Injecting Heritage Into Wellness Rituals

Wellness rituals are designed to offer a complete sensorial journey, providing holistic healing and deep relaxation for your clients. However, since wellness rituals are often very spiritual journeys for clients, they can also facilitate the showcasing of wonderful traditions, like the local heritage (based either on your spa’s location or perhaps the heritage of the brands you use) or even utilising native ingredients or traditional wellness techniques perfected over centuries past. The more intricately you connect your rituals with your environment, the more deeply you can connect with your clients, and this deep connection with land and ritual is something that Accor prides itself on throughout its Asia Pacific hotel spas.

With over 1000 hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific, including Singapore, China, Myanmar, Thailand, The Maldives, India and Australia, Accor’s hotel spas incorporate locally-inspired rituals designed not only to advocate the goodness of natural healing therapies, but to allow travellers to each spa to really indulge in local wellness culture.

“Our guests are increasingly looking for spa treatments that draw on the rituals and mythology of the destinations in which they are travelling,” said Spa Manager of award-winning luxury Swiss Spa, Pürovel Spa & Sport, Ms Elva Zhao. “It is as much about relaxing and rejuvenating the body as it is about learning new experiences and understanding cultures and traditions. Ancient customs and ingredients play a key role in soothing away the stresses of the modern traveller and allow our guests to take a step back from the tensions of today’s busy world.”

Here are some of Accor’s most unique wellness rituals utilising local traditions:

White Flannel Flower Sanctuary Ritual At Fairmont Resort & Spa Blue Mountains, MGallery By Sofitel, Australia
Standing at the edge of the World Heritage-Listed Blue Mountains, Ubika Day Spa’s treatments are inspired by the seasons and the native wildlife of Australia, and the White Flannel Flower Sanctuary Ritual is a signature head-to-toe degustation experience that pays tribute to the beauty of the bush. The 105-minute full-body sensory journey includes an Organic Coconut & Jasmine Body Polish, Australian White Flannel Floral Hydrating Cocoon, Baobab & Neroli Facial Massage, Double Face Masque infusion, Peptide+ Multi-Action Serum, Full Body White Flannel Flower Soufflé, and Foot Restoration Massage to leave guests feeling completely restored.

Traditional Bamboo Treatments At Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, China
Commonly used by the ancient Chinese to clear negative energy and enhance energy flow, Bamboo has been lauded in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. The Signature Bamboo Massage is exclusive to the Willow Stream Spa in Shanghai’s Fairmont Peace Hotel. Using five different Chinese herbs, the bamboo shoots are heated to allow heat from the plant to soothe sore, tight muscles while Chinese herbs are used to stimulate blood circulation and warm the body.

Serenity Of The Five Elements At So Sofitel Bangkok, Thailand
Serenity of the Five Elements is a 90-minute soothing spa ritual based on the five elements of Wood, Earth, Water, Fire and Metal as well as the renowned Thai folk wisdom treatment called “Tok Sen” to balance all five senses. Tok Sen is an ancient massage technique indigenous to the Lanna region of Northern Thailand and handed down over generations. In this treatment, Ytsara aromatherapy oil, which represents the water element is applied all over the body and gently pressed with a warm herbal poultice. Heat from the poultice represents the fire element, while therapeutic herbs represent the earth. A small Tok Sen hammer, representing the wood element is used to tap all over the body to generate deep vibrations to release wind in the body. The treatment concludes with a body massage using metal balls, which represent metal, to create a soothing and calming effect on the body and mind.

Thanaka Spa Treatment At Sofitel Inle Lake Myat Min, Myanmar
Known as ‘white gold’ to the locals, Thanaka is widely used in wellness rituals. A creamy white paste made from finely ground bark of the Thanaka tree with water, the paste is popularly known for its extensive health benefits and healing properties. With a history dating back some 2,000 years, Thanaka make-up is widely used to help reduce acne scars and acts as a sunblock. The 50-minunte body scrub Thanaka & Rice Glow treatment helps to rejuvenate skin, remove dead skin cells and promote skin revitalization.

Nirmal Snan At Fairmont Jaipur, India
Using traditional ingredients like Ubtan, gram flour, saffron, almond powder raw turmeric as well as sandalwood powder, the Nirmal Snan treatment offers nourishing goodness to help soothe and calm the body and soul. Ubtan, better known as fuller’s earth, is a clay paste hugely popular in India for its healing and cleansing properties. Massaging Ubtan onto the skin relaxes the body and takes the mind off daily tensions. In addition, turmeric is an antioxidant that acts as a mild counter to depression and anxiety. During the treatment, live music is also played to enhance the experience, making it fit for royalty.

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