Where to go for Reflexology: Langkawi, Malaysia

by esthetician on 18 October, 2013

Shea and I had been scootering around Langkawi all week and we were in Kuah town on the Westside of Langkawi. This isn’t my favorite part of town as many of the buildings aren’t too lovely to look at and there are a lot os big and small shopping centers…and that seem equally undesirable to shop at.

Though this area ins’t my favorite, one particular “health spa” stood out to me each time we drove by, so we decided to hit it up before we left town. Shea and I both love a good foot rub and “reflexology” is offered everywhere in Malaysia so we decided to check out the what I believe to be called the Pusat Istirehat (health Care Center).  The address is at Lot 398, Mk. Kuah, Keilbang, 07000 Langkawi, Malaysia and located directly below the Hotel Grand Continental. They spoke very little English, seemed mostly frequented by locals, and didn’t have biz cards or a website.

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The outside of the building is underwhelming as you can see from the picture above, however when you walk in you instantly feel as though you have stumbled upon a hidden gem. The space was open with a huge water wall, plush reflexology chairs, and very kind staff who seemed happy to offer their services to you.

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We took off our shoes (which is the custom indoors in most places in Asia) and were ushered into our fancy-pants individual chairs next to one another and facing the calming water wall. Don’t want calming? No big deal! They also cater to people who want to veg out in front of the TV (each chair had a built-in TV if you so desired).

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We each were served a cup of tea, given a foot soak, and then kicked back while we got 30 minutes of fabulous (and intense) reflexology. These massage therapists definitely knew there Chinese points and didn’t hold back when using them! The luxurious balm they used during this treatment was the cherry on top.

30 minute of foot bliss set us back roughly $10 USD each. This price is pretty much the standard for treatments in Malaysia (outside of fancier establishments).

Stay tuned for my next series of posts (6 days of affordable bliss in Koh Samui, Thailand)!

All in all I would highly recommend you check this place out if ever in Langkawi. It is clean, cozy, accommodating and you will get a great treatment at an even better price!

XOXO, Anna (AKA The Traveling Esthetician)

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Ultimate Relaxation in Langkawi, Malaysia

by esthetician on 15 October, 2013

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Alun-Alun Spa (Langkawi, Malaysia)

When I got to Langkawi I was struck by how kind the people were and how how beautiful (and empty) the beaches were. Granted I was visiting in the off-season (October). I was excited to explore the beauty and relaxation scene, but was a little overwhelmed at all the small massage places that were starting to blend in to one another. They all looked somewhat the same and the staff seemed interested in making money off providing you “a massage” (no guarantee on the quality…as I had found out in Penang).

So I took a couple of days to take in the sights and eventually settled on checking out a beautiful spa on a main tourist strip in Pantai Cenang called Alun-Alun Spa. I was impressed that they seemed to ride that fine line between luxury and affordability. Their menu was pretty extensive offering all types of massage (Balinese, Malaysian, Thai, and aromatherapy), facials, reflexology, foot spa, body treatments and hydrotherapy.

I was recovering from a bad sunburn from scootering about the island too much, so I booked the Balinese massage (supposedly less pressure and more healing than the Malay massage) and a facial. This package came with an herbal foot soak and tea (extra perks!) and all for about $80 USD. This is on the pricy side for Asia (outside of exclusive resort spas), but is CLEARLY still a great price.

I went in around noon and booked a 4 pm appointment. The receptionist was very professional and took the time to assess my sunburn and make recommendations (including that I get finished off with a cool aloe vera gel).

I came back at 4 pm looking disheveled and still wet from a unplanned waterfall hike and swim (see this glory below!) Staff accepted me with open arms and let me come in a little early to get all showered before my treatments.

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They opened up their doors and took me to beyond the reception area to where all the action happened. I was shocked! This place looked nice enough on the outside, but they led me to a calming outdoor waiting area surrounded by lush greenery, thick wooden treatment room doors, and water…we seemed to be floating on water. I had to step from one paver to the next over the water all around! I was instantly impressed and glad to have “splurged” on this spa!

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I sat for a few minutes and a kind massage therapist brought over my hot herb water for the foot soak. It wasn’t the biggest bowl and I had to sit a little funny to get comfortable, but the warm water felt nice. After a few minutes soaking this same kind massage therapist introduced herself and let me know that she was Balinese and would be treating me for the afternoon (SWEET!! A real Balinese woman giving me a Balinese massage!).

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(there was at least 12 of these doors leading into private treatment suites)

She walked me into the treatment room and I was blown away that we had an entire room to ourselves that not only had two massage tables in it, but also a door leading to our own private outdoor tub and shower. Once again, I was IMPRESSED!

Alun 2(Outdoor shower area)

Alun 3(treatment room)

After taking my time in the luxurious shower I made my way into the treatment room where my gal was waiting. She assisted me onto the bed and made sure I was comfortable (something many therapists here don’t make sure to check-in about) and then began prepping me for the Balinese massage.

The massage was calming with lots of oil and long strokes. Her pressure felt perfect (especially for my sunburnt back!) Her hands were big and warm and I felt totally taken care of…After about an hour of my massage she began the facial. I’m very picky with facials after all my years giving and receiving and although this facial was fine…it wasn’t worth writing home about (so I won’t write a whole lot more about that). It was simple (no steam, no hot towels and no extractions). At one point I did enjoy a peppermint foaming cleanser used.

Now I have saved the BEST for last! When I thought this whole experience was over, she had me sit up with my legs dangling from the bed and she stood behind me and combed out my hair (yes…for REAL). If you are a lady you know how much we love this stuff :) I don’t know how she worked the motorcycle/swim adventure knots out…but she did and it didn’t hurt. She was kind with her comb and I felt like a loving older sister was taking care of me. The only word to describe this is “special”!

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When I left the treatment room I was brought to a separate waiting area (different than when I had arrived) and I was given tea and carrots to give me a little boost of energy after the relaxing treatment. It was a lovely touch and tasted devine.

I left Alun Alun on cloud 9 dreaming of how many other amazing spas in Asia I would get to visit (the next day wouldn’t have been soon enough!)

If you find yourself in Langkawi (which I HIGHLY recommend you do at some point), then I suggest that you check out Alun Alun and make an entire afternoon out of it! The rooms are designed for two…so bring a friend or partner and bask in the bliss together!

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XOXO, Anna (AKA The Traveling Esthetician)

 

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