Review: Happy Feet, Zen Spa Kiulap

Kaylie and I went to Zen Spa yesterday afternoon after our high tea session at Patisserie Cake Shop. Happy Feet is the name of the treatment we had yesterday. I called in to make an appointment for two at the very last minute but luckily, they were able to fit us in at such short notice. Well, not exactly very short notice since there was a time gap of about more or less an hour or more before the scheduled appointment.

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The guest receiving area of Zen Spa is not as grand as what Thann Sanctuary Spa has. But it’s still good enough.

I am actually more of a Thann Sanctuary Spa person but I would look for new places occasionally depending on which treatment I am after. Kaylie did told me that the foot spa at Zen Spa were quite good but she went to the one at Serusop. But according to her, she preferred Kiulap branch better after what we had yesterday. Upon arriving, we were being given a consultation form just like what I had at Thann Sanctuary Spa previously. But the one at Thann Sanctuary Spa is more comprehensive though. And we were asked if we wanted any drink. I think they provide both plain water and tea.

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Plain water

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Decorative on the table

After we completed filling in the consultation forms, we were being ushered to the common foot massage room by two of our therapists. As I mentioned above, we had Happy Feet treatment. It’s actually a package which came with foot soak in royal jelly or some sort, scrub and massage. If you go for their normal foot massage, it’s priced at B$28. So, why not fork out extra 2 bucks and you’ll get extra treatments as well? The receptionist at the counter highly recommended us this package since it’s much more money value worth comparing to the normal foot massage.

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Feet soaked in royal jelly for about 15 minutes before our therapists start with the scrubbing and massage. Bear in mind that the scrubbing here is not applying lotion with salt grains on your skin, but it’s actually removing those calluses and dead skin cells with filers. And that’s what I needed actually. I used to do foot scrub every time when I was doing pedicure previously. But I decided not to after some time because constant foot scrub may result our foot soles become “thinner”?  LOL!

When you sunk both your feet into the bucket, you could feel the jelly thingy around them. Hahaha … And they smelled like almond milk. I am not a huge fan of things with the scent of almond milk but this one smelled quite mild to the extent that Kaylie couldn’t even smell it. So, I was okay with it. The jelly thingy would turn into liquid after some time when the water had slightly cool down.

In terms of the massaging, I think my therapist did not apply too much pressure on my feet as I do not feel any pain. Or perhaps western foot massage is completely different compared to traditional foot massage? I was practically screaming in pain inside my brain when I was doing a Chinese foot massage back in Nanjing, China last April 2012. But nevertheless, it was still a comfortable foot massage and I felt a bit sleepy by the end of the foot massage.

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10

Zen Spa Kiulap
Unit #9-11, First Floor,
Suria Kiulap,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Brunei Darussalam.
Tel: +673-2237777

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Review: Pedicure @ Nails&Wax, Airport Mall

I would usually have a pedicure session at the least once in a month. But I would usually have it done at a local hair salon instead of a nail parlor. But I felt like splurging the other day so I asked if Kaylie wanted to have pedicure at Nails&Wax. I knew that she would definitely agree as she usually had her pedicure done at Nails&Wax.

A lot of people told me that it’s a waste of $$$ to visit the nail parlor or hair salon just for pedicure, but I thought otherwise. You know why? I had been suffering from ingrown nails since I was 17 and up till now. My big toe nail doesn’t grow out flat and square but round and curving inside instead. The ingrown nails penetrated pretty deep most of the time and it’s almost impossible for me to extract them out myself. So, why not just let the professionals deal with it?

Upon arriving at Nails&Wax and informed the staff-in-charge about your reservation, you will be asked to change into the cute and fluffy household slippers provided by Nails&Wax.

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LOL! Cute, isn’t it?

Before the manicurist starts with your pedicure trimming, she would ask if you wanted to have your nails colored. If you do, they have a few lines of shelves on the wall whereby you will be spoiled with choices of different brands of nail varnishes. The major brands that Nails&Wax carried are O.P.I, essie and china glaze. I, on the other hand chose to use my own nail varnishes which I got from the duty free shop at Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport. It’s also from O.P.I and I got it for AUD$12.50 each. About half price cheaper compared to getting it in Brunei.

Source: HairHouse Warehouse

This is what I used, O.P.I Nail Lacquer – You Calling Me A Lyre

A maximum of 4 patrons could only be served at a time. Four comfy chairs were provided with an individual sink for your feet. Sink in your feet so that your skin would be softer and easier for the manicurists to do their jobs.

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A tablet was thrown inside the water so that your skin doesn’t get dry out for being in the water for too long. The water was adjusted to the right temperature, it was neither too hot nor too cold. I was being given an extremely hot water previously when I was doing a pedicure session. Couldn’t remember which hair salon was that, but there was this one time for real. Before we went to Nails&Wax, Kaylie called in to book an appointment for the two of us. She specifically requested for both Juliana and Rachel. According to Kaylie, these two manicurists were good. They do their job quick and not harsh at all. That, I have to completely agree with her.

