Thursday, 2 May 2013

Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Chi Spa, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, massage
Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort
Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, massage
Chi, The Spa - located on its very own island
Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, massage
Individual villas for treatments
Chi Spa, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, massage
Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, massage
A spa welcome - tea and cold scented towel
Chi, The Spa, Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu, massage
Couple's Treatment Villa

Chi The Spa, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort, Kota Kinabalu

You know those unattractive disposable undies they give you in most spas? - The ones that look like baby diapers? The ones that when you’ve signed up for a couple’s treatment you avoid because you want to maintain some degree of appeal? Well, you won’t find a single hideous elasticized pair at Chi, The Spa. Here, expendable panties are sleek, soft and figure flattering, which, pretty much sums up the spa experience too.

Sleek and professional

Not many spas can boast their own private island. Chi, The Spa however is perched upon Pulau Bayu (“island of the wind” in Malay) a short walk from Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort. A spacious reception welcomes guests with natural breeze from fans, the tinkle of running water from the centre fountain and the delicate scents of aromatherapy oils.

This secluded island sanctuary features eight island villas each facing the sea. Gardened pathways weave between the private treatment rooms and a variety of lounging, steaming and bathing facilities are dotted throughout. There are even three couples’ villas perfect for a truly indulgent stay.

Soft and sensual

From the unexpected underwear to the towels, robes and sheets, every fabric is a velvety, fleecy, silken weave of snug.  Dressed in a gown, drying your self after a bath or, rolled up on the massage bed, the touch of the textiles alone foster feelings of comfort and security. 

Figure flattering - designed to suit you

Tea and a scented cold towel are served while you fill out a pre-treatment questionnaire. Intended to tailor the therapy to your individual needs you’re asked to list any illnesses, injuries or sensitivities and also to state your preferences in terms of colour, taste and temperature. Finally you can request the strength and type of pressure you prefer along with body parts for focus or avoidance.

Further refinement and personal tailoring takes place once you’ve decided on your treatment. Drawing on the indigenous cultures of Sabah, spa products and therapies are based on natural ingredients sourced from the rich biodiversity of the region. I signed up for the Asian Blend Body Massage so too got to choose my oil of preference. A choice of three promised different outcomes - refreshment, relaxation or rejuvenation.

An excellent massage always seems to end too quickly, while a bad one draws out with you wondering when will it ever end? My treatment at Chi, The Spa was over before I knew it, leaving me refreshed, rejuvenated, owner of a new slinky pair of disposable undies and, already pining return.

Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, Kota Kinabalu
Map to Chi, The Spa
Reason to visit: a private island spa with luxurious amenities and a good range of locally inspired treatments

Chi, The Spa
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort
20 Jalan Aru
Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
Sabah, Borneo
+6 088 327 888


  1. gosh, from the very first photo, there's no doubt that this is pure paradise on earth :D

    1. Malaysia certainly has its fair share of beauty. :-)

  2. I can imagine that while my muscles are being massaged, I'm relaxing my mind with the fresh, oceanic air and momentarily forgetting life's worries. =)

    1. Yes, it all fits together so perfectly. :-)

  3. That is so nice
    Really need a good break

    1. Sometimes looking at the photos can bring just a little break, at least until you get a proper one. :-)

  4. What a hotel, it is just amazing. The more I see from Malaysia the more I want to visit it.


    1. Well guys, do let me know when you make it to this side of the world. :-)



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