More than pampering and downtime, Fusion Maia Da Nang offers self-discovery.
The beauty of Fusion Maia Da Nang is doing exactly as you please, which isn’t always the case on holiday. It’s one of the few resorts where breakfast can be savoured any time, anywhere – none of the usual time constraints so that you put the real world on hold. No one thinks twice about sitting down to eggs at 3pm, refreshing to see structure turned on its head. The idea is to swap routine for flexibility, making the getaway truly your own.
Unwinding still requires a bit of planning though, left in the hands of your ‘fusionista’ who customises your stay, creates experiences in line with your preferences and shares tips on what to see and do in the area. We are lucky to have Emilie, spa and wellness director of Fusion Maia Da Nang, as our personal guide, and leave everything in her capable hands.
For a little extra TLC, there’s an option to pay extra for the Fusion Feeling upgrade which gives you access to the wellness lounge, where daily teas, infused water and afternoon tea are served exclusively. The shaded haven above the spa features a selection of books dedicated to the pursuit of wellness, along with natural ingredients for guests to make their own scrub. It’s also ideal for curling up with a book as you are likely to have the space to yourself.
WITHIN THE BUBBLE
The all-pool villa design makes it incredibly tempting to remain in the cocoon of the resort, and daily complimentary activities from the Natural Living Progam promise plenty of ways to spend the time. Designed to reflect the seven chakras, each day of the week is themed with an intent, be it environmental, intellectual or spiritual with relevant breathing, yoga, fitness and seminar topics offered around this.
Food is worth making time for. Fiving Dining Room is great for breakfast, the only venue offering both a buffet and à la carte, and the one to choose should you prefer a more formal dinner with both local and international offerings, such as the deconstructed spring roll whipped up tableside. For ambience, poolside spot Fresh is our pick with its breezy vibe and innovative healthy fare. Favourites include turmeric fish with dill and rice noodles, and cauliflower ‘pizza’ with chorizo and goat cheese.
The little touches make a difference thanks to detail-oriented Emilie who plans a Private Sunrise Mandala Ritual session on the beach. While initially dubious about the 5am start, I was so glad to have caught the sunrise, stealing a glimpse of the paling moon vying for the same sky during a backbend. The sight of a water-coloured horizon coming alive over the ocean was spectacular enough, only to be topped by a decadent breakfast spread devoured with toes in the sand. She also treats us to an indulgent in-villa Vietnamese style afternoon tea presented on a floating tray as we laze around poolside.
Should you feel the need to venture off site, a complimentary shuttle runs guests into Hoi An, bustling with cafés, restaurants, bars and a night market. With wellness our focus though, Emilie organises a visit to Marble Mountain, a cluster of marble and limestone hills which are home to pagodas, caves and steep stone steps leading to lovely vistas. We enjoy a private tai chi class amidst the serenity, learning 18 basic moves to calm the nervous system. Despite catching the attention of tourists, our slow deliberate movements allow us to tune out their gaze and focus purely on the breath.
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MORE THAN MASSAGE
With two daily treatments included for every guest, unwinding is pretty much compulsory. The Natural Living Aroma massage is one of the most popular, using oils designed to harmonise mind, body and spirit. The Crystal Reflexology makes a great add-on, using a wand for those who prefer deeper pressure. The Natural Aromatherapy Facial is customised for your skin type, stimulating cellular renewal using natural ingredients with antioxidant properties.
But for something truly unique, opt for the Reiki Master Touch. Usui Reiki is a Japanese natural healing technique, where the therapist channels energy through the hands to restore physical and emotional well-being, and an absolute must. It’s a joy to see so many local therapists trained at such a high level, demonstrating the resort’s commitment to the Vietnamese community. The Holistic Head Therapy and Warm Pressure Massage are both ideal complements to ease into a suitably serene frame of mind beforehand.
A reiki newbie, the session is more powerful than I ever imagined. The very heat from the therapist’s hands on each chakra point was an eye opener, before an intense feeling like a weight has been lifted from my chest. I am suddenly able to breathe deep into the belly, as we are intended but often don’t due to lack of awareness or stress. A slight tingling through the hands and feet is accompanied by alertness, like a coffee without the edginess, just unadulterated zest.
Emilie explains that each session differs depending on what the guest needs at the time, often heightening your connection to the surrounds, colours and sounds sharper, and a sharpened awareness of how you are really feeling. Later that evening the invigoration I felt becomes the polar opposite – almost debilitating exhaustion. Clearly I have been running on adrenaline and what my body really wants is rest. I can’t remember a night I slept as soundly.
Developing the spa’s energy work niche, Emilie performs a treatment herself that is not even on the menu yet. She blends reiki with Access Consciousness, where 32 points of the head are touched to facilitate healing and empowerment, letting the body process change and let go of thoughts, ideas, beliefs and emotions that are no longer useful.
Apart from being brushed lightly on the head and briefly the hands and feet, I do not feel Emilie’s touch for most of the session. With eyes closed, merely sensing her presence, thoughts flit away as quickly as they form, while vertical waves of energy seem to be course through me.
Physically the sensation is subtler than reiki alone, but Emilie’s insightful consultation afterwards is what makes it. She senses a shield I put up as a safety net, and wishes to clear space to allow me to let go of expectations and the need to conform. She describes blockages in my hands, perhaps a sign I need to work on giving, receiving and showing vulnerability once in a while.
It is fascinating to hear Emilie’s take on issues that do make sense. During the treatment, she sees images of nature and greenery, and an orb of gold which she believes points to infinite possibility, a sign that the best is yet to come. Afterwards with feet planted firmly on the ground, she tells me to remember this feeling of groundedness, so I can return to this authentic headspace anytime. It may sound hippy dippy, which is why the moment of connection is best experienced in person. Returning home with a new sense of self far outweighs a velvety, pampered body, though you’ll have that too. www.maiadanang.fusion-resorts.com
THIS PAGE: All pool villas mean relaxing in complete privacy; the Private Sunrise Mandala is worth waking up for. OPPOSITE PAGE: Open-plan living room, en suite bathroom and outdoor courtyard are some of the perks of a pool villa.