Wellness retreat guide

Hassle-free wellness retreat at Bali, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Australia or Indonesia. Take your pick!

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Give in to wanderlust 

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Do you love to travel? Well, you’ll be happy to know that globetrotting is really good for you. Research shows that it reduces stress, boosts brain health, and even increases life expectancy. 

This issue’s special has all you need to plan your next holiday. We’ve got a list of amazing fitness and wellness retreats worth checking out. Best part is, they’re all in the Asia-Pacific region, just a short flight from Singapore. If you’re more of an intrepid traveller, then the piece on the most adventurous activities you can do around the world will be more up your alley. 

Travelling often presents opportunities for us to be more active than usual – like forcing us to walk more – and that isn’t a bad thing. If you need a little convincing, turn to the story on the benefits of walking. 

And you’d definitely want to come back from a trip feeling fully refreshed and rejuvenated, so read our tips on the secrets to a truly restorative vacation. Happy holidays!

Incredible retreats 

These regional havens will revive your mind and body as you take in the sights. 

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With travellers becoming more health-savvy, more hotels are offering alternative vacations where guests can get active, eat nutritionally balanced meals, be pampered, and enjoy the spoils of nature. 

If that sounds like what you need, take a breather from the typical jam-packed holidays and try out one of these packages, where activities and accommodation for your stay are all taken care of, and all you have to do is book your flights, pack your bags and come ready to have fun. 

Take A Hike 

Situated amid verdant forests and paddy fields in ubud, Bali, Como Shambhala estate offers much-needed respite from urban life. Besides taking in the fresh air and greenery, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to move your body. If you take up one of the hotel’s Wellness programmes, you have complimentary and priority access to daily scheduled activities, including jungle gym circuit training, hydrotherapy sessions and biking through rice fields. The Be Active programme is especially great for those wanting to pick up a fitness routine or hone their exercise regime, as it can be tailored to suit your skill level. The stays range from three to 14 nights. A basic three-night stay includes a wellness consultation, an hour-long massage, a personal training session, and a special guided adventure challenge where nature’s terrain will be your gym. 

Price From uS$550 ($750) per room per night, subject to an additional 21 per cent charge for government tax and service, based on double occupancy. All meals included, and guests have complimentary use of the steam room, sauna and 25m pool, as well as the services of a personal assistant. 

Visit http://www.comohotels.com/comoshambhalaestate

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Find Your Calm 

At Anantara Kalutara in Sri Lanka, the goal of its Wellbeing Retreat is balancing your mind, body and spirit. Holistic ayurvedic methods are at the heart of the two-day programme, which starts with a 20-minute lifestyle consultation. The itinerary is not too hectic. After a hearty buffet breakfast, you can head to the beautiful beach nearby where the Indian Ocean and Kalu Ganga River meet. Alternatively, wander nearby to the centre of town where historic colonial mansions and forts still stand, vestiges of the island’s past as a bustling spice hub. Return to the hotel compounds for a healthy lunch, and enjoy a specially prepared ayurvedic tonic. In the course of your stay, you’ll also get to choose from one of three restorative sessions: a private pilates class; a shirodhara treatment, where liquids are gently poured over your forehead to encourage peacefulness; or an abhyanga massage with warm oils to promote circulation and soothe your senses. Before leaving, you’ll be given a farewell consultation so you can take home some tips to use in the future. 

Price $808 for a package for two, inclusive of two nights’ accommodation, the retreat package, daily buffet breakfasts and healthy lunches. 

Visit http://www.kalutara.anantara.com

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Feel Energised 

Located surprisingly close to Singapore, yallingup in Western Australia is just a little over a five-hour flight away, and is famous for its stunning coastline and thriving flora and fauna. The Revive Retreat, hosted at luxury Smiths Beach Resort right by the Margaret River, is a five-day, four-night escape in February 2018 that encourages movement and healthy eating habits instead of sticking to diets. Only 10 spots are available so that everyone gets individualised attention, and the event will be facilitated by Katie Carmichael, who’s trained everyone from celebs to sheikhs, as well as Sarah Breheny, a certified health coach, speaker, writer and fitness instructor. Be prepared for vigorous exercises as coastal hikes, yoga, pilates, surfing and paddle-boarding lessons are part of the package. However, there are also more relaxing activities like cooking lessons, nutrition seminars, as well as a massage to help you unwind. 

Price A$1,875 ($1,963) per person, twin share. A private room is A$2,385 ($2,497). The rate includes accommodation, all meals and activities. 

Visit http://www.reviveretreat.com.au

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Bliss Out 

If the plan is to have a completely relaxing long weekend, go straight for the A Mantra for Mantra package at Thailand’s Mantra Samui Resort, where the highlight is being able to choose two spa treatments a day. upon arrival, drink in Koh Samui’s breathtaking coastline, then meet up with the spa manager to discuss your concerns so you can pick the best options from the extensive line-up of facials, massages, scrubs and wraps. enjoy one nutrition-focused meal a day at The View restaurant, where the dishes are as beautiful as the panorama. And if you so wish, you can tag on a private yoga class or meditation session to your package as well.

