Fusion Maia review | spa retreat, Vietnam
Creative beachside spa retreat on Vietnam’s central coast
The Quick Read: Billed as Asia’s first all-inclusive health resort, Fusion Maia in Danang offers all its guests two treatments a day included in the price – with more available to book as extras, naturally. There are daily yoga, tai chi and meditation classes private villas are so secluded you can spend your time here naked as a jaybird should you so desire. Come to just relax or have a programme tailored for you by the resident naturopath. Each day features a different theme, colour and specially-blended aromatherapy oil and wellness tea, and there’s a friendly vibe.
Who it’s best for: People travelling alone or with a companion who want to relax and make the most of the two-a-day treatments – leave seeing the sights for another time.
What you can do: Upon arrival, take a consultation with a ‘Fusionista’, a dedicated spa advisor who will help you book your minimum two treatments a day, squeeze in as many extras as possible and also advise on any special programmes that are available. They’ll talk you through your current health, fitness and mental well being, and build a programme for you that can include yoga, tai chi and meditation – with different class names such as ‘butterfly breathing’, ‘laughter breathing’ and ‘feel free yoga’. There is also a ‘warrior fitness’ programme that changes daily and ranges from ‘crouching tiger’, promoting inner strength and courage and ‘lean leopard’ to help improve digestion and agility.
Spa therapies included in the price range are generous, and include massage, warm pressure sleep therapy, ‘stretch release flow’, ‘hand to heart opener’ and ‘active bamboo rollout’. Manicures, pedicures, facials and body scrubs are all available as part of your daily quota too. Extra therapies and longer treatments can be booked at additional cost, including Reiki with Reiki master Ngoan. The resident naturopath, acupuncturist, wellness coach, therapist and dietician Dr Sohal Shah can tailor a programme for specific pain, ailments or medical history.
It feels creative here. Each day at Fusion Maia has a different theme, colour and specially-blended aromatherapy oil and wellness tea. Monday is ‘feel free’ and yellow, Tuesday is orange, ‘eat well’, Wednesday is blue ‘get social’ and so on throughout the week. The theme is continued through each of the activities on offer that day. It’s kind of nice.
Where you stay: You stay in a private villa with a small living area, vast bed and patio doors that lead out onto a small courtyard garden with plunge pool, shower and rest area. The whole space is so incredibly private you can spend your time there naked as a jaybird should you so desire. Three bedroomed, beach-front villas are also available – though these are less private.
How was it for us: Without the worry of additional cost, it was fantastic to try so many treatments here, working not only on my mind and body – having some indulgent pampering thrown in such as pedicures on a whim is just fabulous too. I also also benefitted from a full consultation that focused on specific concerns – my sinusitis, and (according to the doctor) my need to focus on self-compassion.
On our first day I sat down with spa manager Saffier Bakker, a lifestyle coach and occupational therapist, to talk through some health issues and what I wished to achieve from my three-night stay. Saffier built a pretty full-on programme that included running on the beach, tai chi, yoga, meditation and a wide range of treatments. She recommended acupuncture with Dr Sohal Shah to tackle my horrible recurring problem with sinusitis, but also made sure there were indulgences such as facials and toe painting, and – rather nicely – scheduled in a post-dinner warm pressure sleep therapy, a combination of Swedish and ayurvedic massage using warm coconut oil to promote sound sleep and that worked a treat. Another evening found me launching coloured lanterns into my private pool after a private ceremony with reiki master Ngaon.
I drifted from my villa to the spa in a bathrobe and from there to the vast beds laid out in the gardens on the beachfront. Whilst I had a full schedule, there was time every day for rest and relaxation (or the chance to squeeze in a fresh mani).
I loved how each day had ‘daily flavours’ with changing aromatherapy oils, colours, flowers and complimentary teas and water infusions. Little tokens celebrating the theme of the day were left in my room: my favourite was a pebble carved with the world ‘breathe’, a pocketable reminder to be mindful.
A tranquil spa library offers books on mindfulness, alternative lifestyle and spirituality: I benefited from the insight of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, recommended by Saffier. I loved Fusion Maia, and loved myself by the end of it.
What we took home: A specially-blended Azial balancing oil from the ’get social’ theme day with May Chang, sweet orange, Himalayan cedar, lemongrass pine oils and three cute, fat little buddhas from the onsite shop.
Would we go back: Without a doubt. We’d ensure a dedicated chunk of our time in Vietnam meant we could stay at Fusion Maia and not leave the resort until it was time to move on.
People watch: Spa manager Saffier Bakker radiates compassion and understanding but also enthusiasm, and is a shining presence when you see her in the spa or in the restaurant where she will join guests for morning coffee. Dr Sohal Shah is a gentle soul who takes any pain out of acupuncture with his soothing voice.
Food watch: Fusion Maia is a pampering health resort that believes life is about balance, so there is no ascetic mantra here forcing denial. If you want breakfast at 5pm you can have it – there’s an ‘anywhere, anytime’ concept, so you can eat it in your room, on the beach, in the restaurant exactly when you want to. You can even take it in Fusion Café Hoi An, in Hoi An, the gorgeous UNESCO-listed town a shuttle bus of about 40 minutes away. In the resort itself there are three dining areas: Five Dining Room, with a vast breakfast buffet and a menu that embraces pan-Asian flavours for the rest of the day, the Pool Bar, offering salads, sandwiches, fresh juices and the like and the Tonic Bar, with Asian tapas, coffee, tea, and tea-based cocktails.
What’s queenly: The amount of treatments available to you means you can pamper yourself in such a way that mostly only royalty could afford, concentrating not just on what is good for you but on indulgent treats too. You don’t need to worry about choosing a head massage over a hardcore one: have both.
What’s lowly: When it rains, the daily yoga classes are held in an upstairs studio at the back of the resort which has no view. The gym, though, in spite of being barely used, has a view of the beach, and we feel this is the wrong way round. At the time of our visit, managers said they were taking this on board and considering building a new yoga studio.
Insider tip: We had copies of the beautiful, floaty linen staff uniforms made to measure by a local tailor who came to our villa for a fitting then returned with near perfect designs for incredibly reasonable prices.
Price with a companion: The price per night, based on two people staying in a pool villa with breakfast and at least two treatments a day is £345 (excluding 10% tax and 5% service charge)
Price going solo: Based on one person staying in a pool villa with breakfast and at least two treatments a day is £345 (excluding 10% tax and 5% service charge). However a Seven Practices of Fusion Natural Living Programme offers discounts for singles staying for seven nights and includes seven nights half board, spa treatments, activities and airport transfers £1662 (excluding 10% tax and 5% service charge).
Value for Money: With a minimum of two treatments a day this is great value, though a Natural Living Programme with additional extras may suit those wishing to stay for a little longer than a few days.
Reviewed by Audrey Gillan
© Queen of Retreats