First Private Onsen Spa
By Jacqueline Benita Paul
We all have that wanderlust itch to buy a ticket to Japan and dip ourselves in the natural and pristine hot springs or experience the onsen bath culture to let our troubles soak away. Now, instead of travelling over 3,000 miles, the veteran wellness centre, Urban Retreat Spa has introduced the very first private onsen spa in Malaysia which can be experienced in its163 Mont Kiara outlet. The tub is made from a 200 year old Hinoki wood from Japan. A prized material for its unique antibacterial property and resistance to humidity.
To make the most out of our visit, we decided to add on a body polish and massage to our session which tarted off with selection of the onsen bath salts. The ingredients are imported from Japan while the products are manufactured locally. It was comforting to know that we were in the hands of a company that would go through such lengths to ensure wellness of its customers. One of the options is Soft Skin, an onsen salt with a gentle scent made of honey, milk and collagen to achieve the desired effect of soft and supple skin. My colleague selected Refreshing for its fresh botanical scent made from Hinoki Pinewood. My choice was the Smooth Skin onsen salt for its rich autumn scent. Though if you have any nut-related allergies, I’d suggest the other options instead.
Since we also wanted to try out the Body Polish, we were led to decide on the kind of lotion and scrub we wanted for our session. Again, we were spoilt for choice. Since I was in the mood for total relaxation, my choice was the Relax scent, made from Hinoki pinewood while my colleague went for a skin brightening option. Now, we are ready to dress down and get started with our onsen.
The great thing about a private onsen is personalisation and, here at Urban Retreat, you get to choose your preferred temperature. For beginners, the recommendation is 40 celsius and if you are a seasoned onsen spa user, you can opt for 42 celsius. There are only 5 onsen baths available at the outlet so be sure to book the session in advance to avoid disappointment. Three of the onsen baths are in the ladies changing room, a comforting setting to ensure a worry-free onsen session. The setting of the onsen is just like the style you would see if you googled Private Onsen Bath Japan, with a round tub surrounded by smooth rocks that set the zen ambience. The onsen bath culture is bolstered by the setting of the onsen bath stool and bath bucket for the periodical cycle between the onsen bath and shower.
Before we got started, we were briefed on the onsen practices to maximise the therapeutic effect. Firstly, before entering the bath, a shower is required to preserve the purity of the onsen. Then, for each cycle, we would need to take a 5-minute shower followed by a 10-minute dip in the onsen. Repeat the process three times and you are done. One of the things I particularly enjoyed about the onsen spa experience was using the facial sheet provided whilst relaxing to the scent of the Smooth Skin onsen bath salt. The scent was gentle and the heat of the onsen was enough to relieve my aches.
After the onsen, we were escorted to the VIP room and served a glass of refreshing pandan-lemongrass drink. My therapist Minnie, accompanied me to the treatment room for the Body Polish session. Truth be told, I didn’t have much expectations from a full body scrub. But Minnie has magical hands that made the session seem like the massage that I’ve always needed and the scent from the lotion I picked left me in a euphoric state. The long strokes and targeted pressures in the nooks and crannies of my body were remarkable. While I thought that the body polish already gave me the massage I needed, I decided to continue on with the signature Targeted Massage. For a while now, I have been experiencing some constriction on my adductor muscles and whenever I went for a massage, I would be screaming in agony. Luckily, Urban Retreat developed its very own massage techniques that effectively soothe the muscles without causing any pain. After the session, my colleague and I convened in the VIP room for a much needed cup of ginger tea to wake us up and a delicious slice of cake with cream filling. It came as no surprise that she shared my positive sentiments.
The Urban Retreat Spa exceeded our expectations and in fact, we think that it would be the perfect gift for our mothers to enjoy on Mother’s Day. If you’re thinking the same thing, give the outlet a call at 017-881 4486 to book a session.
Urban Retreat Spa
Lot 2F-02, Second Floor, 163 Retail Park,
Jalan Kiara, Mont Kiara,
50480 Kuala Lumpur