REST & RE­NEW

A spot of re­ju­ve­na­tion might just be the tonic you need to see out the rest of the year. Here are a few re­treats that will re­vive you body, mind and soul.

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Contents -

A spot of re­ju­ve­na­tion might just be the tonic you need to see out the rest of the year. Here are a few re­treats that will re­vive you body, mind and soul.

FU­SION RE­SORT PHU QUOC, VIET­NAM

WHERE: There’s noth­ing like re­treat­ing to an is­land just to get away from it all. Lo­cated in the Gulf of Thai­land, Phu Quoc is also Viet­nam’s largest is­land and one of the coun­try’s up-and-com­ing des­ti­na­tions. Fu­sion Re­sort Phu Quoc is lo­cated on the is­land’s north-west, in the pri­vate and se­cluded bay of Vung Bau. The lush 20ha plot con­sists of 97 pool vil­las stretched along a pris­tine stretch of trop­i­cal coast­line as well as the sprawl­ing 11,210 sq m Maia Spa Phu Quoc.

WHAT: The cor­ner­stone of all Fu­sion Re­sort prop­er­ties (the home-grown brand now op­er­ates six ho­tels and re­sorts across Viet­nam) is the allinclu­sive spa con­cept, with daily treat­ments and well­ness ac­tiv­i­ties. This means that, for those seek­ing

pure re­ju­ve­na­tion, the Maia Spa Phu Quoc is the real high­light of the re­sort. The ex­pan­sive space houses its own pri­vate out­door pool, plus steam and sauna rooms, in­door and out­door yoga ar­eas, a hair and beauty sa­lon, fit­ness cen­tre, and 20 dou­ble treat­ment rooms for re­lax­ing body and foot mas­sages, en­er­gis­ing fa­cials, and home­made body scrubs and wraps. The spa also has its very own pep­per gar­den, con­tain­ing nu­mer­ous pep­per or­chids and other trop­i­cal herbs and spices that all make their way into the treat­ments, in­clud­ing the sig­na­ture ‘Nat­u­ral Liv­ing Pep­per’ treat­ment.

MORE: Each of the spa­cious thatched vil­las has a pri­vate swim­ming pool within a shel­tered trop­i­cal gar­den, along with the ‘break­fast any­where, any­time’ ser­vice, lets you keep the world at arm’s length for as much as you want. The re­sort’s well­ness ethos con­tin­ues in two in­no­va­tive restau­rants, and a pool- and beach­side bar and diner, which serves up a menu of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional fare as well as the abun­dant lo­cal seafood the is­land is known for.

EX­TRA: Phu Quoc pep­per is fa­mous around the world – hence the spa’s own pep­per gar­den – so be sure to pick up some. It is also home to what is con­sid­ered the best nuoc mam (fish sauce) in the world. A visit to the Phu Quoc Pearl Farm might just add lus­tre to your trip. fu­sion­re­sorts.com

THE GAINS­BOR­OUGH BATH SPA, ENG­LAND

WHERE: The Gains­bor­ough Bath Spa, part of YTL Ho­tels, oc­cu­pies two 18th-cen­tury Grade II Listed build­ings with dis­tin­guished Ge­or­gian and Vic­to­rian façades in the heart of the UNESCO World Her­itage Site of Bath. Cen­tred around Spa Vil­lage Bath, The Gains­bor­ough Bath Spa, uniquely in the UK, has the ex­clu­sive priv­i­lege of hav­ing ac­cess to the nat­u­ral ther­mal wa­ters that bub­ble through the three fa­mous hot springs in the cen­tre of Bath.

