Energising, rejuvenating, health transforming, even life changing – why not supercharge your next holiday by visiting a holistic spa in one of the most enchanting locations on earth? For a taste of what’s out there, read on for our top five picks – a world of pampering peace awaits you!
1. Try Thai time out
Kamalaya (pictured above)
Immerse yourself in a complete mind, body and soul experience at the award-winning Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa Resort and come back home transformed for life. Nestled within a tropical paradise of lush vegetation, cascading streams, bouldered hilltops and white sand beaches, the heart of the Kamalaya lies within a special cave that once served as a centre for meditation and spiritual retreat for Buddhist monks. The natural surroundings are integral to the immersive healing experience at this luxury spa resort that derives its name from the ancient symbol for spiritual growth, the Lotus (kamal: lotus, alaya: realm). With natural furnishings and breathtaking views, each room, suite and villa is a luxurious little haven, complementing the lush surroundings.
The ethos of Kamalaya is to encourage long-term transformation of physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing alike with a balanced approach that combines the Eastern and Western traditions of healing. In addition to the menu of over 70 therapies and treatments from Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine to homeopathy and naturopathy, your holistic wellness experience includes energising healthy food, fitness classes, wellness programs customised for different needs from detoxing to emotional balance, group retreats and even an opportunity to create your own bespoke program working with visiting international healers. Kamalaya was the recipient of the “Best in Asia” award at London’s Spafinder Wellness Travel Awards in 2016.
2. Find your ‘self’ in the Philippines
San Benito, Philippines
Experience physical and emotional rejuvenation at a deep level as you relax and recharge surrounded by the harmony of tumbling waterfalls and verdant coconut plantations at the base of Mount Malarayat. Luxury meets Mother Nature at the Farm with its strong emphasis on the positive energies of the surrounding environment – even the resort itself is built around a 250-year-old mango tree said to possess healing powers. Choose your accommodation to suit your individual healing journey from the rustic Sulu Terrace to the luxurious Master Villa – each is lovingly decorated in traditional Filipino style and equipped with modern amenities.
The Farm truly takes you back to nature by offering fresh cuisine and spa treatments that use fresh locally sourced organic coconuts and other produce, some coming directly from The Farm’s own garden. Detoxifying treatments and raw nutrition are at the centre of the resort’s philosophy and guests are offered emotional support and guidance during their transformative journey at the resort. Holistic activities available at the centre include meditation, yoga and aqua aerobics while the traditional Asian and modern European therapies offered range from Tibetan steam therapy to reflexology, catering for all wellness goals.
3. Mediterranean mind-body magic
Escape to the magical surroundings of Lake Garda for a healing experience with a difference at the 5 star Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda. Located in the charming village of Gargnano within 11 acres of peaceful parkland among rolling hills and natural terraces dotted with olive trees, this lakeside resort offers an overall wellness plan with an eco-friendly ethos. From green design and sustainable building materials to renewable energy, luxury and style is delivered in harmony with the environment.
A wide range of activities are on offer from group yoga classes to one-on-one Tai-Chi training and guests are encouraged to explore and benefit from the surrounding nature. Therapies and spa treatments blend ancient Chinese medicine seamlessly with Western techniques and the cuisine of deliciously fresh Mediterranean fare is designed to encourage a long-term shift to healthier eating.
4. Melt into your middle-eastern renewal
Musandam Peninsula, Oman
Step into a world of rugged beauty in the Musandam Peninsula and discover a luxury spa where it’s all about the individual – at the Six Senses Zighy Bay hotel. Spa restorative treatments and yoga de-stress and balance the body and mind while a range of energising activities such as paragliding and scuba diving cater for the more adventurous. A secluded bay surrounded by dramatic mountains provides the stunning setting for the resort that is taking an active role in looking after the environment as well as supporting local social initiatives such as the Dibba Girls’ School.
The therapies at Zighy Bay are tailored for the individual and focused on awakening the senses with natural products and techniques. East and West meet in the treatment menu that includes the deeply cleansing traditional Moroccan hammam therapies. Guests also have the opportunity to try their hand at Arabic cooking using ingredients freshly picked from the resort’s own on-site organic garden.
5. Get away from it all in the wilds of Africa
Karkloof Safari Spa
Check in for an unforgettable healing experience at the Karkloof Safari Spa and get whisked away in a private off-road vehicle to a secluded nature lover’s paradise of over 3,000 hectares of grassland and indigenous mist-belt forest. Explore beautiful waterfalls and meet the local wildlife – get face to face with rhinos, giraffes, zebras and hippos! – before heading back to your resort for a soak in the open-air Jacuzzi or to spend time in quiet contemplation in the peaceful Reflections Lounge. At night you will retire with style and in tranquil comfort – each individually decorated luxurious villa is nestled in its own secluded spot among the trees.
Built with respect to the beautiful surroundings, the Karkloof Safari Spa goes beyond embracing eco-design, natural building materials and living roofs: the exotic therapies from the Maldivian black pepper wrap to the Lanna hot oil hair and scalp treatment utilise only natural ingredients, the kitchen offers a range of organic cuisine sourced from the local farms and the resort is working hard to protect and restore the surrounding environment.2