There is a time in our lives, when we all feel that we could do with a break. Not just any type of break, but an all-out, indulgent, pamper-ourselves, get-away-from-it-all type of break.
For the lucky ones that actually make this happen, then the following Lifestyle post on Dreamy Spa Resorts (Asia) may get you booking the next flight, and for the rest of us, well, that's why this post is titled 'Dreamy' because at least we can dream about doing it!
No feature on Spa Retreats in Asia would be doing it's job, unless it featured a resort in Thailand. There are lots to choose from, many based on the islands and stunning coastline. However, one of the best is the Four Seasons in Chiang Mai, in the rice fields of Northern Thailand.
A stay here offers an escape from urban pressures, with experiences such as Thai Cooking classes, Yoga, Hot Air Balloon rides over the rice paddy fields, with of course, world class spa health and fitness facilities. The spa treatments are inspired by ancient Thai rituals, with indigenous herbs, spices and aromatic oils, using organic ingredients and traditional methods.
After leaving rural Thailand, our next destination spa is in the honeymooner's paradise of the Maldives. This island nation (just under 1200 islands - 200 of which are inhabited grouped into 26 atolls) is in the middle of the Indian Ocean, with tourism as it's main industry and offers exceptional water clarity and coral reefs - it is almost impossible not to relax in such an environment.
Our highlighted spa resort in the Maldives, is the Huvafen Fushi resort, providing all the variety of beach, lagoon & over water accommodation you would expect, with a contemporary twist. In addition you have at your disposal, a traditional 65 ft sail-boat (dhonis) designed to pamper you whilst exploring the coral reefs or staying overnight.
Huvafen Fushi also has a World-first underwater treatment studio - offering a unique experience while you are being pampered! This is taking the 'art' of relaxation to a whole new level!
From just above sea-level (the highest point in the Maldives is around 2 metres) to the region with the highest mountain on earth - is the Ananda in the Himalayas (a destination spa).
This resort, is in the town of Narendranagar, in Northern India, in the former palace (known as the Viceregal Palace) of the Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal.
The spa has won numerous awards and is located in the tranquil Himalayan foothills, surrounded by forests, overlooking the Ganges river.
The retreat offers traditional Indian techniques of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with best of International Spa Experiences. In fact there are 24 treatment rooms specialising in Oriental and European systems of holistic health, as well as a team of nutritionists, therapists, all guiding guests to a more holistic and rounded lifestyle.
Sign me up now please!
We come to the end of our whirl wind tour of some of Asia's best Spa Resorts in perhaps the spiritual home of the 'spa' (if there is such a thing) in Bali. The island is renowned for it's devotion to the Art of Enlightenment, Yoga, Massage, and immersion in all things rejuvenating. It also helps that it's people are generally one of the most gentle, serene and welcoming of all nationalities, the island has stunning scenery, and not forgetting it's recent starring role in the book and subsequent movie 'Eat, Pray, Love'.
The Como Shambala Estate in Ubud Bali is one of the best (it was awarded the Best International Spa by Conde Nast Traveller 2013) and it isn't hard to see why.
The resort works with the a broad range of practitioners in holistic health, not just providing an in-house team team but also attracting experts from all over the world to teach during their renowned Retreat Weeks.
The resort gives you a three week program to start before you check-in, to ensure that you get the most out of your stay, and to help you stick to your regime when you return home.
As a guest, you will receive a consultative and proactive approach to wellness, with experts recommending therapies personalised to you - from lymphatic drainage, to muscular treatments, weight loss or skin care, with the focus on ensuring you feel nurtured through out your stay.
If you are planning a stay in a Health Spa - whether it is in Asia or not, we would love to hear from you. Or, if you have been, please let us know your experience.
In the meantime, for the rest of us, we hope that this has given you a little glimpse into what is on offer, and we hope that it helps our imagination take us there when-ever we need a 'virtual' escape!