Samui Wining & Dining
HANSAR’S HELPING HANDS
There’s a lot more to LUXSA Spa than just healing.

There’s a lot more to LUXSA Spa than just healing.

How routine are your tasks? Are you on autopilot? Even if you’re doing the same thing every single day, sometimes someone will ask you to do something that’ll totally surprise you. Something out of the blue. It may seem so difficult that you might just doubt that you can actually do it at all. At LUXSA Spa, most tasks might seem to have to do with massage and healing. But it’s not always the case.

          

When the spa manager, Khun Kantima Chompoolad was called in to see her boss, CEO Indra Budiman, she had no idea of the strange journey that lay before her, nor how it would impact people’s lives.

          

“I need you to find someone,” said Indra. “Someone quite specific. It has to be exactly the right person; no other will do. We’re going to train someone to be a spa therapist from scratch. That person has to be someone who works from their heart. That’s the only qualification they’ll need for now. And the person has to be blind.”

          

Blind? Well, it’s not so hard to find a blind masseur in Thailand; there’s a tradition of blind people training in massage. But a spa therapist is another matter. A therapist has all the connotations of being able to bring healing to the people who come to the spa. It’s not just a question of physical manipulation, no matter how good.

          

Khun Kantima went away wondering how on earth she would find this person. She soon established that on Koh Samui, there’s actually a member of the local government who’s responsible for the blind on the island, Khun Soraya, who confirmed that there are some 80 people living on the island who’re blind. Unfortunately none seemed a likely candidate, There’s a lot more to LUXSA Spa than just healing.so Khun Kantima started looking beyond Samui.

          

In the south of Thailand there are two schools for the blind; one in Suratthani and one in Songkhla. On a day off, Kantima took a ferry to the mainland, found the first of the schools and started talking to its director, Khun Jitra and the students themselves. Khun Jitra told her that there was a student who was very keen to learn massage and who would definitely be interested.

          

She was introduced to Khun Bia, a young man of 19. He is 50% blind and has been from birth. With the sight that he does have, he can see books and computer screens if he puts his face close up to them. But that’s all. He lives in a world that is comprised of vague blurs. Glasses of any kind are useless to him, and don’t help in any way.

          

Khun Kantima talked to him and decided that this was indeed exactly the kind of person her CEO wanted her to find. He was someone with a good heart, she saw; the students all loved him and he had a reputation for being incredibly helpful.

          

He has yet to leave school but when he does, he’ll start training with Khun Kantima. It will take time, of course, as he has to reach a very high professional standard, way beyond what’s required of a simple masseur. Hansar will pay for all his costs along the way, and when he’s finished there won’t be anything for him to repay.

          

It’s not a PR exercise. Like many companies, Hansar have a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, and each month they hold a different activity to help the less fortunate in the community. Says Indra, “We support local culture and people and do this through special activities such as educational support and mentoring programmes.”

Khun Supatra Pimalai, more usually called Khun Emmy, was the first recipient of a major educational gift, the Hansar Samui Scholarship. She’s a local person who was interested in working in hotels. Hansar trained her and she then went on to become a spa therapist, herself. The fund for the CSR programme is in part raised from selling organic products from their garden and aquaponics fish farm. There’s a lot more to LUXSA Spa than just healing.These areas are next to the hotel and are tended by staff; each department has its own plot within the garden and is responsible for specific crops. Sometimes guests donate, and receive an update on how the money is put to good use. Obviously a lot of thought has gone into all of this and the CSR programme isn’t just an afterthought. Lives will change for the better because of it. The spa also benefits, and so to do its guests.

          

You may now be wondering about LUXSA, and what it’s like to visit a place that is built in tandem along social responsibility guidelines and professional healing therapies. As you can imagine, this is not your average resort spa. For a start, LUXSA is a beautiful place that’s set apart from the rest of the hotel. Step through its doors into a world where you can leave your cares behind. It’s about taking time out to just get back to being yourself, who you really are. No need to worry if you’ve never been to a spa before or if you’ve never had a massage. The spa menu encompasses many different procedures and you’ll find plenty to choose from. There are manicures, pedicures, facials, scrubs and that’s in addition to the massages. Khun Kantima will be very happy to help you choose your treatment. You’ll also find a steam room using organic herbs,There’s a lot more to LUXSA Spa than just healing. fresh from the hotel garden (not the dried variety used by some spas) and various packages that can range from a couple of hours or more through a six-hour comprehensive experience that’s spread out over three days.

          

The treatments are all done by very experienced therapists, who’ve been trained along very strict guidelines, as will be Khun Bia. So you’re in the very best hands. Just to give one example out of many treatments that are incredibly satisfying, you could opt for the Healing Body, Mind and Soul Shirodhara. It’s one of LUXSA’s signature treatments and offers two and a half hours of very deep relaxation.

          

Shirodhara, by the way, is an age-old Ayurvedic treatment that relieves mental stress and nervous tension. It’s been used to treat a host of maladies from migraines, allergies, insomnia, depression and anxiety – to name but a few. The process includes a deep tissue massage with herbal ball compress, the Shirodhara massage itself, a herbal hair treatment, Tibetan bowl healing music and a milk bath and steam room session.

          

It’ll leave you with a sense of wellbeing that will last a long, long time afterwards. And it’s also a good reason for going back to experience more treatments, as many spa guests do, returning to LUXSA knowing that they’re in the hands of true professionals.

          

 Dimitri Waring


 


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