|aVi Spa, Avillion Port Dickson|
aVi Spa, Avillion Port Dickson
Words by Kirsten Durward
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
Of contemporary design, but inspired by Peranakan traditions, aVi Spa is truly something special and unique in Malaysia today. The stunning location reaching out over the ocean, with panoramic vistas, cannot fail to impress. Designed as a secluded sanctuary of stillness and simplicity, you truly cannot help but relax as you enter the space. From the first cool drink and refreshing towel we feel cocooned and totally taken care of. aVi Spa’s healing philosophy encompasses purely natural treatments, with an emphasis on high touch, low tech. For those with less time, or looking for a fun group booking, the upstairs aVi Space offers many hands on relaxation and beauty treatments in an environment that manages to be both fresh and sumptuous, with once again, dramatic sea views all around. The downstairs aVi Suites offer private sanctums, each with spa bathroom and sea outlook, everything calculated to unwind you, even as you undress.
|Group Treatment Area|
The treatments fall into three ranges:
aVi Signature - 100% custom made in house, each featuring one of four hand-blended essential oils designed around the four natural elements:
Valour - for the water element is said to invoke confidence and control fear
Poise - for the earth element, clams to install balance and alleviate stress
Lightness - for the air element to encourage release and remove water retention
Ardour - for the fire element to encourage passion (we are told this one is recommended for couples)
aVi Traditions - Peranakan inspired treatments using indigenous ingredients and natural Malay-Chinese remedies from the Baba Nonya bring ancient rituals into a contemporary setting.
Au Naturel - a range of products and treatments which are plant based and mostly organic. With a focus on ethical sourcing, the treatments use only the best natural ingredients in the purest most unprocessed form.
Today we are being truly pampered and will experience a treatment from each theme on the menu. We feel like princesses as we are led into the fabulous premium couple's suite, where the colour theme of turquoise and fresh white echoes the gently rolling sea that glides beyond floor to ceiling windows. With spa shower and steam room, free standing bath and outdoor relaxation area overlooking the turquoise ocean, the suite is a testament to why aVi Spa receives so many awards. If the treatments are as well thought out as the environment, we are in for a wonderful time today.
|Couple's Treatment Room|
Relaxing on a spa bed with a ceiling fan gently whirring above is becoming one of my favourite ways to while away a couple of hours. Here at aVi Spa, the attention to detail is some of the best I have experienced. I chuckle at the card beside the teal hand wash dispenser, ‘Shhh… Vacations at work.’ Perfect. We begin with a sumptuous foot ritual, immersing our tired toes and heels in generous bowls of orange infused and flower scattered water. Sea salt scintillates, energising the skin before it is sluiced off with a vigorous rubbing with fresh orange slices.
And so it is time to lay on that tempting bed and give over to pampering once again. Slices of cucumber are gently placed on our eyes and covered with a heavy warm herbed eye bag, while knees are supported with a soft bolster. While I start almost immediately to drift away, the therapist begins to massage a signature concoction of avocado, honey and coconut oil through my hair and into my scalp. This is the 30 mins Malay Strength Hair Treatment (RM139) which promises to both revitalise and strengthen my hair. In the meantime I am enjoying the soothing head massage as the therapists fingers tangle and twist away to the rhythm of the sea.
Hair wrapped in a light cotton cloth, we embark on treatment number two, the aVi Aroma Salt Glow (RM209). Earlier during our consultation we were asked to select our blend of essential oil for the treatment. I have settled on Lightness, a delightful combination of rosemary, basil grapefruit and and rose geranium, while Monica has headed for the sultry tones of Poise containing vetiver, jasmine, ylang ylang. I feel a revitalising zing through my skin as soon as the heady mixture is slathered on. From legs through arms and midriff, then onto shoulders and back, my willing therapist massages away all my dead dry skin while the oil seeps in, moisturising deeply. All too soon it is time to wash off in the spa shower, and I spend a further ten minutes relaxing in the en-suite steam bath before stepping out to join Monica on our private terrace for a cool drink and a refreshing sea breeze.
Slightly reluctantly, we dress for lunch upstairs, but are soon relaxing in the expansive and soothing surrounds of aVi Lounge, once again feasting our eyes on the ocean’s shifting colours. We enjoy a relaxed and light lunch and while away a couple of hours writing and chatting before resuming our extravaganza of pampering back in the embrace of aVi Suites.
Our afternoon treatment is from the new au naturel range, and this particular experience is one neither of us has come across before so we are rather intrigued and excited by it. Hot Lava Sea Shell Massage (RM443) is promoted as using the world’s first naturally self-heating massage tool. A large tiger clam shell is first filled with a gel teabag of magnesium, and iron, black lava and absorptive powders including dried kelp and sea algae. Then water with sodium chloride and essential oils is added. The chemical reaction between the two mixtures creates a natural heat that warms the smooth marine polished shell before it is used to massage away all cares and tensions.
|Hot Lava Sea Shell|
As if we needed more cocooning and aid to unwind, this time our spa beds have been accessorised with heating pads. A pleasant warm relaxed sensation overtakes my body, as I lie face down gazing at the graceful natural arrangement of stones, shells and flowers in the polished white bowl below. Beginning with the breathing ritual, inhaling and exhaling aromatic oil with three deep breaths, I begin to float away on a cloud of delight, soft strains of music drifting through my ears. The polished shells slide easily over my skin, not unlike a hot stone massage without the attendant paraphenalia, and the warmth remains constant all through the massage. The therapist is extremely thorough, moving seamlessly from firm, sure hand massage to gliding and pressing the shells rhythmically over my eager and willing body. We indulge in 90 minutes of supreme therapy, and Monica agrees that she feels incredibly de-stressed, adding only that she is impressed with the skill of both therapists in accommodating her injured ankle without disrupting the flow of treatment. We concur that all four ladies we have met today have been highly skilled and well trained therapists.
|Tea and Fruit on Balcony After Treatment|
Our final rejuvenating treatment is the aVi Hydrating Green Facial (60 mins RM 291 ++ 90 mins RM 349++). Beginning with a thorough cleansing and toning, the gentle therapist then apples a bamboo serum to calm and soothe the pores, softening the skin and improving texture. As I slide away once again to the lull of the ocean through the open doors, she massages a luscious avocado cream into my face before applying a refreshing peppermint face mask for ten minutes - ten minutes where I am treated to a sensational head and shoulder massage. Believe me here, no time is wasted and every stroke is calculated to add to your joyful experience. After cleansing off the mask a further bamboo serum is applied, then an aloe vera face cream together with eye and lip contour serums. For the third time today we are floated out to our balcony overlooking the sea, and I comment that I would just like to move in here please! Monica can barely speak, she is in such rhapsody.
|Sunset from the Spa Patio|
All the treatments at aVi Spa last for the full time advertised, with the welcoming foot rituals and relaxation ginger tea drinking given extra time, just so that you can enjoy the beautiful ambience that little bit longer. We end our day in a complete zone of bliss, with softened shoulders, polished skin and luscious hair, upstairs in aVi Lounge, partaking of high tea and an evening cocktail as the sinking sun lights up the waters. I’ve had nigh on five hours of treatments and a whole day of respite by the ocean. I’m feeling very, very fortunate at this point in time.
|Cocktails on the Deck|
|Sunset Drinks on the aVi Spa Deck|
Reasons to visit: total serenity, holistic natural spa treatments, experienced therapists, spectacular location
aVi Spa often offers special packages, together with a hotel stay, so keep an eye on the website. We’re also excited to tell you about the fresh new spa menu which will be launched soon, where spa packages will be wrapped with a special set menu. We tried it - delicious!
Avillion Port Dickson
3rd Mile, Jalan Pantai
71000 Port Dickson
+ 6 06.647.5740