Slow Down in Sabah: Jari Jari Spa


Jari Jari Spa – the perfect place to slow down!

My trip to Borneo was jam-packed! I stayed at 3 different styles of hostels and hotels and visited yet another resort all in 4 nights.  I learned an incredible amount about nature in Kota Kinabalu and the wildlife within. By the start of my 4th full day in Sabah, I was exhausted. This was the day where my lovely guide took me around some city highlights and the Sunday markets.  We drank iced teh tarik (my favourite – a milk tea commonly found in Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore) and had laksa from a giant, famous stall I’m sure the late, great Anthony Bourdain had visited. After stocking up on souvenirs to bring back to my students, it was time to relax!

Jari Jari Spa is located in Suria Sabah (1, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia). The spa was right beside my hotel on the water by the pier. Even though it’s in a shopping mall, once inside the second set of doors you’re transported into a world of relaxation far, far away from the hustle and bustle of such a large center.

Services at Jari Jari Spa

I selected the Bayu-Bayu Relaxation Treatment (2 hours @ RM488  or about $150 Canadian), which included:

  1. Welcome Drink Warm Layo Tea
  2. Floral Foot Soak – 5 minutes
  3. Karayam Foot Scrub Coffee Borneo – 10 minutes
  4. Ear Candling Therapy or Facial Therapy – 45 minutes
  5. Choice of massage: Dusun Lotud Inan/Palad/Tanggara – 60 minutes


The Layo tea (a blend unique to Jari Jari Spa) reminded me of the tea H brought back from Cambodia because of the ginger. I sat back in a giant chair and soaked by feet in flower petals. It brought me back to our couple’s massage in Chiang Mai, and for about a second I had a moment to reflex on the past – these are the tougher moments of solo travel.

Jari Jari Spa’s Karayam Coffee Scrub

I was quickly pulled away from my daydream by the introduction  of my masseuse and the start of my Jari Jari Spa Karayam Coffee Foot (and leg) Scrub. I had never had a coffee scrub before, but would gladly have one again! Not only was the scent magnificent, I had such dry skin on my feet and legs from a long winter in Seoul followed by my time on the beach at the Shangri-La. Not only did I feel like I shed a layer (or several layers) of skin, I felt invigorated by the coffee itself. I would have been plenty happy staying there longer, but it was time to go for my facial and massage.

Facial Therapy at Jari Jari Spa

If Korea has taught me anything, it’s that taking care of your skin is the best way to stay young looking. I chose the facial treatment, and then went to change into a sarong and pop my hair into a shower cap. Jari Jari Spa’s facial is “a traditional organic facial therapy using organic cleansing lotion, facial polish exfoliating granules, hydrating mist, jojoba oil, hydrating collagen mask to complete with ultra lite moisturizer. This aim is to optimize the skin’s own resources and to help it regains its natural beauty, as well as for overall relaxation.” I’ve had some crazy facials in Korea, but this one was just mild and relaxing leaving me with a healthy glow.

When it came time for my massage I was asked to remove my sarong and get under a towel and a blanket. I actually managed to fall asleep several times throughout my massage! The only uncomfortable moment was laying on my front mid-way through. It was only about 3 months after my surgery, so while totally cleared by my doctor, it felt a little funny!

Jari Jari Spa – Dusun Lotud Inan Massage

My massage was a combination of Jari Jari Spa’s Dusun Lotud Inan and Palad.  Dusun Lotud Inan (The Paddy Field Massage) is a “distinctive massage technique involves applying pressure with the thumbs to the various pressure points in the body, especially on the neck, shoulders and back, magically unlocking and releasing tension and relaxing the muscles”. Palad (Palm of Hand Massage) is “a distinctive ‘Palad’ massage technique uses the palm of the hand to apply pressure that flows rhythmically to stimulate blood circulation and relieve tiredness and stress. Soothing and relaxing massage. Recommended for first timers or the elderly”. There were times when my overworked muscles felt like they were on fire, but as I said – I fell asleep several times, so it got the job done!

After my whole treatment I was on cloud 9. I floated back to my hotel, put on my bathing suit, and went to soak up my last sensational Sabahan sunset. What a beautiful long adventure it was!

Thank you SO MUCH to Jari Jari Spa and Sabah Tourism for hosting me. While this article has been written in partnership, all reviews are honest and opinions are my own. Anyone who has spoken to me about my time in Borneo will know that, while it was too much to pack into 4 days, Malaysia is beyond near and dear to me. The people I met and experiences I had in Borneo are second to none.

Malaysia (Sabah, Sepilok, Sandakan!) I L O V E you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *