At cazenove+loyd, we take wellness seriously, but it has to be done correctly if mind, body and soul is to get a full reboot. For example, yoga is best with a sea-view backdrop, cleansing menus should only use the finest, organic ingredients and most importantly, a retreat should fit you like a glove.
1. MODERN DAY WELLBEING: THE VANA MALSI ESTATE IN NORTHERN INDIA
Based at the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, The Vana Malsi Estate is spread over an impressive twenty-one acres, with over fifty treatments rooms and highly specialised teams offering bespoke, personal programs from acupuncture to aquatic exercise.
More of a modernist mind palace than a hotel, a walk around the retreat is easy and effortless. There is also something to be said about the food. Vibrant, colourful, organic and natural, each morsel is so beautifully presented it’s almost shame to dig in. Almost…
Notes from Destination Expert, Penny Buckley: “Everyone should visit Vana at least once in their life. It is without a doubt one of the most sophisticated and elaborate wellness centres in the world, offering a completely fresh perspective on physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.”
Favourite dish: “I couldn’t choose one. Every dish at every meal was more akin to the sort of creativity found on the plate of a Michelin starred restaurant. I ate so much, but everything was light, healthy and delicious.”
Treatment: “My course of acupuncture, chi nei tsang and cupping left me feeling more centred and relaxed than I have ever felt, but the signature facial with fresh coconut was out of this world.”
2. WELLBEING FANATICS: CHIVA-SOM INTERNATIONAL HEALTH RESORT IN HUA HIN, THAILAND
Beachfront health and wellness resort, Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Thailand is just two and a half hours South of Bangkok, but it couldn’t feel further away from the hustle and bustle. Over the years it has become quite the institute for wellbeing junkies who return every year to find new rooms right by the sea, more treatments to add to the one hundred and sixty seven already on the list and more activities to accompany thai boxing, pilates and hypoxic training. If you don’t know what that is, the enviably healthy staff, who are medically checked on a regular basis to achieve a Chiva-Som chi, are there to help. Even the retreat itself is guilt free – using three hundred square metres of solar panels to provide water heating for the spa.
Notes from Destination Expert, Alex Wix: “55% of Chiva-Som’s clients return to experience this world famous retreat with incredible food and highly trained therapists at every turn. Despite the rather disappointing beach, the recent refurb has given it the lift it needs to put it back at the top of its game amongst other Asian Wellness retreats.”
Favourite activity: “The new Hypoxic Training Chamber, which simulates conditions 5,000 metres above sea level, making it easier to burn calories.”
Favourite meal: “Steak in a green-curry and chickpea sauce.”
Room to go for: “We recommend the ocean-view rooms with a balcony – which offer great value for money.”
3. OUTDOOR LOVERS: COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE IN BALI, INDONESIA
Lush jungle and tropical bliss set the scene for Como Shambhala in Bali near the sleepy town of Ubud. Salute the sun next to a gushing river or trek through the delicate rice paddies, the effervescent landscape provides the perfect surrounding for natural detoxification. Healthy cleansing programmes, along with plenty of outdoor exercise, is the retreat’s answer to inner harmony whilst the delicious aqua marine pool, indulgent spa treatments and shady spots for stretching nod to the wholesome luxury that COMO stands for.
Notes from Destination Expert, Alex Wix: “This is my favourite hotel in the Ubud area, not just for the dedicated spa and wellness factor, but for its dense jungle surroundings and easy access to Ubud and the nearby stunning volcanic scenery”.
Best outdoor activity: “Difficult to choose between… mountain biking around Mount Batu or white-water rafting on the Ayung river. We also recommend our clients visit their fantastic jungle gym on the premises if you don’t want to go too far afield.”
Favourite room: “Easily the one-bedroom retreat, which gives you more privacy, an onsite spa room and private pool, whilst most other rooms share a pool.”
4. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE: KAMALAYA WELLNESS SANCTUARY AND HOLISTIC SPA IN KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
Set upon a pristine white beach on the shores of Koh Samui, Thailand, Kamalaya is the answer to first-time detoxers who would prefer more of a ‘how to’ approach to wellness. Programs are designed to tackle everyday life aggravations such as stress and burnout, emotional balance and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for life after your time away. The retreat itself is architecturally based around an original monk’s cave whilst fresh colours and Thai aesthetics create a homely effect that you might not expect of a wellness retreat. The vibe is inviting so much so that the lymphatic drainage therapy and cleansing meals are a welcome gift rather than a scary feature and luxury comfort can be found in traditional foot massages and its award winning spa.
Notes from Destination Expert, Penny Buckley: “My favourite spa in Thailand for its location on an unspoiled and peaceful beach, perfect for a morning dip after yoga! Kamalaya is stylish and intimate with plenty of character and warmth. The fresh and creative Asian menu makes healthy eating a real pleasure.”
Best Program for Beginners: “I think the ‘Relax and Renew’ program is great for first-timers, to completely de-stress, replenish and boost depleted energy levels.”
Favourite Room: “All the rooms are beautifully designed, spacious and contemporary, but the suites have gorgeous sea views and offer great value for what they are.”
5. ULTIMATE PAMPERING: FUSION MAIA IN DA NANG, VIETNAM
Stylish pool villas, vast pools, five different restaurants and beachfront luxury gives Asia’s first all-inclusive spa resort, Fusion Maia, a leading reputation for upscale wellness on an expansive level. Wafts of jasmine flowers fill the air and pristine gardens line paths to a deep blue infinity pool leading out to the East Vietnam sea.
Offering natural living programs, countless facilities and serious pampering, the resort ticks all the boxes of a fitness boot camp, a holistic retreat and a luxury escape. Endless walks on the beaches are a must and since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you can have it just about anywhere.
Notes from Destination Expert, Penny Buckley: “Fusion Maia ticks offers a beautiful white sandy beach, infinity pool, exceptional spa and attractive rooms. It attracts a younger crowd and has a laid back feel to it.”
Best breakfast location: “In the privacy of your own pool villa overlooking the ocean.”
Favourite spa feature: “I love everything on the spa menu – it fuses elements of the local Cham culture using local grown ingredients.”