Are you caught up in the trappings of the daily rat race and succumbing to a hectic job that robs you of valuable ‘me’ time? Sounds familiar? Then give yourself some much-deserved time out to recharge on a regular basis and to face life’s challenges again with renewed vitality and wellbeing. Vivienne Tang lists Asia’s most-loved transformational retreats around the region
1. Rejuvenate at Song Saa Private Island, Aun Island, Cambodia
5 or 7 Nights
Song Saa’s wellness retreats are already proving to be a much-loved addition to the private island’s spectacular offerings. Currently the resort offers three programmes, Refresh, Revive and Rejuventae, with the latter being the most popular one. It is cleansing and empowering, allowing you to take control of your health, creating a base for well-being and happiness. The retreat includes diet, physical activities (paddle boarding, yoga, Buddhist blessing, Khmer cooking class), as well as indulgent massages and baths to purify and detoxify. Song Saa is the perfect place to detach from the outer world and give yourself some much-needed time out.
2. Comprehensive Detox & Rejuvenation Program at Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand
7 to 14 Nights
The most popular porgramme at Kamalaya is without a doubt its seven-night Comprehensive Detox & Rejuvenation Program. Being the most effective retreat, it is also the most intensive one and is only recommended for experienced detoxers, rather than first-timers. The programme includes daily therapies, such as colonics, massages and fitness activities, and comes with nutritional supplements and healthy meals. It is an integrated approach, fusing Eastern and Western medical traditions, to create a foundation for optimum health and to experience the ‘lightness of being’. Kamalaya has also launched a popular Sleep Retreat to improve your sleep cycle and get that much needed shut-eye.
3. Bespoke Retreat at COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia
3 to 8 Nights
Being COMO’s flagship as well as a wellness oasis with a number of luxurious villas, the COMO Shambhala Estate’s unique location adds a magical healing touch to any retreat you decide to book yourself in for. However, the Bespoke Retreat is ideal if you want to relieve stress, restore optimal well-being or simply prevent and treat a range of illnesses. During the programme the resident Ayurvedic doctor helps you to create a comprehensive healing itinerary based on your needs to restore well-being by balancing your physical and emotional energy systems. The individual diagnosis-based protocol includes three spa treatments, nutritional therapy, hydrotherapy, Pilates, meditation and rice-paddy treks. You will also get to eat from the award-winning COMO Shambhala Cuisine menu.
4. Signature Rejuvenation Retreat, Panca Mahabhuta at Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, Bali, Indonesia
3 to 21 Nights
No matter which retreat at Fivelements you decide to go for, be prepared for a transformation. However, its signature retreat, which you definitely need to experience at least once, is the Panca Mahabhuta (five elements), a life-altering programme for rejuvenation, replenishment and alignment. The programme includes Balinese-inspired healing therapies, such as rituals for purification, balancing and regeneration, as well as an array of scrumptious living foods and sacred arts, all designed to allow your highest potential and an organic healing to unfold on physical, emotional and spiritual levels. The retreat is available for individuals, couples and small groups and can take three to 21 nights, depending on the guest’s needs. For a more intense cleansing programme, which takes transformation to the next level, opt for the Signature Detox Retreat, Tri Kaya Parisudha.
5. Organic Weight Loss at The Farm at San Benito, Philippines
The Farm cleverly fuses detoxes and holistic treatments with integrated medical services. Therefore, this makeover retreat works its magic from the inside out. During this six-day/seven-night detox you can experience The Farm’s award-winning raw, vegan and super delicious cuisine. Start the programme with a blood analysis, followed by a number of treatments, including acupuncture, reflexology, colonics, massages, body salt baths, a fitness evaluation, cardio classes, yoga, meditation and much more. All treatments are scheduled carefully to break down fat and support weight loss, and detoxification occurs naturally during this programme, due to the fresh, organic meals and juices. Leave with an improved sense of well-being, clearer and smoother skin, newly gained nutritional advice and several pounds lighter.
See also: Top 8 Wellness Trends for 2019
6. Alignment & Movement Retreat at Amanpulo, Pamalican Island, Philippines
What better place is there to indulge in some alone time than on a secluded island only to be reached by private plane? Join this annual retreat at Amanpulo to restore spinal and pelvic alignment and flexibility within your body. Focusing on body awareness, neglected and weak muscles are strengthened through Pilates, and physical tension is released through watsu and cranial osteopathy. The four-night retreat also includes watsu and a postural assessment to improve posture and greater mobility. The next retreat takes place in December, and guests can pick four nights within the proposed ten days.
7. Eternal Youth at Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand
5 to 14 Nights
This physical makeover at Asia’s retreat pioneer will not only leave you feeling recharged, but also looking renewed. Chiva-Som’s Eternal Youth programme is designed to enhance your aesthetic appearance with minimal recovery time and long-lasting results. You start with a facial analysis and skin consultation so the US- trained doctors can prescribe the most suitable treatments to achieve your desired results. The specialised treatments at the Niranlada Medi-Spa include non-invasive laser treatments, micro-invasive cosmetic surgery and anti- ageing medicine. Guests are also able to choose from daily fitness and leisure activities, as well as holistic therapies, including Chi Nei Tsang, naturopathy, stress release therapy and more.
8. Yoga Retreat at MesaStila, Java, Indonesia
MesaStila is a hidden gem tucked away in the forests of Java. Located on a coffee plantation with colonial buildings, the estate is a luxurious haven that also boasts its very own Hammam Spa. The property offers year-round wellness programmes and also invites visiting practitioners to host special retreats, such as the Yoga Retreat taught by yoga teacher Marta Laseras. Reconnect with body and mind during this four-day/ three-night stay, while taking in the stunning environment at MesaStila. The retreat alternates between vinyasa flow yoga, relaxation and meditation. In addition to yoga, you also learn self-massage and proper breathing. The next retreat is scheduled from May 16 to 19, with more dates in June.
9. Gwinganna Detox at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Queensland, Australia
Located on a plateau, surrounded by ocean and valley views, with over 200 hectares to explore, Gwinganna creates the perfect environment for a retreat. Guests can choose from a number of retreats that incorporate morning hikes, organic meals, including seafood and chicken, wellness seminars, spa treatments and a vast range of holistic sessions, such as reiki, kinesiology, qigong, naturopathy and much more. Dubbed the Rolls Royce of retreats, the Gwinganna Detox is the property’s most-loved programme. It cleanses, regenerates and renews, allowing your body to ‘catch up’, leaving you with a clearer understanding of your body’s needs.
10. Yoga Holiday at Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui, Thailand
5 to 10 Nights
Absolute Sanctuary offers a number of retreats, such as its Anti Stress & Burnout Packages, Detox Programs and newly launched Pilates Reformer Bootcamp Holidays, but the core of the brand still remains its dedication to yoga. Enjoy their signature Yoga Holiday package and indulge in various yoga styles, including their very own Hot Yoga and Absolute Fit sequences, which are uniquely designed to burn fat and tone the body. During the retreat, yoga classes are unlimited and guests can also enjoy à la carte vegetarian meals, Thai massage and colon hydrotherapy sessions.