Let’s not kid ourselves. Living in Bangkok with its constantly cool happenings and vividly livid social scenes can be exhausting. The city has plenty to offer and much to love thereby, yet there are times even the conscientious city dweller will admit they’re one Sun Salutation away from losing the plot. Yet they don’t. And do you know why? They’ve cracked the code (and their muscles) and gotten hold of a secret of two words: spa resorts.
Spa resorts in Southeast Asia are no recent discovery. We flourish in wellness on this side of the globe, between traditional Thai massages and ancient Ayurvedic practices. It’s something the region is particularly good at (besides food, culture, and shopping, though we digress), and it’s something that makes up a big part of our lives. After-work massages are a thing in Bangkok. Oil treatments and yoga are the norm in Mumbai. And you can’t really say you’ve been to Bali if you didn’t come back at least internally more beautiful.
Regardless, it can be difficult and sigh-fully time-consuming to know and plan just where to head, or even where to start. Therefore, we’ve taken it off your busied list and put together a host of spa resorts in Southeast Asia for you to check out every month. From mountain to beach retreats and secret hideaways, unwind with a capital ‘U’ and practice the art of relaxation at these haunts. Inhale the wellness. Exhale the worries. And then definitely thank us later.
Hero image credit: Bawah Reserve
You can’t spell ‘wellness weekend’ without mention of Aman. It would just be downright weird. The luxury boutique resorts (named after the Sanskrit word for ‘peace’, no less) have long been known for their indulgent and contemporary hideaways, with Amanpuri being perhaps one of the most iconic in their repertoire. Just last month, the Phuket retreat unveiled Aman’s first Holistic Wellness Centre, introducing new intensive wellness immersions within their warmly Thai and often Hollywood-celebrity-graced property. Featuring a 12-suite Aman Spa with infrared saunas, hydrotherapy areas, and a two-floor hilltop fitness centre with a yoga pavilion and juice bar, guests can choose from medical, therapeutic, and beauty wellness goals at the centre, with personalised programmes to suit. Ranging from one to five day immersions, it’s the first time Aman is offering an extensive range of medical services, alongside its infamous spa treatments. Between a Wellness Concierge, comprehensive nutritional plans, and private classes, it’s clear that wellness at Amanpuri’s new centre is not just a complement to the visit, but rather its calming and immaculately executed key purpose.
Amanpuri, Pansea Beach, Cherntalay, Phuket, +66 76 324 333
For those looking for a hideaway of the most beautiful, idyllic kind, break away from the land and head to Bawah Reserve. The luxuriously sustainable retreat is composed of 6 islands, featuring 13 private beaches and 3 lagoons, located a mere 160 miles North-East of Singapore. It’s the kind of place that leaves no room for fuss or worry, with all spa treatments and guest experiences part of the all-inclusive luxury package. Arrive via a charming amphibious seaplane, and indulge in a range of marine activities and beachfront massages, for a tranquil and rejuvenating spa resort experience. It’s the ideal spot to create your own adventure and explore the island, seek a sun kiss, or do nothing at all. The options are endless, in the very best of ways — regardless of whether your practice of relaxation entails a detox programme at the Aura Spa, or a nap in your over-turquoise-waters bungalow. It’s not really a pickle to choose; it’s a hidden paradise.
Bawah Reserve, Anambas, Riau Islands, Indonesia, +65 6322 3132
Fusion Maia too provides an all-spa-inclusive experience, making it a popular destination for wellness-seekers in Vietnam. Comprised of a range of elegant private villas, the spa resort is themed around a Natural Living programme. This is made up of eight components: Feel Free, Eat Well, Get Social, Enjoy Nature, Be Active, Open Your Mind, and Act Mindfully. And yet whilst these sound like a very fruitful mantra and affirmation for when you’re back in the city, it’s beautiful to see the Da Nang retreat truly live through this concept. Indulge in your room-rate-inclusive and guaranteed (!) two spa treatments a day, before nipping back for a quick dip in your private pool, and enjoying the ‘breakfast anywhere, anytime’ policy by the waterfall. Vietnam does not have as long and as infamous a luxury spa resort history as its Thai, Indonesian, or Indian counterparts, yet with Fusion Maia it’s exciting to watch and experience its flourish.
Fusion Maia Da Nang, Vo Nguyen Giap, Khue My, Ngu Hanh Son, Da Nang, +84 236 3967 999
If Ayurvedic treatments are your jam and you’re looking to take wellness very, very seriously, head to the Himalayan foothills. Here, the award-winning Ananda in the Himalayas sits on an Indian Majaraja’s Palace Estate, overlooking the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the Ganges river valley. Combining traditional Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta with international wellness treatments, the spa resort is centred around a restoring of balance and harmonising of energy. The programmes are extensive, ranging from 3 to 7 nights, with an integrative healing programme of 3 months available, too. Choose between a host of all-inclusive packages, each tailored to individual health goals, and based around either detox, weight loss, fitness, rejuvenation, stress management, or renewal. In many ways, India has long (and we mean centuries-long) been a haven for holistic and spiritual practice, and something tells us that on return from Ananda in the Himalayas your refreshed mind, body, and soul will agree.
Ananda in the Himalayas, The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar Tehri, Uttarakhand, India, +91 124 451 6650
It wouldn’t be a wellness weekend without a little Eat Pray Love, so do as Liz Gilbert does, and head to Bali. Located on the eastern side of the island, the Alila Manggis is launching yoga retreats this 24-29 March and 24-29 April for a chance to stretch those troubles away. Calling itself a ‘haven of serenity amidst a coconut grove’, the resort is located between the sea on one side and Bali’s famous sacred Mount Agung on the other. The yoga retreat will be led by Ami Effendy, with the aim to practise and understand yoga, journey into self realisation, and embrace the subtle art of letting go. Each day comprises of 3 yoga sessions in an ocean front yoga shala, spa treatments, and unlimited wellness-oriented food and beverage. There are also complimentary Tai Chi classes, bicycles, and dive classes available, and it’s likely that on your departure your ‘Namaste’ may suddenly start sounding like a ’Nah, I’m gonna stay’. We can’t say we didn’t warn you.
Note: The Yoga Retreats package rates start at approx. THB 43,225++ for single occupancy. Head to the Alila Manggis Yoga Retreat website for more information.
Alila Manggis, Desa Buitan, Manggis, Karangasem, Bali, +62 363 410 11