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Breathe In, Enterprise Out: 6 New Wellness Retreats and Inns In Asia

Breathe In, Enterprise Out: 6 New Wellness Retreats and Inns In Asia

Still not recovered from the festive season? Does the idea of a whole new year ahead already overwhelm you? Reset and refresh for 2024 at Asia’s new wellness retreats.

The festivities are officially over, the extended family has headed home at last, those extra Christmas calories are firmly in place and many of us are feeling depleted before the year has even started. Instead of giving “dry January” a half-hearted attempt, why not invest in some quality rest, relaxation and rejuvenation at one of Asia’s new luxury wellness retreats? While the pandemic was long and hard, the good news is that it’s made wellness travel even more popular, and important, than ever. And the re-opening of borders across Asia was accompanied by the launch of several exciting new retreats across the continent.



Banyan Tree’s Buahan.

With its innovative “no walls, no doors” concept, Banyan Tree’s Buahan lets you experience the jungle of central Bali in its purest form, without having to rough it. At Banyan Tree’s first Escape-branded resort, there are three types of bale (villas), all of which include an open-plan living space and a huge outdoor deck with plunge pool. Located about an hour’s drive north of Ubud (about two to three hours from Ngurah Rai airport), enjoy unobstructed views of the seven peak mountains and a somewhat “naked experience” with nature that encourage personal discovery and mental wellbeing.

Banyan Tree’s Buahan offers incredible valley views.

Nestled beneath infinite layers of dense foliage, the resort’s open-air Toja spa is also designed to nourish your connection with nature. Rooted in Banyan Tree’s famed dedication to wellness, the spa menu is also inspired by Balinese healing practices – through collaborations with local healers and experts, the signature treatments are largely based on the island’s wisdom and practices.



Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai in northern Thailand north is fast becoming the country’s new go-to for visitors seeking peace and relaxation far from the tourism hot spots. With its vast landscapes and hundreds of elaborate Buddhist temples, it’s the perfect place to get Zen and rest up, while also making the most of the local culture. Opened in April 2023, Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai is a new five-star property nestling among shaded woodland, just a stone’s throw from the city. The boutique resort offers a selection of spacious suites, one- and two-bedroom pool villas and a spectacular four- bedroom golden teak-wood residence with private pool.

Luxury accommodation at Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai

Although technically lying within the city limits, the property has a rural atmosphere thanks to its leafy setting at the foot of Doi Suthep Mountain, as well as the privacy owing to its compound-like layout. Occupying its own pavilion by the poolside, the Ayurah Spa & Wellness centre is key to the resort’s appeal. Offering holistic wellness retreats, mindfulness meditation and tailored programmes as well as wellness cuisine, a stay here is a balancing and body-rejuvenating journey of wellbeing.



Gangtey Lodge in Bhutan.

Surrounded by mountains and forests overlooking Bhutan’s Gangtey (Phobjikha) Valley, Gangtey Lodge is the perfect place to leave worldly worries at the door. Instead, switch off and step into this serene Himalayan-framed retreat that recently reopened after a lengthy closure and renovation. Designed in harmony with the nearby village and its 17th-century Gangtey Geonpa monastery, the lodge looks like a traditional – though very grand – farmhouse, with ornate woodwork, Bhutanese-style pitched roofs and arched window frames. The aptly named Farmhouse Suites elevate rustic living to the next level: think log fires, exposed beams and indulgent baths.

Gangtey Lodge offers incredible views over the valley.

Modern amenities, such as slate underfloor heating, add a dash of luxury without offsetting the hotel’s traditional design. A strong sense of spirituality runs through the Phobjikha Valley and Bhutan’s mystical mountains beyond. To connect with this soul-stirring destination on a deeper level, Gangtey Lodge offers a selection of experiences that not only allow guests to engage with Buddhism firsthand, but also help support the nearby monastery and shedra (Buddhist seminary). Delve into centuries-old traditions with an early morning thrusel self-cleansing ritual, meditate with the monks or hoist a prayer flag to bring happiness, long life and prosperity.



Shiguchi in Japan.

The word shiguchi refers to a traditional Japanese method of constructing temples, shrines and kominkas using hand-carved joinery, a technique used for the resort’s five luxury villas, which offer peaceful and quiet accommodation complete with private onsens, open-air terraces and panoramic views over the valley. Blending traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, the villas are named after the universal elemental symbols: chi (earth), sui (water), ka (fire), fu (wind) and ku (void or spirit). In the same spirit, the property’s Shiguchi Spa also takes inspiration from Japan’s godai, the core elements that make up everything in the universe.

Winter bath bliss at Japan’s Shiguchi.

Here, each treatment is inspired by ancient healing traditions and designed to nourish and comfort the body. The highlight of this newly opened sanctuary is undoubtedly its natural stone and hinoki wood onsen. Featuring picturesque forest views and fed by volcanic hot spring water renowned for its healing qualities, the Somoza fountainhead is completely pure with no added water. If that isn’t enough purity for one trip, yoga classes and meditation sessions are available upon request to guide you to your inner Zen.

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Banyan Tree Veya in Phuket.

Although famous for its party scene and tourist attractions, for many visitors Phuket is also a haven of peace and serenity. For wellness visitors, the new Banyan Tree Veya, an intimate 12-villa resort, offers optimal rest and rejuvenation. These spacious villas ooze modern comfort through the lens of contemporary Thai design and architecture, complete with private swimming pools and outdoor Jacuzzis. But all this comfort is just to get you started. On arrival at the resort, its practitioners assess your wellbeing and introduce you to a range of health- oriented activities and experiences, which are mostly centred around a three-step protocol of awareness, discovery and sustenance, with an emphasis on embodiment therapies and somatic practices.

Luxury living at Banyan Tree Veya.

At check-out, the practitioners meet you for an end-of-stay consultation to reflect upon and provide you with a personal handbook for the wellness journey ahead. And if all that wellness makes you hungry, the hotel’s resident “nutrition sommeliers” will create personalised menus to fulfill all your dietary needs and desires. In moderation, of course.



Shinta Mani Mustang

Base camps in Nepal’s remote regions can certainly be basic, but eco-friendly Shinta Mani Mustang (part of the Bensley Collection) serves up luxury mountain hospitality even at the highest altitudes. Located in the mystical and remote kingdom of Mustang, formerly known as the Kingdom of Lo, it was a restricted area until 1992, closed off from the outside world, which has preserved its traditional culture. Today, Mustang has a population of only 7,000 locals spread over 2,020 square kilometres, which makes the opening of the Shinta Mani Mustang in August 2023 even more exciting. Decorated by renowned interior designer Bill Bensley, the aesthetic of the 29 suites draws from local Tibetan art and imagery with flashes of bold colour. Designer blankets, Tibetan rugs handmade in Nepal and stylish wooden furnishings blends the hotel’s timeless designs with modern comfort.

Shinta Mani Mustang offers a serene atmosphere.

But it’s not just about looks and luxury at Shinta Mani Mustang. The retreat also has an 11th-generation practitioner skilled in SoRig traditional healing, herbology and healing massages. Guests have the opportunity to meet with amchi Tsewang Gyurme Gurung for a consultation and undergo a thorough assessment of their overall well-being, including physical, mental, and emotional health, rooted in centuries-old traditional healing wisdom. Afterwards, personalised recommendations and meticulously designed well-being treatments are provided, sending you well on your way to holistic healing in one of the most mystical places in the world.

Source: Prestige Online

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