Routes to Recovery

Thailand's detox destinations are the perfect choice for a New Year cleansing session.

Thailand’s detox destinations are the perfect choice for a New Year cleansing session.

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Thailand is well known as a lively place to welcome in the New Year with a bang – especially for revelers that like a dance on the beach. In recent years, however, the Kingdom has also become a sought after destination for those looking to cleanse the body and free the mind of the daily grind.

Ironically, or perhaps deliberately, some of the best-known health and wellness resorts in Thailand are located within easy reach of the country’s most popular party spots. This means revelers can detox and retox until they find the holiday that suits them best.

If you lean more towards the healthy side than the celebratory side of life; Thailand’s beaches and hillsides offer plenty of opportunities to ‘get with a programme’ and start the year well.

Kamalaya, Koh Samui

One of the Kingdom’s best well known holistic spa resorts, Kamalaya offers a number of wellness programs surrounded by the tropical splendours of Koh Samui.

The wellness center offers full-board programs (inclusive of accommodation, all meals, beverages, fitness facilities and organized activities) ranging from three to 14 nights. A full analysis and health consultation is offered with all the packages.

Shorter courses include the Relax & Renew, an indulgent wellness holiday. This three-day course comes with a number of massages – oil, hand, foot, Thai, and head massage – as well as a scrub & wrap treatment and an ancient Taoist Chi Nei Tsang session. Additional alternative medicine treatments can also be arranged.

Thanyapura, Phuket

Delivering a truly holistic approach to wellness, Thanyapura comprises a sports and leisure club, mind center, international school, sports hotel and integrative health centre, the latter focusing on preventative and regenerative medicine as well as specialist treatments including the application of advanced stem cell technology.

Thanyapura Integrative Health Center offers three health packages, including De-stress (7/14N), where personal training, private yoga, or Thai boxing sessions are complemented with customized relaxation strategies created by the personal trainers.

A favorite with those working on their new year resolutions is the Weight Loss (10/14N) programme, a full-board course that offers access to a team of physicians, a mind trainer, and a nutritionist for a holistic approach not only to shedding, but also keeping off the pounds.

Chiva-Som, Hua Hin

Located close to the royal Thai seaside town of Hua Hin, approximately three hours from Bangkok, Chiva-Som was the pioneer of luxury holistic health retreats in Thailand.

The multi-award-winning health resort and destination spa offers 11 all-inclusive programs integrating naturopathic and traditional medicines, and every guest is assigned a health and wellness advisor to guide them through the mind, body, and soul programs.

To cleanse the body, mind, and soul of 2014, the ‘Art of Detox’ package offers a cleansing diet to relieve the digestive and metabolic systems, lymphatic drainage, colonic hydrotherapy, stretching and pranayama sessions; longer programs include additional treatments including detoxifying balneotherapy, flower remedy, dry skin brushing, and cooking class.

The Sanctuary, Koh Phangan

Located a short boat ride from Koh Samui, Koh Phangan is perhaps the ultimate detox-retox island, known as much for its monthly full moon parties as it is for its holistic wellness offerings.

Located on the tranquil Haad Tien Bay, The Sanctuary is a long-standing beacon of serenity in the chaos and offers a range of detox programs, yoga retreats and health holidays, plus regular alternative therapies and workshops.

Detox programs range from one-day quickies to a 10.5-day master cleanse, but for an immersive experience with the best results, The Sanctuary offers all-inclusive detox packages. The shortest 5N program is essentially a 3.5-day mini-fast with scheduled shakes and herbs, lymph flush, colonic session, three each yoga and spa treatments.

The Spa Resort, Chiang Mai

For visitors who can do without the beach, Thailand’s ever-popular northern city, Chiang Mai, is well loved for its low-key appeal, which can also do wonders if you enjoy a slower pace of life with plenty of local culture on tap.

For those looking to take relaxation and rejuvenation a step further, there’s The Spa Resort located in a lush valley not far from town. The wellness retreat offers food therapy programs, fasting, spa therapies, yoga, meditation, as well as guest retreats and workshops.

With an idyllic rural setting, the resort also features a 20-acre farm with 30-40 different varieties of vegetables and fruits that guarantee guests eat fresh and healthy meals throughout the stay. There’s even a self sufficient composting factory to help all the natural goodness thrive.

Doing a Little Research Pays Off

The range of programmes, courses and activities on offer in Thailand’s top wellness retreats is vast and inspiring. With a little advanced research you can match all your healthy aspirations.

  • If the holidays brought on too much excess, Kamalaya has Detox programs, ranging from an Introduction level to Basic and Comprehensive. The shortest three-day course (Introduction to Detox) comprises Chi Nei Tsang, Far Infrared Sauna, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, and massages.
  • Looking to start the new year by getting more active? Thanyapura runs regular triathlon, aquatics, and tennis training camps, often with world-renowned pros.
  • For a program designed specifically to combat stress, Chiva-Som offers “Inner Peace”, which combines personal training with mind-calming treatments of meditation, flower remedies, floatation and stress release therapies, and pranayama.
  • If you are short on time but want to get high on life, The Sanctuary also offers daily drop-in yoga and pilates classes plus free evening meditation sessions.
  • To stretch away the stress, try the one week Yoga Holiday at The Spa Resort, inclusive of all meals plus seven nights accommodation, daily meditation and yoga classes, Thai massage, and steam or sauna daily.
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