Start the new year getting your wellbeing on track at one of these fab wellness retreats in Asia
We’re all about trying to live a good balanced life, but between sampling new restaurants and catching up with friends at happy hour, it can be tough to get on track with our full-body health. And as wellbeing holidays become increasingly popular, how do you know which kind of destination and wellness package best suits your needs? Here, Lightfoot Travel reveals some of the best wellness retreats in Asia – with every need catered for from Ayurveda to Zen.
A guide to the best wellness retreats in Asia
Best for family wellbeing: Amatara Wellness Resort, Phuket
Amatara Wellness Resort in the south of Phuket is quite the gem, offering a traditional tropical holiday alongside excellent health and wellness programmes. Guests come here to focus on fitness, yoga, meditation, weight loss and detox thanks to help of qualified practitioners and tip-top wellness facilities including a spa, Moroccan hammam, gym, fitness studios and a yoga platform. 2020 sees the introduction of Amatara’s new Family Wellness Programme, a three-day package devised to teach children how to incorporate wellness into their lives with spa treatments and fun wellness activities such as a kids’ cooking class or healthy snack making. Even working out won’t feel like a chore when it takes place in a luxurious swimming pool, or on a kayak as part of a boat trip.
Best for solo travel: SEN Wellness Sanctuary, Tangalle, Sri Lanka
Walking into SEN Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka is like walking into a big, warm, welcoming hug from your best friend. First things first, you meet with an Ayurvedic doctor who’ll prescribe you a personalised programme of daily ayurvedic spa treatments and therapies (think ancient head massages, acupuncture, herbal baths and body scrubs). Add to this morning and evening yoga sessions, walks and activities, delicious vegetarian food and specially prescribed Ayurvedic medicines. Did we mention the beautiful surrounding nature, private nooks for lazing and naval gazing, and that the sound of the sea is always by your side? Take time for you and soak up the bliss.
Best for new and unique programmes: REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort is the kind of place to lose yourself and find yourself at the same time. Located in the breezy hills of Bali’s Nusa Dua, 2020 will see the introduction of some new and unique immersive programmes marrying yoga with diet such as the Vegan Yoga Retreat and the Yoga & Ketogenic Retreat. By dedicating your time to a specialist diet alongside daily yoga practice, meditation, holistic treatments and detox protocols, you can expect to feel more energised, balanced and with a fresh and sparkly perspective on life by the time you return home.
Best for total disconnection: Vana Retreat, Himalayas, India
Technology off? Negativity at the front door? Organic pyjamas on? Welcome to Vana Retreat in India, a world leader when it comes to self-reconnection and total disconnection. Upon arrival guests are prescribed a personal wellness plan based on Ayurveda, Chinese and Tibetan medicine. Days are spent enjoying ancient spa treatments, yoga, meditation, movement and delicious healthy cuisine. Hiking and tennis are also available for those with pent-up energy, although remaining horizontal is big on the schedule as guests are encouraged to focus on quiet introspection (when it’s likely they’re each plotting how to stay at Vana forever!).
Best for a slow-down: Rice Terrace Villa Sasayuri-Ann, Nara, Japan
Away from Japan’s traditional frenetic cities is a world of peaceful living. Rice Terrace Villa Sasayuri-Ann is one such place where spirituality and slowing down is high on the agenda. Located in the Nara prefecture, the two stylish wooden mountain villas here are not your traditional wellness escape, but they do envelope you in calm and comfort, provide delicious food by Michelin star-awarded chefs, and allow you to immerse yourself in rich cultural happenings, from chanting shugendo style to traditional music performances. The property is also one of the few luxurious stays where you can practice yoga. It allows up the ten guests at a time, so it’s the ideal go-to for a group of Zen-seeking friends.
Best for a wellness sabbatical: Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand
Kamalaya in Koh Samui is a one-stop destination spa built on the site of a Buddhist monk’s cave where they tailor specific programmes for those wanting to relax, recover from illness, decrease stress or just clear their minds. When you think it can’t get any better, in April Kamalaya is hosting their first ever ‘wellness sabbatical’ – a restorative programme that includes a personal consultation, treatments, meditation, mentoring sessions, yoga and movement. Away from the programme, the rooms boast big outdoor bathtubs and amazing beds. Two restaurants serve healthy food, and there are swimming pools, plunge pools, an infrared sauna and a fitness centre.