The Year of the Monkey
"The Fire Monkey year is said to be one of change, requiring strength and agility in order to succeed. To celebrate Chinese New Year, which begins on February 7, 2016, Mandarin Oriental has launched the Year of the Fire Monkey Spa Experience to provide guests with a sense of balance and harmony for both body and mind. Available year-round at Mandarin Oriental spas globally, the treatment has been designed to inspire renewal, energy and determination during the year of the Fire Monkey." - The Mandarin Oriental
The Mandarin Oriental is one of my favorite places in Atlanta. My first visit was last May when I took an awesome stay-cation at the MO. The aesthetic is absolutely beautiful and on top of that the staff and customer service is wonderful. What sets the Mandarin apart is that there is always thought and meaning behind each little detail from a hotel stay to the spa. The Mandarin always incorporates it's Asian roots in it's rooms and spa treatments.
As American we celebrate the New Year on January 1st but this isn't the case for every culture . Chinese New Year, this year, began on February 8th and will end January 2017. This year is the year of the Monkey! To honor it's Asian heritage, the spa at the Mandarin is featuring "The Year of the Fire Monkey Experience" to it's customers and it was a absolutely wonderful.
The Fire Monkey Experience is said to, "stimulate the senses, relax the mind and rejuvenate the body." At the beginning of each spa experience you're greeted in the spa lobby with tea and a hot towel while you wait to be escorted into the private spa area. This is when I really begin to relax. The staff is friendly and offer you a warm, engaging welcome upon check-in. Once escorted into the spa area, you're shown to your locker where you can change into your robe and spa slippers (a rubber-like slip-on, super comfy) and put away your personal belongings. I chose to leave my phone behind to truly stay in the moment, relax and enjoy the treatment.
I was instantly relaxed upon entering my room. The lights were dim with soothing music playing and candles lit on the counters. I was lucky enough to experience the room that is usually reserved for couples -- it's completely massive with a separate area including a full walk in shower and Jacuzzi tub.
Without spoiling the entire treatment, because you should go experience it for yourself, I'll tell you that you get to experience true peace and relaxation. It's 2 hours of bliss including a foot ritual and body exfoliation followed by a traditional "pomelo water" shower and full-body massage. There are several oriental traditions incorporated into the experience from the choice of flowers and oils to the singing bowl tradition.
"The bowl is gently placed on the abdomen, and the ‘singing’ sound provides stimulation for the body’s energy channels. " -The Mandarin Oriental
If you practice yoga, you're familiar with the power of the "Om". The singing bowl does just that. If you choose, you can perform an Om with your masseuse and truly feel the experience of releasing negative energies and relaxing your mind.
The intention of the entire experience, and meaning behind the year of the monkey, is to renew yourself in order to tackle the times ahead whether it be your work week or entire year. The treatment ends with a plum tea and a heartfelt goodbye from your masseuse. I encourage you to experience the treatment for yourself and spend time afterwards in the steam room, serenity pool and sauna areas. Stay as long as you like -- I was there for about 3 hours total and it was magnificent.