Friday, May 25, 2018

So SPA, Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara: KL's First Luxury Hammam

In Kuala Lumpur, no other hotel encapsulates French luxury so well as Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara. The arrival of So SPA, Sofitel Hotels and Resorts' luxurious wellness concept marks the opening of KL's first luxury hammam and further cements the hotel's position as one of the finest luxury hotels in Malaysia. 

So SPA is located on a dedicated floor sprawling over 3,700 square feet, housing 7 treatment rooms including an exclusive couple room and a separate male and female private hammam room. Our first impressions as we arrived at the spa was how dreamy the space looked, thanks to the soft sculptural  wall panels and hand-carved feature lighting inspired by French couturier as well as the plush pastel furnishings.



Designed to bring guests into a complete state of relaxation, restoration and rejuvenation, So SPA combines ancient wellness traditions from around the world with the refinement and skills of modern French cosmetology. Drawing inspiration from a gourmet restaurant menu, guests can choose from an à la carte menu made up of Starters, Main, Desserts, Specials and Menu Suggestions.

So SPA offers treatments that are inspired by Malaysian influences such as the Malay Urut Massage, featuring long, kneading strokes focusing on blood flow to stimulate energy points while relaxing the muscles. In addition, the Oriental Massage is a traditional deep tissue massage using medium to strong pressure which integrates ancient Chinese acupressure and Shiatsu elements to relieve the body from fatigue and stiffness. These two treatments are exclusive to Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara.

Other treatments that are found in So SPAs around the world include the So Exhilarating Massage and So Rejuvenating Facial, both focusing on a euphoric experience. Guests can also discover the benefits of a traditional Hammam at So SPA; we selected the 120-minutes So Hammam Rituals (RM590 each) as it is one of the signature treatments here.


Sheer elegance - the Spa Reception


Welcome drink - a cold, refreshing Hibiscus Tea


After filling in a short questionnaire, we were led by the Spa Manager to the couple treatment room to prepare ourselves for our Hammam experience. Hubby donned a plush robe, while I dressed myself in a pretty red floral tube top and long skirt. Our spa therapists then ushered us into the separate Hammam rooms. A traditional Hammam would require you to strip naked, however at So SPA you get the option of keeping on the tube top (if you're too shy) as well as your disposable undies.



So SPA single rooms





Inspired by the Turkish Hammam, the experience begins with the Maghreb traditional cleansing ritual using Savon Noir Beldi olive-rich black soap followed by a Ghassoul mud body wrap, to cleanse and remove all the impurities. After being bathed, steamed and scrubbed (with a Kassa glove) for about an hour, my skin definitely felt smooth and refreshed... in fact, I've never felt so clean in my life!



After drying my body, I returned to the couple treatment room for the So Relaxing Massage, using tea elixir and Argan oil. This was definitely my favorite part of the experience; true to its name, the full body massage was so relaxing that I drifted off to dreamland. It fuses a mixture of Balinese and Swedish massage techniques. Once the treatment has ended, guests can retire to the Relaxation Area to enjoy some refreshments and healthy snacks such as pistachio nuts and apricots.










A truly enjoyable experience, we highly recommend So SPA to anyone seeking a refined Hammam ritual, in an elegant, private setting.


So SPA is located on level 2B and is open daily from 10am to 10pm. For enquiries and reservations, please email HA123@SOFITEL.COM or call 03-2720 6688.


Location: Sofitel Kuala Lumpur Damansara, No. 6, Jalan Damanlela Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Parking available in DC Mall)

Tel: 03-2720 6688

Website: http://www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-A123-sofitel-kuala-lumpur-damansara/index.shtml


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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Bala's Banana Leaf @ Bangsar, KL

One of the best banana leaf rice places that our #BLRGang came across recently in KL was Bala's Banana Leaf in Bangsar.



Taking up a corner lot shop at Taman Lucky Bangsar, the restaurant is spacious, clean and well-ventilated. We placed our order for Banana Leaf Rice (RM8) which came with a choice of either chicken, fish or mutton curry or dhal. The curries were thick and well-spiced. It came with four types of vegetables, most of them were potato-based and I was happy to see my favorite stir fried cabbage. :) Pappadums were nice and crispy, and rasam is also served with your meal. One of our friends took the BLR without the R(ice) (RM6.50) and had it with chapati (RM2.10).



Nice, thick curries


We also ordered the fried chicken (RM8.50) which was cooked to order, mutton varuval (RM10.60) as well as crispy, fried bittergourd (RM3). They do daily specials and during our visit it was Chicken Rajasthan (RM10.60), thick chunks of chicken in a rich, fiery gravy.


Mutton varuval - tender chunks of meat.. delicious!


Fried bittergourd - nice and crispy




Chicken Rajasthan



Service here is friendly and welcoming, and definitely adds to the whole dining experience.




Price: Total bill RM62.70 for 3 pax, including drinks.

Location: Bala's Banana Leaf, No.25, Lorong Ara Kiri 1, Taman Lucky Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur. (Street parking or park at Bangsar Village and walk over towards TCM direction)

Tel: 03-2201 7107


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