Psssst! … Guess what!
You don’t have to pay big bucks for a wellness & spa escape any more – if you know where to find it. And I’m telling you here. These are the newest and nicest wellness retreats with the most affordable, professional spa offerings you can find in Thailand!
Whenever I see the bill to fix my house or my car, my heart sinks, but I cringe and get on with it for the greater good. And if you’ve ever seen a hospital bill then you know that the cost-to-repair ratio isn’t any different when it comes to renovating your body. Some wellness retreats sound utterly drool-worthy but once you see the price tag. you suddenly feel worse. Dagnabbit!
Having been a luxury travel & wellness writer for years, I’m well aware that many spa and wellness resorts aim for the luxury traveller with high prices than can be way out of reach if your pockets aren’t deep.
Where can you go when you want a high quality wellness escape you can actually afford? Head to Thailand! I’ve found for you 3 fantastic new wellness and spa holidays that I recently discovered and totally enjoyed, only an hour’s flight from Bangkok!
At these top 3 amazingly affordable wellness & spa retreats, you can get holistic healing at a vegetarian eco-lodge, detox to lose weight, or 5-star luxury pampering, all at the best prices (and some of the best-tasting health meals) in Thailand. So take your pick …
HOLISTIC HEALING THE NORTHERN HILLS –
PERFECT FOR – Stressed out city people who want to escape the crowds and pollution and relax at a peaceful eco-lodge deep in the heart of nature, eat delicious fresh-picked organic food, get some digital detox, spa treatments, holistic therapies, and some quiet “me” time.
BEST ECO-FRIENDLINESS – This cozy, homey, nature retreat in Thailand’s misty northern hills is a peaceful alternative to the busy southern islands. Museflower Retreat & Spa Chiang Rai was created as a holistic wellness sanctuary with a mission to provide affordable, professional caliber wellness for people who need the healing without all the luxury trappings.
Founder and owner Tania Ho, a young Hong Kong native, lives on the retreat and is actively involved in all aspects of running the place. A graduate of Cornell University’s famed Hotel Administration School in New York, Tania is trained in various holistic practices, and also provides Hado energy balancing counselling.
Here you’ll find yoga retreats, spa escape packages, spiritual workshops , couples’ retreats, life coaching , women’s empowerment retreats, and more, all taught by experienced professionals.
UNIQUE HEALING THERAPIES – The retreat features northern Thailand’s first and only Himalayan crystal salt pool, which is detoxifying and softens the skin. There is a waterbed room for those who have problems with back pain. The spa is small and simple, and offers professional service by staff who were trained to international standards at previous jobs at Sheraton and Six Senses resorts.
Aside from pampering and relaxing spa treatments and massages, there are alternative therapy offerings such as Reiki, Magnified Healing, Crystal Healing, and the world’s first Hado Energy- Balancing Counselling that is offered in English outside its native Japan. Private Pilates and yoga sessions are available too.
One of my favourite facilities here is the small but carefully curated wellness shop in the lobby. Browse around and you’ll find unusual and unique health products you can’t find elsewhere, such as beautiful Himalayan crystal salt lamps, protective Tesla plate pendants that neutralize negative electrical energy from computers, phones and wi-fi routers, pink Himalayan crystal salt for cooking and detoxifying, aromatherapy oils, artisanal spa body products, herbal teas, local handmade cotton tops and Thai fisherman pants, and more. And all at reasonable prices.
BEST ORGANIC VEGGIE CUISINE – The room rate includes three buffet meals per day and daily complimentary fitness classes such as yoga, stretching, Tai Chi or meditation. Guests rave over the organic, lacto-ovo vegetarian Asian cuisine which is picked straight from the retreat’s on-site organic farm and fresh duck eggs that are collected just hours before being cooked.
Another reason for the delicious taste is the use of high quality organic ingredients – mineral-rich Himalayan pink crystal salt, natural brown sugar and coconut oil for cooking, which enhances the flavours. You can even join the chefs to feed the ducks and hunt for eggs in the on-site duck farm, or help pick fresh veggies for the day’s lunch. Guests are welcome to help out in the garden and help plant trees on special occasions.
