A relaxing time in the Spa Village at Tanjong Jara Resort.
One treat that you should not miss out on while staying at Tanjong Jara is trying a treatment at the Spa Village. The Spa Village is a separate walled section of the resort with multiple buildings, beautiful water features and cultivated plants and flowers, everything has been designed to make you feel relaxed and stress free.
We had decided to try the couples Asam Roselle Experience, a relaxing 100 minute massage and body scrub. The day before our treatment the concierge told us that we were to be honoured with the Mandi Bunga ceremony, a ceremony that originated in the royal palaces when it was part of the formal procedures in the coronation of the new King. The Mani Bunga ceremony is also practiced by Malay healers to rid the body of negative energies.
On the day of our treatment we were collected at breakfast by a special procession that included seven men carrying water jars that would then draw water from seven strategically placed antique jars situated around the resort. The jars of water symbolise the seven sources of fresh water: rain, well, river, spring, waterfall, lake and water from the stream. The procession also included seven ladies carrying brass trays of seven colours of sweet smelling flowers. The procession then moved to the Badan–Badan Treatment Room, where the waters collected were transferred into 173-year-old jars recovered from a shipwreck in Desaru. The seven colours of sweet smelling flowers were then added and imbued in the water jar. These waters were now ready for the Mandi Bunga. We were bathed from head to toe seven times, with the blessings of purity, sincerity, health, beauty, happiness, prosperity and longevity.
Upon completion of this we were dried and taken to a high vaulted, private treatment room where we were politely asked to relax upon two adjacent beds.
The Asam Roselle Experience
Asam Roselle (Roselle Body Treatment)
More than three centuries ago the Roselle plant (Hibiscus sabdariffa L) was introduced into Malaysia from India. This pretty plant with dark red flowers, and unique healing powers, very quickly adapted to the fertile soil and tropical climate, and now grows wild throughout the country. It is known by different local names across peninsular Malaysia: Asam Paya; Asam Kumbang or Asam Susur.
The red Roselle flower has a high vitamin content, containing vitamin C, fruit acids, calcium, iron, potassium as well as antosianin, and has long been used in traditional medicine and local delicacies. The red Roselle flower is said to benefit the kidney system, lower blood-sugar levels, and have diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It forms natural collagen and assists in vitamin absorption thus improving complexion, and assisting with anti-aging, something that I felt I sorely needed!
Asam Relaxing Massage
Already half asleep from the relaxing sounds and scents, we drifted away on a massage of long kneading strokes that focused on our muscles and joints. The naturally asam scented massage oil which contained a blend of Roselle, ginger, nutmeg, galangal and karoteno oil was full of vitamins A, C and E all with the aim of rejuvenating our bodies and nourishing our skins.
The Roselle Cream Scrub
The Roselle scrub was a truly luxurious experience, a complete body exfoliation aimed at removing the dead skin cells. This was coupled with a moisturising concoction with added rice and coconut oil, rich in natural vitamins and fruit acids, which softened and refined our skin, giving me unnervingly smooth legs!
Our treatment concluded with a cup of Roselle tea that was high in anti-oxidants and the presentation of a sarong each.
Before we left, another first followed, an open air naked shower (in complete privacy) to wash away the remnants of the exfoliant used to create my new super-smooth body. Aside from my deep slumber during the treatment being frequently interrupted by my intermittent snores, the whole experience was so very relaxing and set me up for a much needed further sleep on the beach. I told my wife that I felt like a new man, luckily for me my wife didn’t say the same thing back to me.