I arrive for my massage and pedicure feeling sleepy and sun drunk from a morning spent snorkeling the reef at nearby Langford Island. After lunch with the family by the stunning Aquazure infinity pool, I can’t think of a better way to end a pinch-me perfect day. I’m greeted by Jasmine and led through to fill out my consultation form. Minutes later she reappears with a plate of fresh fruit and nuts and a glass of chilled honey, lemon and ginger tea. I change into a soft cotton robe and cushy hotel slippers and am introduced to Jenny, a beautiful girl with kind almond eyes and a macchiato-coloured skin. We exit the spa and jump into a golf buggy, zooming past a blur of lush rainforest on one side and the crisp white architecture of the rooms on the other, to the cabana where I’ll be enjoying my massage.
The destination massages performed in outdoor locations around the resort are a unique treatment offering and a firm favourite of guests. The flagship treatment is the Ocean Dreaming Massage, which, is performed on a treatment bed in the shallows of the sea. They are so popular that they are already booked out, despite having to be performed at sunrise when the tide is at its highest (and safest to set up the treatment bed in the sand). My cabana massage is the next best thing. Set only a few meters back from the shore, as I lie face down and close my eyes, I am instantly lulled into a meditative state, my breath falling into time with the swish of the sea smooching the shore.
Ninety minutes zooms by with nothing but the sea, the caw of birds overhead, a salty breeze whipping through the cabana and Jenny’s slow, firm strokes dissolving the tension in my back and shoulders. I robe up and stumble back onto the buggy, ready for phase 2 back at the spa – my Bastien pedicure – a medical pedi that involves a scalpel, a drill and no polish whatsoever. Let’s just say I never knew my nude toes could look so good. My feet are completely renewed – with all the calluses buffed away, walking the beach is a seriously sensorial experience.
We only had two days in Paradise but it was exceptional – every detail, from the rooms, to the food, to the activities was executed with world class care and attention, and the fact that Hayman is only a few hours away by plane – yet feels like something fresh out the Maldives – makes this spa escape one seriously worth considering.
Review By Sigourney Cantelo.