I was very blessed this year with my worldly travels. Let me begin this review with my gratitude to Travel Committee. The owners of Travel Committee are dear friends of mine, and they often take trips to exotic and amazing places around the world. On occasion, they offer an opportunity to me and my husband to join them on their adventure. This year was Tahiti. It was very hard to turn down what I believed to be a trip of a lifetime.
We flew to LA in the morning, and that evening (LA time), we flew from LA to Tahiti. Total air time was 14 ½ hours. I didn’t fatigue the way I anticipated, and was very grateful for that. I could go on about our trip from beginning to end, but for the purpose of my massage experience, I wanted to share with you the ultimate spa experience at the Intercontinental Thalasso Spa in Bora Bora.
We took a cruise on the MS Paul Gaugin through Tahiti and the Society Islands. The water was gorgeous, as all island waters are, until we got to Bora Bora. I still can’t describe the color blue of that water. Some have called it blue ink, but it wasn’t quite that. It was a deep blue, with a blend of a deep green. I could have gazed into the deep blue sea until nightfall when the stars in the sky stole the spotlight. When the boat took us from our ship to the island of Bora Bora, the rich blue waters called me. We rode from the deepest, most hypnotizing blue water to the clearest ice sea green shallows that reflected the sand crystals majestically. I was in awe.
We arrived at the spa and took a tour of the grounds and the facility. The spa was part of a fully-sustained resort, the Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa. Six of us went to the resort, five of us took the tour, four of us received services at the spa. The first part of the tour took us out to the huts on the water. The huts were all connected by decking that went out into the water and along the water’s edge. The water was that clear, crystal, icy green that pulled the sun rays to the bottom to reflect the sand crystals and the colorful exotic fish that swam around beneath the huts and decking. In the main living space of the hut, at the far side of the room was a sliding glass door that led to a deck where one could lounge, climb down the ladder into the water and swim or snorkel with the fishes. In the living room was a glass coffee table that sat above an opening in the floor, where you can look down into the water and watch the fish swim by. If this is not enough for you, the glass tabletop slides to the side some, so that you can feed the fish and draw them into view.
We left the huts and headed back to land where the tour guides explained to us that the spa does not use electricity to heat their water. There is a system by which the water is channeled on to land that creates the heat necessary. All of their pools and spa treatment pools and hot tubs are fresh sea water. They explained the medicinal properties of the water and all the natural indigenous plants they use in their treatments.
Both treatment pools were narrow and long. One had a massage shower that gently pounded on your shoulders and upper back. At the other end of this pool was a jet that rushed water out, that you may swim in place, like a water treadmill. The second pool was a walking pool. The water was waist high; jets shot out of the sides of the pool from different levels of height. The jets massaged your legs from calves to thighs as you walked from one end to the other.
The hot tubs, backed with semi-circle stone walls, and deliciously warm, faced the ocean. After the tour, we went to the restaurant and met with number 6 of our group and had lunch. I grabbed a glass of white wine and took off for the spa in preparation for my massage. I walked in the lower body pool to soften my leg muscles. I went to the upper body pool and let the natural waters’s pound away my upper trap, neck and shoulder tension. I turned on the water treadmill and after a couple of strokes, decided I really didn’t want a workout. I headed for the hot tub to indulge in my glass of wine and melt away into the seas before me.
Sooner than I would have liked, my therapist was coming for me. She did not take me into the main building where most of the treatments took place., but rather into a rectangular hut. It had a different feel from the building facility – clean, neat, and with all the amenities necessary for a complete and satisfying massage experience. I liked the outdoorsy feel.
All the massage employees were licensed and certified. They were trained in other spa modalities as well. My therapist was professional and very clear when giving directions as to what I needed to do and where I needed to go. Following her directions, I showered, robed, (finished my wine, which was not part of her direction speech), locked my belongings in a locker, and shuffled to the massage room.
I answered all the appropriate questions before getting a spa massage, “Is there anything I should know about your health or your body before we begin this massage?” “Is the temperature in the room ok?” etc. The therapist was friendly, soft spoken and the music playing in the background began to lull me into a trance-like state. Her touch was firm and connected; the depth was sufficient as the muscles were aware of being worked and knew how to respond; they relaxed and they softened. I chose the native oils from the island, which had little scent, and not a greasy oil, but one that allowed just the right amount of glide for a deeper connection, for the treatment. I felt like I was melting into the table.
As much as I did not want to move, it was time for me to turn over. As the therapist held the towel to cover me, I turned on to my stomach and placed my face in the headrest. She arranged the pillows beneath my shins, covered the lower half of my body like a swaddling baby and prepped my back for shear bliss. I took a deep breath and briefly opened my eyes. My eyes! I could not believe my eyes! Below me was a glass floor. I could see through the floor into the water, like in the huts that we toured. There were rocks and coral. There was a thick chain, like that of a ship’s anchor that the coral grew along. And of course, there were fish, many fish, swimming all around beneath me. It was something I had never experienced. I kept floating back and forth between the kneading of my back muscles to the entertainment by the many different kinds of exotic fish swimming freely beneath me. The 1-1/2 hour massage, though very satisfying, was over way too quickly.
The six of us left the resort, sharing our pleasant and very wonderful spa experiences as we headed back to the Paul Gauguin. As I watched the sunset, awaiting our host’s promised ”green flash,” I knew that this massage experience was going to be one of the most memorable ever.