How do you incorporate wellness into your travels?
Do you build a rest day into your busy itinerary?
Is spending time outdoors what you need to refresh your mind and body?
Or, like my friend Oli at Travel Bugs World, do you spend each day of your vacation engaging in the art of slow travel?
When I recognized that a few hours of total relaxation was directly connected to my well-being, I resolved to add a spa day to my travel experiences.
Near the end of 2019, I used the time I spent at The Cove Atlantis in the Bahamas to take a digital detox. The disconnection from social media was beneficial to me, and I achieved a level of rest and relaxation that I have never experienced during travel.
Before my arrival at The Cove Atlantis, I scheduled a spa treatment at the Mandara Spa at Atlantis Paradise Island. I chose a couple’s massage with an upgrade to a deep tissue massage. Booking my treatment before our arrival saved me 25% with a discount code that was available on the website.
Spa Tip: When booking spa treatments in advance, check the spa website to see if discounts are offered. Take a screenshot of the offer code and don’t forget to mention it when you call. If discount codes are not listed on the website, call or email the spa to ask about any discounts or specials being offered during your visit.
Every communication that I received from the Mandara Spa at Atlantis Paradise Island emphasized the need to arrive at the spa at least thirty minutes before a scheduled treatment. I took careful note of this, because Daylight Saving Time ended the night before my appointment. I kept an eye on the time and set an alarm on my phone, and on a sunny Sunday morning, my husband and I began our journey to the spa with great anticipation.
The Mandara Spa was a short walk away from my room at The Cove Atlantis tower. The pathway is lined with palm trees that sway in the warm breeze and as I approached the entrance to the spa, the soft colors and change in landscaping made it clear that the atmosphere was one of relaxation.
It only took one step inside the Mandara Spa to let me know that my stay at Atlantis had transitioned from ‘fun in the sun’ to ‘rest and relaxation’.
The interior of the Mandara Spa greeted me with warm mahogany tones on a small bridge that featured clear glass flooring and a cascading waterfall on the left. There was soft music playing in the background, and as I walked over the bridge to check in for our reservation, I felt like I had left every care in the world on the other side.
A cheerful greeting came from behind the counter, and Perez introduced himself to us. He went over the spa treatment I scheduled and mentioned the discount we would receive because of the offer code I applied when I booked in advance. (YAY ME!)
We were told about the amenities we could enjoy before our couples massage in our separate changing areas. My husband went to the men’s lounge and changing area, and I went to the women’s lounge and changing area.
Spa Secret: Guests that book a treatment with Mandara Spa at Atlantis are granted access to the amenities inside the lounge for the day.
This means that you can come and go as you please within spa operating hours.
“Leave time at the door and enter a sanctuary where wellness meets wonder.”
~Mandara Spa at Atlantis Paradise Island brochure
Upon entering the women’s changing area and lounge, I received a warm greeting from a spa representative who handed me my robe. She walked me to the lockers, showed me where the towels were located, and made sure that my locker opened with the code I was given. The locker is very spacious and I was happy to leave it all behind for an afternoon of relaxation.
The warm tones and soft sunset-like lighting present in the spa lobby are also elements that are present in the women’s changing area and lounge.
“Time is the ultimate luxury. There is nothing like time for self.”
~Mandara Spa at Atlantis Paradise Island Brochure
Do you remember the thirty minute arrival window suggested by the spa that I mentioned earlier? The benefits of arriving early were evident when I entered the relaxation area.
As soon as I exited the changing area and lockers, I walked into a room lit with ambient lighting that changed colors every few minutes. The steam and sauna rooms are in this area and soft lounge chairs line the left and right sides of the room.
Straight ahead of me were two plunge pools, described as “Taking of the Waters” in the spa brochure. One pool is a warm hydropool and the other is cold. I chose the warm pool, sat on the ledge nearest to one of the two waterfall features, and literally soaked in the moment.
The spa also features an aromatherapy room with three lounge chairs. This is an area with soft lighting where guests can experience soothing scents that immerse the senses even deeper into the spa experience. Though I used most of the time from my early arrival at the spa in the hydropool, I couldn’t resist a few moments in this room.
When relaxation is taking place, time passes quickly. I exited the hydrotherapy pool, and before I knew it, a spa representative was softly calling my name from the hallway of the lounge. I followed her to an area where my husband was waiting, and we made our way through a labyrinth of softly lit hallways to a therapy room.
Our therapists confirmed the treatment we would be receiving and asked if there were any areas where more deep tissue pressure needed to be applied. The 50-minute massage was exactly what I needed, and I felt like a new person afterwards.
Our spa therapists led us back through the hallway and we were invited to enjoy the unisex relaxation lounge located on the second floor of the spa.
The waterfall feature present on the first floor of the Mandara Spa extends upward into this area. Warm mahogany tones, lighting that reflects that of a Bahamian sunset, and ultra comfortable seating made the lounge extremely inviting.
After spending a few minutes in this lounge, my husband returned to the men’s lounge and I went back to the women’s lounge to get dressed for my pedicure.
Upon exiting the women’s lounge and relaxation area, I stopped at the desk that welcomed me when I first entered the lounge. A friendly spa representative inquired about my massage treatment, and I was offered a choice of a mango or coconut sorbet to help me rehydrate.
I chose the coconut sorbet, which was not too sweet and very refreshing.
The Salon area of the Mandara Spa at Paradise Island is just as inviting as the other parts of the spa I had already visited. I chose a nail color that would compliment the dress I was going to wear to an event that evening.
Perez, whom I met when I first entered the spa, checked in with me during my pedicure and offered me another sorbet. Who was I to refuse? I chose the mango sorbet this time, and it was as tasty and refreshing as the coconut sorbet I had enjoyed earlier.
When my salon treatment was complete, I returned to the women’s Relaxation Lounge to retrieve my belongings from the locker where they were placed at the beginning of my spa day. By this time, I felt completely relaxed and rejuvenated.
I took my phone out, not to check messages or to post on social media, but to take a photo with my husband.
Mandara Spa at Atlantis Paradise was awarded the title of “The Bahamas Best Resort Spa 2019” by the World Spa Awards. After my visit was complete, it was obvious that this award was earned through excellent customer service, a luxurious guest experience and an environment that lends itself to total wellness.
This day at the spa made me realize how important it is to take care of myself when I travel. Mandara Spa at Atlantis Paradise Island engaged the five senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch) to incorporate total wellness. After this visit, I hope to experience a spa day at other Mandara Spa locations.
If you regularly incorporate wellness into your travels, leave a comment and let me know about your experience.