MORE THAN WELLNESS – You can go sightseeing around Chiang Rai’s stunning temples and museums, visit tea estates, and hill tribe villages. Try the many quaint local cafes serving the aromatic locally grown coffee, homemade cakes and fresh artisanal ice cream. At night, browse the vibrant local night market for Thai food, funky casual fashion and exquisite hilltribe handicrafts.
But best of all you can just chill out at MuseflowerRetreat, go for long walks or bike rides in the surrounding countryside, go bird-watching, just enjoy some quiet time in nature, and most importantly, breathe the fresh clean country air.
BEST VALUE – The best value offerings are the yoga retreat and spa retreat packages The Museflower in-house yoga retreat package is on offer all-year long, and includes the full yoga program of twice daily classes and workshops, three meals a day, spa treatments, and a Hado energy balancing counseling demonstration.
Many guests say that they comparison shopped for yoga retreats or wellness escapes and chose Museflower Retreat for its value-for-money affordable rates. One guest commented that for the price, no other place can beat Museflower’s offerings.
Guests also love the casual, homey feeling and relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere. Many guests come solo, and the communal dining room is canteen style, so you easily meet and bond with your fellow guests, who are people of all ages from the neighboring Southeast Asian countries, Europe, the US, and expats living in Asia.
BEST PRICES – Prices start as low as THB 1,930 / USD 60 per person per night for a regular stay, depending on the type of room and program you choose. A regular stay offers 3 lacto-ovo vegetarian meals per day and complimentary daily fitness class included in the room rate, no matter which room rate you choose.
2018 RATES – From January 1 – December 31, 2018, the popular and great value Spa Retreat Programs and Yoga Retreat Programs (3/5/7 nights) start at THB 14,480 / USD 450 (double occupancy) for a 4 day/ 3 night package and up, and include 2 daily hatha yoga classes, a daily meditation class, all organic vegetarian farm-to-table meals, additional spa treatments and holistic therapies depending on length of package, complimentary airport/train/bus station transfers, and complimentary spa gift. Not into yoga? There are various packages such as Spa Retreat and Detox Retreat packages to choose from.
What’s even better is that Museflower Retreat continually runs spa promotions, discount deals, and complimentary gifts throughout the year, so you can easily pay even less than the quoted rate if you take advantage of one of their promotions or discount offers. You can also sign up for their newsletter and join their community for wellness tips and news.
*UPDATE – The Palms Retreat mentioned below has closed as of November 30, 2017.
DETOX FOR WEIGHT LOSS –
The Palms Retreat, Koh Samui
PERFECT FOR – First-time detoxers, and serious weight loss seekers who have never done a detox or wellness retreat before and want something natural, easy-going, gentle, and non- intimidating to help them lose weight or simply freshen up their system.
BEST GENTLE DETOX – This is where to go if you want to lose weight via natural detox. There are no colonics here. It’s all detox through natural herbal supplements, juices, and very light soups and salads.
The daily rate includes all the detox meals and herbal nutritional supplements, daily fitness activities which include the daily morning beach walk or hill walk and stretching exercise, yoga, aqua aerobics, meditation, a daily massage, two personal health consultations, and complimentary airport transfers.
It’s a detox to lose weight so you don’t get much food here. It’s mostly nutritious detox juices with herbal supplements, a daily swig of extra virgin coconut oil, a light but wonderfully delicious lunch of flavourful soup or salad and a saucer of cashew nuts for dinner. Don’t be scared. The herbal supplements and juices somehow keep you from feeling hungry and if you really need a bite to eat, the manager won’t let you suffer and might let you eat a little extra salad or fruit.
The location is not on the beach, folks! And it’s not a hotel. The Palms Retreat is situated in a private compound located in a villa estate on top of a hill. It’s a 10 minute walk downhill and across a road to reach the beach, and a huffy, puffy, sweaty walk back up the same hill to get home. But hey, it’s all valuable, natural exercise to burn those damn calories. People really do lose weight here.
BEST PERSONAL SERVICE – With only 3 cottages clustered around 2 swimming pools, The Palms Retreat accommodates up to 6 people maximum, making the experience very private and very personalized. You feel like a guest in a private home. Stay here long enough, and you might start feeling like its your own home.
There are very few guests at a time so classes are small and more like personal training sessions where you get individual l attention from the teachers, can ask questions and get personal guidance when you need it. The teachers and wellness consultants are very passionate about what they do and love sharing knowledge with their guests.