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I was being served by Rachel as Kaylie was usually served by Juliana. Loved her hair, they looked so soft and shiny. How I wish my hair could be like hers. Just like what Kaylie mentioned, Rachel was indeed very gentle when removing the cuticles or trimming my nails. No painful feeling at all compared to the previous few times when I had my pedicure done at other hair salons. She even gave me advices on how I should cure my ingrown nails.

She suggested that I should just let my big toe nail grow past the flesh so that I don’t have to do pedicure all the time to remove the ingrown nails. But she did warned me that it’s gonna be painful for the next 6 months until my big toe nail is completely grown. If I ever experience any pain in within these period, I could always go back and she could trim and remove the dead skin cells for me. Of course, not for free. But at least, she can get rid of the painful feeling. My pedicure session took longer than Kaylie as my ingrown nail problem was pretty serious.

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Kaylie, being served by Juliana. At first, I thought Juliana is a local or perhaps a Malaysian Chinese. But it turned out that she’s actually an Indonesian Chinese. Was pretty surprised since her Chinese was so fluent just like us Chinese folks. And she’s really pretty!

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Hahaha … Vain self shot of myself. Realized that my left cheek angle looked better than the right.

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Taken at home coz I had forgotten to take a picture of my nicely trimmed nails when I am done at Nails&Wax. The nail varnish which I used was very nude in color. Basically, you couldn’t see much of the color, but it will make your nails looked nice and all shiny!

Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Verdict: Customer service was good and the manicurists were friendly. Household slippers were provided upon entry and they were comfortable. There is WiFi connection at Nails&Wax but I am not sure if it’s for the patrons. I like that they have their own washroom instead of having to use the common washrooms provided by Airport Mall (just in case if you are in an emergency in need to take a pee or dump). Hahaha … The manicurists were gentle and they would ask if you are in pain when they are digging out some dead skin cells underneath the nails especially when you have ingrown nails like me. They even provide professional suggestions on how you could take care of your nails.

And of course, first class service would definitely comes with a higher price compared to the rates given by those at local hair salons. I could usually get normal pedicure done at about B$8 – B$10. But it’s B$25 for a standard pedicure treatment at Nails&Wax. The package comes with basic cleaning, trimming, and coloring of your nails. And they use branded nail varnishes like O.P.I, essie and china glaze. Foot scrub and basic massaging comes with the package as well. I liked the lotion that they used. It doesn’t leave your feet feeling sticky and slippery when you are walking. I would usually avoid foot lotion whenever I am doing a pedicure at the other local hair salon coz the lotions which they used were normally too oily for my skin and they don’t get absorbed properly. But the ones used at Nails&Wax smelled very nice and they get absorbed into my skin real fast.

So if you don’t mind spending extra bucks on a pedicure treatment, I would highly recommend Nails&Wax. Look for both Juliana and Rachel. They are extremely professional.

Nails&Wax
Unit 25, First Floor,
Airport Mall,
BB2713,
Brunei Darussalam.
Tel: +673-2232884 / +673-7182884

Foot Reflexology @ Thann Sanctuary, Brunei

If you have been constantly keeping up with my blog, you would have known that I am quite of a big fan of Thann Sanctuary despite the price is on the steep side. I don’t go very often. Sometimes like once in two months. I had been trying to maintain once in a month but then it always clashes with my time of the month. Whenever I wanted to go for a massage session, it’s always the time when “Aunty Red” came to visit me.

I was busy with a Charity Expo last weekend that my Company participated in and I was required to provide assistance at our sales booth. Been standing for two whole days and my legs were sore. So did my foot soles. Wearing flats was never a good idea. And I don’t have a pair of decent sneakers that goes well with my slacks. So, I went to work with a pair of sandals that I bought from U.R.S Inc a month ago. And it doesn’t do any good too. At least, my toes weren’t as hurtful as my foot soles.

So, I drove myself to Thann Sanctuary which is located in Kiulap and the same building as Capers Italian Pasta & Pizzeria yesterday after lunch at home. It was during lunch hour and everywhere was congested but I managed to find a perfect parking spot. Hahaha … I went for my Foot Reflexology without any reservation. Luckily, the spa wasn’t packed so I can still get my massage without any reservation. I was greeted by my usual masseur.

I was being brought to a room with three huge comfy couches. Each couch was separated by an aquarium. Firstly, the masseur would bring in a bucket filled with warm water which is infused with rich mineral lemongrass bath salt for you to soak your feet. Then the masseur will proceed with massaging your back and shoulders whilst waiting for your feet to fully soaked up. The shoulder massage was extremely comforting and relaxing. But excruciatingly painful when she hits on certain spots at the bottom of my back. It must be very sore down there. The masseur advised me to come for another session of massage to relieve the tensed areas.

I was told to sit back and relax on the coach after the shoulder and back massage was completed. The masseur went away for a while with the water bucket and came back with a pillow alike pouch filled with beads inside and it’s warm. She will drape the pouch over your shoulder and it’s warm. The purpose of the heated pouch is to loosen up tensed muscles.

