Raising our energy on a plant-based wellbeing retreat at Fusion Maia
Stella Photi reviews this marvellous spa retreat in Vietnam with her husband and delights in the twice-daily treatments, exquisite attention to detail and mindful calm of the staff
I had lusted over the wonderful photography on the Fusion Maia website for years – I call it my luxury wellness porn – with beautiful people practicing yoga asanas on a breathtaking beach and colourful, Vietnamese delicacies. But it was my treatment obsession that finally got me investigating visas to Vietnam – there’s a minimum of two treatments daily included as part of your stay here, and what’s more they offered lots of energy healing treatments, my latest love.
I went with my husband, and on our arrival we found a gift box in the very spacious pool villa which included raw and tasty protein snacks, hand-blended bath salts with flower buds and aromatherapy oils, and a beautifully designed card with a meaningful message on it that appealed to me, going as I was through my mid-years, ‘searching for deeper meaning’ phase. ‘Because you are alive, everything is possible’, it read, which made me think beyond my usual boundaries. Such little touches make all the difference on a wellbeing break, and it set the tone for the rest of our 5-night stay.
My days would start with my morning meditation, followed by the daily yoga class by the beach taught by the resident yoga teachers who have been trained and certified by an international school in India. The early morning class is vinyasa flow, which they call Fusion Flow, and sometimes I would also return for the later class which was more restorative.
If I made it in time I would then delight in the superb breakfast spread, but the ‘breakfast any time anywhere’ option took away all pressure to be anywhere by a certain time. My life at home is all about time, or lack of, so it was seriously liberating not to have to think about making it on time anywhere.
In the first day or two I watched the team float around, and noticed that even during busy dinner and breakfast services, there wasn’t a stressed looking worker in sight. The GM told me they are taught as part of their training to be mindful in all that they do, and to do things gently and carefully. I really felt this as I settled in to my daily routine, and took on the mindful approach myself.
The treatments and the energy treatments were an absolute highlight, and I had at least one energy treatment each day as well as aromatherapy massages using the specifically blended oil of the day, and even a detoxifying massage using a bamboo rolling technique to stimulate the lymphatic system. As I slipped into a more mindful routine, I started to get more in touch with my subtle body – think meridians and chakras – and the treatments I had with the Reiki masters took me to new levels of awareness. They were deeply transformative, and the best energy treatments I had received anywhere. The spa puts this down to the purity of the Vietnamese people, who lead a very clean and simple lifestyle, keeping their channels open to transfer energetic healing so well. To keep the energy flowing, I would also go to the daily tai chi classes as well as the morning yoga.
The beauty of this whole trip was that I could go with my partner and leave him to his own devices whilst I retreated to my energetic world of bliss. He would swim, relax, walk along the beach and pick and choose what he wanted to join me on. He chose tai chi over yoga, the seafood option over the plant-based option, while we both enjoyed a glass of wine or two. Food was always exquisitely presented, and we liked eating the most at Fresh, the poolside restaurant with views of the ocean and good choices of gorgeous salads and grilled seafood.
We walked together on the pure sandy beach, which is ultra clean and genuinely stunning – though it seems many a hotel developer has worked this out, so we did see numerous construction sites on longer beach walks. Our room provided a haven for us alone or together, with its own plunge pool and sitting area where we could lounge around and read and sunbathe.
There were many couples at Fusion Maia, no families and a few solo travellers. It’s not a place to go as a solo traveller if you need entertaining or want a group environment, but if like me you are looking for a place that you can go within and settle into your own routine, then it’s a perfect retreat and one that I would happily visit again on my own.