Do you wish to rejuvenate? Do you fancy having creams and lotions rubbed into your face? How about being wrapped up in mud or seaweed or yoghurt? Why not combine posh pampering with a luxury resort stay in a warm and spectacular Southeast Asian destination?
Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most lavish spa treatments and famous spa brands. For this article we scour the web for recommendations on some of the ASEAN region’s best spa resorts. Some of the those listed focus specifically on spa offerings, while others take into account the whole resort package.
The Empire Hotel & Country Club: A truly luxurious stay is what you would expect from a property that typically caters to royalty and heads of state. Accommodations at the lush, tropical estate overlook the ocean, lagoon, gardens, or golf course. The hotel features 532 spacious rooms including two-bedroom garden villas and suites; all with balconies and breathtaking views, providing every visitor with their own sense of empire. The Empire Spa (pictured above) serves up the spa treatments. Source: Kiwi Collection.
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort, Siem Reap: From the French colonial style main building guests cross a footbridge over a lake to reach rooms that offer up-to-date amenities and the look and feel of Cambodia. Accommodations have garden and lake views, ceiling fans, and timber floors, embellished by Cambodian mahogany and silks. This resort is recommended for its overall offering rather than its spa services, which you can reasonably expect to be good. Source: Conde Nast.
Bulgari Bali, Uluwatu: Bulgari recruited Ritz Carlton to manage this spectacularly-perched Uluwatu resort. They tapped celebrated spa firm ESPA to run the property using Bulgari’s own product line. The result is a combination of Italian glam and Balinese mystique. Try the guided sunrise meditation followed by a rice-and-spice exfoliation, a ginger-yogurt wrap, and a lava-stone massage. Source: Brad A Johnson.
Amantaka, Luang Prabang: Set on a large garden estate, Amantaka is housed in graceful French colonial buildings in the UNESCO protected town of Luang Prabang. Airy and elegant throughout, the decor and furnishings reflect the town’s French colonial history. Situated just south of Phousi Hill, the resort is within strolling distance of the boutiques, bakeries and restaurants lining the town’s main street. The fabled night market, the picturesque banks of the Mekong River and the former Royal Palace are also nearby. Start with a 90-minute, Traditional Laos Massage, a rhythmic oil-free massage. Other treatments include the Asian blend massage (a dry massage fusing techniques from Laos, Thailand and China that creates inner harmony) and the dreamy 60-minute, four hand massage. Source: Luxury Insider.
Champa Lao at the Green Park Hotel, Vientiane: The Green Park Hotel in the Lao capital Vientiane is a luxurious boutique property of low-rise polished wooden structures and peaceful water features; a resort-like space in the laid-back city. The spa (pictured above), set beside the swimming pool, offers quiet and comfortable treatment rooms. Try the Indian head massage. For something even more unusual choose the ear candling or naval candling. Source: Luxury Insider.
Four Seasons Langkawi: Wedged dramatically between the Andaman Sea and a soaring limestone cliff, Four Seasons Langkawi features several private pavilions that appear to float atop a romantic reflecting pool. Try the taksu kasih, a 90-minute rhythmic massage harmonized with hypnotic Asian tunes. Source: Brad A Johnson.
Shangri-La Rasa Sayang, Penang: Chi Spa by Shangri-La is one of the world’s greatest spa brands. This Penang property offers 11 treatment villas, some with private terraces, outdoor tubs, and steam showers. These are spread across an acre of lush gardens shaded by rain trees on Penang’s most pristine beach. Try the yin-and-yang-balancing chi massage, followed by an hour-long Himalayan barley rub. Source: Brad A Johnson.
Spa Village at Pangkor Laut: Accessible by helicopter or boat, Spa Village’s spectacular villas dot the hillside and beach with some units built over the water. There’s an ayurvedic doctor and traditional Chinese doctor onsite to prescribe treatments. Try the progression of plunge pools before any treatment (allow an hour). Also try the Ayruvedic aromatherapy, but don’t let them squirt essential oils up your nose! Source: Brad A Johnson.
