India 02.07.2023 Transindus
What modern lifestyle robs of us can be restored by a great holiday
For a truly restorative break, there is no better place to head than Asia, the home of the highly respected ancient eastern disciplines of wellness, including Ayurveda, Yoga Meditation, Oriental medicine, Acupuncture, Acupressure, Rflexology and others like Thai and Khmer messages.
Ananda in the Himalayas
Yoga and Ayurveda originated in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas, and it is only befitting that the pioneering and premier luxury wellness resort in India should have its origins among these hills.
One of India’s best and only true destination spas, Ananda, is situated in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains in a former Palace Estate of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal, with the exquisite Viceregal Suite and some of the most beautiful public areas situated within the Palace itself. Voted ‘World No. 1 Spa’ and ‘Best Overseas Spa Retreat’ by readers of Conde Nast Traveller and other publications numerous times, and rightly so, the resort boasts unbeatable spa facilities, peaceful solitude and a chance to get back to nature, whilst cocooned in luxury.
The exceptional spa is a haven of tranquillity, with 24 excellent treatment rooms, a gym, hydrotherapy facilities, and a team of highly qualified, multigenerational physicians of Eastern Medicine, healers and wellbeing practitioners who bring with them decades of specialised experience and knowledge to customise health-oriented wellness programmes that have paved the way for path-breaking curative results. The open-air treatment ‘room’ allows you to lie and be massaged whilst gazing straight out across the Himalayan foothills and the valley below!
The Santani, Werapitiya, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka promises some of Asia's best spas, and many treatments offered here are modelled on the principles of Ayurveda, one of the world's oldest holistic healing systems that believe in good health through lifestyle practices.
Perched high up in the hills above Kandy, this heavenly wellness resort with atmospheric spa facilities in a calm that focuses on nurturing guests: switch off, practice yoga, go for a trek and dine on nutritionally balanced meals. The three-tiered spa spills down, and its packages look at lifestyle, stress, diet and medical ailments, though individual treatments can also be chosen from an international spa menu.
Dwarika's Hotel & Resort, Kathmandu, Nepal
With a mission to preserve and conserve the heritage of the Himalayan Kingdom, the Shrestha family, who own Dwarika, give undivided attention to the beautiful sister properties under their care; the first in the heart of the city and the second, amid the snow-dusted Himalayan on the outskirts of the capital.
The rooms are a tribute to Nepal's artistic history and reflect the traditional life in the valley. Food is freshly sourced from their farms, and their cuisine pays homage to the many vibrant ethnicities of Nepal. The Pancha Khosa Himalayan Spa is a sanctuary for healing and purification, drawing inspiration from Ayurveda, Buddhist medicine and traditional Himalayan rituals and treatments.
Gangtey Lodge, Gangtey, Bhutan
Voted in the Top 15 Resorts in Asia by Travel & Leisure Awards, this unique resort sits perched high above the pristine nature reserve of Phobjikha Valley. The Lodge rewards the intrepid traveller with Authentic Luxury in Undiscovered Bhutan and spectacular views over the 17th-century monastery, traditional farmhouses and densely forested mountains of Himalayan blue pine.
The food is stunning, and the spa is spectacular. The resort also provides Complimentary activities, including meditation classes at the Buddhist Shedra (the local monk learning centre), evening drinks at the Black-Necked Crane Information Centre, guided mountain bike rides, and traditional Bhutanese games such as archery and darts.
The Slate, Phuket, Thailand
It is almost impossible to pick one resort out of the many that Thailand and its island offer, but we have opted for The Slate, which nestles in its private paradise adjacent to unspoiled Nai Yang Beach. This Bill Bensley design masterpiece recreates a traditional villa. It offers beautiful rooms, eight restaurants and bars, three outdoor pools, a tennis court, a private beach club, Art Lounge, a Cooking School and an award-winning COQOON Spa.
A selection of sublime dining experiences specialises in authentic and deliciously nutritious cuisine using ingredients that draw on the earth's organic goodness. Enjoy gourmet dining in spectacular settings and culinary masterpieces that nourish and inspire.
The Amanoi, Vietnam
Set on the rugged coastline of Núi Chúa National Park, where the pristine jungle meets the crystal-clear waters of Vinh Hy Bay, Amanoi is a wonderfully secluded retreat with just 36 pavilions and villas, designed to blend discreetly into their natural surroundings. The décor reflects the country's colonial heritage in Indochine-inspired architecture and idyllic charm. Fresh fish from the day's catch is a highlight of the main restaurant, which focuses on fragrant and flavoursome Vietnamese cuisine.
The wellness offering at Amanoi is one of the best, from single treatments to complete holistic programs with two pioneering Wellness Villas for a genuinely immersive retreat.
The Rosewood, Luang Prabang, Laos
The best hotel in the country, Rosewood, is Hidden in the luxuriant nature surrounding the historic royal settlement of Luang Prabang, a river. It's packed with wonderful things to see and do but small enough to navigate easily. Life in the resort feels worlds away, yet it's just a 10-minute ride to the city's historic district.
The Rosewood Spa offers unforgettable Loatian therapies designed to cleanse, replenish and balance the body, mind and soul.
Shinta Mani Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Situated adjacent to Siem Reap's royal residence, at the heart of Cambodia's cultural Capital, The Shinta Mani, Angkor is all about style and elegance. Designed by the renowned hotel architect Bill Bensley, this small and exclusive residence brims with elegance and offers the utmost comfort and privacy. Its Khmer Tonics Spa and Gym within is a sanctuary of well-being and welcomes visitors to a haven where your body and mind are restored to exuberant health and wholeness. The spa treatments are based on traditional Khmer healing rituals, designed to reduce stress, ease tension, and uplift your creative mind and spirit.
Maya Sanur Resort, Bali, Indonesia
Suave, contemporary, and quintessentially Balinese, the Maya presides over a quiet stretch of Sanur Beach, backed by tropical palms and flowering trees.
The soothing décor and huge picture windows draw the surrounding tropical environs into the rooms. The sun terrace of the main pool is just a stone's throw from the ocean waves and hosts a complimentary yoga session before breakfast each morning. Sundowners at the hotel's exclusive beach bar are another highlight. Even before you step inside The Spa at Maya, you will have absorbed the tranquillity of its garden sanctuary. Once inside, you have great sensory and rejuvenating spa treatments.
Vakkaru, Baa Atoll, Maldives
Occupying a privileged setting in the UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve, the Baa Atoll, Vakkaru is blessed with a thriving house reef, powder-soft, brilliant white sands and deep blue holes. The resort offers a complete digital detox. The region's celebrated marine life of hundreds of manta rays and whale sharks that gather here are just some of the distractions that occupy your mind, and you can be whisked across the waves to observe and snorkel with these majestic marine creatures.
The resort's Merena Spa is inspired by ancient rituals and, in partnership with renowned Sri Lankan Ayurveda brand, Siddhalepa and transformative yoga feature high among indulgent experiences created to awaken your senses, refresh the mind and help the body find equilibrium.