Stepping into the serene lobby of the Westin Hotel Kuala Lumpur, the commotion of the city suddenly disappears. As I’m led into an elegant lounge area where fruit-infused water and homemade cookies await, the hustle and bustle of working life fades into a world away.
A tour of the hotel quickly turns into ooh’s and aah’s as cameras click at luxurious suites, stylish restaurants, a fully-equipped gym and a rooftop pool area that will – literally – elevate you from all your worries.
Jojo Struys, one of the Westin’s Well-Being Advocates, is soft-spoken and graceful as she leads our first workshop: The Art of Relaxation. It’s an incredibly insightful session on stress – so pertinent in our modern lives – and how simple breathing exercises can alleviate our anxieties. From alternate nostril breathing to the ‘bee breath’ (a buzzing breath that will literally drown out negative thoughts), we all find ways to get that peace of mind. Key takeaway: if you can’t take a moment to slow down and imagine the ideal life you want to live, how will you be able to attract it?
Feeling relaxed, I adjourn to my suite to drink some chamomile tea and snack on a dome-like structure of chocolate the Westin kindly indulged us with. Wrapped in a soft bathrobe and with book in hand, I was utterly content.
Time to Eat Well. Embodying the Westin’s goal to provide wholesome and delicious nutrient-rich food, we were served a scrumptious three course meal that was so superfood-charged we could fully enjoy with abandon. Highlights include a striking deconstructed pandan cheesecake and banana-blueberry mocktail.
Our next workshop, Stretch to Sleep, begins with a rather surreal sight. Over a dozen plush beds, arranged in one of the hotel’s foyers, with Jojo waiting in the middle. What ensues is a gentle drift into a tranquil mind for sleep, guided by Jojo’s voice and accompanied by tension-relieving yoga postures on the beds. After floating in and out of consciousness, we are finally led back to our rooms to sprawl across our own opulent beds and fall into an extra deep sleep.
Morning yoga beside a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the city is not a bad way to start. The Mental Positivity & Inner Calm workshop helps centre ourselves for a mindful and balanced day. Being outdoors makes it even more profound – surrounded on all sides by blue sky, there was still a deep connect with nature despite meditating atop a skyscraper.
Breakfast proves to be another luxurious experience in itself with its wide variety of choices. Perhaps even better than the food is the conversation, as losing ourselves in perfectly cooked omelettes soon turns into being engrossed in a Q&A with Jojo, whose background and philosophy are very enlightening.
While gleaning knowledge from Jojo about ways to inject calm and positivity into every aspect of our lives from work to relationships and family, it is clear why she was chosen as a Westin Well-Being Advocate. The Westin prides itself on its dedication to holistic yet luxurious hospitality, creating an environment that aims to rejuvenate and pamper, while being mindful of each person’s needs. Walking away from this weekend, I feel equipped with the tools to tackle stress and find a moment each day to still my mind. And if ever in doubt, I recall Jojo’s soothing voice: just close your eyes, slow down, and breathe.
The Westin Kuala Lumpur. 199, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2731 8333.