We popped by The Spa at Mandarin Oriental KL to try its new Psammotherapy treatment – the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Here’s what to expect.

As the only spa in Malaysia to receive a Forbes Travel rating, The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur has arguably set the standard for spas in the country. To elevate its offerings even further, the spa has recently added Psammotherapy, also known as Hot Sand Therapy, to its spa treatment menu.

We are no stranger to The Spa ourselves, having indulged in the unique Digital Detox treatment and Biologique Recherche facial before. But with the introduction of a new spa suite and the treatment itself being the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, we knew it was time for another visit.

With that, we popped by for an 80-minute Psammo Gold Elevation treatment – an upgrade of selected body massages from the standard menu, of which we opted for Aromatherapy.

A world of your own

Upon arrival at The Spa, we are first introduced to our therapist, who then leads us to the exclusive 80-sqm Psammotherapy Suite on the 8th floor. Once inside, we have the entire suite to ourselves – inclusive of an unobstructed view of the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.

We are served a cup of roselle tea to sip on while filling up the consultation form. The therapist also explains that roselle is known to be full of antioxidants and vitamins that help improve digestion, promote weight loss and fight bacteria.

After taking our time to finish our still-pleasantly-warm cup of tea, we proceed to the treatment room where the signature hot sand bed greets the eye. We are told the bed is designed by Gharieni, a leading manufacturer of high-quality treatment tables and equipment for spa, beauty & wellness; inspired by a tradition that dates back hundreds of years.

A romantic history

It turns out that Psammotherapy was used in Ancient Egypt to treat various ailments including scoliosis and inflammatory diseases. But it was another more recent, romantic tale that incited the Gharieni Group’s attention to recreate the modern day Psammotherapy treatment bed.

Somewhere on the island of Ischia in the Italian Mediterranean in 1980, Rita Blum had found herself relieved of back pain after immersing into nature’s bed of hot sand. She shared the news with her husband, who incidentally was skilled at carpentry. He later built a box-like structure, integrated it with a heating unit and filled it with sand so that she could continue to enjoy the effects she benefitted from Ischia.

Sure enough, she claimed that it did just that and it became the first prototype of what is today known as the MLX Quartz. The Gharieni Group then collaborated with the original inventor to improve and refine the bed to what lay before us in that exact room.

A cocoon of comfort

Following the interesting introduction, we get ourselves changed and proceed to lie face down on the treatment bed. Nothing but a layer of linen cloth separates our skin from alpha-quartz sand, allowing our muscle tensions to melt away slowly from the warmth and healing properties of the sand.

The sound of Tibetan singing bowls marks the start of our session. The therapist starts to cocoon our body with the cloth while conforming the sand to the contours of our body. This offers a very welcomed sand-sation, immersing the mind and body into a sanctuary far from the city and all its distractions.

Then, she guides us through a breathing exercise before carefully but firmly kneading from the neck and shoulders down to the back and legs. To help destress the muscles, she uses the Aromatherapy & Associates Destress Muscle Bath Oil which has a calming scent of lavender, rosemary and ginger. The same steps are repeated with our body turned over, ensuring we are completely left with relaxed muscles and total body comfort.

As we enter the last 20 minutes of our treatment, we are pleasantly surprised by the dynamic flow feature of the bed, which creates wave-like motions to activate lymphatic circulation. The combination of the heat and the gentle movement makes for a soothing and therapeutic experience like no other.

Finally, the Tibetan singing bowls ring again, signalling the end of our treatment. Our thoughts when getting up from the now-approved (by our standards) hot sand bed to change? We should have opted for the longer Psammo Gold Serenity treatment instead – at least then we don’t have to part so soon. An excuse to come back then…


Discover the full range of spa treatments at The Spa here.

For bookings or more information, please contact The Spa at +60 (3) 2179 8772 or email mokul-spa@mohg.com