Need help kick-starting your wellness goals in 2020? As always, Guru has you covered. We've got a list of health and wellness retreats to help nurture you back to good health after all that holiday indulgence. Whether you're interested in doing yoga, detoxifying your body with wholesome, nutritious food, relieving your frustrations and stress, or even just getting as much sleep as you can, they've all got something for everyone.
The Hideout Koh Yao
If you wish to unplug from everything, this is the spot. The Hideout gives you an opportunity to escape from reality and to live the tropical jungle life on Koh Yao Noi.
To make you feel one with nature, accommodation comes in the form of impressive treetop villas (think Tarzan's house, but five times more fancy) cascading down the hillside with stunning views of Koh Yao's coastline and nearby islands. Each villa comes with an open-air bathroom that is camouflaged amid treetops. It has a tub, rainshower and organic and handmade toiletries. On the second floor, you'll find a spacious bedroom under a thick thatched roof, with a king-size bed overlooking the sea.
The resort offers six wellness programmes, which include yoga and meditation (B12,600 per night), digital detox (B17,000 per night) and weight loss & weight control (B20,000 per night). All programmes include accommodation, daily yoga and meditation sessions, gentle fitness classes, mindfulness sessions, classic massages, three meals a day and personalised wellness plans. There are also exclusive women's health programmes led by certified instructors.
Note: All meals are organic with vegetarian, vegan and halal options available upon request.
Amatara Wellness Resort
Set on the peaceful shores of Cape Panwa, this wellness sanctuary is home to more than 105 suites and villas, offering all-inclusive health retreats that combine together a delightful stay with an organic, wholesome diet, wellness activities and personalised health plans.
Here, elegant wood-accented accommodations come in sizes ranging from 60m² to 150m² — all with private ocean-view balconies. Go all out with the Bay-View Pool Villa, which comprises a private pool with an expansive view of Cape Panwa (starting at B66,542 for a three-night retreat).
The resort features common health programmes including detox, stress and weight management, and burnout recovery. Prices depend on the room type, with a minimum three-night retreat, starting at B47,721 for the Bay View Suite and B49,709 for the Ocean Pavilion.
However, if the resort's activities and fitness programmes are not your cup of tea and you simply crave quality sleep, try the five-night sleep retreat, designed to help guests with insomnia. Each guest will get customised therapy after offering an individual wellness consultation and physical analysis. A sleep study using in-house polysomnography (an overnight sleep test) will also be conducted.
Chiva-Som International Health Resort
This luxurious health escape places a heavy focus on holistic healing practices that rejuvenate and empower the mind, body and spirit. The resort offers more than 13 retreats, which cover a variety of wellness options to meet your specific goals — from diet detoxification to a cell vitality retreat for guests who are recovering from cancer. The retreat periods range from three to 14 nights, with rates depending on the accommodation (starting roughly at B84,000 for a minimum three-night retreat in an Ocean Room).
One of the interesting programmes is the Emotional Well-Being Retreat, specifically designed for guests with physical tension and frequent lack of energy. You get to choose between a programme duration of 10 or 14 nights, and both include naturopathic consultation, two yoga classes, acupuncture, three holistic therapies, three daily meals, regular fitness programmes, a cooking class and pranayama.
Apart from a well-equipped gym, the resort also offers a wide variety of wellness facilities that include a fitness testing room, dance and Pilates studios, Tai Chi pavilion, yoga sala and yoga pavilion.
RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort
If your goal is to enjoy a retreat without leaving the city, head to this 140-year-old antique teak wood boutique resort in the heart of Chiang Mai. A short walk from the Night Bazaar, the resort has a calming serenity and is known for its spa therapy and treatments, complete with a hydro pool for aquatic therapy. On-site facilities include a fully-equipped fitness centre and wellness spa, yoga studio, outdoor swimming pool and restaurant.
The three-night wellness package is priced at B26,000 per person or B32,000 for two, inclusive of a daily spa treatment, daily breakfast and dinner, round-trip airport transfers, access to the onsen, hydrotherapy pool and yoga classes. If you're looking to shape up, the weight management package, priced at B32,200 per person or B43,800 for two, takes care of meals for four days and provides a well-rounded schedule of spa, yoga and fitness.
Museflower Retreat & Spa
Rejuvenate by a private lake at this all-inclusive vegetarian retreat in Chiang Rai. The retreat acts in equal parts as a hideaway resort, a spa & yoga studio and a holistic healing centre. All treatments pay attention to physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. An hour's drive from Chiang Rai International Airport, the retreat is deep in the woods making it ideal for a quick escape from the restlessness of city life.
Choose between yoga, spa and soul packages (three, five or seven nights), which include three vegetarian buffets a day, yoga & holistic therapy sessions and spa treatments. Prices begin at B17,400 per person.
In addition to yoga and wellness classes (like energy healing, yogic breathing and mindfulness meditation), there are fun activities to ensure you have a good time. They include cycling around the countryside, going on a tour of the resort's organic farm, where guests can pick up fresh duck eggs and a variety of vegetables, or attend a vegetarian cooking class, which uses produce from the garden.
If a peaceful stay is all you're after, choose to design your own programme with prices starting at B2,470 per person per night.
Tania Ho, Museflower Retreat & Spa's founder and owner
How are wellness retreats different to wellness trends?
I think wellness retreats are unique as they allow a person to be physically away from their daily life and habits. Sometimes we need to take a break, literally and metaphorically, so we can pause and reflect on where we are in life, where we are headed and the purpose of our lives.
This break in the form of a wellness retreat also allows us downtime and space to be alone, which is a luxury in a modern busy life, to process emotions, to heal with nature and ultimately to reconnect with ourselves.
When we are away from our daily lives, we are also more open to try and explore new experiences. I believe that these experiences allow us to stretch beyond our comfort zones and hopefully, recognise the infinite possibilities that we all can access in our lives.
Museflower emphasises on holistic healing; can you elaborate?
Holistic healing is not only focusing on physical health, but also on the emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual health of a person. Many physical ailments and diseases are linked with our emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. If we want to get better and feel better, we must be open to make changes on all levels.
Chelsea Dyer, Naturopathic Wellness consultant at Amatara Wellness Resort
What are the differences between a retreat and a holiday?
Unlike a typical holiday, a wellness retreat offers travellers more than just relaxation and pleasure. When people take a wellness retreat, they visit with a personal goal in mind, which could vary, such as general relaxation, pampering, detoxifying, de-stressing, losing weight, improving their physical, emotional and mental well-being, or rebalancing the body and mind. Then, they either select a well-designed retreat that suits them or provides them with a personalised programme to suit their goals. Therefore, not only do guests experience a new level of rejuvenation and serenity in a peaceful and supportive environment, they also leave with the tools and energy to maintain their well-being long term.
What can guests expect from a wellness retreat at Amatara Wellness Resort?
Our guests can expect an all-inclusive healthy holiday when they take a wellness retreat programme, which personalised wellness consultation and dedicated treatments and activities to suit the purposes of their visit. While enjoying a stunning view of the Andaman Sea, a variety of therapies, including our signature Thai hammam experience, massages, facials, ayurvedic treatments, fitness and meditation activities, targeted treatments such as colon hydrotherapy, wellness cooking classes, private yoga, naturopathy or nutrition consultation, physiotherapy, sleep-enhancing treatments and more, can be enjoyed. Before their departure, guests will meet a wellness consultant to review their progress and the design of their post-visit, healthy living plan, while learning about continued health and well-being improvement.