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Serene Stays in Asia


They’ve become de rigueur, but not all hotel spas are created equal. Here, five notable ones around Asia. By HUI FANG

Published on Jul 6, 2010

The hotel’s 3,200-square-meter Spa Village offers therapies based on traditional Chinese medicine, using specially created products by U.K.-based company Aromatherapy Associates. No expense has been spared with each of its 18 treatment rooms: all come with private steam showers and an outdoor bathtub, with saunas and whirlpools in couples’ rooms and additional luxe touches such as stone scrub tables and daybeds in the VIP suites. Opt for the more unusual treatments. The Hilot—an ancient Filipino massage—treats body imbalances through a combination of deep-tissue massage and smooth, flowing strokes, while the Dagdagay Foot Therapy is performed using a bamboo or rattan stick to stimulate the foot’s nerves. Or get into the local spirit with the two-hour-long Chinese Time Ritual: a medicinal massage and herbal soak that’s prescribed for your needs by a traditional Chinese doctor.

12 Yuhai Road, Sanya; +86 898 8820 9999;

Elevating spas to a whole new level, every facet of Six Senses’ 10.5-hectare Naka Yai property is entirely devoted to your wellbeing. Guests here sign up for multi-day programs revolving around four approaches—Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Thai—and sup on wholesome meals featuring ingredients from the resort’s organic vegetable garden. Reachable only by boat, the exotic location near the limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay makes the experience all the more memorable. The menu runs the gamut of the spa encyclopedia. Zero in on the signature Shiffa facial, which uses precious gems. For the rundown corporate climber, the ayurvedic Abhyanga treatment uses warm, medicated herbal oils to detox and distress your body. And if you’re thinking about a second career, sign up for the five-day Thai massage course and learn with the pros.

32 Moo 5, Tambon Paklok, Amphur Thalang, Phuket; +66 76 371 400;

True to its name—which means “peace” in Malay—each of the 11 rooms at The Damai comes with its own decorative water feature and outdoor garden that’s perfect for post-treatment relaxation. Inspired by the city’s multiethnic heritage, the spa draws on Chinese, Indian, Malay and European traditions: there’s a specially designed Chinese aji stone bed for water therapy treatments and the menu lists massages and facials based on aryuveda and Malay jamu. The Damai’s signature pressure-point Damai Orchid massage leaves you knotless. Other recommended treatments include the Abhyangam massage, an oil-based (jasmine, grapefruit and cedarwood) detoxifying massage, and the invigorating Kneippe Body Therapy, a classic hydrotherapy treatment that combines dry body brushing with alternate sprays of warm and cold water.

10 Scotts Road, Singapore; +65 6416 7156;

With lush tropical gardens created by Bill Bensley, white-sand beaches and blue waters fringed by palm trees, the location alone provides plenty of relaxation. Still, Anantara prides itself on its spas, and the one here further burnishes its reputation. On offer are several weeklong programs with a strong focus on aryuveda and yoga; the Cyclic Meditation and Yoga Diet on the Beach are recommended. Only have a day? Then book the Energise Me treatment, comprising a foot treatment, herbal steam bath, massage, a green tea scrub and an organic lunch.

198–199 Moo 5, Had Pak Meng-Changlang Road, Si Kao; + 66 75 205 888;

Expect the trademark Bliss Spa touches: a menu with witty names, the indulgent brownie buffet and, of course, a great location—in this case, the 72nd floor of the W Hong Kong with bird’s eye views of Victoria Harbour. The nine treatment rooms are kitted out with the latest modern conveniences (digital lockers; glass-tiled steam showers), but the real find is the two DVD-equipped mani–pedi stations. The time-efficient services are well-suited to Hong Kong’s hectic pace. Popular treatments include the 135-minute Ginger Rub with freshly grated ginger; the 105-minute Hangover Herbie; and the Triple Oxygen Treatment, a 85-minute intensive cleansing treatment with an exfoliating fruit acid wash and pre-extraction oxygen wrap.

1 Austin Road, West, Kowloon; + 852/3717-2797;


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Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket
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