Price From THB19,680 ($808) for a three- night-stay package for two without yoga and meditation, or THB22,380 ($919) to include the private yoga and meditation classes. daily breakfasts are also included in the package.

Visit http://www.mantrasamui.com

The goal of the Wellness retreat at anantara kalutara in Sri lanka is balancing your mind, body and spirit. 

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Get Your Heart Racing 

perfect for those who’ve had enough of sitting around at desks, Chosen Bali’s programme is a week-long adrenalin fest packed with activities like canyoning, surfing and body boarding. There are also body awareness and strength- building activities to improve functional fitness. Classes are led by experts and put together by an elite team that includes Olympic gold medallists and physicists. Nutrition pros have also come up with a delicious menu inspired by Indonesian cuisine to fuel your workouts. In your down time, soothe sore muscles with body work and massages, and calm your mind with daily yin yoga, breath work and mindfulness sessions. 

Price uS$6,900 ($9,390) for single occupancy or uS$6,500 ($8,850) per person for double occupancy, inclusive of accommodation, activities and meals. 

Visit http://www.chosenexperiences.com

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Refresh Your System 

Most diet cleanses seem a little extreme, but at Fusion Maia da Nang in Vietnam, you can ease into one with its moderate detox programmes titled Re- Vive. Meals are raw until 4pm, but you’re also taught positive lifestyle changes to continue your good habits post-vacation. It can’t hurt that you get three customised spa sessions a day as well. Offered from three to 10 nights, those staying three nights can take up a breath work or warrior fitness session, and those staying five nights can also take part in a vegan cooking class or juicing workshop. Staying for more than a week? you’ll also get to enjoy a sunrise yoga experience and a healing session. 

Price From US$1,625 ($2,218) for a three-night programme, subject to an additional 5 per cent service charge and 10 per cent for taxes. Inclusive of all meals, package activities and accommodation at a pool villa. 

Visit http://www.maiadanang.fusion-resorts.com

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Enjoy The Culture 

Having a personal steam room, wading pool and 15m lap pool complete with jets are part of the draw at doublepool Villas by Banyan Tree phuket. dive deeper into holiday mode with the resort’s Sense of Rejuvenation package, which includes a daily hour-long spa treatment for two, daily gym or yoga lesson, along with one in-villa meal for two. For the best experience, come between November and February, when humidity levels are pleasant and it’s less likely to rain. Alternatively, there are many Thai and local festivals through the year that are worth coming for, including Songkran (April 13-15), Thailand’s New year replete with water fights and parades; as well as Loy Krathong (usually in November), a festival of lights; and the phuket Old Town Festival (held the weekend after Chinese New year festivities) showcasing the best in local food, arts and culture. 

Price From THB35,400 ($1,450 per night, with a minimum four-day/three-night stay, inclusive of accommodation and package activities. 

Visit http://www.banyantree.com

Chosen Bali's programme is a week-long adrenalin fest packed with activities like canyoning, surfing andbody boarding.

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Try Alternative Healing Methods 

For those curious about traditional Chinese medicine techniques and other types of novel therapy, experts at The Luxe Nomad, a travel booking site specialising in affordable luxury holidays, recommend the 5 day detox for Rejuvenation package at Navutu dreams Resort in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Besides private yoga and meditation classes, as well as spa and massage treatments informed by Cambodian techniques, participants get to experience less common offerings such as a detox bath, energy healing or chakra balancing treatments, along with acupuncture or shiatsu. Between activities, take a dip in the pools – one freshwater and two saltwater – at this award-winning, Mediterranean-inspired resort. Or, better yet, head nearby to Angkor Archaeological park, a unesco World Heritage site that houses the famous Angkor Wat. 

Price uS$950 ($1,298), inclusive of accommodation, package activities, three healthy lunches and three light detox dinners, as well as nourishing snacks, juices and smoothies. 

Visit http://www.theluxenomad.com/cambodia/siem-reap/villas/navutu-dreams-resort-wellness-retreat

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Kick-Start Your Health Goals 

Famed for its luxurious lodgings around the world, Aman recently added new spark to its line-up with the launch of two Spa Houses at Amanoi, located in Vietnam’s Nui Chua National park right by beautiful Vinh Hy Bay. Outfitted with dreamy facilities such as a spacious treatment area, steam room, ice fountain, jacuzzi and outdoor swimming pool, each of the Spa Houses offers a heavenly escape with unbeatable views and complete privacy. To complement its launch, three Wellness Immersions were introduced for guests to choose from: The eastern Approaches to Weight Management programme enhances self- awareness and encourages movement, as well as aids with weight loss through a personalised diet. The Movement, Mindfulness & Stress Control immersion helps heighten self-awareness and focus through guided meditation, tai chi, qi gong and therapies such as reiki, mind training and reconnective healing. Finally, the Longevity, Rejuvenation & detoxification programme draws on eastern techniques and movement sessions to reduce stress, boost immunity and improve bodily functions. 

Price From uS$6,690++ ($9,105++) per night, for a minimum of three nights based on double occupancy. Inclusive of activities in the chosen Wellness Immersion programme and accommodation in the Spa House (if available). 

Visit http://www.amanoi.com