1 comment / Posted on by maggie gunning

As spa and wellness advisors, Jane and I are fortunate enough to have the amazing job of visiting some of the most incredible spas in the world.

We are always asked the challenging question, “What’s the best spa in the world you have been to?” and honestly it’s hard to say what’s the best because it really depends on what one is looking for.  Some people want an all encompassing wellness retreat – boot camp style and regimented to ensure they have boundaries put in place and they get real results, where as others might be looking for a luxurious pampering experience of detox by day with the option to re-tox at night. More and more often though we recognize that luxury travellers are searching for that ‘money can’t buy’ experience…but how does one define that?

We can all safely say that whilst the location with stunning architecture and considered interior design is essential – the quality and creativity on all levels of the treatment and service delivery is critical to that sublimely sensorial experience that leaves a memory etched in our souls and yearning for more…

Not one to keep any spa secrets from our ‘spa savvy friends and followers’, we wanted to share with you our five dream spa and wellness resorts within Asia and the Indian Ocean, just incase you happen to be looking at taking some much needed time out…go on, you deserve it…

#1 Fivelements Retreat - Bali

The Facility: This is a true wellness retreat set in the lush paddy fields of Ubud, Bali that won’t completely blow your budget.  Run by married couple Chicco and Lahra they truly walk the talk in their philosophy and quest to create holistic healing destinations in a wonderful intimate setting.

The Treatments: Very much geared towards customized healing and nurturing treatments. In order to obtain the best results we would recommend staying for minimum one week or at least two.

The Service:  Gentle and gracious, South East Asian style – really can’t beat it.

Our Recommendation: You can’t miss the fire blessing where the village high priest takes you on a spiritual journey like no other.

The Food: Raw food at its finest…super clean, imaginative and seriously interesting.


#2 Tamarind Retreat - Koh Samui, Thailand

The Facility: This has to be one of the most affordable, wonderful, natural outdoor spa experiences around. Set within dense tropical jungle with a natural boulder rock as a steam room the spa journey weaves through outdoor pools, jungle like walk ways to a relaxation space where your therapist greets you and takes you to one of the outdoor covered beds.

The Treatments: I would strongly recommend taking one of the 4hr packages that includes traditional Thai massage, hot herbal compresses, use of the steam cave, pools and outdoor relax lounge. One lovely touch they include is a delicious healthy Thai snack after your treatment, placed in a pretty basket with your name written on a card and placed on top.

The Service: As Thais place a great emphasis on being courteous and polite towards others you can expect the same at Tamarind Spa.  


#3 Como Shambala - Cocoa Island, Maldives

Shambala is Sanskrit for 'a sacred place of bliss' and that it is! If you are looking for understated luxury, than this is you, but expect to pay for it!

We are regularly asked by friends to recommend the best spas and Como Shambala received glowing reports from one particular family we know who were looking for somewhere luxurious to spend time with their children. If you have the $$$$$ this is a superb choice for a luxury spa resort holiday.

Facility: Minimalist, contemporary décor set amongst lush tropical vegetation with stunning aqua blue waters and sandy pristine beaches.

The Treatments: Como Spa approaches their spa treatments in a holistic but not forceful or boot camp style.  Guests can choose to go the luxury pampering route or to incorporate some spiritual, fitness and detox elements. It’s about creating bespoke offerings at your pace and level.

The Service: Friendly, professional but non intrusive, Como Shambala Maldives has really managed to embrace the Maldivian culture and service in a truly humble and respectful way.


#4 North Island - Seychelles

This is one of Jane’s most memorable spa visits ever. Read on to find out why.

Facility: Set on a private island and open to the elements…it was some time ago that Jane was here but she swears by the overall island experience as one of her all time favourites. Seychelles as a destination is so raw, wild, ecologically diverse and natural. She recalls, “I felt like a feline lazing around my villa which had so many fine, handcrafted details and well considered spaces to just be. The spa offers uncluttered, calming muted tones that don’t compete with the stunning environment and set up high in a canopy of trees looking down onto the Tiffany blue ocean and curvaceous granitic boulders that put out so much primal energy. “

The Treatments: It was the Free Style massage that sent her off into a dream like state…she also remembered choosing a body wrap with tamarind, honey and yoghurt in it because one of her most favourite things to do in the Seychelles was to pick wild tamarind off the trees and eat it- yummy!

The Service: You feel like you are being hosted and nurtured as opposed to being served. Need we say more! The team at North, need to be highly commended for their conservation efforts- they truly appreciate and respect the honor of being in such a pristine environment.


#5 Saffire Freycinet - Australia

Facility: Greg and Julie Farrell of the Federal Group have created quite a diverse portfolio of Hotels in Tasmania, but their visionary and slightly futuristic Saffire,  truly sets them apart from other Australian competitors. The spa is rather small but the overall execution makes up for it. Definitely high touch over high tech….I wouldn’t mind a little infra red sauna to sit back in on those chilly Tasmania days.

The Treatments: Jane highly recommended spa therapist 'lovely Hannah' who did a truly intuitive massage on what Jane described as her ‘weary’ body with some much needed cranio sacral taking her to another realm. They had locally made signature body and face products made by La Gaia. She and her partner both purchased a fair quantity of their facial blends. It’s a natural Naturaceutical range worth investigating.

The Service: Flawless, nurturing, so personal and nothing was too much to ask for.

Another fabulous treat beside all of the 'jump off the plate' food was the Saffire signature blend tea with indigenous botanicals. Jane enthused, "I've never tried a tea so quintessentially Australian...it was even better because it was hand delivered by their exceptionally suave General Manager Justin as a parting gift which was a surprise as we had only casually mentioned how much we delighted in sipping it. If I were saffire I think I'd be getting that onto Australia’s national airline QANTAS and sharing it with the world".


We would love to hear what is your favourite spa resort in the world and why. Feel free to share any comments about our article or your visits to spas. Follow more of our Spa hopping journeys on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


1 comment

  • Posted on by Musings Off the Mat

    Oh my, Como Spa in Maldives sounds magical. i’d love to try that some time. Totally enjoy this read. Thank you! Now how do i sign up in having a job to visit spas? :p
    -Ferina, Musings Off The Mat

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