WHAT: Spa Vil­lage Bath of­fers a con­tem­po­rary per­spec­tive on Bath’s tra­di­tion as a place of heal­ing. The Bath House ex­pe­ri­ence, for ex­am­ple, al­lows you to ‘take the wa­ters’ in lux­ury, with a spa cir­cuit that in­cludes dip­ping in two nat­u­ral ther­mal pools of vary­ing tem­per­a­tures, tra­di­tional and in­frared saunas, a steam room, an ice al­cove and el­e­gant re­lax­ation ar­eas. The spa also in­te­grates the heal­ing and calm­ing prop­er­ties of Bath’s warm min­eral springs with pri­vate aquatic body ther­a­pies and clas­sic spa treat­ments that fo­cus on per­son­alised aro­mather­apy. There are 11 treat­ment rooms here, in­clud­ing a cou­ple’s room, VIP Suite with pri­vate nat­u­ral ther­mal wa­ters, two tatami rooms de­signed es­pe­cially for award-win­ning Asian ther­a­pies, and a beauty sa­lon.

MORE: The Gains­bor­ough Bath Spa fea­tures 99 cus­tom-fur­nished guest rooms and suites that fuse pe­riod de­tails with con­tem­po­rary forms. There are also of­fers ex­clu­sive spa rooms – the only guest rooms in the UK to of­fer guests in-bath­room ac­cess to the ther­mal wa­ters. The ho­tel’s

award-win­ning restau­rant, Dan Moon at The Gains­bor­ough Restau­rant, serves up ex­quis­ite cui­sine in­spired by fresh, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents, while ad­ja­cent Gains­bor­ough Bar is ide­ally sit­u­ated for pre- and post­pran­dial drinks, or a night­cap or three.

EX­TRA: Bi­joux and vi­brant, Bath is per­fect for a re­lax­ing get­away. The city boasts ex­cel­lent shop­ping and F&B op­tions, as well as truly in­spir­ing ar­chi­tec­tural and his­tor­i­cal sites, most of which are, lit­er­ally, a stone’s throw from The Gains­bor­ough Bath Spa. the­gains­bor­ough­bathspa.co.uk

HIL­TON SHILLIM ES­TATE RE­TREAT AND SPA, IN­DIA

WHERE: Nes­tled in an un­spoiled syl­van set­ting amidst the mag­nif­i­cent land­scape of the Western Ghats, Shillim Es­tate Re­treat and Spa of­fers a sanc­tu­ary for the body, mind and spirit. Spread across 320ac of pic­turesque wilder­ness within the pri­vate Shillim Es­tate, lo­cated ap­prox­i­mately a 30-minute com­mer­cial sea­plane flight or 2.5hour drive from Mumbai, the re­treat’s mis­sion, ‘To Con­serve. To Sus­tain. To Heal.’, per­me­ates ev­ery ex­pe­ri­ence here.

WHAT: Shillim Spa, which fea­tures some of the most com­pre­hen­sive spa fa­cil­i­ties in Asia, in­te­grates the an­cient philo­sophic, spir­i­tual and artis­tic wis­dom of South Asia with con­tem­po­rary in­ter­na­tional prac­tices and ther­a­pies to of­fer com­plete rest and re­ju­ve­na­tion. Work­ing on a con­sul­ta­tive rather than pre­scrip­tive ap­proach – guests are guided on a one-on-one ba­sis - the spa of­fers a range of re­ju­ve­nat­ing treat­ments as well as holis­tic pro­grammes that are de­signed to con­serve and am­plify life’s force, sus­tain and build health, sup­port the heal­ing of the whole per­son and cel­e­brate the gift of life though pam­per­ing and beauty treat­ments. Apart from 17 treat­ment rooms, you’ll also find a re­lax­ation cen­tre and ter­races, meditation cave, and yoga and hy­dro ther­mal pav­il­ions.

MORE: The re­treat fea­tures 99 vil­las, set amidst rice fields, bam­boo plan­ta­tions and virgin forests, and of­fer­ing sweep­ing views of the

val­ley or for­est. Each comes with a ded­i­cated spa treat­ment area and a pri­vate deck or bal­cony, while pool vil­las also en­joy a pri­vate pool and pa­tio, as well as but­ler ser­vice. There are five din­ing out­lets that of­fer an ex­ten­sive range of culi­nary fare us­ing or­ganic and lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents that com­ple­ments your re­ju­ve­na­tion. The Shillim In­sti­tute also in­cludes a learn­ing cen­tre, cook­ing school, and paint­ing and pot­tery stu­dios that you can join in.

