Best relaxation spas in Asia

Best relaxation spas in Asia

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Smoochy Spa

One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

Just getting away is romantic. But at the One&Only Reethi Rah, you can get further off the grid with hideaways within the resort. Private salas are scattered around the resort, perched over the Indian Ocean, so couples can canoodle post-spa or pre-dinner. Inside the spa, two private suites—accessible via a secluded walkway—allow couples to get simultaneous treatments with wraparound views of the Indian Ocean. There’s even a bathtub—again, oceanside–for two. One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives; Web:

Design Award – Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali

Designed by the Singapore-based WOHA firm, this cliff-perched resort blends ecology with contemporary aesthetics and high luxury. Eco-friendly designs that incorporate local fauna – the Alila outpost is Green Globe-certified — meld with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean. Construction materials, which included lava rock, teak and bamboo, were locally sourced, as are all the skin products and soaps. Visitors can choose to have spa treatments in one of five deluxe villas, each with a private entrance, herbal steam shower and his/her grooming stations. The resort’s “relaxation pavilions,” wooden, airy structures that jut over the cliff, provide stunning panoramas. Alila Villas Uluwatu is the kind of place where self-indulgence comes guilt-free — at least in an ecological sense. Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia; Web:

Aquum Spa at Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

The underwater spa at Huvafen Fushi—just a short walk on a bridge from shore and down a few stairs–is like walking into a gigantic fishbowl. Here, you can have a massage to a serene audience of swimming schools of fish. Huvafen Fushi, North Male Atoll, Republic of Maldives; Web:

Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing

The ultra-luxe Singaporean Aman Resorts chain has carved out an oasis inside the Emperor’s refuge and features a spa with nine self-contained treatment suites and a menu that mixes traditional Chinese and modern techniques. Trust us: Holding court never seemed so cool. Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, China; Web:


The Spa Resorts Samui Beach

Detox is served straight up here at this rustic spa, which offers three- and seven-day fasting and cleansing programs. Located on Lamai Beach, a popular destination for locals and tourists, the spa has been a secret for industry insiders who want no fuss – and low-cost — treatments. “Guests stay in Robinson Crusoe-like bungalows at the beach, and doctors are available on-site throughout the entire process,” says Samantha Arnold, the regional vice president of Aroma Therapy Associates in Asia, who found out about the spa from friends. “There’s no sugar-coating, but it’s very effective.” The Spa Resorts Koh Samui, Koh Samui, Thailand; Web:


A comprehensive list of detox remedies – from Eastern and Western medicines – are available on the spa’s “Wellness à la Carte” menu, catering to each guest’s detox needs. Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand; Web:

The Farm at San Benito

Signature treatments, such as “Infusion Therapy,” in which wheat grass and aloe vera are used to cleanse the digestive tract, and the “Magnetic Clay Foot Bath,” which draws out toxins from the body, offer alternatives to traditional colonics and liver-cleansing treatments. The Farm at San Benito, Batangas, Philippines; Web:

Foodie Spas

The Farm at San Benito

The Farm at San Benito has been a pioneer of raw and vegan cuisine in Asia. The resort uses dehydrators and molecular-gastronomy techniques to create healthy dishes such as homemade granola, fresh-baked breads and meatless burgers. “All of the food comes off as effortless and incredibly delicious,” says Cathy Chon, managing director of CatchOn, a brand communications company that focuses on hospitality and wellness. Almost all of the food at The Farm is harvested on the premises; the property’s vegan restaurant, Alive!, has its own organic garden. There’s even a bungalow dedicated to morning shots of wheat grass. The Farm, Batangas, Philippines; Web:

Six Senses Sanctuary Phuket

Choose a pescatarian (fish and veggie-only) diet, or go completely raw at the Dinner at the Point restaurant, where nothing is cooked beyond 42 C to ensure all natural enzymes are preserved. Six Senses Sanctuary Phuket, Phuket, Thailand; Web:


Chiva-Som’s two restaurants – Emerald Room and Taste of Siam – use a mix of Thai and Western influences to cook up low-calorie versions of dishes such as prawn salad and coconut curry, that are a feast for the eyes and mouth.Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand; Web:

Girlfriend Getaways

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok

This Tony Chi-designed spa offers maximum privacy for a group getaway. Its spa cottages, nestled in a fifth-floor landscaped garden, are outfitted with a living room, bedroom and separate treatment room. Book all six (two people in each) and wake up to breakfast served in bed and a whole day’s worth of treatments. The oasis is also within Bangkok’s best shopping district. Head to the Erawan Bangkok shopping center, which is connected to the hotel, for edgy designers such as Comme des Gar çons and Helmut Lang. Or walk across the street to the Gaysorn mall for big brands such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton. Web:

Fairmont Beijing

At the newly opened Willow Stream Spa, suites are configured in clusters of five singles rooms opening to a communal space for groups to relax together. Step outside the hotel and you’re in the middle of Beijing’s central business district, right next to the Silk Market and minutes from high-end malls like The Place and the China World Shopping Mall. Web:

Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

You can’t beat the shopping and relaxing combination at the Four Seasons Hong Kong – situated within the high-end IFC mall and walking distance from the Central and Soho shopping districts. The spa itself boasts harbor views, 18 individual treatment rooms and large communal areas for mingling and relaxing. Web:


Tria Integrative Wellness

This is a true medical-wellness spa, with treatments for the body, mind and spirit. With 24 doctors and practitioners on staff—11 are on-site everyday—the spa offers acupuncture, integrative medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and naturopathic and homeopathic treatments, among others. “A guest choosing this facility is someone looking for life balance, not just a quick aesthetic fix,” says Maggie Gunning, a spa consultant in Singapore. Tria Integrative Wellness, Bangkok, Thailand; Web:

S Medical Spa

Aesthetics is spa-speak for cosmetic treatments from botox to noninvasive face lifts, dermabrasion and lipolysis (a new, less invasive form of liposuction). This spa is “a combination of aesthetics with pampering,” says Ms. Gunning. The spa’s offerings include detox treatments, such as colon hydrotherapy, along with basic facials and body wraps. But it also offers antiaging treatments, ranging from pigment removal from sun-damaged skin to laser treatments and “instant” face lifts. S Medical Spa, Bangkok, Thailand; Web:


Treatments at this destination spa are all-encompassing, ranging from weight management and detox to physiotherapy and naturopathic consultations. Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand; Web:

The Pavilions, Phuket

This resort’s tropical pool villas have their own spa rooms, which means you never have to leave your premises for a massage. What’s more, no kids are allowed; guests must be at least 16 years old. The Pavilions, Phuket; Web:

CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa

What can be more romantic than a resort that’s reachable only by boat? Plus, the CHI spa here is designed with pampering and indulgence in mind. Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa, Philippines; Web:


The Bulgari Resort, Bali

A wide-open view of the ocean—that’s what this spa offers in four of its rooms. Of course, the entire resort has sweeping views — it sits on a cliff 150 meters above the Indian Ocean, and its unique location on the southwestern tip of Bali means you can catch the sunrise and the sunset. The spa is housed in an antique hand-carved Javanese home that was found on the island of Java and reconstructed piece by piece at the resort. Treatments include ESPA body wraps, intensive facials and holistic massages, such as reflexology and Ayurvedic hot stone massages. The Bulgari Resort in Bali; Web:

Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

An oasis overlooking an oasis, the spa at the Oberoi in Agra has beautiful views of the Taj Mahal. Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India; Web:

CHI, The Spa at China World Summit Wing, Beijing

It’s not the highest spa in Asia—that honor goes to the Park Hyatt in Shanghai—but from the 77th floor, CHI spa offers a bird’s-eye view (albeit often hazy) of the Chinese capital. CHI, The Spa at China World Summit Wing, Beijing; Web:


Ananda in the Himalayas

This serious yogi’s retreat is close to the mythical city of Rishikesh, one of the holy sites of India believed to be a birthplace of yoga — the Beatles are even said to have spent time at a Rishikesh ashram learning meditation. With a steady stream of visiting yoga masters, Ananda dismisses the latest yoga fads and focuses on the true roots of the practice with an emphasis on traditional Hatha yoga. From beginner sessions studying basic sun salutations to more advanced Pranayama “energy locks” and deep-breathing exercises, visitors can expect to gain a deeper understanding of yoga –mentally, physically and spiritually. Ananda in the Himalayas, Palace Estate, Uttarakhand, India; Web:

Absolute Sanctuary

Absolute Sanctuary prides itself on its popular hot yoga classes, amongst others. The spa also operates stand-alone yoga studios in both Thailand and Singapore. Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand; Web:

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali

Vinyasa, or flow-based yoga, is the focus at COMO, where luxury is king. Every studio is constructed from natural materials and opens up to incorporate fresh air and light. There’s never a crowd at classes–for those who don’t want to sweat with the masses. COMO Shambhala, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; Web: