Travel 6 minutes 29 January 2024

Here are 11 Wellness-Oriented Self-Care Sanctuaries in Asia to Nourish the Soul

These 11 locales in Asia that not only encapsulate the essence of holistic self-care, but also serve as gateways to some of the world's most revered well-being traditions.

In the ever-evolving world of travel, wellness tourism is shedding the tired spa robe cliché for a more cultured and nuanced narrative. While the spa maintains its significance, many hotels are now evolving into architects of holistic rejuvenation, curating experiences that span bespoke exercise regimens, contemplative meditation sessions, and the revitalising art of forest bathing catering to the solo traveller who’s in need of some self-care practices.

Here are 11 locales in Asia that not only encapsulate the essence of holistic self-care, but also serve as gateways to some of the world's most revered well-being traditions.

China: Rosewood Beijing

As the cradle of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), China stands as a seasoned player in the ever-expanding global wellness arena. In the historical capital, Rosewood Beijing seamlessly combines contemporary sophistication with holistic healing, offering an unrivalled wellness experience.

At Sense, the Rosewood Spa, guests can entrust themselves to a range of treatments, with the option of two spa suites for overnight stays. Programmes such as the Alchemy of Sleep highlight a curated selection of sleep amenities. The wellness offerings extend further with a dedicated yoga studio and an indoor pool, embodying a harmonious fusion of tradition and modern luxury in the heart of Beijing.

Book Rosewood Beijing on the MICHELIN Guide →

Hong Kong: The Upper House, Hong Kong

Amid the dense, hurried atmosphere and faced-paced lifestyle of Hong Kong lies an abundance of wellness sanctuaries designed to cater to the overworked residents and travellers in need of a little R&R — and they’re all within close proximity of the region’s bustling outdoors.

The Upper House, Hong Kong, which sits above Pacific Place shopping mall in Admiralty, has long been at the forefront of health and wellness in the city, and it’s become a part of its brand identity. Guests can explore the curated Wellness Residences, which include highlights from oracle and tarot readings to crystal viewing sessions with Stone & Star, guided meditation at the Sky Lounge by Shakti Healing Circle, a full-body sculpting workout with Lindsay Jang’s Family Form, to a yoga practice led by Good Company’s Rinat Perlman. While the House doesn't boast a dedicated spa, guests can indulge in the luxury of a private treatment within the comfort of their room.

Book The Upper House, Hong Kong on the MICHELIN Guide →

Japan: Bettei Senjuan

Japan, steadfast in its commitment to timeless wellness traditions such as forest bathing, also known as "shinrin-yoku," Onsen culture, and traditional tea ceremonies, has long been a sought-out destination for those seeking a more holistic way of life.

In homage to this legacy, Bettei Senjuan proudly guides guests on an architectural odyssey through time, immersing them in the serenity of tatami-style Japanese rooms set against a backdrop of a peaceful forest.

Nestled within Minakami, a town renowned for its Onsen culture, this venue invites patrons to partake in a visual feast of snow-capped Mt. Tanigawa-dake, creating a tranquil and breathtaking setting that captivates throughout the changing seasons. As many Japanese hotels proudly embrace their cultural heritage, Bettei Senjuan stands as a testament to the timeless allure of Japan's wellness ethos, offering an immersive retreat that transcends time and elevates the spirit. All 18 of its guest rooms have a private natural hot spring bathroom.

Book Bettei Senjuan on the MICHELIN Guide →

Macau: Four Seasons Hotel Macao

In the extravagant enclave of Macau, often hailed as the opulent "Vegas of Asia," where the glittering allure of casinos beckons the region's wealthiest tycoons, there exists a quieter haven. Because, beyond the high-stakes glamour, Macau stands as a sanctuary for some of the most opulent spas, ensuring guests are lavished with the luxury they rightfully anticipate.

At the Four Seasons Hotel Macao, five outdoor swimming pools grace the premises, offering a plethora of aquatic indulgences. The hotel's exquisite spa, steeped in traditional Portuguese techniques, including the use of the Melissa herb, promises a truly luxurious escape. Yoga enthusiasts can hone their practice in the dedicated studio, while fitness aficionados can maintain their regimen at the 24-hour gym. Beyond the expected, wellness offerings at the hotel include Sleep Support — a fusion of vibrational sound therapy, a silk sleep mask, and crystals — and the Reiki Mindfulness energising treatment.

Book Four Seasons Hotel Macao on the MICHELIN Guide →

Malaysia: Else Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia, a lush sanctuary of jungle charm and ancient healing, has long called out to wellness seekers, and these days, even hotels in the city are bringing their age-old practices to their guests.

Enter Else Kuala Lumpur, a modern boutique nestled in Chinatown, which seamlessly blends contemporary style with time-honoured remedies. Despite its downtown vibe, the oasis boasts an outdoor pool, chic cabanas, and futuristic flotation pods, all dedicated to your holistic well-being. The property continues to expand its expertise in the wellness space, and is currently exploring potential collaborations with experienced yoga instructors to introduce yoga sessions and wellness programmes at the hotel — all the more reason to keep coming back.

Book Else Kuala Lumpur on the MICHELIN Guide →

Qatar: Zulal Wellness Resort

While Qatar is emerging as a global wellness destination, its roots are deeply entwined with the historical fabric of traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine. The Middle East's centuries-old wellness legacy finds a contemporary embodiment at Zulal Wellness Resort, marking the region's inaugural full-immersion wellness retreat.

Encompassing an expansive 280,000 square meters, this resort by Chiva-Som epitomises luxury holistic hospitality, addressing physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The property offers a plethora of traditional hammam, Ayurvedic massages, energy-based therapy sessions, and holistic fitness classes. Zulal Discovery caters to families seeking a wellness escape, while Zulal Serenity welcomes guests aged 16 and above, providing a transformative programme against the backdrop of Qatar's evolving wellness narrative.

