Leadership is essential to any organization, and THE BARAI is proud to have Sylvia Marsden as its Spa Director. In her years of experience in the wellness world, and in her time at THE BARAI, she has helped make a great resort even greater.

The leafy, seaside location of THE BARAI and the suite of botanical treatments available are a natural fit for Sylvia. Raised on a farm in Namibia, she looks to the natural world for inspiration and replenishment. And indeed, her introduction to the vital connection to the natural world started at home. “I was always exposed to a grounded and health-conscious way of living,” she notes. “My family used natural remedies to treat ailments as much as possible.” Drawing on this experience, she later received her education in Homeopathic Medicine, and has been involved in wellness since, both as a Homeopathic Practitioner and in the hospitality and wellness industry.

Sylvia’s personal wellness philosophy revolves around balance. As she points out, “there are three elements to wellness: emotional and mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and nutrition.” To her, the connections are everywhere, between the body, the environment, diet, exercise, and the plant, animal, and mineral products of the natural world. But it’s not just the physical and the material aspects of health – she hastens to emphasize “having fun and feeling happy are a key foundation to overall wellbeing.”

And a spa like THE BARAI, which she describes as a “protective cocoon,” is the perfect place to manifest this philosophy. Among the treatments at THE BARAI, Sylvia’s an especially big fan of The Barai Blend Massage, which combines hot oil massage and gentle stretching techniques with long, flowing strokes along meridian lines for ultimate revitalization. She also recommends the Customized Thai Herbal Compress, in which hot botanical compressions are applied as part of a full body massage. Both are available as part of The Barai’s new Lifestyle Collection.

Furthermore, as food is an essential part of this more holistic approach to health, she’s enthusiastic about the healthy menu at the McFarland House, The Barai’s seaside restaurant. Sylvia mentions, “If you don’t nourish yourself well, your body won’t have the right fuel to function. Eat a healthy and balanced diet, with ingredients as close to their pure, natural form as possible, and you’ll reap the benefits.” She’s an especially big fan of items like Vietnamese spring rolls and the roasted vegetable quinoa bowl. Not only is this menu healthy and clean, it also doesn’t skimp on flavor, nourishing spirit as well as body.