Divine Escapes

Finding respite in Thailand is easy. The real challenge is selecting from the tempting array of beachside resorts, urban sanctuaries and spa retreats. Writer Nina Leung

Portrait of Tammy Strobel


Located a mere 45 minutes from Phuket International Airport, Twinpalms MontAzure looks out to mountain, pool or sea views on the northern end of Kamala Beach. Private terraces and palms surround 97 penthouses, suites and rooms, and interiors are minimalist. Replenish Vitamin D at neighbouring Surin and Bang Tao beaches, abound with beach clubs and dining venues like the sunset-friendly Shimmer Beach Front Restaurant and HQ Beach Lounge. www.twinpalmshotelsresorts.com 

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Wake up to views of lush tropical gardens from a private pool villa, or take in views of the Andaman Sea from a suite at Amatara Wellness Resort. Mouthwatering fare can be found in its seven restaurants and bars. The Amatara experience prioritises health and well-being, with programmes highlighting time in their hammam, blending Turkish and Moroccan bathing practices with Thai therapies. www.amataraphuket.com
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Awaken your senses at the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. The hideaway in Mae Rim is laced with manicured rivers, volcanic stone paths and picturesque rivers. Roll up your sleeves for a Thai cooking class, or try bungy jumping and zip-lines at nearby Mae Sa Valley. Splurge with a stay at the private upper-level bedrooms overlooking paddy fields, or book a Private Retreat for more privacy. www.fourseasons.com


Now with two branches, Cheeva Spa is known for its three-hour pampering packages — the time, they believe, it takes for the body to fully unwind. Couples or private villas are available, and every treatment ends with a plate of mango sticky rice. The Cheeva Signature Massage is a must-try that combines Thai Lanna with Balinese, Swedish and Lomi-Lomi techniques. www.cheevaspa.com
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LEFT: Take a dip in the gorgeous pool at Twinpalms MontAzure; lushness surrounds at Four Seasons Chiang Mai; Cheeva Spa’s signature treatments run for three hours; take in sunset from your tub at Amatara Wellness Resort
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Book in some me-time at the Mövenpick BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok where organic smoothies and gluten-free pastries make indulgence guilt-free. Its Wellness Clinic features the only complete set of David Health Solution System machines in Asia to aid spine and orthopaedic recovery. World-class physicians and professional multi-lingual staff here focus on preventive medicine ranging from musculoskeletal and sports to neuroscience. www.movenpick.com

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Seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city at Rosewood Bangkok’s Sense, where traditional Thai beauty rituals and lost remedies are replicated with products from EviDenS de Beauté and Maison Caulières in its five treatment rooms. Drink in the sweeping views of the city at the saltwater lap pool, a dramatic indoor-outdoor set up that also features a whirlpool. Also sharing the same floor is a Fitness Studio and organic café serving up refreshing pick-me-ups. Express services are also available at the in-house nail and hair salon. www.rosewoodhotels.com


Located inside a white wooden house at the heart of Bangkok, Divana Scentuara offers bespoke treatments that take inspiration from the four elements—earth, water, wind, and fire—to balance the body and mind. Drift away in The Romance of Siamese Rose, a wellness journey comprising scrubs, steams, and head and face therapies using pure rose products. Alternatively, try the Aurora of Ayothaya, which uses traditional Thai medicinal know-how to achieve flawless skin. www.divanaspa.com

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CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Restore health in style at BDMS Wellness Resort Bangkok; AvaniSpa looks out to breathtaking views; spa junkies are in for a treat with Centara’s new offerings; Unwind with bespoke treatments at Divana; find respite at Rosewood Bangkok 

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It’s all about the bare essentials at Avani+ Samui’s AvaniSpa, where every treatment is tailored to guests’ needs whether they wish to emerge energised, balanced, calmed or purified. Try local treatments like the coconut oil massage. Express facials, head and foot massages are available stand-alone or as top-ups, but we highly recommend the Muse Meditation add-on for the ultimate relaxation. www.minorhotels.com


Savour colonial architecture with an unobstructed beachfront setting at Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, where a highlight is its Staying Well programme. Private workouts can now take place in the comfort of your room with the help a work out kit. Restaurant offerings are health-focused too with gluten-free, low sodium and vegetarian options. For a good night’s sleep, check out their pillow menus and Rest Well kits complete with earplugs, eye mask, lavender water spray and silky pajamas. www.centarahotelsresorts.com

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