9 wellness retreats in Asia to help you find your bliss


9 wellness retreats in Asia to help you find your bliss

Relaxation and romance on the double

By Jia Singh  December 9th, 2017

Your upcoming wedding is going to be hectic and you haven’t been able to carve out three weeks for a leisurely honeymoon because you must rush back to work. Don’t fret, because we’ve scoured the finest wellness getaways in Asia that will instantly soothe those frayed nerves, ease your aching muscles, and promise tranquil surroundings for you both to unwind. Think picturesque locales, around-the-clock TLC, and perhaps a hike or two. These destination spas have painstakingly combined the best of eastern and western medicine to leave you feeling relaxed and re-energised. 

9 best wellness retreats in Asia 

Maldives

Amilla Fushi, Baa Atoll

Forget the white sand beaches and overwater villas, and check into Amilla’s new treetop house in the UNESCO biosphere reserve of Baa Atoll. It’s basically your own wellness retreat 12 metres above the ground, complete with an en-suite spa and personal trainer. Designed by James Duigan (founder of the clean living system Bodyism), the retreat offers daily massages, guided meditation, morning TRX sessions and a tailor-made menu. Try the Ila Couples Connect, a 120-minute treatment that includes a massage, facial and shirodhara therapy that makes everyone feel like royalty.

ELLE loves: The in-villa facials are all done with the ethical cosmetic brand, Ila.

Amilla.mv

Indonesia

Five Elements, Bali

This holistic escape in Ubud has won several awards, including the World Luxury Restaurant’s Gourmet Vegan Cuisine award in 2016 for its Sakti Dining Room. It is highly sought-after for its organic, plant-based dishes (think avocado sushi ceviche). Five Elements offers healing therapies to restore energy balance, harmonise the chakras and soothe the nerves. The most popular, A Sacred Cave, involves a speedboat ride to the island of Nusa Penida, where the couple gets blessed by a priest and can meditate in the Goa Giri Putri cave temple. After the ceremony, the couple can enjoy a picnic and spend time exploring the island.

ELLE loves: The signature Five Elements ritual that ends with a hibiscus flower bath, with the gentle gurgling of the Ayung river in the background.

Fivelements.org/en

Maldives

Six Senses Laamu, Laamu Atoll

The resort’s serene environment sets the right tone for you to dive into a cleanse. While their spa treatments largely focus on Ayurveda, Six Senses also designs personalised wellness programmes that combine eastern and western medicine practices for a complete detox, to help you get fitter and sleep better. For some quiet time, practise breathwork, aerial yoga or yoga nidra (guided meditation to help with your sleep) with their resident yoga master. Located on a private island in Laamu Atoll, this sustainable eco-resort takes no shortcuts with luxury. You can continue to live your best life at their sushi restaurant and devour an exhaustive cocktail menu. Be sure you make time to swim, snorkel and enjoy a languid champagne breakfast. 

ELLE loves: The aerial yoga sessions in the open yoga shala with a view of dolphins swimming along the shore.

Sixsenses.com/resorts/laamu/spa

Indonesia

Four Seasons Bali at Sayan, Bali

This award-winning Four Seasons resort is an institution, with loyal guests returning year after year. Situated in Sayan, a quiet part of Ubud, it offers different variations of yoga from anti-gravity to yin and restorative yoga. Sign up for the honeymooners favourite, the Anahata, a 150-minute chakra ritual for two that clears negativity, opens up the heart chakra, and restores compassion and love in the body. The resort also has bespoke journeys for active couples, with an overnight trek to the Mt Batur volcano that offers unforgettable sunrise views.

ELLE loves: The couple’s session with a traditional Balinese healer, Balian. These healers are known to treat various ailments and perform energy healing ceremonies. Expect to be bathing with holy water while meditating. 

Fourseasons.com/sayan

Thailand

Kamalaya, Koh Samui

The award-winning resort takes stress management very seriously and has a well-equipped facility with practitioners of meditation, sleep enhancement and Chinese medicine. The spa also has Chinese and Tibetan medicine-based treatments as well as Ayurvedic and Thai massages. Book an appointment with the co-founder Karina Stewart, who leads a series of self-discovery retreats for couples.

ELLE loves: Their wellness cuisine, based on eastern medicine, that won Spa Cuisine Of The Year in 2016 by Asia Spa.

Kamalaya.com  

Indonesia

Alila Seminyak, Bali

The eco-friendly resort’s Divine Healing excursion for couples begins with a walk on the beach with the yoga master. This is followed by a warm-up sequence to prepare the duo for the yoga session. The couple is then introduced to a Balinese temple priest, who then guides them through a purification ceremony to bring the two closer and to restore harmony.  The Alila Seminyak is strategically located (just 20 minutes from the more commercial Kuta), so you always have your privacy and downtime, but are never more than 10 minutes away from a bar.

ELLE loves: Their spa treatments end with a Vichy shower experience that’s kind of like hydrotherapy, with multiple water jets aimed at various parts of your body to release muscle tension—all while you’re lying down.

Alilahotels.com/seminyak

Thailand

Keemala, Phuket

Located on a hillside on Kamala beach, the resort is perfect for couples who are the active type or those who want to sit back and indulge. There are yoga, Pilates and Thai boxing lessons to pick from, or you can sign up for a trek through the surrounding rain forest. But we would rather let the experts at Keemala create a wellness plan for us—it also includes a take-home regimen. Their Mala Spa offers some well-known Chinese and acupuncture treatments, but also lesser-known healing Maori and Mayan massages. 

ELLE loves: Stay in their seemingly suspended tree houses that have won the World’s Sexiest Bedroom title at The Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards.

Keemala.com

Bhutan

Como Uma Paro, Paro

Nestled amongst cedar trees on a steep cliff, the resort helps you experience the simple pleasures of mountain life in the “happiest place on earth”. Himalayan Wellness Discovery, their glorious six-night wellness itinerary, incorporates daily yoga and meditation sessions, deep tissue massages, an archery lesson, monastery visits and a Bhutanese hot stone bath to alleviate muscular tension and soothe the nerves. The state-of-the-art spa, which overlooks the breathtaking Paro valley, will put you in a transcendental state. Remember to carry sturdy walking shoes and a good camera for scenic, mind-clearing hikes.

ELLE loves: The 2,900-metre walk to the legendary Tiger’s Nest monastery, followed by an indulgent hot stone bath and massage.

Comohotels.com/umaparo

Mauritius

Shanti Maurice, Mauritius

The sprawling 75,000sq ft Nira Spa on the property adopts an integrated approach to wellness, targeting diet and workout needs as well as mental well-being, with holistic treatments like watsu showers, reiki and chakra healing. Couples can choose from a wide variety of journeys, including the Shanti Sleep package designed to harmonise the body and mind, improve sleeping patterns and alleviate stress. The five- or seven-night package features yoga nidra, Tibetan sound massages, shirodhara and magnesium sleep therapy. 

ELLE loves: The Shiva Shakti couples yoga and the age-defying 24K gold facial.

Shantimaurice.com