By­pass the cock­tails and con­sider a lit­tle detox on your next break, sug­gests Judy Chap­man

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

AIt will be fresh green co­conut wa­ter, or­ganic juices and raw veg­gies only, if you check in for a three or seven-night detox in a lux­ury re­treat at Four Sea­sons Re­sort Koh Sa­mui in Thai­land. Stay in sea-fac­ing lux­ury vil­las, res­i­dences or es­tates, each boast­ing an in­fin­ity pool, with classy ser­vices at one’s beck and call. Treat­ments, cus­tomised for each guest, are de­signed to im­prove di­ges­tion, pro­mote healthy me­tab­o­lism, sta­bilise sugar lev­els and shed ex­cess weight. Sup­port­ive ex­pe­ri­ences in­clude chi nei tsang ‘‘ ab­dom­i­nal cleans­ing mas­sage’’ plus ed­u­ca­tional sem­i­nars and private daily yoga ses­sions.

A bonus for those who want to con­tinue the cleans­ing diet at home is the take-away eight-day Eco-Diet pro­gram, which in­cludes recipes and tips. Oth­er­wise, splurge on or­ganic treat­ments such as tan­ger­ine and black se­same fa­cials, crys­tal-in­fused mas­sages and in­dige­nous co­conut scrubs. www.foursea­ Eco-din­ners un­der the stars, trop­i­cal al­co­hol­free cock­tail and fresh co­conut juices at sun­down at the cool 360 bar. At Phuket Pav­il­ions, a new era in well­ness re­treats has been born. Con­sider the five-day Ul­ti­mate Pu­rifi­ca­tion Pro­gram while stay­ing in a lux­ury villa with private in­fin­ity pool. Start the day with Pu­riti Su­per Pure Power Wheat­grass and Bur­dock Shake to neu­tralise tox­ins, sup­port your liver and in­crease vi­tal­ity, and in the af­ter­noons re­ceive de­tox­i­fy­ing treat­ments such as cleans­ing salt scrubs and pool­side mas­sages.

Pu­riti Pro­grams for Life, founded by Deb­o­rah Wil­liamson, a Bri­tish herbal­ist, and Mar­cus Wil­liamson, a for­mer banker turned well­ness prac­ti­tioner, en­able guests to learn first hand about the ben­e­fits of juic­ing, body pu­rifi­ca­tion and well­be­ing.

The re­treat in­cludes beach walks, horserid­ing, yoga and slow-move­ment ex­er­cises. www.phuket­pavil­ Co-cre­ate your health ton­ics while learn­ing about the latest trends in healthy cui­sine from chefs as they work dur­ing the cleans­ing pro­grams at the lux­u­ri­ous Como Shamb­hala Es­tate in Ubud, Bali. Set against a back­drop of lush for­est and sa­cred rivers, the pro­grams are de­signed with tis­sue and or­gan cleans­ing in mind and work on the lym­phatic sys­tem, liver, kid­ney and skin. Tai­lor-made pack­ages in­clude health con­sul­ta­tions, colonic hy­drother­apy and pre­scribed herbal cleansers.­moshamb­ Rus­tic chic meets ashram liv­ing at Funkey For­est, a moun­tain re­treat set on 80ha in north­ern NSW. Ac­com­mo­da­tion is dorm style or pitch your own tent; the three-day pro­gram of pure si­lence set in vir­gin na­ture has guests re­turn­ing year af­ter year. A max­i­mum of 13 guests take part in daily med­i­ta­tion, gen­tle yoga, for­est walks and cleans­ing or­ganic green juices hand-blended by the on-site natur­opath. A team of fa­cil­i­ta­tors is also on hand to en­sure the ex­pe­ri­ence is safe and nur­tur­ing, but be pre­pared for ini­tial symp­toms such as fa­tigue as you with­draw from cof­fee, tea, sugar and dairy. www.funkey­for­ ‘‘ Af­ter the ini­tial 48-hour dip of caf­feine and sugar with­drawal, re­ju­ve­na­tion kicks in and NEW breed of life-shap­ing detox ex­pe­ri­ences is on the menu at rep­utable des­ti­na­tions in the Asi­aPa­cific re­gion. For­get ster­ile white clin­ics and an air of de­pri­va­tion: detox re­treats are in­creas­ingly lux­u­ri­ous and cus­tomised. From five-star lux­ury ho­tels to eco-chic and ashram-style, plea­sure and leisure are now part of the cure.


