From Amanpuri in Phuket integrating Thanyapura’s incredible medical and fitness knowledge into their programming, to Chiva-Som’s impending facelift to be revealed in November, it’s all happening in wellness tourism in the land of smiles. Compare Retreats Founder Dervla Louli just spent 10 days retreat-hopping in Thailand visiting some of Compare Retreats favourite properties, all carefully vetted by our wellness experts. Check out her essential list of luxury wellness retreats and resorts for you to try on your next healthy holiday, whether it’s a quick weekend escape or multi-generational family trip.
The crème de la crème of Thailand’s luxury hotel scene is this incredible resort perched atop a pristine beach and crystal-clear waters. Wellness is everywhere here, but in true Aman style, it’s discretely integrated effortlessly so that guests can access it at all times, but it’s not loud enough to make more relaxed holidaymakers feel guilty about sunset cocktails.
Aman’s relatively new owner is a fitness and wellness enthusiast who had his own spiritual guru create a soundtrack for the yoga sala, incorporated Thanyapura’s medical and fitness services into the wellness centre, and created three hyper-personalised wellness immersions, turning Amanpuri into Phuket’s ultimate wellbeing escape with Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Medicine, Ayurveda and Thai spa services.
It doesn’t stop there: there’s also the two-storey fitness facility with a Muay Thai ring, Pilates Reformer equipment and some of Thailand’s top personal trainers. The glass meditation centre that appears to sit in mid-air in the lush tropical jungle makes it easy to breathe your worries away as an expert trains you in Pranayama and mindfulness, and the massages are some of the best you’ll ever experience. On a nutritional note, every wellness whim can be catered to, and guests enjoying immersions have customised menus at every restaurant.
Thailand’s Grand Dame of wellness is set to undergo a makeover that will be unveiled in November 2019, and we can’t wait to see the results. The original integrated wellness retreat in Thailand is a favourite with celebrities all around the world, and it’s the perfect spot to detox, rejuvenate and be pampered in an exclusive setting. There is an overwhelming number of experts, therapists and wellness practitioners on site including over a dozen personal trainers on site that run group and private classes ranging from high to low intensity.
Strict meal plans that sit at around 1,200 calories are delicious and most importantly deliver results for satisfied customers upon check out. With the new fitness centre, bedrooms, spa and restaurant refurbishments there’s no doubt that the best years are still to come at this 24-year-old award-winning favourite.
Rosewood has a reputation for creating high-quality and stunning resorts all around the world, and their wellness-centric Phuket resort is a playground for spa junkies, fitness buffs, families, couples and solo travellers. The Asaya wellness concept that runs through the Rosewood brand is at the heart of this property that has a beautifully landscaped pool that pours onto a peaceful beach just two steps away.
Hand-dried local ingredients are incorporated into the extensive wellness options, and guests can enjoy downtime in the pools and pensive gardens in many of the treatment areas. The pink-stone sauna, yoga, Muay Thai, sound therapy, surf lessons, stand-alone baths, comprehensive children’s centre, teenager activity options and beautifully-landscaped pool area are a few key highlights that keep Rosewood devotees coming back multiple times a year.
Wellness Director Paul has two small children and is a fitness devotee with a penchant for the great outdoors which is evident in the comprehensive Asaya menu that includes alternative therapies, movement, massage, in-villa experiences, face and body treatments, male-centric therapies and much more. The three wellness programmes focus on cleansing, balancing and fitness and range from one-five days. They’re perfect for adding a wellness boost to a relaxing holiday or for a wellness-focused getaway in a five-star setting.
When founders John and Karina created a peaceful, meditative retreat surrounding a sacred Monk’s cave, little did they know that they were building the sanctuary that stressed-out urbanites never knew they needed. This adult-only centre takes a holistic approach to healing from the inside out, and the incredible team of experts administer acupuncture, colonics, healing and more to guests who lean on the team to help them cleanse, clear and rebuild their minds and bodies.
It is widely regarded as one of the most authentic healing spiritual resorts in Thailand, if not the world, where quietness, stillness and peace can be found at every corner. Organic wine and wheatgrass shots sit side by side on the menu here so you can still enjoy a nightcap in case your cortisol levels rise at the thought of extreme deprivation, something that more relaxed wellness travellers appreciate. There is a wide range of wellness retreats to choose from that will help you get fit, relax, sleep better, de-stress, embrace change, detox, lose weight and cleanse both mentally and physically.
If sustainability is at the top of your list when it comes to a luxurious laidback wellness resort, then look no further than Six Senses Yao Noi in Phuket. The epitome of barefoot luxe, it’s easy for conscious consumers to eat, sleep and move well here safe in the knowledge that your travels are having a minimum impact on the local landscape and earth in general.
The striking limestone structures in Phang Nga Bay (famous for its appearance in the 1974 James Bond movie, Man With The Golden Gun) offer unrivalled views, and the spacious resort is built out of natural materials from the surrounding environment. The four wellness journey options are highly personalised and begin with a health-screening so that on-site experts can recommend the best programme for you to follow. The flexible ‘Full Potential’ programme is for individuals already in good health who want to take their wellness to the next level over three, five or seven days. It’s perfect for fine tuning your body and mind in an eco-friendly resort.
Luxurious surroundings, in-villa infinity pools, tropical surroundings, utmost privacy, healthy eating options and first-class holistic treatments are all part of Trisara which is home to Phuket’s only Michelin-star restaurant Pru. The 150-metre long pool sits beside the sports centre that offers a long list of water activities to be enjoyed in the surrounding Andaman Sea, and there is a Muay Thai expert and personal trainer on site if you want something more hands-on than what the expansive gym offers.
Guests fly in from around the world to try the award-winning signature Royal Six-Hand Massage that lives up to its reputation as the best holistic massage experience in the world. Villas are secluded and large with beautiful baths and incredible views making it an ideal spot for some private yoga as well as a beautiful way to cool off from the sun.
If a laid-back family-friendly spa resort with stunning views and healthy food options are what you’re looking for, the cliff top-perched COMO Point Yamu is the Thai hotel for you. The minimal interior décor features pops of orange and blue that contrasts beautifully against the modern architecture and the generous rooms and suites are competitively priced making it a great place if you’re travelling with children and need to book multiple bedrooms.
The COMO Shambhala wellbeing brand runs through the food and wellness offerings on site, and the show-stopping spiralised Big Raw Salad is the most delicious way to hit your five-a-day. Upstairs at the spa an evening post-sunset treatment is a daily must, try the signature massage and herbal Thai compress treatment for the ultimate bedtime prep. Salty sand and sea air lovers may notice the lack of an onsite beach, but morning power walks, snorkelling and island excursions, ethical animal sanctuary visits, Thai cooking classes, group yoga classes, daily shuttle service to a nearby beach and the breathtaking infinity pool keep everyone happy from sun up to sun down.
If you want to push your limits and physical endurance there’s no better way to get fit, strong and healthy than by checking into Thailand’s famous fitness resort. Thanyapura might not have luxurious accommodation or chic dining options, but the fitness facilities on site are a huge hit with professional athletes and weekend warriors of all ages. The family-friendly grounds are home to Olympic-sized pools, tennis and volleyball courts, a professional-sized football field with a wraparound track, medical and aesthetics centre, plant-based restaurant, spa, and much more. The exclusive Amanpuri holds the fitness and medical expertise in such high regard they integrated them into their wellness centre. It’s a fantastic place to train for an ironman like my husband did during our trip or just get back into a fitness routine by running around the track, swimming laps at your own pace while taking advantage of the twenty-something fitness classes that happen daily ranging from meditation to 120-km cycle sessions.