Let’s not kid ourselves. Living in Bangkok with its constantly cool happenings and vivid 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 both code and muscles and gotten hold of these secret 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 foodculture, 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 lakeside to hillside retreats and secret hideaways, unwind with a capital ‘U’ and practise the art of relaxation at these haunts. Inhale the wellness. Exhale the worries. And then definitely thank us later.

Featured image credit and hero image credit: COMO Shambhala Estate

1
Emotional Well-being Retreat at Chiva-Som Hua Hin, Thailand

You need not look far if you’re looking for wellness from Bangkok. Whilst the city has plenty of day spas and even retreats to offer, those looking to escape the concrete jungle for a wellness weekend still well within reach, need not look further than Hua Hin. Here, Chiva-Som has long been synonymous with Thai holistic wellness, with an array of customised treatments to suit. This June, tend to your mind and soul with their special Emotional Well-being Retreat. Between wellness cuisine, yoga, acupuncture, water therapy, and restorative spa treatments, the retreat is focused on building on mindfulness, stress management, and mental balance. It’s ideal for those who stay up all night overthinking (you know who you are), and it’s wholly refreshing to see an entire wellness programme centred around well-being of the mind. After all, inner peace and happiness always start from within. Chiva-Som Hua Hin gets it.

The Emotional Well-being Retreat is available year-round. Prices vary by season.

Chiva-Som, 63/4 Petchkasem Rd., Hua Hin, Thailand +66 32 536 536

2
Spa House Experience at Amanoi, Vietnam

Between pristine jungle and crystal-clear waters, Vietnam’s Amanoi is a dreamland for any wellness-seeker from the get-go. The spa resort looks over Vinh Hy Bay, and is located between its own private beach and a protected wilderness sanctuary. This June, take your spa retreat to the next level and book the Spa House Experience for a wholly immersive escape. You’ll get to relax in utter privacy, with two spa therapists tending to you for three hours of treatment per day. The secluded houses offer the best balance of adventure and tranquility, and are located either by the lake or within the greenery. With plenty of sunshine and a cloudless horizon (no really, Amanoi benefits from an incredibly unique microclimate), it’s the perfect place to escape and switch off, even if only for the weekend.

The Amanoi Spa House Experience is available from now until 31 March 2021. Prices vary by season.

Amanoi, Vinh Hy Village, Vinh Hai Commune, Ninh Hai District, Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam, +84 259 377 0777

3
Sip Sen Royal Lao Massages at Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, Laos

If there is one destination that is really starting to get quite some buzz lately, it is this one: Luang Prabang. The UNESCO World Heritage town with a hint of French colonial architecture and a heap of friendly Southeast Asian charm is proving a beautiful weekend escape, treasured for its sights, but also its slow pace of life. To complement any and all of these features, do as the Laotians do and indulge in a Sip Sen Royal Lao massage. The Belmond La Residence Phou Vao offers this soothing treatment at their hotel spa, located within quiet wooden huts atop Phou Vao hill. A massage once reserved purely for royalty, Sip Sen is based on ancient Buddhist philosophy, and is designed to relax, detoxify, and free the body’s energy channels. Combined with local botanicals and French beauty regimes, the spa provides a wholly relaxing experience, with a touch of lingering history.

The Sip Sen Lao Massage is priced at approx. THB 2760++, and is offered year-round.

Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, 3 PO Box 50, Luang Prabang, Laos +856 71 212530

4
Cleanse Programme at COMO Shambala Estate, Indonesia

There are few places that know how to put together a luxury resort stay with a sense of holistic wellness quite like COMO Shambhala Estate. The Balinese spa resort combines villa living with state-of-the-art facilities, and plays host to many a tailored wellness programme. This June, take part in the Cleanse Programme: a retreat focused on increasing energy levels, balancing hormones, improving digestion, and breaking cravings (late night fridge visits, we’re looking at you). You’ll be served tailor-made menus featuring whole-food cuisine, alongside prescriptive juices, teas, broths, and tonics, before engaging in classes and treatments. These depend on individual needs, but could include everything from nature treks to colonic hydrotherapy. The goal is to come out feeling renewed and revitalised, and to take this inspiration back to a healthier lifestyle back home. Lastly, though we aren’t sure which programme they may have engaged in, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend stayed here too, so we’re pretty sold on this one.

The Cleanse Programme is available year-round, and starts at THB 24,000/day. Programmes can last anywhere from 3 to 14 days, and are individually crafted for each guest.

COMO Shambhala Estate, Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod Payangan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, +62 361 978 888

Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.