Re­duce your car­bon foot­print at Six Senses Des­ti­na­tion Spa, open­ing this month in Thai­land. Ev­ery­thing served on your plate will be grown on the is­land or caught fresh from the sur­round­ing ocean. Inside the ecosen­si­tive vil­las, guests have their own herb gar­dens to make up teas and bath blends. Six Senses — a clus­ter of Chi­nese, In­done­sian, Ayurvedic and Thai medicine huts — is be­ing touted as the pre­mier spa for the 21st cen­tury. For a well-rounded re­treat, book the 14-night Life Pas­sage that in­cludes holis­tic di­ag­nos­tics, colonic hy­drother­apy and well­ness treat­ments. There’s a se­cluded com­pound of six vil­las for silent re­treats.






you’ll depart feel­ing sen­sa­tional,’’ says Sharon Kokhla, gen­eral man­ager of Gwinganna Lifestyle Re­treat. The monthly Gwinganna Detox re­mains the most pop­u­lar re­treat at this Queens­land prop­erty. Tai­lored to groups of up to 50, ex­pect seven vig­or­ous days of op­tional ac­tiv­i­ties on the hour-plus sun­rise bush­walks, lifestyle sem­i­nars and spa ther­a­pies. Or­ganic meals are free of sugar, dairy, cof­fee and al­co­hol, and are served at long com­mu­nal ta­bles to en­cour­age con­ver­sa­tion be­tween guests.

Holis­tic of­fer­ings in­clude blood anal­y­sis and other di­ag­nos­tic pro­ce­dures.

Gwinganna re­cently un­veiled its new Spa Sanc­tu­ary of two spa suites built around a spring-fed bil­l­abong with a treat­ment menu burst­ing with or­ganic treat­ments. Book the sig­na­ture rit­ual and ther­a­pist Stephen McGui­ness might play the didgeri­doo as part of the pack­age.


Vol­un­tourism’’ is part of the re­treat ex­pe­ri­ence at Shreya’s, one of In­dia’s new­est lux­u­ri­ous yoga re­treats, where guests help oth­ers while heal­ing them­selves. Set on a tran­quil es­tate not far from Ban­ga­lore, Shreya’s ac­com­mo­da­tion ranges from wellap­pointed cot­tages to el­e­gant tents (all with broad­band con­nec­tions, but no television). Food is strictly veg­e­tar­ian and no al­co­hol is served. It is the Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil- ity ini­tia­tives that leave guests most in­spired. Learn about per­ma­cul­ture and the fu­ture of sus­tain­able agri­cul­ture while you help out in the or­ganic gar­den or, even bet­ter, cook and serve food to the lo­cal chil­dren. So­lar heat­ing, rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing and or­ganic gar­dens add to the eco-at­mos­phere. Year-round well­ness re­treats, daily yoga, med­i­ta­tion and chant­ing plus time-tested Ayurvedic treat­ments for re­ju­ve­na­tion of mind, body and soul. www.shreyas­re­


Among In­dia’s new crop of Ayurvedic well­ness re­treats, Kalari Kovi­lakom, set in an an­cient but re­stored palace, of­fers au­then­tic detox pro­grams. Ayurveda, when man­aged cor­rectly, does won­ders for pro­mot­ing health and longevity.

Most pop­u­lar is the 28-day anti-age­ing Rasayana Chik­itsa, said to counter cel­lu­lar de­gen­er­a­tion. Two weeks of detox­i­fi­ca­tion is fol­lowed by a se­ries of re­ju­ve­nat­ing treat­ments, warm oil mas­sages and herbs. Many of the fruits and herbs are plucked from the sur­round­ing gar­dens. Ex­er­cise dis­ci­plines in­clude yoga and mar­tial arts; many of them im­prove sup­ple­ness and al­le­vi­ate stiff­ness and joint pain.

