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The Spa at Mission Hills Haikou
The Creation of a ‘Spa Wonder’

Sprawled across 21 acres on the northern tip of China’s Hainan Island, in Haikou, is one of the biggest spas in the world. The lavish mega facility is spread out over numerous beautifully landscaped gardens and a natural spring reserve comprising 168 volcanic mineral springs.

Carved out of hundreds of acres of volcanic lava rock and ancient lychee tree strewn landscape, the Mission Hills Volcanic Mineral Springs and Spa in Haikou is an uber luxurious oasis designed to pleasure the most demanding international traveler/ spa buff. And puts it on the map of the world.

Story

Barely an hour’s flight out of Hong Kong is Hainan Island, China’s answer to Hawaii. Touted to become ‘the’ tourist destination of China, its location in the South China Sea allows for a gloriously temperate climate, a welcome change for a Mumbai-ite like me who’s more attuned to its current 35 degree Celsius temperatures. And I am in its capital, the ‘coconut city’ of Haikou heading to the Mission Hills Resort, already anticipating my visit to their wonderous spa!

The resort has already made headlines the world over for its 10 world class signature golf courses created by masters, its international golf tournaments and its mega spa facility with volcanic mineral springs. But what is amazing is that this luxurious five star property was built on a barren and bleak landscape of volcanic lava rock, ancient trees and sweeping wetlands, something quite impossible to imagine given its hundreds of acres of picture perfect gardens and meticulously kept greens.

Steering the resort build through its last phase and opening in March 2010 was Yum Siew Wah, General Manager Mission Hills Haikou who tells me how the amazing transformation was effected.

Architectural Inspiration

The Mission Hills Volcanic Mineral Springs and Spa is spread across a massive 21 acres (about 88000sq.mts.) with the entrance to the Volcanic Mineral Springs at one end, and the main Spa building at the other, connected by an 800-foot sinuous lava stone walkway covered by a roof made of local Hainan bamboo, which leads off into the different springs along its length. Designed and executed by the renowned S. B. Architects from San Francisco, the project was completed in just two years, from start to finish!

The massive round structure of the main Spa building and the towering elevated entrance way of the Mission Hills Spa was inspired by the unique circular Tulou buildings found in China’s Fujian Province, (now a World Heritage Site) and their people, who lived in harmony and balance right from

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the 11th century. In fact the circular form is repeated in almost all buildings in the spa complex, whether at the dramatic open-to sky Mineral Springs lobby or its various changing rooms.

The Spa architecture is also deeply rooted in local Hainan ethos through its dominant use of the volcanic lava stone as well as yellow bamboo, both abundantly available and easily sustainable. According to Yum Siew Wah, it was the vision of the Mission Hills Chairman and CEO Dr. Ken Chu, who wanted the spa as well as the entire resort to draw from its volcanic origins and yet have a contemporary feel and international appeal. The massive lava stone columns and walls with soaring yellow bamboo roofs create a powerful visual impact while providing a deep connection to the surrounding environment.

Spa Concept

The Mission Hills Spa at Haikou emphasizes on holistic wellness, rejuvenation of the body & soul and self realization, following the Chinese philosophy of balance and harmony. The key concept was to offer an expansive destination spa to its in-house guests as well as outside visitors giving them an international spa journey, which offers the best spa experiences in the world.

Quote

“Mission Hills plan was to create a world class spa which would give amazing and new experiences to the international traveler as well as the Chinese, in keeping with the Government’s plan of Hainan becoming the entertainment capital of China. “ Yum Siew Wah

The property had the unique advantage of being endowed with the largest volcanic mineral spring reserve in the region. Drawn from 800 mts. deep underground, the water has been certified in U.K. for its mineral content. The 168 mineral springs offer world bathing rituals to its guests.

Read the full story on emag.spamantra.in

Issue 7 Page 32

Writer Sandhya Chipalkatti (Editor)

 

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