Three very different resorts, united by a common feature: each has a signature spa treatment you have to try on your next wellness vacation
1. Bawah Reserve
Riau Islands, Indonesia
Who it’s for: Luxury lovers who don’t mind travelling for an off-grid experience.
Why you’ll love it: Few resorts truly master the difficult mix of unbridled luxury and environmental commitment, but Bawah Reserve has it nailed. Scattered across six tropical islands, 13 beaches and three lagoons in Indonesia’s Riau Islands province, the word “resort” hardly does this place justice. Think of it more like your own private paradise.
Bawah can only be reached by private seaplane from Batam, and all stays are all-inclusive, so not only meals but a daily spa treatment and activities such as paddleboarding, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing, diving and boat excursions are covered.
Signature spa treatment: At Bawah’s Aura Wellness Centre, every treatment is individually tailored to address how a guest feels that day, and what they want to achieve; there’s no “point and cross your fingers” menu here. But it’s the Facial Yoga that has become something of a signature. Using a jade roller, the facial stimulates blood circulation to oxygenate and nourish the tissue, leaving skin looking plump and firm. Lotus is then used to give the skin a big drink of moisture for a true holiday glow.
Bawah Reserve offers full-board stays that include daily spa treatments.
2. The Anam
Cam Ranh, Vietnam
Who it’s for: Sun chasers and families alike.
Why you’ll love it: The Anam is a crowd-pleaser. Families will appreciate the kids’ club, mini-golf, 3D cinema and 300m beach. Everyone else will love that there are plenty of quiet spots in which to soak up all that sunshine, but lots of activities too, from sailing to beach volleyball, kayaking, tennis and cookery classes, plus three swimming pools (including one just for adults). At cocktail hour, pull up a seat at the beach club for a sundowner with nothing but sand and a few bobbing sampans between you and the horizon.
Signature spa treatment: For a truly indulgent spa weekend, book the Four Hands Massage. This ultimate body massage, performed by two masseuses (hence, its name), uses specific aromatic massage oils and techniques designed to melt away any tension. Or, to soothe those muscle aches, go with the Sacred Stone Therapy, a glorious warm stone application that induces a deep relaxation.
The Four Hands Massage sessions range from 40 minutes to 60 minutes and cost between VND2,000,000 and VND3,000,000.
3. Six Senses Yao Noi
Ko Yao Noi, Thailand
Who it’s for: Anyone who likes their eco-conscious resort to have lots of luxury touches.
Why you’ll love it: At Six Senses, sustainability is not a trend but a guiding philosophy that influences everything from water management to noise levels; the pace is deliciously slow, and nightlife virtually non-existent. Factor in rustic-chic villas, moreish food, delightful sta and views over the limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay, and you’ll find it hard to leave.
Signature spa treatment: To really work all that unwinding into the skin, try the Thai Herbal Massage. This full body massage uses warm poultices of plai (a plant from the galangal family), ginger, turmeric and lemongrass on specific pressure points, and gentle rolling movements to condition skin and induce a sense of wellbeing.
The Thai Herbal Massage costs THB6,900 (about RM920) for 90 minutes.
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue.