(No.7, Vol.4,Aug-Sep 2014 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

With the advent of direct flights to Cam Ranh Airport and a greater international profile, Nha Trang is fast becoming one of the most visited cities in Vietnam. The glorious tropical climate, welcoming locals, beautiful bay, great seafood and a laid-back way of life all contribute to its charm. But there are two things which have really made Nha Trang world famous; its mud baths and spas. The city boasts three mud bath resorts and a host of excellent spas. A day soaking in a mud bath is a treat is a ‘must do’ for any visitor to town. Similarly, a day at a high-class spa is simply a joy. One can lay back, leave the world outside for a few hours and be pampered in style.

In Nha Trang, there is only one place where visitors can get accommodation, mud baths and a great spa under the one roof. That is the brand new, four-star Galina Hotel and Spa at 5 Hung Vuong Street.
The spa and mud bath complex takes up three levels of the hotel. In the basement is the spacious and comfortable reception area, which sets the scene for the rest of one’s visit. It is relaxed and user-friendly and the staff welcomes clients with a warm smile. Aromatherapy, various massage, facials, hair and nail care, nail art, body scrubs, foot care and pedicures, manicures, reflexology and waxing are all offered to make it a genuine ‘one stop health, beauty and well-being shop’. There is a kids’ games area so parents can kick back and relax for a while.
On one level is the mud bath treatment area with its 18 separate tubs, able to hold up to six people. Hop into the warm therapeutic liquefied mud and either frolic or relax for 20 minutes or so. The body tends to float in the mud giving a sense of weightlessness. It is a real ‘buzz’ for the first time user. There are outdoor showers under a large artificial tree nearby to clean off and the facility is in an essentially outdoor setting. Part of it is sheltered under a faux ‘cave’, complete with stalactites. An interesting addition is the holes in these stalactites, presumably to attract the Salanganese Bird, world-renowned for its nest, which is the basis for one of Asia’s iconic dishes, birds’ nest soup.
The area is beautifully landscaped with ferns, bamboo, shrubs, orchids and hanging baskets with overhead shade-cloth protecting clients from the direct sun. Views of the rugged jungle-clad mountains of the hinterland add to the general ambience and charm.
In the same area, there is a large sauna next to a similar-sized steam room to sweat away the excesses of Nha Trang’s famous after-dark hospitality industry. If by some chance more hospitality is required, there is a small café/restaurant next to the pool and Jacuzzis offering light meals, soft drinks, juices and arguably the cities’ finest handcrafted beers from the local microbrewery.
On the next level is the spa itself and the term ‘luxurious’ is not out of place. There are a myriad of treatment areas, including VIP-themed rooms with Japanese, Vietnamese, Arabian and European décor, offering the ultimate spa experience in the city.
Clients are looked after by experienced, fully trained and amiable staff and therapists who treat their clients with friendship and respect, looking after their every need. The experience is one of pure indulgence and escape. A massage at Galina Spa is an experience not to be missed. Clients are asked if any part of the body requires special treatment or attention and what level of pressure they would prefer so a custom massage can be arranged.

Photos: Galina Hotel & Spa

It is not to overstate matters to say clients want for nothing at the Galina Spa. The forethought that has gone into the design and layout of the facility, plus the services offered, is considerable and painstaking. The well-being and needs of the client are foremost in its planning and experienced heads have been at work to establish a great complex.
When you come to Nha Trang put the Galina Hotel and Spa on your ‘to do’ list. There is nothing quite like it in town and if you are an overseas visitor on holidays, you owe it to yourself to have some glorious, self-indulgent pampering at least once during the trip. You may not get the chance to repeat an experience like this.

Galina Hotel & Spa
05 Hung Vuong St, Loc Tho Ward,
Nha Trang . Tel: (058) 383-9999.

Dave Lowe