Asia is home some of the best spas in the world. Whether you’re looking for romantic downtime, solitary pampering or to experience the practice of Ayurvedic medicine, a great spa for a relaxing holiday is crucial. For the spa lovers and those looking to rest their weary body, we’ve put together seven of the very best places to sit back, relax and be pampered…
Peacefully set amongst acres of Sal forest and mango and lychee orchards, Vana Malsi Estate is an innovative and state-of-the-art wellness retreat located in northern India near Dehradun. Seamlessly combining international wellness standards with Indian warmth, service and hospitality, Vana has the best wellness facilities we’ve ever come across with an extensive menu of personalised holistic treatments, highly qualified specialists and friendly staff. The minimalistic retreat exudes style and serenity throughout the property, creating a tranquil atmosphere and enhancing your sense of wellbeing. Whether you nourish your body with delicious locally-sourced Indian cuisine, improve your health with Abhyanga in the Ayurveda centre or soak up the surroundings in the outdoor pool you will discover everything you need for a holistically healthy holiday.
Oozing with sophisticated luxury and old-world charm, Amangalla’s spa The Baths recalls a bygone era. Housed in a former colonial building dating back to the 17th century The Baths has five treatment rooms and a treatment menu to die for; traditional aromatic massages, Ayurvedic anointments, classic facials, reflexology, scrubs and wraps. An ayuverdic doctor is also on hand for consultation and a yoga pavilion, where the ancient art is practised each morning. True to distinctive Aman style, the spa has a chic and understated quality to it, heightening the pervading tranquillity and serenity throughout, helping you get closer to reaching your nirvana.
Surrounded by 9 acres of lush tropical rainforest, this beautifully manicured retreat lays claim to the stunning boutique spa at Como Shambhala Estate. Renowned for its laid-back luxury and back-to-nature approach, this leading wellness destination promises to sooth, relax, revive and nourish whilst guests are immersed in a positive healing experience. From the design, facilities and activities to the staff, treatment, cuisine and accommodation, every aspect of the estate is designed to encourage a holistic approach to life. With a highly qualified team of experts, and wellness and fitness programmes from dawn to dusk, you are guaranteed a refreshing and reviving escape whilst enveloped in wall to wall luxury.
Reminiscent of a grand Maharaja’s palace, The Leela Palace Udaipur induces the mystique of a bygone era where refined service and regal majesty personify luxury living. With uninterrupted panoramic views of Lake Pichola, the luxurious spa by ESPA is perfectly located in a dramatic and breath taking setting. Spa treatments are offered in a number of exotic and historic locations around the spa, ideal for when you are feeling particularly languid; decide to have your own private spa tent overlooking the lake, or indulge in the Couple and Palace Suites with private plunge pools and walled gardens. The spa is a monument to relaxation and luxury, and a treatment here is possibly one of the most soulful and indulgent spa experiences in the world.
With the exciting new opening of Amanemu on the horizon, this sexy hotel is something to behold. Nestled within the spectacular scenery of the Osaki Peninsula and overlooking the stunning ‘Bay of Pearls’, the Japanese hotel embraces the ancient tradition of onsen (mineral hot springs) and the culinary traditions of this gourmet region. Natural springs abound in the area, and renowned for their healing qualities derived from the mineral content, the use of onsen within Japanese culture has been around for centuries. Each of the villas and suites have their own private onsen and the spa offers a watsu pool, four treatment rooms and two peaceful onsen bathing pavilions with mineral rich water from a nearby spring. This chic mineral hot spring destination rests in harmony with its natural surroundings, whilst providing an authentic taste of traditional Japanese therapy in an exclusive sanctuary.
Soaring above the island of Kowloon and with panoramic views of the city, the highest hotel spa in the world, The Ritz Carlton Spa by ESPA, certainly has the ‘wow’ factor. The lift whisks you up into the clouds to the 116th floor and opens up to the reception area, glowing with tones of warm amber and The Ritz Carlton’s signature tranquil and muted colour scheme. The luxurious treatment rooms and suites boast floor to ceiling windows, and whilst you immerse yourself in the restorative and signature Lava Shell Body Treatment to blast away the January blues, the frenetic pace of Hong Kong life outside pales into insignificance.
Perched on a hilltop in the wildly beautiful Paro Valley, Uma Paro exudes peace, calm and harmony throughout the hotel and sweeping into the spa. As you discover the indigenous Buddhist customs and calming spirit of this traditional Bhutanese spa, you will realise that this is the perfect place for contemplation and mindfulness. The spa comprises of four treatment rooms, a gym and an outdoor pool with a sun-deck that overlooks the thick pines and undulating streams in the valleys below. A host of holistic Asian-inspired treatments, including Ayurveda, strive to combine physical and spiritual wellness. As you iron out the creases and thoroughly unwind in the beautiful Himalayan surroundings, you will find little reason to leave.
James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel.