The Ritziest Wellness Retreats In Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is home to some amazing health and wellbeing retreat options that combine the nurture you seek with a healthy dose of five-star luxury.
With each new year comes new resolutions. Eating better, working less, and taking time out to enjoy the simple things in life are all common goals. But, around this time of the year, most of our resolutions have gone out the window. There’s an easy way to get back on track though. It’s called Southeast Asia wellness retreats.
Attending a health and wellbeing retreat either at home or aboard is a secret weapon in the resolution battle; it’s like having a personal coach in your corner, an opportunity to learn the mental and physical skills needed to see you last longer than you would otherwise on your own.
And while there are plenty of basic retreats out there where plant-based diets and hours of self-reflection are the name of the game, there are some amazing options that combine the nurture you seek with a healthy dose of five-star luxury – particularly those in Southeast Asia.
If you need to recharge, here are three luxury Southeast Asia wellness retreats worth making the trip to:
Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak, Malaysia
Named among the ‘Top Resorts in Asia 2017’ by Conde Nast Traveller, YTL Hotels’ Pangkor Laut Resort is all your tropical island dreams rolled into one – and it’s five-star all the way.
Set on a private island just three miles off the west coast of Malaysia, this exotic hideaway features luxurious hilltop, garden, sea view, and spa villas, complemented by a range of fantastic restaurants, a beach club, and, not just one, but several infinity edge pools.
Nature is a key part of the experience, with rainforest around the resort home to long-tailed macaques and oriental pied hornbills, large monitor lizards sunbathing on the island’s rocky outcrops, and plenty of hidden coves to just relax and enjoy the beauty of the location.
The real star of the resort, however, is the Spa Village – a dedicated wellness retreat with eight treatment pavilions, three healing huts to consult with Chinese Herbal, Ayurvedic and Malay practitioners, two bath houses, three spa huts, and even three nap gazebos where a little shuteye between spa treatments is not only possible but encouraged.
Easily accessible from Perak, this wellness retreat is worth making a pilgrimage to.
Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary, Phuket, Thailand
Nestled beside Cherngtalay Beach on the serene west coast of Phuket, Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary is more than just a luxurious place to stay – it’s a complete wellbeing destination.
The resort offers a full holistic program that runs the gamut from daily yoga and meal plans to unlimited massages, with a menu of 50 different wellbeing activities to choose from.
Pilates, naturopathy, mindfulness exercises, and even Thai boxing basics are just a handful of the diverse options available. If you’re unsure where to begin your holistic journey, there are also four carefully curated wellness programs designed to focus on specific goals.
Of course, beyond its wellbeing focus, the Banyan Tree is also an incredibly luxurious adults-only resort with just 12 exclusive Spa Pool Villas in total, each 550sqm in size and set amid private gardens with a 20m lap pool, jacuzzi, outdoor bathtub, steam shower and more.
Chiva-Som Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
Real wellness is about more than just throwing on activewear and saluting the sun at the crack of dawn – it’s a holistic approach focusing on both the mind and the body at the same time. Three hours south of Bangkok, Chiva-Som is a retreat that takes this approach and runs with it.
Once you’ve arrived at the resort, a wellness advisor helps delve into the goals you have for your visit and tailors a customised programme featuring a range of activities such as yoga, pilates, physiotherapy, personal training, and meditation. In addition to your scheduled treatments, you can also enjoy a complimentary daily massage of your choice.
The resort itself is a sight to behold too, with 54 gorgeous guest rooms set in the tropical gardens, each furnished in rich timbers, stone and silk. Other features include 70 treatment rooms at Niranlada Medi-Spa, a kinesis studio, Watsu pool, dance studio, flotation pool, bathing pavilion, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, and indoor swimming pool.
Helping maintain the tranquil atmosphere, Chiva-Som has a policy where tablets, phones, laptops and other devices can only be used at the library. Think of it as a digital detox.
Whichever resort you choose, the skills you pick up are sure to stay with long after you leave, and, before you realise it, those new year resolutions may finally be achieved.
(Lead image: Pangkor Laut and Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts / supplied)
Published 19 February, 2019