EX­TRA: You can go trekking, moun­tain-bik­ing and horse-rid­ing at the re­treat, where you can also dis­cover how much of a green thumb you have at or­ganic farm­ing. Al­ter­nately, ex­plore the awe-in­spir­ing Karla caves, which date back to 220BC, or climb the ram­parts of the Lo­ha­gad and Vis­a­pur hill forts. hil­ton.com/ Shillim

NEKUPE SPORT­ING RE­SORT AND RE­TREAT, NICARAGUA

WHERE: Set within a 1,800ac na­ture re­serve, this in­ti­mate eight-room prop­erty, lo­cated 40 min­utes from the his­toric colo­nial town of Granada, blends ef­fort­lessly with the en­vi­ron­ment to nur­ture ex­plo­ration, ad­ven­ture and well­be­ing. Lo­cated in Nandaime, the ‘place of abun­dant streams,’ Nekupe (‘heaven’ in the lo­cal lan­guage of Chorotega) lies in the shadow of the Mom­ba­cho vol­cano and en­com­passes reser­voirs and 14,000 newly planted trees, and is home to lo­cal wildlife, in­clud­ing spi­der and howler mon­keys na­tive to Nicaragua, deer, foxes and sloths.

WHAT: There’s a myr­iad of ways to re­ju­ve­nate and re­con­nect with your­self at Nekupe. From the na­tive­based treat­ments that utilise nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents grown on the prop­erty to mas­sage of­fer­ings that in­cor­po­rate tra­di­tional tech­niques at Nekupe Spa, to daily yoga ses­sions with the coun­try’s best in­struc­tors – look out, also, for the an­nual yoga re­treat that fea­tures veg­e­tar­ian meals, spa treat­ments and one-on-one ses­sions – ex­pect each and ev­ery stay here a trans­for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ence. Re­ju­ve­na­tion at Nekupe also takes place out­doors, where in­vig­o­rat­ing fit­ness paths take you on scenic jour­neys with breath­tak­ing views.

MORE: The great out­doors is, lit­er­ally, just out­side your door, so take the

op­por­tu­nity to go horse­back rid­ing along a series of lakes and moun­tains, clay shoot­ing near a bab­bling brook, or sand­board­ing down an ac­tive vol­cano. More leisurely pur­suits can be found at the re­sort’s Casa Club, a 10,800 sq ft com­mu­nal space where you can re­lax at the pool or dis­cover the trea­sures of the rum room. En­joy a cu­rated, mod­ern take on Nicaraguan cui­sine, the in­gre­di­ents of which are mostly sourced di­rectly from Nekupe’s di­verse on-site farm.

EX­TRA: While the temp­ta­tion is to se­clude your­self in Nekupe and its rich sur­round­ings, Nicaragua is well worth the ef­fort to ex­plore fur­ther. Visit Granada, which dates back to the 16th cen­tury, or Ome­tepe, an is­land formed by two vol­ca­noes rising out of Lake Nicaragua. It might be fur­ther away but take a trip to Chi­nan­dega to dis­cover why the Flor de Caña (Span­ish for ‘sug­ar­cane flower’) dis­tillery makes some of the world’s best rum. nekupe.com

VENTANA BIG SUR, CAL­I­FOR­NIA

WHERE: Lo­cated on High­way 1 in Big Sur, Cal­i­for­nia, Ventana Big Sur is the North Amer­i­can de­but of Alila Ho­tels & Re­sorts. En­sconced in the heart of the Cal­i­for­nia Cen­tral Coast’s rugged land­scape, Ventana Big Sur is perched at the edge of the con­ti­nent over­look­ing the ma­jes­tic Pa­cific coast­line and set on an un­spoiled land­scape of 160 sprawl­ing acres of rolling mead­ows and tow­er­ing red­woods.