Massage was 30 minutes and it was comfortable. I am considering getting a 60 minutes Foot Reflexology next time. A 30 minutes session of Foot Reflexology is B$25.00 and B$45.00 for a 60 minutes session. I have also reserved a 90 minutes session of Sport Recovery Massage for this Sunday and I am expecting it to be an extremely painful session. Hahaha …

Thann Sanctuary, Brunei

 
Sister and I both visited Thann Sanctuary last Sunday for a 90 minutes massage session. I would usually book the first session most of the time when I go there. I had been having quite a severe back pain for a few weeks. Should have went there for a therapy earlier but I insisted on waiting till my Sister gets back coz I don’t wanna do twice in a month. It’s expensive, you know? This was my second visit actually. The treatments were good but expensive.

Anyways, I had Sport Recovery Massage this time instead of Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage that I had previously while Sister had Thann Detoxifying Lymphatic Massage. I visited their website before I went for my first massage few months ago. Their website provides a detailed information of their treatment menu. If you are unsure which treatment is the best for you, you can always visit here and read through to have a better understanding on their treatments.

 
See the six glass cans in the picture? They are like potpourri but not exactly. They are the dry ingredients of the aromatic essence oils that they’ll use on you when doing your treatment. Different treatments will have a different selection of suitable aromatic essence oil. It’s not that you’ll get to choose one among all six. I was only being given three to choose from. They were lavender, sea coral and lemongrass (not sure if I recall the right thing, but it’s about that). I chose lemongrass. Sister did not get to choose any of these coz Thann Detoxifying Lymphatic Massage is a “dry” massage.

 
This is the one that I chose.

If you were a first timer, they will give you a Spa Consultation Card to fill whereby you put in your personal details and which parts of your body that you want your masseur to focus on. So, Sister being the first timer got to fill in the form this time. Hahaha …

 
Additionally, they will serve you drink as well while you wait for your masseur to greet you from the lobby and bring you to your treatment room. You can choose from either plain warm water or tea. Sister chose tea coz she was inclined to purchase their tea products displaying on the shelves. She was lucky that they served her Lavender White Tea coz that was the one that she wanted in the first place. Oh boy, she was so glad that she got to try beforehand. Frankly speaking, it tastes like the ordinary with no slightest taste of lavender at all.

 
Lavender White Tea

Okay, enough introduction of the spa. There is no picture of the treatment room coz it was too dark in there to have a clear picture. Thann Sanctuary do not have a couple room, unlike Zen Spa. If you are cautious of having to share the same room with your friend when you are stripped half naked, Thann Sanctuary will be the one for you. Hahaha …

Your masseur would ask you if you want to have a shower before massage. It’s advisable to have a shower beforehand coz you will not be allowed to shower three hours after the treatment. But I normally showered at home, so I only get changed. And the most important thing is not to have a heavy meal before any treatment or else the entire session of treatment will be an uncomfortable one. And avoid both caffeine drinks and oily food after the treatment.

According to Thann Sanctuary website, Sport Recovery Massage “focusing on relieving specific stress and muscle tension, this deep rhythmic pressure massage, combined with specially blended massage oil, gives the whole body a vigorous workout. The treatment incorporates the stretching of muscles to help improve your range of movement.” Frankly speaking, this is one hell of a painful treatment. If you are not someone who can handle pain well, I’ll suggest that you put this out your list. But if you have a severe back pain like me, this is what you should consider though.

Before the treatment, I specifically requested my masseur to put extra pressure this time. I have no idea that the treatment itself was this painful. The temperature of the room was well adjusted and the background music can actually calm your nerves. I dozed off for quite a few times during the treatment. Hahaha … So, you can imagine how comfortable it was. The price of a 90 minutes Sport Recovery Massage is B$75 while it’s B$85 for Thann Detoxifying Lymphatic Massage for the similar duration.

Rating: 9 out of 10. The price offered may be expensive but you get what you paid for. Customer service and ambiance were good.

Thann Sanctuary
Unit 8/9, First Floor,
Bangunan Seri Kiulap,
Bandar Seri Begawan,
Negara Brunei Darussalam.
Tel: +673-2235599

If you have a hard time figuring out the location with the address given, don’t fret. Thann Sanctuary is located in the same block as Capers Italian Pasta & Pizzeria. Thann Sanctuary is just right next to Jungle Gym.

Pedicure

Had my pedicure this afternoon at AMO Salon after lunch at Cheezbox Cafe & Restaurant. Wanted to go AV Electronics to check if they still have any iTunes Gift Cards in stock but they were closed for two hours for Friday prayers.

I have been to quite a lot of nails parlor for pedicure before, and AMO Salon is the only one that I am most satisfied with. The price is extremely reasonable and the manicurist is skillful with 3D nails art! The shop is above a Malay restaurant, if I am not mistaken. The building is in between Grand City Hotel and a car showroom.

I paid for B$16 for this design, which is cheap. If you are also a big fan of pedicure, you can always try AMO Salon. Look for a lady called Evelyn. Her schedule is always fully packed. So, I would recommend a call-in to 2455124 beforehand to avoid disappointment.