There are also ther­a­peu­tic med­i­ta­tions and slow-move­ment ex­er­cises. The re­gal suites have four-poster beds, 1930s til­ing and hand­painted fres­coes. www.kalarikovi­


While a raw salad and juice diet is not for ev­ery­one, liv­ing food, when man­aged cor­rectly, can ben­e­fit in­som­nia and di­ges­tive prob­lems and boost en­ergy lev­els. At the Farm at San Ben­ito in The Philip­pines the phi­los­o­phy is ‘‘ Let food be your medicine, medicine be your food’’, and it pro­vides a lush en­vi­ron­ment to re­solve chronic health con­di­tions. Ac­com­mo­da­tion caters to var­i­ous bud­gets and styles and the med­i­cal fo­cus is sup­ported by a land­scape of holis­tic treat­ments, colon hy­drother­apy and kid­ney, liver and gall­blad­der cleans­ing.

There’s tra­di­tional and ma­chine-based di­ag­nos­tic ther­a­pies, all geared to­wards pre­ven­tion and cure of acute and chronic de­gen­er­a­tive dis­eases. In ad­di­tion, lec­tures by med­i­cal doc­tors and food prepa­ra­tion classes present in­for­ma­tion on how to in­te­grate part or all of the raw food lifestyle at home. www.the­


Learn how to give time-hon­oured Thai mas­sage when you check in for a fast­ing pro­gram at the Spa Sa­mui re­sorts on Koh Sa­mui and Koh Chang is­lands in Thai­land. Sleep in af­ford­able jun­gle bun­ga­lows or beach shacks and em­bark on a rig­or­ous sched­ule of daily colonics, detox drinks, veg­etable broths and herbal sup­ple­ments. The seven-day clean-me-out pro­gram puri- fies the liver and blood and strength­ens the im­mune sys­tem. There are also in­spir­ing lec­tures on healthy liv­ing, raw food prepa­ra­tion, yoga, chi kung and a Thai mas­sage school. Spa treat­ments, cus­tomised for deep cleans­ing, in­clude herbal clay wraps and Thai herbal steam baths. Al­ter­na­tive health­boost­ing re­treats in­clude liver flush.


Do your body good with nu­tri­tional shakes, home­o­pathic reme­dies and in­di­vid­u­ally pre­scribed juices that re­port­edly work at a cel­lu­lar level. Con­sid­ered the next gen­er­a­tion of re­treats, Ka­malaya on Koh Sa­mui is­land pro­vides a joy­ous at­mos­phere for get­ting well. Doc­tors work along­side other health prac­ti­tion­ers and lo­cal heal­ers to help guests achieve op­ti­mum well­be­ing. The reg­u­lar Es­sen­tial Detox Re­treat teaches par­tic­i­pants how to re­lease un­wanted emo­tional pat­terns around food. Cures in­clude pu­ri­fy­ing herbal scrubs, in­frared saunas and sup­ple­ments. ‘‘ This re­treat sup­ports you in your per­sonal goals of los­ing or gain­ing weight,’’ re­ports well­ness di­rec­tor Ka­rina Ste­wart. ‘‘ Ex­pect phys­i­cal and men­tal re­bal­ance, im­proved di­ges­tion and a sense of peace.’’ Ac­com­mo­da­tion ranges from rus­tic abodes to beach vil­las and spa fa­cil­i­ties, in­clude open-air hot and cold plunge pools and mas­sage huts over­look­ing a small cove. www.ka­


Af­ter a six-month re­furb, Chiva Som In­ter­na­tional Health Re­sort at Hua Hin, south of Bangkok, has un­veiled 19 ad­di­tional treat­ment rooms. The new well­ness di­rec­tor, An­thony Per­illo, who stud­ied with Deepak Cho­pra, is in­tro­duc­ing a per­son­alised approach that will set a new bench­mark in the in­dus­try. Per­illo says the fu­ture of well­ness is ac­cess­ing each guest through health tests, fol­lowed by a per­sonal pre­scribed diet, yoga, fit­ness and even emo­tional heal­ing. New here is a holis­tic health re­treat with a fo­cus on tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine and tai­lored to those with chronic health con­di­tions who want to in­ves­ti­gate un­ex­plained symp­toms or seek al­ter­na­tives to con­ven­tional medicine. www.chiva­ Judy Chap­man’s most re­cent book is Ul­ti­mateSpa (Periplus). www.judy­chap­

Rest and re­cu­per­ate: Clock­wise from main pic­ture, Chiva Som In­ter­na­tional Health Re­sort; Six Senses Des­ti­na­tion Spa; Gwinganna Lifestyle Re­treat; Ka­malaya on Koh Sa­mui

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