Ferney Trail, an annual event that brings nature and fitness lovers together for a day of activities in some of the last remaining indigenous forest on the east coast of the island. By the time I reached the west for the next part of my stay, I was truly exhausted. I was destined to visit two properties at the foot of Le Morne Mountain, a majestic landmark that exudes a level of tranquillity that I crave. Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa and Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa share another very important USP – staff who make you feel like you’re genuinely at home. That’s half the battle won.

When I’m in Mauritius, I hand myself over to the locals who love nothing more than to make me feel better. The really astute ones know at a glance, or get an immediate sense of, what kind of mental, emotional or physical state I’m in – and those are the ones I gravitate towards. Whether it’s a personal session with a yoga instructor, a meal tailored to my preferences or a massage that detoxes or energises as need dictates, I let them make the decisions because they do it so well.

My hosts had organised two treatments, the Eternal Alchemy anti-aging facial at Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa with Ekta Pillay (Ekta means ‘unity, always smiling’) and the Must To B (e) massage treatment with Devika Kishtoo at neighbouring Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. The Eternal Alchemy combines the age-old techniques incorporated in Kobido, a Japanese facial massage practice that acts as a natural facelift, with a new active infusion from Wishpro Technology (winner of a Grand Innovation Award). It was so relaxing I felt myself dissolving into snore mode. Twice. That never happens to me.

Kobido, meaning ancient way of beauty, is offered by very few spas, and is definitely a resort USP. It dates back to the 15th century, and was reportedly reserved exclusively for royalty and the most noble and wealthy families in Japan. The practice aims to restore balance for physical, emotional and spiritual health by working on the meridians of the face and skull. If you’re out of balance, you’ll know all about it but it certainly is worth the temporary discomfort.

p Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa

Centre yourself

The massage style is designed to activate blood circulation to regenerate cells and stimulate the elasticity of the skin. Three months later I can still feel the positive effect, particularly in my neck, which feels more lifted. Lymph drainage also happens as the result of the sweeping movements that subtly eliminate toxins and impurities from the body.

Beachcomber spa treatments are aligned to the Art of Wellness. They are personalised after assessment by skilled, insightful therapists and applied using their own 100% natural B(e) Beautiful collection formulated for face and body. Designed to repair and rebalance, they incorporate sugar, coconut, honey, herbal oils, shea butter and beeswax, combined with scents of vanilla, caramel or wild violet. You’ll want to buy some to take home with you!

It’s all about natural healing, self-fulfilment and harmony so the Must To B (e) goes way beyond mere massage. Directly after that incredible facial, which left me so relaxed I could barely string am intelligible sentence together, I was introduced to this treatment a short buggy ride away at the neighbouring property – Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. This one was also tailored to my requirements, backed up with advice and motivation to get me to stay on the road to wellness and wellbeing once I left the sanctuary of the spa.

Mine turned out to be a next-level detoxifying massage that was nothing short of transformational. Devika, who kept repeating ‘here you are’ in the same tone a mother would use to soothe her child, reminded me what I should be doing to take better care of myself, all the while musing about why I remained so cold when she was working so hard to warm me up. I told my esteemed kinesiologist about that when I returned home. He says I was undoubtedly in the hands of a true healer. She was shifting my energy, big time. And so my rejuvenation began.

In tune

The next stop on my itinerary was Anahita Golf & Spa Resort, which meant a return to the east coast of Mauritius. The spa uses the French brand, THEMAE, meaning Way of Tea, which incorporates blue tea, black tea, green tea and white tea.

The first massage I enjoyed at Anahita Spa by Thémaé Paris was by the book. Technical. The therapist did what she had been trained to do, and there is nothing wrong with that, but I was unmoved.

When I returned to the spa the following day I spotted a male therapist across the courtyard that is the focal point for the surrounding treatment rooms. He was moving calmly and quietly, preparing for the day, like a monk drifting through a monastery, and I asked the spa manager, Premila Jugessur, if a man could give me my upcoming facial. Why? Because one of the best facials I’ve ever had was by a man, at another resort further down that coastline. As soon as I mentioned his name, Premila knew exactly which therapist I needed. As it turned out, he was the one I’d singled out. Ali Mawnah certainly lived up to expectations.

He gave me a hydrating and anti-wrinkling facial, using the tea-based products to gently stimulate and refine my skin. The blue tea replaced the original red tea ingredient, explains Ali, so the texture is softer and achieves a good result.

At dinner that night, Premila offered me a full-body massage with Ali, squeezing it in to my schedule before I headed for the airport. By then Ali knew enough about me to give me the kind of treatment I needed.

At Anahita Golf & Spa Resort, Premila says every guest needs their moment. And I got mine thanks to Ali’s healing hands, experience and intuition. He knew instinctively how to take care of me. I could let go and truly relax.

I am forever grateful for finding another therapist with magic hands, very sharp intuition, and the ability to give me exactly what I need – not only in the moment, but a memory that will stay with me always.

Both he and Devika shared knowledge that has been handed down to them through generations by ‘the ancients’ as they call them. Tried and tested approaches to living a healthier, happier life. It is people like these mentioned in this story who keep me going back to Mauritius time and time again. My life is richer for it.


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