Book Zulal Wellness Resort on the MICHELIN Guide →

Singapore: Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa

In the heart of the bustling Lion City, renowned for its financial prowess, a tranquil respite awaits on Sentosa Island—a government-established green enclave that offers an escape from the urban hustle.

Nestled atop the cliffs overlooking Tanjong Beach, the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa beckons with promises of serenity and stress-free indulgence. This sophisticated retreat invites guests to embrace a holistic wellness experience. Whether one opts for a workout in the state-of-the-art gym, or a refreshing swim in the 33-metre pool, the options for rejuvenation are diverse.

Here, the largest Sofitel spa in the world awaits, housed within a heritage building amid lush greenery, featuring 14 treatment rooms, a private garden with a lap pool, outdoor whirlpool, and two waterfall pools. Indoors, gender-specific hot and cold pools and steam rooms provide additional avenues for relaxation. For those seeking a deeper immersion into tranquility, the one-day Arise wellness retreat fuses embodied flow, guided meditation, sound healing, breath work, and group exercises.

Book Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa on the MICHELIN Guide →

South Korea: SIGNIEL Seoul

Renowned for its excellence in beauty and skincare, Korea stands at the forefront of the global wellness scene, leveraging not just contemporary prowess, but also drawing from a rich history of traditional medicine and ancient meditation practices.

In this landscape, SIGNIEL Seoul, located on the 76th to 101st floors of the Lotte World Tower, not only offers unrivalled city views, but also elevates the art of pampering to new heights. Beyond its claim to the best city vistas, the luxury hotel indulges guests with spa-like bathrooms and the Retreat Signiel spa — a sanctuary boasting an oil and tea atelier, seven treatment rooms, and a rejuvenating hotel sauna. All of this unfolds against a panoramic backdrop of the city below, providing a chic haven in the heart of Seoul.

Book SIGNIEL Seoul on the MICHELIN Guide →

Taiwan: HOSHINOYA Guguan

In the embrace of abundant natural hot springs and serene landscapes, Taiwan is an inherent healing sanctuary. It comes as no surprise then that the Hoshino Resorts group from Japan cast their gaze upon this picturesque haven.

Tucked away up a meandering mountain road in the Central Mountains of Taiwan's majestic Guguan Hot Spring Park, HOSHINOYA Guguan unfolds like a luxury hot spring resort, presenting a haven with both public baths and in-room private ones. Beyond the therapeutic waters, a repertoire of wellness activities awaits at HOSHINOYA Guguan. The "Deep Breath Stretch in the Woods" seamlessly melds qigong and yoga, offering a rejuvenating experience in nature. For those seeking additional indulgence, spa treatments can be arranged, ensuring a holistic retreat in the heart of Taiwan's tranquil beauty.

Book HOSHINOYA Guguan on the MICHELIN Guide →

Thailand: Six Senses Samui

Nestled within a treasure trove of world-class wellness retreats and spa resorts, Thailand has solidified its status as the ultimate sanctuary for self-discovery and healing, rooted in a rich history of traditional remedies.

At Six Senses Samui, perched on a tranquil headland on the northern tip of Samui, time seems to stand still, offering guests an immersive experience in the renowned hospitality and wellness legacy of Six Senses. In this idyllic setting, guests from around the globe embark on a journey of holistic well-being, immersing themselves in nature through the property's expansive spa, yoga and meditation salas, and contemplative walking meditations. Activities such as guided morning strolls, and evening breathwork exercises further enhance the wellness experience.

The accommodation, featuring private pools in most units, exudes an airy and spacious ambiance, complemented by sun decks and optional yoga mats to commence mornings on the right note. Complimentary daily activities include tai chi, herbal scent making, Thai pran, stretching classes, and sound healing with singing bowls. Six Senses Samui encapsulates the essence of Thailand's wellness allure, inviting guests to embark on a transformative journey surrounded by natural splendour.

Book Six Senses Samui on the MICHELIN Guide →

Vietnam: Amanoi

Vietnam, acclaimed as a premier destination for spa and wellness resorts, is a haven for an opulent retreat catering to diverse travellers.

Nestled within the lush expanse of Nui Chua National Park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Amanoi stands as a natural sanctuary overlooking Vinh Hy Bay, where guests seamlessly connect with nature. For those acquainted with the prestigious Aman group, expectations are set for a cutting-edge wellness experience like no other.

Perched on the shores of a serene lake adorned with lotus blossoms, the Aman Spa introduces personalised wellness programmes incorporating both traditional and international treatments. The facilities include two lake-view hydrotherapy suites with heated stone treatment tables, a dedicated Pilates and yoga studio, and a comprehensive fitness centre. To enhance the holistic journey, the property also offers two Wellness Pool villas, each featuring private pools and spa facilities with enchanting views of the forest or lake. Staying in these ultra-luxurious accommodations ensures a daily regimen of morning wellness classes, a sacred Cham blessing ceremony, and a selection of activities such as the Guided Goga peak or Wild Cat trek, snorkelling, or cycling through the village.

Book Amanoi on the MICHELIN Guide →

Asia's allure in the realm of luxurious wellness sanctuaries remains unmatched, whether you find yourself amidst the bustling energy of a city or enveloped by the lush greenery of a remote jungle. No longer must residents in Asia embark on extensive journeys to achieve their well-being aspirations — or perhaps, they never truly did, considering the region has been a cradle of diverse wellness offerings since time immemorial, or at least, very close to it.

Images are courtesy of the hotels. Header image is from Hoshinoya Guguan.


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