10 Spas of a Lifetime in Southeast Asia!

Bulgari Bali
Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Bulgari recruited Ritz-Carlton to manage the resort and tapped celebrated spa-design firm ESPA to run the property using Bulgari’s own product line. This team has melded modern Italian glam with ancient Bali -nese enchantment atop an Uluwatu promontory, where an intricately carved teak house serves as the reception area.
Favorite treatment: I don’t normally love facials, but The Bulgari Gem Essence facial is truly amazing. It uses actual gem dust from the brand’s famous jewels. I also love the guided sunrise meditation, followed by a rice-and-spice exfoliation, a ginger-yogurt wrap, and a lava-stone massage.
Rooms from $750; +62.361.847.1000

Six Senses Soneva Kiri
Koh Kood, Thailand
The only way to get to Thailand’s most exclusive new eco-resort is by taking a private plane to an islet airstrip (the hotel’s Cessna flies you in from Bangkok), followed by a quick speed boat ride around the east-coast island jungle near the border of Cambodia. When you finally reach Six Senses, you’ll find 29 villas dotting the beach and cliff, as well as an utterly sublime spa offering holistic therapies and panoramic views of Klong Son Bay.
Favorite treatment: The two-and-a-half-hour Jungle Escape is a body scrub given on a heated stone bed beneath a bamboo mist shower, ending with a Thai herbal-compress massage.
Rooms from $1,192; +66.3961.9800

Dhara Dhevi
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Covering nearly an acre, this monumental ayurvedic compound replicates an ancient Mandalay palace, complete with a seven-tiered teakwood roof that represents the seven steps to nirvana. An army of therapists and doctors delivers holistic remedies and spiritual guidance.
Favorite treatment: The energizing mardanam, a synchronized, four-hands, deep-tissue massage that uses herbal powders and warm oil.
Rooms from $410; 800.526.6566

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang
Penang, Malaysia
Chi Spa by Shangri-La is one of the world’s greatest spa brands, and I believe this is their best spa yet. Eleven treatment villas—some with private terraces, outdoor tubs, and steam showers—ramble across an acre of lush gardens shaded by centuries-old rain trees on Penang’s most pristine beach.
Favorite treatment: The yin-and-yang-balancing chi massage, followed by an hour-long Himalayan barley rub.
Rooms from $244; +60.4888.8888

Four Seasons Langkawi
Langkawi, Malaysia
Four Seasons’ best spa is wedged dramatically between the tranquil Andaman Sea and a soaring limestone cliff. Several private pavilions (outdoor showers, celadon tubs, chirping birds) appear to float atop an insanely romantic reflecting pool.
Favorite treatment: Taksu kasih, a 90-minute rhythmic massage har monized with hypnotic Asian music (you’ll want to buy the CD to bring home).
Rooms from $588; +60.4950.8888

The Nam Hai, a Four Seasons Resort
Hoi An, Vietnam
On picturesque China Beach, this resort balances sleek contemporary architecture with tropical Asian flourishes, such as the spa’s eight languid, indoor-outdoor villas surrounding a mystical lotus pond. The spa menu fuses aromatherapy, ayurveda, and herbal traditions that span the trail from Bali to Tibet.
Signature treatment: Traditional Vietnamese massage with an aroma therapy foot polish.
Rooms from $750; +84.510.394.0000

Anantara Si Kao Resort & Spa
Trang Province, Thailand
Concealed among dense tropical gardens on a lazy beach along the Andaman Sea, this place has one of those Turkish fish pools where hundreds of live critters nibble away at your dead skin cells. The resort also includes a naturo pathic consultation center led by one of Asia’s top ayurveda gurus.
Favorite treatment: The three-day rejuvena -tion program, featuring massage, daily yoga, and lunches.
Rooms from $184; +66.7520.5888

Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary
Koh Samui, Thailand
Chinese medicine, Western naturopathy, and ayurvedic healing come together amid a former Buddhist monks’ meditation cave and the cascading streams of an idyllic lagoon.
Favorite treatment: Daily sessions with a private trainer, followed by alternating turns in the cold plunge pool and the steam cavern, then either a Reiki or a Thai massage.
Rooms from $197; +66 7742 9800

Spa Village at Pangkor Laut
Pangkor Laut, Malaysia
This beautiful private island is accessible by helicopter or boat. Spectacular villas dot the hillside and beach, with some units rising up from the water. The Spa Village is gorgeous, a massive complex of plunge pools and massage huts. There’s an Ayruvedic doctor and traditional Chinese doctor onsite to prescribe the ideal treatments.
Favorite treatment: The progression of plunge pools is an extraordinary journey, so make sure to allow an extra hour before any treatments. Then when it comes to massage, opt for the traditional wooden massage table and Ayruvedic aromatherapy. Just don’t let the guru prescribe any essentials oils to be squirted up your nose–you’ll regret it. Everything else, though, you’ll love.
Rooms from $322; +60.3.2783.1000

The Peninsula Bangkok
Bangkok, Thailand
This magnificent, three-story, Thai colonial spa (also run by ESPA), adjacent to the high-rise Peninsula, is nestled among lush gardens overlooking the Chao Phraya River. Therapies intertwine Thai, European, and ayur vedic techniques—bathing with a lover has never felt better for both of you.
Favorite treatment: A four-hour journey that includes Thai Yoga massage (maybe the best I’ve ever had) and an age-defying facial.
Rooms from $400; +66.2861.2888

See also: Best City Hotels in Asia

Kiva - loans that change lives

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: