Health and wellness travel is becoming increasingly popular. Thailand offers some of the best luxury wellness centres in the world to help you restore your inner peace and have you return from holiday feeling fit, refreshed and prepared to take on the world again. Here are four of the best.
Chiva-Som (Haven of Life) offers luxurious health and wellness retreats. Beginning with a current health assessment, the resort focuses on personal treatment programs to balance and rejuvenate mind, body and spirit; and on lifestyle improvements incorporating naturopathic and conventional medicine.
There are 11 retreats to choose from, with minimum stay of three to five nights. Stays include spa cuisine meals, complimentary physical analysis and skin consultations. Choose from the daily treatment program and participate in the daily fitness and leisure activity regime, ending with the Water Therapy Suite (steam, sauna and jacuzzi). Expert health professionals will advise on diet, exercise, relaxation, de-stress, wellbeing, fitness and anti-aging.
Guestrooms are personalised with scented oil burners, bathroom amenities and bed linen customised to individual taste. Prices range from 90,000 Thai baht (about A$3,383) to 276,000 Thai baht (about A$10,372) for three nights.
Up in Thailand’s north, the architecture of the Dhara Dhevi resort in Chiang Mai reflects the influence of the historic Lanna Kingdom. The sanctuary is studded with symbolic Buddhist motifs recreated by Chiang Mai artisans from the original Burmese template in Mandalay, Myanmar. Renowned for its spacious accommodation, restaurants and spa, the resort offers a range of recreational therapies from Europe, Asia and North Africa designed to help guests appreciate nature and leave the stress of everyday life behind.
The Dheva Spa is modelled on ancient Mandalay palace architecture, including a seven-tier lobby of ornately carved teak. Facilities include 25 treatment rooms and suites, each with a private bath, steam shower, heated marble scrub table and private relaxation area. The hydrotherapy room offers Vichy shower, heated scrub table, hammam, rhassoul (mineral clay) and watsu (a combination of aqua-therapy and shiatsu massage) pool.
Rooms range from the Spa Suite (A$576 per night) or an oriental-style suite in the Dheva Spa area, to the Royal Residence (A$ 6,935 per night), a residence in a private compound with three pools, three king-sized beds and three twin bedrooms with a private lounge with a grand piano and bar. Packages are charged extra to the room price and consist of facilities such as Energy Field Imaging (about A$197), Royal Thai Ceremony (about A$374), and Spinal Rejuvenation – a spine and head treatment for office syndrome (about A$200).
Specialised treatments include the three to 21 days of Dosha Balancing from the Ayurvedic Program, Mardarum, literally “friction” (about A$255) and Pottali Abhyanga (about A$206).
The award-winning wellness sanctuary offers an opportunity for a spiritual awakening and healthy holiday. Located near a cave that once served as a place of meditation for the Buddhist monks, the name Kamalaya translates to “Lotus Realm”, a symbol for the growth of the human spirit.
Wellness programs include detox, counteracting stress and burnout, yoga, healthy lifestyle, emotional balance, holistic activities and personalised programs.
Rates are accommodation-inclusive and based in the hillside garden view room, per person for single-occupancy. They also cover three healthy cuisine or detox cuisine meals per day, a round trip airport transfer from Samui airport, wellness consultation, use of steam cavern, swimming pools, plunge pools and fitness centre, attendance to scheduled holistic activities and specified wellness treatments, therapies and services. Prices range from 54,022 Thai baht (about A$2,022) for the three-night Relax and Renew Program, to 280, 830 Thai baht (about A$10,507) for the two-week Comprehensive Detox Program.
Kamalaya also offers tailor-made programs for specific outcomes and can adjust the intensity or focus on particular areas such as Ayurveda, naturopathy or traditional Chinese medicine. This takes into account the individual’s medical history, lifestyle, personal preferences and desired outcomes.
Layana Resort & Spa
Koh Lanta Yai
A combination of Thai culture and modern luxury, the Layana Resort & Spa is a recent winner of the 2015 World Luxury Spa Awards. The Linger Longer Spa offers health and beauty treatments focused on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. In a garden setting, it comprises six air-conditioned treatment rooms, a salt room, a sauna with shock shower, an outdoor jacuzzi and hydro-massage pool.
Treatments include massage, body scrubs and wraps, foot care and facials. Signature packages range from from the Layana Experience, which includes an Aromatic Nature Facial and Layana Signature Massage, at 2,990 Thai baht (about A$112), to Romancing Layana, a four-hour treatment for couples, which starts with a sauna and sea salt scrub, followed by a Dead Sea caramel mud wrap, floral bath, Swedish massage and an aromatic nature facial for 9,790 Thai baht (about A$360).
The resort has 51 luxurious guestrooms and suites including garden pavilion rooms, beach suites, ocean deluxe suites and one La Maison, designed in a contemporary Thai style with large balconies. Rates from 10,000 Thai baht (about A$375) to 44,300 Thai baht (about A$1,659) per room per night.