One of the most anticipated openings of the year has finally arrived – Shanti Som Hotel Spa, nestled in the picturesque woods near the white village of Monda, just 15 minutes from Marbella, is now fully up and running.
Shanti Som is the realisation of a long held dream of Kezia Jacobsen, who has been working under the same name for many years under different guises – spa, therapy academy and holistic centre. With the opening of the hotel, months of hard work renovating and decorating to the high standard that Kezia has set, have come to fruition – an oriental style spa and retreat centre that is a study in understated luxury. Designed to be both a day spa and detox centre Shanti Som is open for anyone wanting to escape to rural tranquillity, enjoy fine healthy food in the top class restaurant, detox, cleanse and relax. The first impression as you arrive through the peaceful woodland approach is one of harmony – the original hotel was built using feng shui principles – with the sweeping driveway and the curved lines of the hotel roof. A magnificent motif depicting all the religions of the world shows the Shanti Som philosophy of dedication to spirituality in all its forms, and this sets the tone for the rest of the Shanti Som experience.
Different areas throughout the hotel, in the reception area, meditation garden, healing garden and pool area allow people to find their own space for quiet time while on retreat. The restaurant has been set up by Ben Hayes, a highly qualified and innovative chef, who has worked with Jamie Oliver in the UK, and more recently as executive chef with Terra Sana, before taking on the job of establishing the healthy menu for the spa. “We’re hoping to see people coming over for the day, for lunch, even for morning coffee,” Ben explained. “We offer something different from almost any other restaurant in the area – the surroundings, the quality of the food, organic ingredients, vegetarian options, fresh juices and all at every day prices, so we are not exclusive.”
One of the beautiful features of Shanti Som is that everywhere you go there is the sound of gently flowing water – from the natural river that runs nearby to the water features and fountains installed throughout the hotel, adding to the feeling of peace and tranquillity. Upstairs, the fourteen bedrooms are all themed with different colours and textures, many with hand painted walls and different colour schemes reflecting their names – love, peace, nature. Downstairs the spa has a fresh vibrant feel in apple green with a yoga room looking out on to the verdant fields of the surrounding countryside, steam room and sauna, therapy rooms and gym. The large covered outside yoga terrace has a Balinese style feel to it and everywhere there are references to Kezia’s love of oriental design – Buddha statues, lotus flowers, thatch, curved roofs and a feeling of quiet elegance.
“We have space for up to 28 people in total,” Kezia told me. “Large groups can be accommodated if they want to rent the whole centre, or smaller groups can book in and use all the facilities. We also cater for weddings and other events where people are looking for somewhere special, something different to anything you will find down here in southern Spain. With Shanti Som now fully open to the public, that special place is definitely available to all.
This post is also available in: Spanish