WHAT: Spa Alila em­bod­ies the ‘mag­i­cal essence’ of Big Sur, which has long been known as a sa­cred, cu­ra­tive site, a set­ting that gives you the time and space to fo­cus on the things that re­ally mat­ter. Ex­pe­ri­ence an en­er­gis­ing process through treat­ments rooted in an­cient Asian meth­ods and prod­ucts that meld

the heal­ing prop­er­ties of both earth and sea. Re­ju­ve­nate and re­gen­er­ate with ameni­ties that in­clude an aro­mather­apy steam shower and re­lax­ation decks, as well as two out­door ca­banas, fea­tur­ing soak­ing tubs and mas­sage ta­bles for cou­ples treat­ments, over­look­ing the red­wood for­est.

MORE: The spa­cious 59 rooms are tucked away among the re­sort’s mead­ows and red­woods, each fea­tur­ing a pri­vate bal­cony or pa­tio with moun­tain or ocean views, lux­u­ri­ous soak­ing tubs and cosy fire­places. The So­cial House is at the heart of the re­sort, with an out­door pa­tio and lounge fea­tur­ing a fire pit and red­wood stump ta­bles, while The Sur House restau­rant crafts coastal cui­sine us­ing Pa­cific-sourced seafood de­liv­ered by area fish­er­men, free-range meats from lo­cal farm­ers and pro­duce from nearby for­agers. Be sure, as well, to ex­plore the 10,000-bot­tle cel­lar of small­pro­duc­tion Cen­tral Coast wines, care­fully as­sem­bled by lo­cal vint­ners and The Sur House som­me­lier.

EX­TRA: While you’re here, do check out the sig­na­ture Alila Ex­pe­ri­ences that will help you con­nect deeper with the nat­u­ral world – the Falconry Ex­pe­ri­ence, for ex­am­ple, lets you learn about the role of rap­tors like hawks and fal­cons in the Big Sur, and have a meet-and-greet with the birds. You can get truly out­doors with Ventana Big Sur’s Red­wood and Canyon Glamp­sites, where you can ex­pe­ri­ence the splen­dour of na­ture while still en­joy­ing lux­u­ri­ous ser­vices and ameni­ties that in­cludes a Bath House with teak-en­closed show­ers, heated floors and mar­ble van­i­ties. ven­tan­abig­sur.com

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04 01 Es­cape from the out­side world on Viet­nam’s largest is­land. 02 With only 97 vil­las, pri­vacy is as­sured here. 03 Re­ju­ve­nate in the soli­tude of your pool villa in Fu­sion Re­sort Phu Quoc.

02 Take the wa­ters in lux­ury in the Bath House. 02

01 The Gains­bor­ough Bath Spa is lo­cated in two 18th-cen­tury build­ings. 01

03 En­joy tra­di­tional af­ter­noon tea at the Can­vas Room.

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Aquatic body treat­ments can be had at The Gains­bor­ough Bath Spa.

04 The restau­rant is in­spired by fresh, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents.

01 Be at one with the great out­doors at the Hil­ton Shillim Es­tate Re­treat and Spa.

02 Lo­cated in the Western Ghats, you will find your­self sur­rounded by mag­nif­i­cent land­scapes ev­ery­where you look.

03 Lux­u­ri­ous com­fort awaits in the 99 vil­las in the re­treat.

04 The din­ing out­lets here of­fer a menu us­ing or­ganic and lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents that com­ple­ments your re­ju­ve­na­tion.

05 There are only eight rooms on the ex­ten­sive prop­erty

01 Look for­ward to a trans­for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ence at Nekupe. 02 En­joy a mod­ern take on Nicaraguan cui­sine here.

01 Ventana Big Sur’s 59 rooms are tucked away among the re­sort’s mead­ows and red­woods. 02 Add a touch of splen­dour to na­ture when you go glamp­ing. 03 En­joy coastal cui­sine made from lo­cally sourced in­gre­di­ents. 04 A Ja­pa­nese hot bath awaits at Ventana Big Sur.

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