The bay of Vilankulo, in the Inhambane province of Mozambique, looks out onto three of the five (some actually claim there are six) islands within the Bazaruto Archipelago. Bazaruto island, by far the biggest of them all, is known as the Sandy Island, famous for it’s dunes and home to Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort and Spa.
Think hammock, private villa and sun loungers. Right on the beach. On a private island. Add a serious amount of exclusivity and you’re getting close. The island is postcard-romance personified.
I was the only guest not on honeymoon. This fact was rubbed in over dinner, by candlelight – where I’ll admit to feeling more than a little lonely at my table set for one – and yet somehow I completely forgot to pack those feelings after this self-indulgent three day retreat in paradise.
What I did end up packing were memories of a Signature Sand Press Massage, (finally!) discovering a Rasul Room, and the sheer joy of my own company.
In all honesty, between those three things, who needs a honeymoon anyway?
THE ANANTARA BAZARUTO SIGNATURE SAND PRESS MASSAGE
Incorporating an African massage oil blend and heated sand compress, this unique treatment combines traditional Thai and oil massage techniques to relieve muscle tension, stiffness, pain and fatigue. Designed to stimulate the blood circulation and lymphatic system, while increasing energy levels, a warming effect promotes flexibility and deep relaxation.
Parcels of sand, wrapped in the Capulanas Mozambique is so famous for, are heated in a hot cabinet and then literally used to ‘roll’ a mixture of Moringa and Jasmine essential oil onto body. As the heat increases your blood flow, it feels as if your muscles ‘melt’ to the bone and you experience the most profound release into relaxation (and energy!)
THE RASUL ROOM
The Rasul is an ancient Arabic bathing ritual used by sultans in their harems. It targets all five senses through mineral-rich mud, heat, steam and the impression of privacy under a thousand stars. I personally think it a ceremony of every version of beautiful and romantic and sexy and therapeutic ever conceptualised.
Ancient Middle-Eastern techniques have been perfected to make Mud Rasul one of the richest spatherapies available for skin hydration and nourishment. Different coloured medicinal chakra muds are applied to specific areas of the body, while steam delicately infused with pure herbs is inhaled. The ritual ends with warm tropical water pouring from the sky to wash the mud away.
My selection of muds were infused with Jasmine and I steamed for 40mins. I literally started laughing like a child as rain fell from a those make-believe stars. I cannot wait to further explore the Rasuls of the world.
The whole concept behind the Rasul is for couples to connect with each other. You want to show your partner how much you love them and care for them. When you apply all these mud treatments for each other it is a physical exchange: I apply for you and you do the same for me.
The Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort and Spa is open for day visitors. Booking is as essential as a visit.
WORDS AND PICTURES © DARÉLL LOURENS
I travelled courtesy of ANANTARA BAZARUTO ISLAND RESORT AND SPA
Opinions expressed are my own