There’s nothing like a wellness getaway to reset and recharge. But if you can’t spare a week or a long-haul flight, here are a few nearby spots you can get to in less than three hours, that’ll get you feeling fab in three days or less. By Zoe Belhomme and Sarah Fung
For a truly tailored experience: Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai
Looking to get healthy in serious style? The Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai has developed a range of wellness programmes, ranging from one to seven nights, to get guests in the best physical and mental shape of their lives. There are five itineraries available: detox, rejuvenation, stress management, mini bootcamp, and golf & spa, each with a specific goal in mind. For example, the three-day de-stress programme combines hatha yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, a whopping five spa treatments, a bike tour, PT session and a healthy lunch, to get you feeling seriously zen. After a full day of pampering, you can retreat to your luxe private treetop villa and meditate or read in your sala, overlooking the Mae Rim valley’s lush green rice paddies. Prices for rooms start at THB 48,000, plus taxes.
For a Holistic Approach: The Farm, The Philippines
Hidden within the Batangas hinterlands, The Farm is an award-winning wellness sanctuary set on a 49-hectare coconut plantation. With several accommodation options at a range of price points, The Farm offers guests an impressive selection of holistic wellness treatments developed by leading medical doctors, nutritionists, fitness trainers and yoga practitioners. If guests haven’t signed up for a specific package, they can have a consultation session when they arrive to decide which treatments they’d benefit from most. From colon hydrotherapy and vitamin infusions, to harmonising and relaxing spa treatments, this resort aims to be a one-stop wellness solution to help combat the stresses of city life. But If you’re just after a bit of R&R, The Farm’s daily schedule of free activities, including yoga, HIIT and walking tours will be sure to keep you entertained between dips in the pool. Getting to The Farm is extremely easy (although be prepared for traffic coming out of Manila) with frequent and cheap daily flights between Hong Kong and the Philippine capital.
For Culture and Exploration: Navutu Dreams, Siem Reap
Set in 1.5 hectares of tropical gardens, the 28-room Navutu Dreams resort offers affordable luxury with a wellness twist. Just a stone’s throw from the historic temples of Angkor Wat and only 15 minutes from the airport, this cosy resort is a great spot for exploring Siem Reap between spa and yoga sessions, made even easier by the hotel’s tuk tuk, which is at your disposal for the duration of your stay. Offering both yoga and treatment-focused retreats, guests short on time can opt for the three-night Yoga Holiday break (from US$565++) that includes accommodation, breakfast, three group yoga classes, two spa treatments at the Honeycomb spa, three organic meals, two holistic healing treatments and your choice of either a private yoga class or body work session. Feeling stressed? The Detox for the Mind package (US$755.00++) includes accommodation, five daily wellness-focused activities, including meditation, yoga, shiatsu, a health consultation and much more.
For getting back to nature: Phu Chaisai, Chiang Rai
One of Northern Thailand’s original wellness retreats, a 40-minute drive from Chiang Rai International Airport, Phu Chaisai is tucked away in the Doi Mae Salong Mountains. An eco-retreat before it was trendy, this low-key resort was constructed from bamboo by the founder, one of Thailand’s leading interior designers who fell in love with the area’s gorgeous forest location and fresh air. Stay in a luxurious appointed bamboo cottage with soft furnishings supplied by local hill tribes; dine on simple Thai, Burmese and western dishes using ingredients grown on the resort’s own organic farm; and take time out at the Bamboo spa. The 800-acre site is ripe for exploration, with reservoirs and waterfalls onsite, Mongolian horse trekking, visits to tea plantations, guided or solo hikes, and private yoga classes all available.
For East Meets West Practices: Amanoi, Vietnam
Set on the dramatic coastline of Vietnam’s Vinh Hy Bay, Amanoi places health and wellness at the forefront. In addition to an 11,000-square-foot spa, the resort also has two beautiful spa houses that provide guests with their own specialist therapists and wellness experts, as well as private spa facilities in the convenience of their own pavilion. Think a spacious double treatment room, Jacuzzi, steam room ice-fountain and cold plunge pool. Amanoi’s extensive wellness menu combines traditional Eastern techniques and principles such as Watsu, Reiki, acupressure, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Chi Nei Tsang with the more energetic elements of Western fitness such as pilates, kickboxing and TRX, to create unique wellness programmes that help guests achieve measurable goals over a condensed period of time. Immersion programmes run for a minimum of three nights (but guests have been known to stay for up to three weeks) and are completely customisable so they’re ideal when you only have a long weekend to spare and you need to see results. It’s easy to get to as well, with four weekly flights to Nha Trang on HK Express.
For Full Wellness Immersion: Kamalaya, Koh Samui
OK, this flight might be a few minutes over three hours, but you can still reap the benefits of one of their programmes over a long weekend. Kamalaya is considered one of the pioneers of wellness retreats in Asia and offers guests a premium holistic wellness experience. The tranquil resort is 45 minutes from Koh Samui Airport, on the Southeastern side of the island, and boasts an impressive range of immersive packages. From programmes that aim to restore your body and mind, through to detox, fitness and yoga plans that focus on fitness, Kamalaya specifically tailors exercise, treatments and food to the needs of each guest. But don’t expect too much lazing around the pool; the resident practitioners, personal trainers and therapists keep guests to a meticulously planned holistic wellness schedule so that results are optimised. Kamalaya is also well known for its delicious cuisine and healthy drinks so this isn’t a place you’ll go hungry. Most programmes are designed to last for five to seven days, although some, such as the Relax & Renew, the Introduction to Detox and the Personal Yoga Synergy, can be completed in just three days.
For a really quick getaway: Mandarin Oriental Macau
Macau might not be your first port of call when it comes to taking a wellness break, but The Mandarin Oriental is enhancing its healthy offerings this year with a series of visiting practitioners. On April 10-20, the hotel will host Dr Buathon Theinarrom (also known as Dr. B) and Dominique Lonchant, a pranayama breathing coach. The founder of the Sukkasart Institute of Healing Arts in Thailand, Dr. B’s signature treatments incorporate elements of Taoism, sound healing, Tibetan medicine and more to enhance your sense of wellbeing. The overnight package is $4,500++ and includes a night’s accommodation, breakfast, a 60-minute spa treatment, and a holistic wellness journey that includes a 60-minute pranayama breathing class, a 75-minute “Resting your Mind” session with Dr. B, and your choice of a 75-minute ZenNaTai treatment with Dr. B, or a Pranic healing treatment with Dominique. Plus, you’ll enjoy healthy snacks, a wellness express lunch, and a healthy set dinner. A day-pass without accomodation is also available at $2,400. The MO Macau will be running regular retreats through the year so keep your eyes peeled for more events.