Whether you need a getaway to deal with a mid-life crisis, are in dire need of a holiday somewhere far away, or simply want some mindful downtime for your body to reset, a few days at a wellness retreat is the solution to most problems. Waking up in the peace and quiet of nature, kicking off your day with meditation, being whisked away to spa appointments, and plenty of nourishing meals served to you throughout the day — what’s not the love about wellness retreats?
But when it comes to luxury wellness stays, few do it better than the five-star retreats in Asia. If you’re ready for breathtaking views, activities designed to reset your mind and body, and weeks full of pampering, there are several luxury wellness retreats in Asia waiting to welcome you. The only word of advice? They will make it incredibly hard for you to leave!
10 The Farm At San Benito, Philippines
Nestled within the jungles of Batangas and a short drive from the Filipino capital of Manila, The Farm at San Benito is not just any luxury wellness resort: it’s a medical wellness resort and one of the only ones in the country. The Farm was awarded the “Best Medical Wellness Resort” in the world title by SENSES Wellness Award in 2012, and for a good reason. The usual detox cleanses and mental health care programs aside; The Farm also offers more focused all-inclusive packages that are designed to aid serious medical ailments like diabetes prevention, heart health, and holistic cancer care. The Farm at San Benito is a whole lot more than your usual luxury wellness retreat.
9 Santani, Sri Lanka
Santani translates to “in harmony with,” and the Sri Lankan wellness retreat will bring your mind and body in harmony with each other using Ayurveda, yoga, and detox cleanses. Though a little bit of luxury and a lot of pampering always help, of course! Guests can choose from one of several wellness programs that Santani offers, including post-trauma recovery, an Ayurvedic reset, weight loss programs, as well as simple spa or yoga getaways. You’ll also be served personalized meals based on individual health goals and wellness programs.
8 Amanpuri, Thailand
Perched on a white sand beach in Phuket, Amanpuri is surrounded by coconut palm trees and the crashing waves of the Andaman Sea. While the picturesque retreat offers the usual suspects, its true stars are Muay Thai training, traditional Chinese medicine treatments, watersports, and personalized fitness programs and meal plans using OligoScan testing. Even better, Amanpuri is one of the rare retreats that doesn’t require its guests to have weeks on end to commit to their wellness journey. Instead, it gives busy travelers a taste of its luxurious wellness regime in as little as 24 hours.
7 COMO Shambhala Estate, Indonesia
COMO Shambhala is situated above a gorge and next to the river Ayung in Bali, with only trees and greenery as far as the eyes can see. A selection of wellness programs includes hours in the spa, consultations with wellness experts, a schedule of daily activities like yoga, pilates, and hydrotherapy, and meals tailor-made for your wellness journey. When guests are not taking in the fresh air, soaking in the natural springs, or gazing at the river, they can choose to go white river rafting, mountain biking, outdoor circuit training, and hiking.
6 Amanoi, Vietnam
Amanoi is the ideal setting for a wellness getaway. Located inside the Nui Chua National Park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Amanoi overlooks the stunning Vinh Hy Bay, which, quite literally, translates to “place of peace.” Pavilions and residences overlooking the lush mountains and lakes make up the retreat, including two pool villas that are exclusively reserved for those seeking a wellness escape at the property. A lakeside spa takes care of the massages, and a mix of assessments and consultations to decide on the activities, exercises, therapies, and meal plans best suited to reset your body and bring it back to balance.
5 Chiva-Som, Thailand
For those who only want the finest and nothing other than the very best, Chiva-Som will tick all the boxes for the perfect wellness retreat. Amongst its long list of awards, the beachside retreat snagged the “Top Destination Spa Resort in the World” title at the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards in 2021. Chiva-Som’s team of in-house experts designs treatments, activities, and meals depending on one of six wellness plans that guests can choose from. The property is made up of several pilates and fitness studios, yoga and tai chi pavilions, Watsu pools, and outdoor spa treatment rooms. An electronic-free policy in the public area will ensure that no loud cellphones disturb your zen.
4 Gangtey Lodge, Bhutan
The Gangtey Lodge in Bhutan successfully turns its remote location into its greatest advantage. Six hours away from the nearest airport and located in a valley surrounded by mountains, the 12-roomed farmhouse is rated to be amongst some of the best resorts in Asia. Gangtey Lodge focuses on wellbeing by encouraging guests to spend time exploring ancient trails through pine forests, hikes and cycle ride to nearby mountain peaks, in-suite spas and sublime bath experiences, spiritual rituals and guided meditation classes at the nearby 17th-century Buddhist monastery, and home-style meals cooked using local produce and served at a restaurant with stunning views of the landscape. The fact that the luxury lodge is hard to reach only adds to its beauty, and the wellness retreat will feel like a true escape from the rest of the world.
3 Amanemu, Japan
A Japanese onsen, or hot water spring, is thought to be rich in minerals that are beneficial for health. These onsens are almost always surrounded by traditional Japanese inns known as ryokans. Amanemu in Shima takes the concept of age-old onsens and ryokans and turns it into a luxurious wellness retreat. A 2,000-square-metre spa is designed around a hot-spring bath, and the retreat’s overall approach to wellness blends ancient Japanese healing techniques with modern therapies. When guests are not soaking in mineral-rich waters or strolling through one of the many gardens meant for quiet reflection, they can take in the breathtaking landscape of the peninsula that Amanemu sits on.
2 Joali Being, Maldives
A short seaplane ride to an island resort in the Maldives that is cut off from land is no big feat, really, but a short seaplane ride to a secluded wellness island resort in the Maldives isn’t exactly an everyday thing. The first Maldivian island retreat to focus on wellbeing, Joali Being is the famous luxury resort Joali’s sister property. Except here, in addition to villas that open up to the vast ocean, guests can sign up for up to three weeks of wellness programs that center around four pillars: mind, skin, microbiome, and energy. The programs include several assessments and consultations, meditation and body movement classes, spas and treatments, as well as access to hydrotherapy halls, sound therapy, the herbology centers.
1 Ananda In The Himalayas, India
Ranking number one on Condé Nast’s list of best destination spas in the world at the Readers’ Choice Awards (USA & UK) says something about a wellness resort. But holding that spot for two years in a row says even more about Ananda in the Himalayas. As the name suggests, Ananda is located in the Himalayas, with rooms looking down on the Rishikesh valley. The retreat is a master of luxury, wellness, and first-class hospitality.
Ayurvedic doctors plan meals and spa treatments according to your Dosha (mind and body type), and daily schedules are packed with yoga, meditation, golf sessions, and cooking classes. Afternoon tea takes place in the Viceregal Palace, wake-up calls are accompanied by a hot detox tea in bed, and hot water bags and nighttime snacks surprise guests after turndown service. Outdoor excursions include trips to the famous sunset Aarti (prayers) on the banks of the river Ganges and hikes to temples on mountain peaks. The best part? No need to pack any clothes for this wellness retreat. Guests are encouraged to wear the white pajamas provided fresh by Ananda in the Himalayas every day — it’s all part of the five-star reset!