Review: Wholistic Wellness Escape Retreat at Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

A luxurious escapade


By Gwen Ong

Review: Wholistic Wellness Escape Retreat at Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang

After weeks of back-to-back events and meetings, I was ready to take myself out and go under the radar. A #BuroRoadTrip gave me hope that a little R&R was on the horizon. During our recent stay at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa (hey, you can win a 3D2N getaway too!), I had the pleasure to embark on the resort’s Wholistic Wellness Escape Retreat. It is a programme designed to reset the mind, body and soul with a “wholistic” approach so you can slow down for a few days, escape from the rigours of modern living and reach for wholeness.

We live in an age where we’re becoming disconnected with our health and wellbeing. So a little time out will help you get back into shape. The Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa’s Wholistic Wellness Escape can be experienced in two packages:

Rejuvenate – a three-day, two-night programme that focuses on de-stressing the body

Purify – a five-day, four-night programme that focuses on detoxifying the body


Each Wholistic Wellness Escape programme includes a stay in the Garden Wing, personal health consultation with specialists from Penang Adventist Hospital, a spa meal plan, tai chi, yoga and Pilates sessions as well as pampering treatments at Rasa Sayang’s CHI, The Spa such as wraps, rubs, massages and facials.

Due to time constraint, I was not able to commit to the full retreat and instead got the resort to tailor the programme according to my needs and concerns. The first consultation that I had was on my diet; this was done via email before my arrival where I picked out a selection of wholesome meals for my programme. For each guest under the Wholistic Wellness Escape retreat, you’ll get specially prepared daily meals that are carefully crafted to be low in calories and high in vitamins and nutrients to support your journey.


I’ll admit it was not an easy task to readjust my diet, especially when one is in Penang – the land of amazing food. But I’ve made a commitment, so I needed to see this through. Thankfully, the breakfast featured a wholesome, if not too healthy, array of food including egg white omelette with mushroom, blanched broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, boiled potatoes and low fat yoghurt with berries, honey and muesli. The meal recommendations and schedules prepared by the chefs are based on consultation with the specialists on what’s most suitable for your health needs or concerns.

Next up on the itinerary is a treatment at CHI, The Spa. With the Wholistic Wellness Escape programme, you’re entitled to a number of pampering treatments from foot reflexology to body massages, body wraps, herbal baths and facials. There are over 20 treatments available at CHI, The Spa. These treatments are a mainstay of the wellness programme to really get you whole again from head to toe.


My session started with a truffle bath, which initially I had my reservations about. I equate truffle to just for eating. But as I took my time soaking in the outdoor tub at my very own private villa, I began to attune my mind to the idea that truffle actually contains skin-loving benefits. After about 10 minutes, I was led to the treatment room where the masseuse proceeded to ask me several questions about my sore points and my preferred massage pressure. Not too soft or too hard please!

My masseuse was on point with her “handy” work. The Element Vitality Massage combines both palm and finger strokes with soft and firm pressures. I learned that the finger strokes are applied on the body’s acupuncture points for detoxification and promote better blood circulation. For something gentler, there’s the aromatherapy CHI Balance Signature Massage, which is good for stress release.


To complete your day of the Wholistic Wellness Escape, you have the option to join the workout sessions like tai chi, yoga, Pilates and stretch classes. On top of that, meditation by the sea is a peaceful activity that will lull even the most frazzled mind to quiet down.


At the end of the stay, each guest get an updated review of your progress and for you to know where/what to focus on as you leave the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa (Psst! Have you joined our 3D2N giveaway?). The Wholistic Wellness Escape retreat is definitely all about the journey to rediscover your body, mind and soul. I like the fact that each part of the programme is tailored for your wellbeing so that you get to fully embrace the serenity of good mental and emotional health.


The Wholistic Wellness Escape Retreat Purify programme’s intake is on every Monday, while the Rejuvenate programme commences every Monday and Thursday. To know more, get in touch with Shangri-la’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa here.


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