1. Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand (Best Spa)
The tale is given a new lease on life. This is one of Asia’s first destination spas, a one-stop shop for anything that combines soul-calming warmth and brightness with physically and emotionally fulfilling therapy. Its powerful message has reached people all over the world, prompting a diverse group of visitors to make significant investments in their health, both in terms of time and money. Over 100 different therapies are available, ranging from traditional Thai and Ayurvedic techniques to chakra balancing and naturopathic consultations. Then there’s the maybe unexpected aesthetic-beauty area, as well as real remedial physiotherapy and rehabilitation and the most extensive and high-profile roster of visiting therapists possible.
2. Euphoria Retreat, Greece (Best Fitness Program)
Heavyweight combat set against a historically significant setting.
Spartans were known for their fighting skills in the classical civilizations, with only the strongest, fastest, and most determined individuals passing their grueling training. After a few millennia, Euphoria, one of Europe’s top destination spas, has opened on the outskirts of the Peloponnese town. For modern-day fitness warriors, the Spartan Spirit of Adventure program surely checks all the requirements. It emphasizes outdoor exercise, which has been shown to burn more calories, improve mood, and lower blood pressure than a gym session, with lots of HIIT to burn visceral fat. But, most importantly, it incorporates the region’s heritage, giving the ancient musclemen’s sports a 21st-century spin.
3. Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (Most Meaningful Experience)
A spa whose serenity and infectious vibrancy pervade the unspoiled beauty of the Maldives. Its Ayurvedic philosophy runs throughout the entire island. The four restaurants (Asian, Middle Eastern, Italian, and a grill) all tout the dosha-balancing benefits of each food, so you may eat holistically as well. In the meantime, the spa encourages massive alchemical transformations. Dr. Shylesh Subramanya measures the pulses of his patients, reads their thoughts like a medium, and reads their bodies like braille. He assigns tailored plans, including two hours of yoga and pranayama every day, for managing stress, women’s or men’s health, thyroid care, spinal difficulties, or addiction, after a forensic consultation.
4. MasQi, The Energy House, Spa (Best Holistic Hideaway)
MasQi is one of those revelations that leaves visitors torn. Tranquil to the point of silence, except for birdsong, and nestled in a national park an hour’s drive from the shore, MasQi is one of those discoveries that leaves visitors torn. It’s remote and tranquil, and it’s both therapeutic and affordable, with inexpensive flights to Alicante, the nearest airport, available at all times. On the one hand, there’s a strong desire to make a big deal out of it. On the other hand, it’s tempting to remain silent and hope that no one else notices. There’s a sense of literal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life as you approach. The cab must pull off the road and creep down the hillside on rutted paths for the final few hundred yards. The property has a peaceful energy that is immediately noticeable. The main structure, a charmingly restored 1880s farmhouse with eight spacious bedrooms, looks out over a pine-shaded lawn and miles of the uninhabited countryside beyond.
5. Ayurveda Parkschloesschen (Best Ayurvedic Retreat)
This is cleansing the old-school way, a millennia-old Ayurvedic practice that is still completely relevant today. Panchakarma (a nine-, thirteen-, twenty-four-, or thirty-four-night stay in which medical enemas remove metabolic waste from the body) is as beneficial for 21st-century burnout as it is for good old-fashioned weight reduction. Parkschlösschen is the Ayurveda epicenter in Germany. It was founded in 1993 by Wolfgang Preuss, a follower of the Indian philosophy of self-healing through preventive, as a smart place in Europe to practice it. Carina, his daughter, now runs the retreat, bringing tenderness to what can be a harrowing procedure. Panchakarma produces amazing results, but it requires a lot of planning: getting up before 7 a.m., swishing oil around the mouth, scraping the tongue (a potential organ for infection), drinking plenty of hot water and detox drinks, putting more oil in the nostrils and ears, and practicing yoga and meditation. All of this happened before breakfast.