Most of the activities take place in the morning, leaving the afternoon free to take naps, go sightseeing around the island, hang out on the beach, or take cooking classes at a nearby organic farm-to-table cooking school.
The Palms Retreat Samui was started in late 2015 by former corporate PR firm owner and long-time Hong Kong resident Susan Field , who sold her company, left the hectic corporate world and decided to set up her own wellness retreat after recently attending her first detox retreat in Samui to lose weight for the first time in her life. She lost weight. And she decided she could open her own place and make it nicer and cozier than the place she’d attended earlier. And that’s exactly what she did.
If you’re lucky, owner Susan might be around to greet guests and join the morning fitness classes bringing along her two adorable little dogs for walksies. Susan brightens the mood with her bubbly personality and vivacious energy that make you feel right at home. Attentive resort manager Minah not only prepares all the delicious (and spicy) meals, but takes good care of the guests. She even listens to their problems, goes out to the movies with them, joins them on power walks, and most of all, keeps everyone laughing with her hilarious, no-nonsense personality.
BEST VALUE – Guests here say that if you comparison shop you’ll realize the price here is amazing value for the entire package that you get. Comfortable large individual cottages with a private pool per every 2 cottages, personalized fitness classes and daily massage. It’s easy and simple for first-time detoxers who have never been on any kind of health retreat before, don’t exercise and are seriously overweight or just want to lose a few pounds. The objective is to lose weight here and they are strict about the dietary program.
BEST PRICES – The room rate starting from only THB 6,000 ( around USD 172) per night depending on the room type and program you choose, with no hidden extra costs.
There are seasonal discounts too, making the price even cheaper. If two people are sharing a room, a 35% discount applies on rates for the second person.
5-STAR LUXURY SPA PAMPERING –
X2 Koh Samui Resort – All Spa Inclusive
PERFECT FOR – People who want a 5-star luxury beach holiday in a hip hotel pool villa, with lots of privacy and lots and lots of spa pampering and beauty treatments. Think romantic escapes, private beach hideaways, girls’ spa getaways, or intimate beach weddings.
BEST STYLE – I love this place! And I enjoyed every moment of my stay here. If you love clean cut contemporary design, you will love this chic, small boutique resort in southern Samui. It consists entirely of private pool and garden villas, each with outdoor sitting and dining areas and spacious contemporary interiors, including cool X2 branded room amenities.
My favourite part was the huge bathroom, which was bigger than the bedroom and the bathtub big enough to fit two people, with room to spare.
Aside from the privacy of your own pool villa where you can skinny dip at any time, there’s a beachfront main pool and big lawn leading down to the sea. Also a stylish restaurant that’s open to the beach with refreshing sea breezes.
BEST BEACH LOCATION – The beach here is a beautiful, quiet stretch of sand and sea, with only the occasional kite surfer or a few people taking beach walks to be seen.
BEST VALUE – The best and amazing part is the “All-Spa Inclusive’ offering. The room rate includes unlimited free spa treatments! As much as you want! The small but very satisfying spa menu offers massages, scrubs, facials, manicures and pedicures. It’s a fantastic way to catch up on your mani-pedis and completely pamper your whole body . Most guests spend the daytime outdoors sunbathing or sightseeing so the spa tends to get more booked up in the evenings and late afternoons.
BEST PRIVATE HIDEAWAY – This is an all-pool villa resort which means total privacy if that’s what you want. The pool villas are big, include TV, wi-fi, room service, amenities. It’s a fabulous hip hideaway escape .
BEST PRICES – Billed as “Thailand’s first and only All-Spa-Inclusive Resort”, X2 Samui really, really delivers the goods. The resort is lovely. The service is excellent. The beach is perfect.
For luxury pool villas of this size and style, this rate is amazing. Prices start at only THB 8,496++ / USD 265++ per night for a pool villa – including breakfast and all the unlimited free spa treatments you can possibly want. Where else can you find a luxury pool villa / spa deal like this? I think nowhere.
BOOK YOUR STAY – See all their latest packages, best prices guaranteed, advice on planning & travel, and book online here.
Have you been to any of these 3 places yet? How was your experience there?
Looking for ideas on where to take yourself on a fabulous yoga holiday? Find out here.