Whether you're a yogi, spa lover or a writer looking for peace and quiet, these serene getaways from Singapore promise to soothe your mind, body and soul – or spark your creativity
There are times when a lush staycation in a swanky hotel or a relaxing beach vacay just doesn’t cut it. You return still exhausted, with a heart and mind burdened by stress. Real talk: you need a retreat. These safe spaces, far from the claustrophobic confines of Singapore, help detox you mentally, physically, and even digitally, with nutritious meals, cosy accommodation and all the equipment and coaches you need to set you straight. Ahead, we’ve gathered a list of yoga, wellness and creative retreats in Asia.
The kingpin of the Bali wellbeing scene, this stunning estate set in the hills just to the north of Ubud has been the go-to retreat for the rich, famous and health-conscious for many a year now and shows no sign of ever losing its mantle. The holistic 360-degree approach includes signature Como massages, Ayurvedic therapies, beauty treatments as well as incredibly nutritious cuisine and daily activities involving hiking, climbing, cycling and more. Upcoming this May is one for the insomniacs. The seven day workshop, titled ‘The Sleep Awakening’ offers two daily 90-minute group classes and a thirty minute one-on-one consultation with sleep therapist and author Tracy Kelly, three daily meals, and a 60-minute massage.
Como Shambhala, Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Ubud, p. +62 361 978 888, e. [email protected].
Ubud Sari Health Resort
If you can’t tell by the name, this place is the real deal. Your comfort and enjoyment comes first in this peaceful resort which gently guides its guests back to maximum health. Two types of programs are offered here – Detox and Cleansing, and Raw Health – but it’s the latter’s Healing Week in Bali that’s the clear star. If seven days of early morning rice paddy walks, massage, colonic cleanses, and the odd massage appeals, then this is for you. You’ll leave feeling like a million bucks.
Ubud Sari Health Resort, 35 Jl. Kajeng Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, p. +62 361 974393.
That eat, pray, love dream you’ve always had? It’s achievable at Amanbagh. The Indian resort is nestled deep in a secret garden estate, where everything is rose pink and Mughal-inspired. Ayurvedic medicine is at the heart of this wellness destination, with four to 21-day programmes overseen by a physician. If you’re planning a long weekend escape, book the four-day Ayur retreat. It’s a quick dip into the world of the ancient medicine, and includes a nutritional plan, three Ayurvedic treatments and sessions, cultural activities and optional group outings. But if you’re in for the longer haul, the 21-day Purify programme detoxes your bodies of toxins to boost your immunity and your body systems.
Amanbagh Resort, Ajabgarh, Village Alwar, District Rajasthan 301027
If you’re time-strapped, this is your answer to a quick wellness retreat. Cross the Straits of Singapore and head to Batam for a short pamper sesh at Tempat Senang, a small Balinese style spa and resort set in tranquil surroundings. The value-for-money retreat offers great full-day packages which comes with six rejuvenating treatments and a scrumptious Indonesian lunch. The spa menu offers the usual suspects – facials, body scrubs, and pedicures – as well as some eyebrow-raising treatments like the Ratus-V Spa that involves blowing smoke up someone’s…well, you know. We’re not sure if this was the precursor to uterus steam cleaning but we’ll leave Gwyneth to give us the user experience – it sounds right up her, ahem, alley.
Tempat Senang Spa Resort, KK Indah Puri Kav No. 15, Patam Lestari, Sekupang, Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29400, Indonesia, p. +62 778 325616.
Yoga and fitness retreats
The Yoga Barn
Love, inspiration, healing and renewal are the founding philosophies behind this incredibly successful holistic community centre in the heart of Ubud. The barn has an established holistic healing centre with detox, cleansing and restorative therapies on offer. The 7-Day Detox Retreat includes a 10-class card for yoga classes of your choice, daily lectures in health and nutrition, supercharged cold-pressed juices and wellness shots.
The Yoga Barn, Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, p. +62 361 971 236, e. [email protected].
Absolute Sanctuary Koh Samui
Thailand’s top wellness retreat boasts a yoga centre with two studios and workshops hosted by some of the world’s most acclaimed yoga teachers. It’d be easy enough to keep your mind at ease here, as it’s located atop a hill, providing you with stunning views of the sea. The yoga programmes are offered for five, seven or ten days, and come with unlimited daily classes, combined with daily massages, juices and sumptuous, but nutritious meals.
Absolute Sanctuary, 88 Moo 5 Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, Thailand.
Just metres away from one of Sri Lanka’s most peaceful beaches, is this gorgeous boutique resort opened by Aussie Laurie Rose, who fell in love with the island’s spiritual charm. Take your pick from two different fitness retreats. The six-day yoga package gives you morning and evening yoga classes, daily workshops, meditation sessions, and three meals daily (including a three-course dinner). The other is a surf retreat, where you’ll be experience nine two-hour sessions with a surf coach, three theory lessons, five video feedback sessions, accommodation, three meals and a complimentary massage.
Talalla Retreat, Tangalle Road, Sampaya House,Talalla 81170, Sri Lanka
The Content Castle
Writer’s block can happen to the best of writers, and when that happens, it’s too easy to feel like you’ve failed yourself. Give yourself a break – literally. Pack your bags, and your writing essentials and jetset to Koh Samui, where The Content Castle’s seven-bedroom is located. Here, you’re given all the time and space you need to let your creative juices flow, with reading nooks, meditation hideaways, writing alcoves and a library of books to help your perfect your prose. You’ll sleep in a private or shared room, and have your bellies filled with delicious, home cooked meals twice a day. Best of all, it’s free but with a catch – you need to write 10,000 words a week. Bear in mind that residencies last between one to three months.
Apply now at The Content Castle
Soulful escape to Bali
Balinese art and culture takes centerstage at this retreat in a tropical haven just 10 minutes outside of Ubud. Over seven days, you’ll try your hand at a batik and indigo workshops, DIY your own jewellery in a silversmithing workshop, learn to play Balinese instruments and perform a traditional dance. Every morning kicks off with an optional yoga sesh or swim, while the afternoons are spent in an open-air studio with a buffet of art supplies. You’ll be guided through image transfer, screen printing, stitching and fabric collage making, and learn the art of shibori which involves tying, clamping and stitch techniques for dyeing. If it sounds a tad busy, don’t fret as there’ll be plenty of down time for you to catch some z’s, read, get a massage or lay by the pool. Bliss.
Check out Soulful escape to Bali for the full details
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