Feb 16, 2022
IT’S A FACT: there’s no better place to go spa-hopping than in Asia. And if you want to spa-hop Crazy Rich Asians-style, there are some truly outrageous experiences to be had. From precious stones to our precious, er, parts, the indulgent treatments and programs at the spas listed here address the most specific of wellbeing needs, while taking you on a luxury tour of Asia. Read on for nine great ways to spend your way to a better you.
Thai Therapeutic Karsai Massage
RAKxa, Bangkok, Thailand
In a verdant oasis hidden along Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River, RAKxa is Thailand’s first fully integrated wellness and medical retreat. Their holistic wellness center, RAKxa Jai, has an extensive spa menu with myriad treatments rooted in Traditional Thai Medicine—including one for your nether regions.
Yes, you read that right. The Thai Karsai Massage is a traditional way of “therapeutic genital healing.” Using precise pressure and small circular massage movements, it helps release toxicity in the organs, dissolves sedimentation in the circulatory system, and addresses common problems in sexual organs. It also helps alleviate lower-back pain and increase pelvic-floor muscle strength, ensuring you emerge renewed.
Orchidée Impériale Ultime Face & Body Treatment
Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives
At Cheval Blanc Randheli, going to the spa means jumping on a dhoni boat and heading to a dedicated private island. Equipped with an open-air yoga pavilion, swimming pool and spa bar, the setting alone is enough to dial your stress level down a notch. The spa has a partnership with Guerlain—it’s the first and only in the Maldives to offer exclusive treatments from the brand.
The most indulgent pick is the Orchidée Impériale Ultime Face & Body Treatment, a two- or three-hour session designed to increase your skin’s vitality. It features deep movements that stimulates your muscles, plus an energizing massage that helps promote cellular renewal. The result? A visibly lifted and toned face and body.
Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Taiwan
Apart from being a coveted stone, jade is also known as the perfect harmonizer for chi energy. So naturally, the spa at the Mandarin Oriental Taipei has crafted a balancing and relaxing treatment centered on this calming stone—spanning an indulgent 2½ hours. The therapist places jade stones on various parts of the body, positioning them in order to release aches and pains. This is then followed by scalp and face scrapping (otherwise known as gua sha), a treatment popular in Taiwan that helps increase blood circulation and gives your skin that natural glow.
Koh Fermentation Treatment
Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, Japan
Most of the treatments at the luxurious Hotel The Mitsui in Kyoto is based on the ancient principles of Japanese “Anma Massage.” Occasionally, the intimate spa and onsen offers other specialized treatments that are deeply rooted in Japanese culture.
Case in point: the limited-edition Koh Fermentation Treatment, which harnesses the power of fermentation in sake and other ingredients. The 75-minute treatment starts with a foot bath using local Kyoto sake followed by a facial or body massage, which results in rejuvenated skin. The best part? There’s a cup of amazake (sweet sake) waiting for you at the end.
Pizhichil Ayurvedic Treatment
Where else best to experience Ayurveda than in India? The stunning Amanbagh Spa offers an authentic taste of India’s ancient healing system, from one-off spa treatments to tailored wellness immersions. While you can enjoy abhyanga and shirodhara elsewhere, more esoteric Ayurvedic practices like pizhichil are harder to find.
The name means “squeezing” and this 60-minute treatment involves just that: medicated Ayurvedic oils are slowly dripped from saturated cotton cloths all over the entire body. It is followed by a rhythmic four-hands massage (two therapists are always better than one!) with you taking various positions. A choice treatment for those suffering from chronic pain, pizhichil improves blood circulation, addresses stiff joints, strengthens the skin and rebalances the entire nervous system.
Green Coffee Body Treatment
Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, Vietnam
Coffee has many well-known benefits but one that isn’t so widely known is that it’s great for exfoliation and helps rid skin of cellulite. The 2½-hour Green Coffee Body Treatment at the Six Senses Ninh Van Bay begins with dry body brushing to stimulate the lymphatic circulation. After which, green coffee concentrate is applied to areas with lumpy-looking skin to help smoothen it. A detoxifying green coffee wrap, to help hydrate and firm up the skin, follows, and it ends with a relaxing massage. This, perhaps, is the only type of coffee session that will lead you to deep slumber.
Asaya One-Night Wellcation
Rosewood Asaya Spa
Courtesy of Rosewood Hong Kong (3)
One of the best urban spas in Asia, Rosewood Asaya Spa offers an overnight “wellcation” that isn’t only 24-hour pampering but also promises to jumpstart a true wellness journey. Guests stay the night at the serene Asaya Lodge and can enjoy the pool, fitness center, wellbeing classes and a three-course meal from the Asaya Kitchen. Anytime during your stay, you can try a 60-minute guided session such as Singing Bowl Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy, which are proven to help clear the mind.
Of course, the package comes with a 60-minute treatment from their curated spa menu—choose from Aroma Atelier by Asaya, Essential Detox Ritual by EviDenS de Beauté, and the Anti-Vice by GOA Men’s Facial, or all three if you’re up for real splurge.
COMO Shambhala Day Out
Como Uma Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
If your idea of a spa day is a mix of quiet and energetic moments, then a retreat at Bali’s stylish surf spot, Canggu, would work for you. You can spend the day relaxing at Como Uma Canggu’s lagoon pool or steam room, or if you’re feeling active, you can join a complimentary group yoga, boxing or Pilates class.
Make sure you carve out enough time for your treatments as the COMO Shambhala Day Out doesn’t scrimp on the treats—it includes a 30-minute body scrub, 60-minute massage, a 90-minute Sundari facial and an express manicure. As you emerge from a state of bliss, you’ll be served sunset drinks at the Beach Club to toast to the end of your self-care day.
Immunity Boost Program
Sangha Retreat by Octave Institute, China
Courtesy of Sangha Retreat by Octave Institute (3)
Blazing the trail in China’s wellness scene is Sangha Retreat, a wellness destination set in a 19-hectare lakeside location in Suzhou. Everything here is built around wellbeing, and they meld ancient techniques—Traditional Chinese Medicine, in particular—with advanced technologies and high-end amenities. The ONE Healing Spa has extensive hydrothermal therapies, from a Himalayan Salt Cave to a Kniepp Walk and an Infrared Sauna, all of which you can avail of during your visit.