Zaitania Spa at Grand Hyatt Bogotá

by Angelique Platas

Dec 1, 2018
December 2018

IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE IN FIRSTS during my recent trip to Bogotá, Colombia: First trip to Colombia, first time in South America, first stay at a Grand Hyatt hotel and first Swedish massage. Not to mention, all at the largest spa facility in Colombia, South America and the Caribbean — the Zaitania Spa in the Grand Hyatt Bogotá.

After already spending a couple of days in the hotel exploring the fitness facility on my own and joining a tour with the general manager, I was familiar with the Zaitania Spa before my appointment. With 11 treatment rooms (three designed for couples) offering a wide variety of therapies, massages and facials; the neighboring near-Olympic-sized pool and several smaller therapy pools inviting guests for a dip before or after a treatment; and high-end makeup and lotions for purchase, it’s no wonder the brand-new spa extends through the entire third floor of the hotel.

The spa is a world of its own — so much so, locals can purchase a membership to the spa and use their own entrance and cubby in the locker room, completely separate from hotel guests.

Most guests enjoying a spa or therapy treatment head to Zaitania early to find a locker, put on a robe and slippers and make their way to the pool area before their appointment. Knowing I would appreciate my spa treatment 100 times more after finishing some work in my hotel room, I skipped the pre-spa pool experience.

Once I made my way to the spa for my massage appointment, I strolled around testing aromatherapy lotions as I waited for my masseur. His name was Oscar, and he greeted me with an impressively firm handshake — what I considered a good sign for my Swedish massage. He escorted me to my room, showed me where everything was, including small shorts and a top to wear during the treatment, before he disappeared so I could change and hop onto the table.

After a few days of walking all over Bogotá, I was looking forward to my 50-minute massage — a nice timeframe for my post-work, pre-dinner schedule. Oscar came back about 10 minutes later and put on some soothing music.

Treatment room © GRAND HYATT BOGOTÁ

Treatment room © GRAND HYATT BOGOTÁ

Not knowing what to expect and wondering what made the massage “Swedish,” I knew it was show time as aromatherapy scents of tangerine and vanilla filled the room. I couldn’t tell if it was the oil used for the massage or just a fragrance, but it was incredibly soothing and refreshing at the same time.

As the massage began, I could feel the tension in my shoulders and back beginning to ease. The foot-to-leg massage was a great way to begin. My masseur focused on one side first, then the other, and I thought I was going to fall asleep by the time he worked on my back and arms. Normally, I like a tougher massage with alternating pressure — something along the lines of deep tissue — but this was somewhere in between. The parts that needed deep-tissue attention, like my shoulders, received a tougher touch, but not so much on my legs and arms, where the pressure was lighter.

One unique aspect I’d never experienced before: My masseur pulled my arm behind my back with my elbow at a 90-degree angle and pulled my arm and shoulder side to side, about five times, one arm at a time. I assume it was to further loosen the muscles, but I have to admit I didn’t really feel a difference in tension. I did, however, notice the effect on my neck as he began stretching it back and forth.

Back to my shoulders and behind my neck — I guess I was super-tense — and then a head massage. Signaling the treatment was almost concluded, it was time to roll over and spend the last few minutes with a towel over my face while receiving a light massage on my arms and front of my legs.

Now a bit more alert — I was nearing sleep a few times — I could hear the music winding down and sense the entire experience coming to an end. Oscar grabbed his music, thanked me and left so I could change. I wondered why I said, “You’re welcome!” instead of thanking him, but I’ll blame it on the language barrier and my post-massage brain.

Once ready to change, I noticed one whole wall in the room was a floor-to-ceiling window, covered by blackout curtains. I wondered what the experience would have been like with the curtains open and all the sunlight of Bogotá streaming in.

The bathroom was beautiful in a simple but luxurious way. So beautiful, in fact, the steam shower tempted me before I headed back up to my room to change for dinner. The marble touches and light, subdued colors were equally calming and uplifting. I thought again about the big, beautiful pool and how I would have to find time to get in there the next day.

Zaitania Spa
Grand Hyatt Bogotá
Calle 24A, 57–60
Bogotá, Colombia 111321
tel 57 1 6541300
hyatt.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Feature
Oct 22, 2019

Airbnb Acquires Urbandoor

Homesharing giant Airbnb recently acquired Urbandoor, a startup specializing in furnished and serviced apartments for longer-than-normal work trips, relocation periods or for other long-term stays.

Thessaloniki: Culture, Good Food and Shopping

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece and the most important center of the area. Built near the sea, elegant and refined, the Greek “Lady of the North” is a modern, vivacious city that welcomes visitors eager to learn about its history and culture, and at the same time have fun, relax, go shopping or simply explore the cityscape by the sea.

News
Oct 22, 2019

Luxury Collection Plans 2020 Saudi Arabian Debut

Marriott plans to bring its Luxury Collection brand to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2020. The Assila Hotel in Jeddah joins the Luxury Collection portfolio next year.

Feature
Oct 22, 2019

Southwest Now Accepts Apple Pay

Apply Pay, the iPhone payment tool, is now available for flights on Southwest Airlines.

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

eFlyer Reviews
Oct 22, 2019

Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Review

The addition of 50 high-end Explorer Cabins upped Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite’s game in the rustic-luxury market by attracting those who want upscale amenities but desire an outdoorsy mountain experience — “cabineering,” as Tenaya calls it, or roughing it in the woods without the rough part.

eFlyer Lead
Oct 22, 2019

Airlines Maintain Boeing 737 MAX Cancellations Through February

The Boeing 737 MAX cancellations will continue through the new year and at least one airline is keeping them grounded even longer to avoid disruptions down the line.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

Daily
Oct 22, 2019

Holland America Line’s Club Orange Available on All Ships

Holland America’s Club Orange premium amenities program is available on all ships as of this month. Previously only available on nine, Club Orange provides guests with stateroom upgrades, access to onboard events and extra privileges such as a dedicated concierge hotline. Newly available through Club Orange is the upgrade guests receive to the best available stateroom at the time of purchase. Guests also now enjoy a surprise event during the cruise, ranging from a behind-the-scenes tour to a private meet-and-greet with onboard entertainers.