It’s understandably hard to pull yourself out of the corporate rat race to take that well-deserved break, but when you do, you’ll want to make it count. Thankfully, Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most picturesque and tranquil islands, so you don’t have to travel far to immerse in some quality downtime.
More so when these islands house resorts that pay just as much attention to their wellness offerings as they do to their living quarters. Now that wellness has become the new hook in the travelling industry, destinations have begun prioritising it in their messaging, promising guests the quest of inner peace throughout their stay.
These best island spas in Southeast Asia have made the list for not only their amazing locations, but also for offering some of the most exquisite treatments with a localised twist.
The ancient capital of Luang Prabang might be one of Cambodia’s top destinations this year, but its offshore offerings make an even better escape for the weary. The Song Saa Private Island Spa is an eco-luxe establishment that stretches over a pair of pristine isles, with little “sanctuaries” dotted across the island.
Amongst the most popular treatments are the Rainforest Facial — a 75-minute therapy that uses raw ingredients from the Amazon Rainforest — and the Khmer Traditional Spa and Massage, which uses traditional techniques and herbal compresses to restore the body’s energy.
Gently contrasting its tropical setting is Sala Samui Chaweng Beach Resort on Koh Samui, a sun-splashed sanctuary that’s defined by its refreshingly modern curves. Its brand new wellness centre, the Sala Spa Chaweng, follows the same contemporary aesthetic to create a haven that marries both design and tranquility.
Nestled within the heart of the newly-unveiled Garden Wing, the intimate spa follows the same celestial theme with moon-shaped elements and rooms named after bodies of the solar systems. The treatments are equally divine, with an extensive range that includes invigorating massages, detoxing wraps, and refreshing scrubs. The experience is made even more authentic by the fact that only organic products from leading Thai brands are used here.
Inspired by the sacred Khmer Kbal Spean River, the Six Senses Spa on Cambodia’s Krabey Island is an escape that blends into the lush canopy of trees and tropical landscape. Holistic rejuvenation is a big aspect here, so those seeking a little more than a massage or facial will enjoy the spa’s Integrated Wellness screening. Programs will then be personalised depending on your goals, ranging from boosting your metabolism and energy levels to even brain power.
Other highlights include the Crystal Water Room and Meditation Cave — for all your chakra realigning needs — and an Alchemy Bar for blending essential oils and skin care products using pure local ingredients.
If the name sounds familiar to you, that’s because the same spa is housed within Capella Singapore’s historic Sentosa enclave. The award-winning spa brings its therapeutic offerings to Ubud’s most luxurious rainforest hotel, harnessing the energies of the lunar cycle just like the local one does.
Still, it’s a different experience all together. The Auriga Wellness programme there offers an array of local activities such as Balinese dance-inspired classes and rice paddy trekking for the days you’re not indulging in a New Moon or Senja Sunyi Massage — a combination of Shiatsu & Javanese massage techniques.
For a complete digital detox, the spa’s ‘Confined to Quarters’ programme includes the moon treatment, yoga sessions, raw detox lunches and bedtime rituals to encourage you to disconnect from your iPhones, and reconnect with people and nature.
Nestled within the untouched oasis that is Pulau Moyo and christened with a name that translates to ‘peaceful forest’, Amanwana is a gem that’s made just for those looking to revitalise their senses.
Its Jungle Cove Spa — an open-air sanctuary — sits just steps away from the water’s edge, and it’s there where most of Aman’s lauded treatments are carried out. The Indonesian-influenced Amanwana Massage is always recommended, but the resort’s spa is also known for its sea salt scrub, which incorporates local moyo honey and peppermint oils for a truly decadent experience. Other treatments such as the Indonesian milk bath is also a must-try — the detoxifying treatment sees an hour-long massage and scrub before you immerse yourself into a warming milk and herbal bath.