I know this started as a food blog, and I assure you that it will always remain a food blog. My love for food extends beyond borders, and whenever I travel, food is and always will be the main highlight.
With the passage of time, however, certain things change and we grow; so now in addition to talking about the foods I try on my travels, I plan on making complete guides (to the best of my knowledge) for the cities I visit. In doing so, I will try my best to talk about everything I experience, and not just the food. This is partly to help potential travelers to those destinations plan a more organized trip, and partly because sometimes— very rarely in my case–
dimsum little parcels of joy can be passed around in inedible forms as well 🙂
Some people travel just to relax and enjoy the hotels. I travel as if to test my endurance and see how much I can explore the city and how much I can eat; and then have a nice hotel pamper me at the end of each day. During my stay at Sheraton Imperial KL, I had the privilege of trying out the Mandara Spa, where I got a reasonably priced but satisfying Balinese massage, and treated my sister to a cleansing facial. Ideally, it would have made for a very memorable couple’s experience –had M gone with me, but he wanted to meet his friends instead. I decided not to fret and to make the most of it and asked my sister to accompany me instead.
It was a great bonding experience, but not in the way you’d expect. We didn’t have any deep talks about our pasts and futures. Instead, we were rolling with laughter the whole time talking about the previous day’s adventures; and our masseuses probably thought we are crazy. The bottom line is we had a really great time, and are grateful to Sheraton Imperial for enabling it.
There was also a well-equipped gym, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna that one can enjoy at their leisure when they come for any treatment.
The Spa itself earned some mixed feelings from our side. The welcome was extremely hospitable, with chilled minty towels– which my sister wanted to slap on her face and keep there forever– and chilled, refreshing ginger tea. The entire place was pleasantly fragranced with lemongrass and it truly was the kind of spa that makes you feel relaxed the minute you step in. The staff were also extremely welcoming, friendly and warm. They made me smell samples of the kinds of oils I could choose from for my massage, explaining the benefits of each.
The facial my sister got used only natural ingredients and products. We also laughed hysterically over our inability to wear a sarong–that’s what they offer here instead of robes, but I think that’s super cool. I always love it when local culture is incorporated wherever possible.
My only beef with Mandara Spa was with the treatment room. The lights in it were far too bright for my liking (I went at night), and it was centrally air conditioned so they couldn’t turn the temperature up even though I was feeling cold. The fact that I was feeling cold took away from the overall experience and I was unable to fully enjoy my massage to the best of its potential. On the other hand, the treatment room a beautiful outdoor shower and jacuzzi (in addition to the indoor shower), and I regretted not coming in the morning or afternoon instead, because it would have been wonderfully relaxing to experience that in the daylight. A good book, an outdoor bath, and lemongrass in the air….what else does one really need to unwind?