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From Here to Thai Serenity

Images

  • Bamboo Arch

    Bamboo Arch

    A bamboo arch forms the entrance way to Six Senses Destination Spa's wellness compound.
    Arch made of bamboo
  • Thai Massage Techniques

    Thai Massage Techniques

    Among Six Senses Destination Spa's menu options are services based on Thai, Chinese, Balinese and Indonesian techniques.
    Thai massage
  • Six Senses Treatment Room

    Six Senses Treatment Room

    Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket combines elements of health, fitness, relaxation and wellness into its holistic treatments.
    Six Senses treatment room
  • Sarajin Cuisine

    Sarajin Cuisine

    Tasty cuisine options that aid health and wellness are available at The Sarajin Thailand.
    woman with tray of food in front of ocean
  • Six Senses Hideaway Organic Tubs

    Six Senses Hideaway Organic Tubs

    Matching its environmentally friendly architecture, services at Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi can be performed in organic tubs.
    organic tub
  • Six Senses Hideaway Treatment Room

    Six Senses Hideaway Treatment Room

    Clients can soak up the rejuvenating atmosphere while receiving renewing treatments at Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi.
    Six Senses Hideaway treatment room
  • Six Senses Hideaway Landscape

    Six Senses Hideaway Landscape

    Thatched roof bamboo huts and thriving vegetation add to the atmosphere at Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi.
    Six Senses Hideaway environment
  • Piyanuch Ketnim

    Piyanuch Ketnim

    Piyanuch Ketnim, or “Tang,” amidst the "Bourgeois Bamboo" architecture of Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi spa. Note the plaited bamboo walls.
    woman at Thai spa
  • Cuisine

    Cuisine

    The Living Room restaurant at Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi emphasizes healthy eating as part of the wellness program, and serves only fresh dishes; much of its fruits and veggies grown on-site.
    woman displaying plate
  • Spa Therapist Six Senses

    Spa Therapist Six Senses

    A spa therapist prepares for a traditional Thai treatment at Six Senses Destination Spa.
    spa therapist preparing treatment

    Photo courtesy of Ed Rampell.

By: Ed Rampell
Posted: January 7, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Thailand has been called "the land of smiles," but it could also be called the land of spas. Therapeutic retreats are found throughout this Southeast Asian kingdom, naturally emanating from a Buddhist culture accentuating relaxation, wellness, meditation and nirvana. After a hard day elephant-trekking in the jungle, kayaking at Phang Nga Bay or tuk-tuk driving through Bangkok’s traffic jams, Thailand’s resorts, hotels and urban oases provide spa treatments designed to soothe seething souls and soles.

I recently experienced some of the best Thai spas across the country, from tropical islets to downtown Bangkok’s high-rise hustle and bustle.

A true spa resort

There are many resorts around the world that have spa components, but few flip the table to make it a spa with resort components. The upscale Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket, located on Naka Yai Island near Phuket, has done just this however, emphasizing spiritual and physical healing and calming. Wellness director Bryan Hoare says, “This is a spa-centered place quite different from the average resort spa experience. It’s a mixture of spa, holistic, fitness and integrated health. It’s more than a spa—people come for the wellness experience and destressing.”

It’s hard to imagine a place better suited for destressing than Naka Yai, where Six Senses is the only visitor venue on an ecological isle inhabited by fishermen and framed by panoramic views of Phuket Island and Phang Nga Bay with its myriad of whimsically shaped limestone islets picturesquely dotting the horizon. Its 61 traditional Thai thatched roof villas with private pools, gazebos and bathroom herb gardens are ideally suited for this environmentally sensitive, tranquil setting that combines Eastern architecture with Western conveniences.

The pristine property’s skin care and therapeutic treatments include Thai, Chinese, Indian and Indonesian massage and techniques in the centrally located spa, a mini-village entered through a bamboo tunnel, setting it apart from the rest of the grounds. The spa’s Australian nutritionist and naturopath Sally Twitchen begins clients’ regimens with in-depth, confidential lifestyle consultations and assessments of their dosha, or mind-body constitution, resulting in personalized wellness plans featuring treatments, exercise, meditation and cuisine.