Spas all over the world offer unique experiences to tantalise your senses. But have you visited a spa housed on stilts? Welcome to U Spa in Maldives
By: Karishma Suri
Posted on: November 18, 2014
Spas all over the world offer unique experiences to tantalise your senses. But have you visited a spa housed on stilts? Welcome to U Spa in Maldives.
Synonymous with serenity and contentment, a humble retreat calls your name. Beckoning you into a relaxed cocoon, turquoise waters serve as the most peaceful hammock to rock you to a blissful slumber. Your destination for rest and comfort, the Constance Halaveli Maldives houses a spa supported by stilts over a blanket of the bluest waters. The Maldivian unspoilt beauty prevails at this resort set on a private island in the Indian Ocean. It goes well without saying that we were in for a brilliant experience when we took up a 45 minute back massage at their famed U Spa.
Designed to restore well-being on a larger than life level, U Spa puts forth a concept that revolves around 'you' as a valued guest and their prime focus. Ensuring their guests happiness and peace of mind at every step, what else could one ask for? A walk along their beautiful jetty brought us to their centre of relaxation – the U Spa. A temple of bliss as we were told, we couldn’t wait to try what they had in store for us as we smiled at the spa receptionist. “Welcome Mr and Mrs Suri, please take a seat while your therapist prepares the room for you," she said. Deciding to take a look around as we waited, products from the house of Ila and Valmont kept us company.
The U story
Situated on stilts above the Indian Ocean, with 10 treatment cabins that are strategically spread over the pristine waters to give you a true Maldivian feel, they offer a range of U Spa Classic massages, facials, and treatments, including an ‘after diving’ treatment. The Valmont collection from Switzerland is also exclusively available here. Sampling the sun block restorative cream from Valmont, I could find myself wishing that there was a treatment that felt so good as the sample. Besides this, the brand has a Shiseido collection that is available at Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius, Constance Lemuria and Constance Ephelia in the Seychelles; and Brice Nicham is exclusively available at Constance Le Prince Maurice in Mauritius.
Relaunching their spa concept under the new ‘U Spa’ brand, Constance Hotels and Resorts has brought their six Indian Ocean spas together with one philosophy and treatment menu, which includes updated treatments and products, which most of the hotel occupants couldn't wait to experience. We had booked our spa appointment a month prior to our arrival which worked out well in our favour as the bookings were full and many couples were exiting with a long face.
Who wouldn't want a holiday that is full of massages, smiling faces and great food? Preparing to strike the first off my holiday list, the U Spa gave me an ideal opportunity to look after and pamper myself. Using natural products inspired by plants and fruits of Indian Ocean – such as ylang-ylang, vanilla, frangipani and sweet orange - U Spa promised to bring every guest back to a state of happiness in body and mind.
With a philosophy that is holistic, they attempt to look (and relook) at the guest as a whole in order to better achieve a relaxed state. Settling down at the reception, we took a moment to browse through the entire range of massages and treatments available. From a Signature U experience massage, Facial and Body Treatments or even massages to simply relax, rejuvenate, detox, or recover after playing sport, there was something for everyone. In addition, there were international favourite treatments, such as Balinese, Ayurvedic, Thai-Shiatsu, or Swedish massage, treatments for the hands and feet, and a special Kids Spa menu for children from six to 16 years old. I guess tiny tots deserve a stress-free day too!
Your road to wellness
Training is an essential part especially when it comes to the service industry and keeping this in mind, the Corporate Spa Manager, Dr Chase Webber, says that he visits Halaveli to ensure that all the therapists are up to date and are confident with both traditional and modern techniques in order to provide the best service to every guest. Furthermore, to maximise their retail parallel, the Constance umbrella brand ensures that they also have representatives of both, Valmont and Ila, present to train about existing and new products. Thus it came as no surprise that my level of expectations from my massage were one with the clouds.
The spa facilities include a steam bath, sauna bath, chill and hot plunge pool, relaxing area, seven single treatment rooms, three double treatment rooms, Yoga pavilion and an Ocean Salon when you need a quick fix! Heading to the changing room (separate for men and women), we stored our valuables in a locker and slipped into the luscious blue robes so significant of the Constance brand. Appreciating the way the treatment rooms branched out from the jetty, my companion and I stepped into our treatment room as our mind took our leave.
Welcomed into our room by both our therapists, as we lay flat on the bed, a school of jack fish showed off their swimming skills under a glass flooring. Following their trail for a few moments, a therapist informed us that we were to experience a 45 minute target area massage (for the back as selected by us at the reception). Perfect for us, the Rejuvenate oil (a stimulating oil with extracts of peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary) was used for both of us with strokes that were pressurised to maximise comfort of the back and neck muscles. Informed that this particular massage would be perfect for those looking to relieve any tension in the neck, shoulders and back muscles, or feet, I could find myself mentally making my next appointment for the feet. While the olfactory senses did get a little tickled by the eucalyptus presence in the oil, the relaxing effect that my therapist's perfect strokes had on my back were way more essential. After 45 minutes, my companion and I were awoken by smiling faces, who seemed quite pleased that we had nodded off during the treatment. "It shows how much you have enjoyed your treatment and that is the biggest compliment to us," they said.
A journey to remember
We were then led to the relaxation area that overlooked waters that did not seem to end. Beautiful cabanas and a breathtaking sunset later, we enjoyed some herbal tea to infuse our body with warmth and calmness.
It is the personal service and genuine interest in your well-being that makes U Spa so special. And they do that by identifying your objectives and preferences to fully relax, rejuvenate and truly ﬁnd your equilibrium. While happiness rhymes with wellness, the inspiration at U Spa is to return each body and mind to a natural state of bliss.
Coordinates: Alifu Alifu Atoll, Halaveli 09130, Republic of Maldives
Ph: (960) 666 7000