by Gayle Dickson
As with most places I visit, one of the first things I did in Samoa was to make a list of spas. On this visit, I found three to try out.
The first was right under my nose at Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Beach Resort & Spa. Whilst I had previously enjoyed a treatment here, I was delighted to find a complimentary voucher for Manai Polynesian Spa in my room on check-in. Sure, it was only for a 15-minute treatment, but I soon found out that I could put it towards a longer treatment – just what the doctor ordered!
The next morning, I wandered along the tree-lined track the short distance to the spa facilities. After filling in the obligatory forms, I was led to a private changing area where I undressed, showered and robed up before being escorted along wooden walkways through lush foliage to one of the open air pavilions. ??Fear not, your privacy is guaranteed by side wall drapes that shield you from prying eyes, and the mosquitoes. On my previous visit, I’d enjoyed a Samoan Fofo, an ancient massage treatment that is practiced in every village. I found the Fofo to be invigorating, both mentally and physically. This time I opted for the Polynesian massage, a full body treatment combining several techniques. I was smeared liberally with coconut oil and various plant leaves were used, too. Whether it was the leaves, which I am told ease tension, or the soothing hands of the therapist, or merely the muted sounds of Mother Nature, I’ll never know, but I was soon fast asleep on the table. My therapist gently awoke me an hour later. I felt like a million bucks, even though I recalled very little of the treatment.
Over on the island of Savai’i I encountered a similar complimentary voucher in my room at Le Lagoto Resort. I duly made an appointment for late afternoon at Bodyworks, once again opting to pay for extra time – after all, there’s nothing more disappointing that a great massage cut short. I split my appointment between a traditional Fofo, asking the therapist, Alisi, to concentrate on my neck, shoulders and upper back as these were feeling rather tight from all the driving I’d been doing. Wow…about sums her treatment up. Great hands that really worked my aching muscles! She threw in a scalp massage, too, which really helped to relieve the upper body tension I’d been feeling. I then submitted my hands and feet to her for a manicure and pedicure, the first I’d ever undertaken in Samoa. I was thrilled with the result! Baby soft feet and nails looking very glamorous indeed! ??Alisi, who trained in Fiji, was fabulous – my one hour appointment actually stretched to nearly 90-minutes, so determined was she to get those cricks out of my neck and shoulders!
A tranquil haven in the hills above Apia, Le Spa Lelalelei o Samoa offers world class beauty treatments merged with ancient healing traditions from Polynesia and around the world. You literally kick off your shoes as you enter and leave the world behind…far behind. The range of treatments on offer is extensive. I opted for one of the signature treatments, Samoan Harmony, where two therapists ply you with their four hands. Their manipulations were luxurious as they worked in complete silence and harmony, first scrubbing my body with salts and then massaging me from head to toe. Then, whilst I was still far away in dreamland, I submitted myself to a Skin-C Firming Facial, where Vitamins E and C replenish and rehydrate. My skin absolutely glowed afterwards. Le Spa’s in-house products are worth stocking up on, too – no artificial fragrance, preservatives, colourants or animal extracts. They will also advise you on nutrition, and have a range of mineral makeup.