Villa Inle Resort and Spa, Inle Lake: Boasting a stunning location on the lakeside with villas that blend in with the environment, Villa Inle Resort & Spa is a beautiful base from which to explore the mystique of Inle Lake. The spa is the perfect place after a day of sightseeing, with four treatment rooms and qualified therapists ready to rejuvenate and relax mind, body and soul. Source: Abercrombie & Kent.
Mandala Spa, Boracay: Located on the small hilltop in Station 3, Mandala is a perfect resort spa destination offering an array of spa services from massage to detox regimens. Surrounded by lush foliage and scenic landscapes, Mandala’s air-conditioned villas are sanctuaries of privacy and pleasure. Guests are treated to welcome drinks, yoga sessions for two persons, and roundtrip transfers to and from Caticlan.
The Farm at San Benito Resort, Batangas: Situated on 48 hectares in the foothills of Mount Malarayat about two hours drive from Manila, The Farm at San Benito Resort is a first class retreat. Wellness and spirituality is a key focus. Tailored programs are determined by an on-site holistic doctor. Guests can indulge in holistic health and wellness activities such as yoga classes(pictured above), meditation sessions, Pilates and spa treatments. “Alive!” restaurant offers gourmet organic vegan meals prepared in Asian style.
Nurture Village Spa, Tagaytay City: A two-hour drive from Manila, Nurture Village Spa offers Ifugao-inspired accommodation facilities, spa services, health and fitness programs, and rejuvenation and wellness packages. An enhanced spa menu includes detoxification, weight reduction, anti-ageing and chronic disease management. Within Nurture’s extensive gardens guests will find a swimming pool, herb garden, locavore farm, LarongLahi (an indigenous game), and a reflexology path.
Resorts World Sentosa: Located in the luxurious confines of Resorts World Sentosa, ESPA is set across 10,000 square meters of tropical grounds. Designed to impress, the mega-spa has 24 multi-function private treatment rooms in addition to the first Turkish Hamman treatment area in Singapore. The Tangerine Spa Café provides nutritious contemporary cuisine for the health-conscious. Relax further in the tranquil sleep lounge or the convivial surroundings of the social room. Source: Macaron Magazine.
Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa, Trang: Concealed amid dense tropical gardens on an Andaman beach, Anantara offers a fish spa that will tickle you as well as high-brow consultation services led by one of Asia’s top ayurveda gurus. Try the three-day rejuvenation program, featuring massages, yoga, and spa lunches. Source: Brad A Johnson.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai: Covering nearly an acre, this monumental ayurvedic compound replicates an ancient Mandalay palace, complete with a seven-tiered teakwood roof that represents the seven steps to nirvana. An army of therapists and doctors delivers holistic remedies and spiritual guidance. Try the energizing mardanam, a synchronized four-hands deep-tissue massage that uses herbal powders and warm oil. Source: Brad A Johnson.
Six Senses Soneva Kiri, Ko Kut: The airport-hotel transfer for this place is a private Cessna airplane flight followed by a speedboat ride around Thailand’s most exclusive eco-resort island, which is located near the border with Cambodia. When you finally reach Six Senses you’ll find 29 villas dotting the beach and cliff anda sublime spa offering holistic therapies and panoramic views of Khlong Son Bay. Try the two-and-a-half-hour Jungle Escape, a body scrub given on a heated stone bed beneath a bamboo mist shower followed by a Thai herbal-compress massage. Source: Brad A Johnson.
Anantara Hoi An Resort: An oasis among the busy streets of Hoi An, Anantara lies on the banks of the Thu Bon River. Ninety-four split-level rooms in two- and three-story townhouses overlook the river. The green-minded resort uses refillable clay flasks for the bath products provided in the cool luxury of the marble and granite bathrooms. At Senses Restaurant, you can watch the fishing boats arrive with their daily catch. Source: Conde Nast.
The Nam Hai, Hoi An: The Nam Hai (pictured above) on picturesque Ha My Beach balances sleek contemporary architecture with mystical Asian flourishes. Eight languid indoor-outdoor villas surround a lotus pond. The spa menu fuses aromatherapy, ayurvedic, and herbal traditions. Try the signature traditional Vietnamese massage with aromatherapy foot polish. Source: Brad A Johnson.