From the most pampering massages to mouthwatering cuisine that heals you from within, consider this your Ultimate Spa Bucket List.
Best for: Wellness, Adventure & Balinese Wisdom
We start with a winning destination: The COMO Shambhala Estate in Bali was picked as one of the Best Destination Spas in the World by Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards (2013), won the Spa Cuisine of the Year Award at the AsiaSpa Awards (2013) and was one of the 50 All Time Favourite Hotels by The Telegraph Newspaper (UK, 2011)….the list goes on. Surely all of the accolades must point to something exceptionally spectacular?
Surrounded by the dense Balinese rainforest, this is a sanctuary truly nestled in nature. Lots of warm, earthy Balinese-crafted interiors will inspire meditation and long, solitary walks. Both are recommended if you’re a busy, stressed-out professional in your day-to-day life.
Wellness programs fall into 6 distinct categories, each of which has its own specialised remedy: Ayurvedic, Cleanse, Be Active, Stress Management, Rejuvenation and Oriental Medicine. No matter your ailment, rest assured you will find a cure.
The wellness theme carries on with a daily schedule of activities including: “Art of Living for Stress Relief”, “Intuitive Eating”, “Balinese Wisdom & Meditation”, an array of yoga sessions, a “Juice Class” and much more.
We hear adrenalin does wonderful things for overall wellness. If you seek rejuvenation, there are guided “adventure” experiences: Canyoning, rafting down the Ayung River and trekking up Mt Batur before dawn to witness the sunrise are just some of the highlights!
Oh, and you’ll always wake up on the right side of the bed when you’re expecting a complimentary, cooked-to-order breakfast every morning.
Best For: Healing the Mind, Body and Spirit
The seven-time winner of the annual Gold List Awards in Luxury Travel Magazine (Australia) is a fave with VIPs and celebrities the world over, and well-known for its comprehensive healing treatments (over 150 in total!). Personalised healing starts here.
The resort is situated in Hua Hin, offering guests scenic views of the Gulf of Thailand. On-site gardens and a lake add to the holistic aura. Interiors feature modern sensibility, with a touch of traditional Thai influence – your stay will be comfortable, restful and feel somewhat familiar. Leave expectations of the exceptionally exotic behind: the focus here is on the healing treatments.
The very first thing you will do at Chiva Som is consult with experienced Health and Wellness advisers to determine your health status, assess your needs (both short and long term), and structure an appropriate program through spa and physiotherapy treatments for stress and emotional relief, detoxification and weight management diets, holistic health remedies, blood and hormone screening, and even aesthetic and micro-invasive cosmetic surgery at the Niranlada Medi-Spa.
There’s a qualified panel on hand comprising naturopathic practitioners, medically trained dermatologists, massage therapists, dietitians and nutritionists, personal training instructors, yogis etc. – who will all be able to guide you along your healing path.
Best For: Secluded Tropical Luxury
The Winner in the Most Soulful Spa category of the 2014 Condé Nast Traveller Spa Awards strikes the perfect balance between luxury retreat and unspoiled paradise. Basically, this is where you come to experience the best that nature has to offer, topped only by the best creature comforts you could possibly buy.
It brands itself as a private island for a reason. Located on one of the many Cambodian islands speckled along the the Gulf of Thailand, Song Saa comprises under 50 rooms and houses the ultimate tropical island paradise.
Quite literally, anything you could want when stranded on a paradise island! Sunrise yoga, island and marine safaris, snorkelling and sea kayaking, in-villa movies, rainforest exploration, Buddhist ceremonies and cultural experiences are just some of the activities to choose from.
Of course, what’s a spa without its own range of wellness treatments?
A consultation with the Head of Wellness will lead you into the ultimate retreat comprising a selection from: various massages, meditation (regular or underwater), yoga, facials, bio-rhythm treatments, bath rituals, eye treatments, manis and pedis, marine flora face therapy and Buddhist blessing by monks. Fresh, sustainably sourced ingredients come together in the wholesome, Khmer-Western menu that will fuel your relaxation.
Best For: Gourmet Detox and Cleanse
#eatclean takes on a whole new meaning at The Farm, where the focus is on power of “live” foods. The wellness philosophy here is centred on the belief that when you nourish yourself well, you will change your life.
Expect lots of calmness at the base of Mt Malarayat. The resort is built over what was once a coconut and coffee plantation, and retains the carefully cultivated atmosphere – it’s easy to get cosy with nature when you’re surrounded by neat, gentle slopes of green with relaxing lagoons, ponds, waterfalls, gardens and tropical plants.
The detox and cleanse programmes here have a cult following, for good reason. 100% vegan, highly mineralised and low-GI food feature on the menu, which will be served according to your personal needs – to be determined during a Healing Health Consultation, Nutritional Assessment and Sustainable Lifestyle Discussion.
There are also various Healing Retreats on offer, catering to more specialised requirements (e.g. weight loss, diabetes management, holistic skin therapy, environmental detox, beauty & longevity, and more). All of which focus on your diet first, followed by complementary treatments (the likes of Colon Hydrotherapy and Nutritional Microscopy).
There’s also a range of activities on-site – yoga features prominently, as does golf. Two world-class golf and country clubs offer the ultimate golfing escape.