The best traditional Malaysian massages to try for your mid-year reset

Spa guide


By Redzhanna Jazmin

The best traditional Malaysian massages to try for your mid-year reset

In need of a massage? Here’s where to give your body, mind and soul a full reset—with a uniquely Malaysian twist!

As we officially enter mid-year, it’s time to let off a little steam. And, of course, there’s no better way to do that than with an indulgent massage. However, we’re not settling for any old treatment—we’re looking towards time-honoured traditions and local delights to guide our June wellness journey. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite Malaysian-inspired spa treatments.

What exactly is the difference? Well, it all lies in the details. From indigenous ingredients and healing techniques that have been passed from hand to hand through generations of Indian, Chinese and Malay communities, a truly Malaysian wellness experience is one that is totally unique.

Plus, these techniques cannot simply be carried out by anyone—one has to be trained both as a spa professional and in the traditional practices. According to Hana Halim, the co-founder of Bondahaven Maternity Spa and also a partner of the first Center of Excellence Spa Academy recognised by Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), the art of massage is a complex skill. “A certified professional spa therapist is someone who would have learned the ethics of a spa therapist, has good anatomy and physiology knowledge, understands how the body functions, is well-versed with the different massage techniques and is equipped with a deep understanding of muscle manipulation.”

Essentially, a lot goes into marrying modern and science-backed massage with traditional Malaysian healing to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience. So, if you’re looking to get the best of both worlds, find our spa guide ahead:


Urutan Malaysia at UR Spa, the RuMa Hotel and Residences

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It took six years to develop the RuMa Hotel’s signature treatment, but it was worth every second. As opposed to traditional massage, which uses only one modality, Urutan Malaysia combines the best of Malaysia’s wellness offerings, including Malay and various indigenous massage techniques, Malaysian herbal foot soak, Chinese Qi Gong breathing, Indian head massage and reflexology. “Malaysia is a melting pot of culture. It’s hard to just choose one culture to represent Malaysia,” says Halim on the inspiration behind the treatment.

“All of these treatments have their own benefits but overall it increases the wellness of the guest, improve circulation, provide relaxation and improve detoxification. To heighten the five senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch, the Urutan Malaysia journey is accessorized with Malaysian therapeutic music, traditional motifs, décor, batik, aromatic herbs and spices. It’s the perfect unique and signature treatment incorporating natural, indigenous products and ingredients.”

Book an appointment here.


Campur-campur Body Treatment at Spa Village, The Ritz-Carlton

This signature treatment’s unusual name is a Malay term that translates to ‘a blending of varieties’. It blends the best techniques of Malay and Thai massage, using touch, tone and aromatherapy to fully clear your mind and relax your body. Using a traditional steam pouch filled with steamed herbs, your muscles are worked on knot by knot all the way along your body.

Book an appointment here.


Urut Melayu at The Spa, Mandarin Oriental

READ: What it’s like getting pampered at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

This 90-minute treatment is based on the concept of moving trapped wind, using rhythmic techniques to boost circulation in the body. From the plush interiors of the MO’s spa treatment rooms to the expert touch of The Spa’s therapists, it’s a must-try treatment for those looking to kick back and reset.

Book an appointment here.


Traditional Urutan Malaysia at Sanctum Spa, EQ

This Malay-style, 90-minute massage uses slow, constant pressure to treat aches and pains. The Sanctum Spa therapists are trained experts, using their palms, forearms and thumbs to relieve tension and pressure in the body while boosting blood circulation to the muscles. Plus, the Sanctum Spa’s tranquil interiors are perfect for a weekend urban escape or a mid-week refresh.

Book an appointment here.


Traditional Malay Massage at Bondahaven Maternity Spa

best massages in kl
Image: Pexels

Co-owned by Halim, Bondahaven Maternity Spa was created as a safe haven for mothers, specialising in physiotherapy, lactation and maternity spa services. The traditional Malay Massage draws inspiration from the healing traditions of our ancestors, combining traditional Malay techniques and modern science to relieve tension and stress from the body.

Book an appointment here.


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