FUSION RESORT PHU QUOC
There’s nothing like retreating to an island just to get away from it all. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc is also Vietnam’s largest island and one of the country’s up-and-coming destinations. Fusion Resort Phu Quoc is located on the island’s north-west, in the private and secluded bay of Vung Bau. The lush 20ha plot consists of 97 pool villas stretched along a pristine stretch of tropical coastline, as well as the sprawling 11,210 sq m Maia Spa Phu Quoc.
The cornerstone of all Fusion Resort properties (the home-grown brand now operates six hotels and resorts across Vietnam) is the all-inclusive spa concept, with daily treatments and wellness activities. This means that, for those seeking pure rejuvenation, the Maia Spa Phu Quoc is the real highlight of the resort. The expansive space houses its own private outdoor pool, plus steam and sauna rooms, indoor and outdoor yoga areas, a hair and beauty salon and a fitness centre. There are also 20 double treatment rooms for relaxing body and foot massages, energising facials, and homemade body scrubs and wraps. The spa has its very own pepper garden, containing numerous pepper orchids and other tropical herbs and spices that make their way into the treatments, including the signature “Natural Living Pepper” treatment.
Each of the spacious thatched villas has a private swimming pool within a sheltered tropical garden, along with the “breakfast anywhere, any time” service, letting you keep the world at arm’s length for as much as you want. The resort’s wellness ethos continues in two innovative restaurants, and a pool-and beach-side bar and diner, which serves up a menu of local and international fare, as well as abundant local seafood the island is known for.
Phu Quoc pepper is famous around the world – hence the spa’s pepper garden – so be sure to pick up some. It is also home to what is considered the best nuoc mam (fish sauce) in the world. A visit to the Phu Quoc Pearl Farm might just add lustre to your trip.
THE GAINSBOROUGH BATH SPA
The Gainsborough Bath Spa, part of YTL Hotels, occupies two 18th- century Grade II Listed buildings with distinguished Georgian and Victorian facades in the heart of the Unesco World Heritage Site of Bath. Centred around Spa Village Bath, The Gainsborough Bath Spa, uniquely in the UK, has the exclusive privilege of having access to the natural thermal waters that bubble in the three famous hot springs in the centre of Bath.
Spa Village Bath offers a contemporary perspective on Bath’s tradition as a place of healing. The Bath House experience, for example, allows you to “take the waters” in luxury, with a spa circuit that includes dipping in two natural thermal pools of varying temperatures, traditional and infrared saunas, a steam room, an ice alcove and elegant relaxation areas. The spa also integrates the healing and calming properties of Bath’s warm mineral springs with private aquatic body therapies and classic spa treatments that focus on personalised aromatherapy. There are 11 treatment rooms here, including a couple’s room, VIP Suite with private natural thermal waters, two tatami rooms designed especially for award-winning Asian therapies, and a beauty salon.
The Gainsborough Bath Spa features 99 custom-furnished guest rooms and suites that fuse period details with contemporary forms. It also offers exclusive spa rooms – the only guest rooms in the UK to offer guests in-bathroom access to the thermal waters. The hotel’s award- winning restaurant, Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Restaurant, serves up exquisite cuisine inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients, while adjacent Gainsborough Bar is ideally situated for pre- and postprandial drinks, or a nightcap or three.
Bijoux and vibrant, Bath is perfect for a relaxing getaway. The city boasts excellent shopping and F&B options, as well as truly inspiring architectural and historical sites, most of which are, literally, a stone’s throw from The Gainsborough Bath Spa.
HILTON SHILLIM ESTATE RETREAT AND SPA
Nestled in an unspoiled sylvan setting amid the magnificent landscape of the Western Ghats, Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa offers a sanctuary for the body, mind and spirit. Spread across 129ha of picturesque wilderness within the private Shillim Estate – it’s located approximately a 30-minute commercial seaplane flight or a 2.5-hour drive from Mumbai – the retreat has a mission, ‘To Conserve. To Sustain. To Heal’, which permeates every experience.
Shillim Spa, which features some of the most comprehensive spa facilities in Asia, integrates the ancient philosophic, spiritual and artistic wisdom of South Asia with contemporary international practices and therapies to offer complete rest and rejuvenation. Working on a consultative rather than prescriptive approach – guests are guided on a one-to-one basis – the spa offers a range of rejuvenating treatments as well as holistic programmes that are designed to conserve and amplify life’s force, sustain and build health, support the healing of the whole person, and celebrate the gift of life though pampering and beauty treatments. Apart from 17 treatment rooms, you’ll find a relaxation centre and terraces, meditation cave, and yoga and hydro thermal pavilions.
The retreat features 99 villas, set amid rice fields, bamboo plantations and virgin forests, offering sweeping views of the valley or forest. Each comes with a dedicated spa treatment area and a private deck or balcony, while pool villas also enjoy a private pool and patio, as well as butler service. There are five dining outlets that offer an extensive range of culinary fare, using organic and locally sourced ingredients, that complements your rejuvenation. The Shillim Institute also includes a learning centre, cooking school, and painting and pottery studios that you can join in.
You can go trekking, mountain-biking and horse riding at the retreat, where you can also discover whether you are a green thumb at organic farming. Alternatively, explore the awe-inspiring Karla caves, which date back to 220BC, or climb the ramparts of the Lohagad and Visapur hill forts.